There are times when you feel the need for some cultured cuisine but don’t have the time to wait for a Michelin-starred chef to painstakingly create a gastronomic masterpiece.
These are the times we go in search of fast-casual food, grub that delivers restaurant quality at takeaway speed.
Here’s our pick of what’s on offer in Belfast city centre for those who want to eat well in a hurry…
Bubbacue has recently been given a significant makeover which is sure to see them attract even more fans of slow-cooked meat served pronto.
Their prices are more than competitive and portions more than sufficient. You can avail of meat and two sides for just £8.
52 Upper Arthur Street
The only place is Belfast where you’ll get an authentic Italian piadina.
We recommend the Ciccio, freshly baked flat bread filled with a homemade Italian pork sausage and topped with Scamorza smoked cheese and roasted peppers. It’ll set you back £5.50, or if you want to save £1 get there before 12.15pm for the early bird offer.
25 Bruce Street & Castlecourt Foodcourt
Anything goes at this street food haven where you can cram your wrap, rice bowl or salad bowl with a selection of Indian-based delicacies of varying degrees of spicyness and fruitiness.
Botanic Avenue, Chichester Street & Great Victoria Street
What more can you say about the burrito phenomenon that has taken Belfast by storm. Except that they’ve now got a Boojum truck for special events.
It won’t be long before they open up a clinic to treat Boojum addicts.
5. Cuban Sandwich Factory
29-31 Queen’s Arcade
Cuban Sandwich Factory has gone from strength to strength since first popping up at St George’s Market in 2012.
Now they are providing mouthwatering authentic Cuban delights from their shop in Queen’s Arcade. If in doubt, go for the Reuben Cuban.
6. Slim’s Healthy Kitchen Express
Slim’s have been a brilliant local success story since opening on the Lisburn Road in 2013. Now getting ready to open their sixth and seventh restaurants, the Victoria Square outlet is where you can sample the healthy eating phenomenon at its quickest.
7. Yard Bird
3 Hill Street
Every chicken dinner is a winner at this casual eatery situated above The Dirty Onion. You’ll not have long to wait for some chicken based goodness as the rotiserie chickens are constantly spinning in this rustic no-booking-required diner.
8. City Picnic
2-6 Castle Street
They bill themselves as The Best Burgers In Belfast and while there’s sure to be some debate around that claim, we do value their extremely short waiting time. The food’s not bad either which is a big plus. Check out The Carnivore: a beef patty topped with pulled pork, bacon, cheese and crispy onion ring.