While we’re all about celebrating the best of Belfast, should you choose to leave this wonderful city for a bite to eat there’s a number of brilliant eateries less than half an hour’s journey from the big smoke.

Here’s our pick of them…

1. The Boathouse

1a Seacliff Rd, Bangor


This award winning restaurant has 3 AA Rosettes and featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants list in November 2015. Best of all, it was second cheapest on the list. Proof that you don’t have to break the bank to eat in style.

2. Sleepy Hollow

15 Kiln Rd, Newtownabbey


A new individual style of modern Irish food served in a warm, cosy environment. They boast a wide range of classic dishes, with new innovative techniques. For example – the Pan Fried Lemon Sole with Shrimp and Crispy Potato Pastille, Cauliflower Puree, Mature Cheddar and Potato Tart and Tartar Sauce – is known more commonly as Fish and Chips.

3. Square Bistro

18 Lisburn Square, Lisburn


Square Bistro has established itself as the number one eaterie in Lisburn having opened in 2007. Renowned for its theme nights, Wednesday and Thursday curry nights, Friday seafood and Saturday live music while you dine. Most importantly the food is divine.

4. Fontana

61 High St, Holywood


Recommended in the Michelin Guide, Fontana is one of the biggest hitters in the lively Holywood food scene. Always serving the best of fresh local ingredients in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, Fontana is that perfect place for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch.

5. Dirty Duck

2-4 Kinnegar Rd, Holywood

Dirty Duck

Another of Holywood’s leading lights. Enjoy panoramic views in the upstairs restaurant or cosy up for some excellent pub grub in the downstairs bar. And who knows, if we get some decent weather we could even sit in the ‘boat’ out front.

6. Del Toro

19 Antrim St, Lisburn


Del Toro offers an upscale dining experience that meshes Tuscan cuisine with an exquisite menu. Sounds great. And Taste Of Ulster agree because they presented them with an award just last year.

7. Hillside

21 Main St, Hillsborough


This rustic pub first opened its doors to patrons in 1752 but you’ll be pleased to learn they’ve upgraded the restrooms since then. The excellent food, drink and service in this venue has made it favourite in the town for over 250 years.

8. White Horse

49-53 Main St, Saintfield

White Horse Inn

The food on offer is an eclectic mix of traditional & modern cuisine with many tempting fresh fish dishes. The generous portions combined with the great selection of beer on tap will mean you may need some assistance getting out of your seat.

9. Sugarcane Cafe Bistro

The Square, Comber


Sugarcane Cafe Bistro is a family run European-style cafe which couldn’t be in a more central location in the town of Comber. It’s somewhere where you would be as comfortable sipping a glass of Sauvignon as you would be a Suki tea. The best local produce cooked to perfection helps make Sugarcane one of the best things to come out of Comber since the potato.

10. Cultra Inn

111 Bangor Road, Cultra

Cultra Inn

Located in the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Culloden Estate and Spa, you’ll enjoy a welcoming atmosphere as you sit by the log fire, take in the stunning views and enjoy a drink or first class meal with friends. Using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients, they create memorable dishes that showcase the best of local seasonal produce.

11. Balloo House

1 Comber Rd, Killinchy


Balloo House tempts you with two very different culinary experiences, both under the same roof. You’ll immediately be struck by its atmosphere of ease, comfort and conviviality in the Bistro while a short ascent up an elegant wooden staircase, reveals a sublime private dining experience.

12. Salty Dog

10-12 Seacliff Rd, Bangor

Salty Dog

This boutique hotel overlooking Bangor’s Marina makes for the prefect retreat. Friendly staff and great food will make you stay a memorable one, even if it’s just for the duration of the meal. But if you’re planning on going to food heaven you might as well check in for the night.

13. Knag’s

373 Antrim Rd, Glengormley


Run by the McCourt family, Knags takes its name from the family’s four initials – Kevin, Nicole, Ashlin and Gina. Kevin is the head chef with 20 years experience who is responsible for the growing reputation of this Newtownabbey eaterie which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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