From burgers in Botanic to sandwiches in Stranmillis, there is a veritable feast of choice for eating out in the Queen’s Quarter. Here’s our menu of food hotspots, all within five minutes’ walking distance of the University.
The gut-busting Mexican fare of Boojum is wildly popular among the population of BT7. Chicken, beef, pork, fajitas, burritos, tacos…the choice is yours, but be warned – as with the Boxing Day Sales, you need to get there early, and don’t arrange any meals for the following 24 hours either.
73 Botanic Avenue, BT7
So popular they built two – one in Botanic, one in Stranmillis. Hearty fare such as burgers, lasagne, bolognese, chicken goujons and sandwiches for reasonable prices. Basically there’s not much they don’t do – but the Ulster Fry is especially popular.
2 Malone Road, BT9 and 50 Botanic Avenue, BT7
A name that comes up time and time again when we ask students where they like to spend their lunchtimes. Windrush (named after the ship that brought the first West Indian migrants to the UK) introduces you to the wonderful, vibrant food of the Caribbean. Curried goat or Bajan souse, anyone?
45 University Road, BT7
No, not those frozen things you bung in the George Foreman, but a rather splendid restaurant in Stranmillis.
Their signature dish is the doughnut burger. Yes, that is what you think it is.
137 Stranmillis Road, BT9
A taste of Japan in Botanic Avenue. The friendly staff know that most of you probably aren’t regular sushi-guzzlers, so they’ll talk you through what’s on offer. Can’t choose one dish? Not a problem – with their lunch special you sit down and pick plates off the sushi train as it comes round. Individual plates start at a very reasonable £1.90 each.
82 Botanic Avenue, BT7
Famous for its indulgent bun range – the caramel éclair is a particular delight. Just remember not to bite into it with too much gusto, lest you wish to cover the occupant of the next table with cream.
However, as a bistro and not just a bakery, they have many more strings to their bow. Their lunch and evening menus contain a great range of local produce, and you can bring your own. Bottle, that is. Not local produce.
99 Botanic Avenue, BT7
The Black Bear Café has a two-pronged ethos– one: go for quality not quantity, two: try and do something a bit different.
Their coffee is done properly – something that has not escaped the notice of the Guardian’s food blogger among others.
And although not exclusively vegan, they have a good variety of lovely grub if animal-free produce is your thing, as well as gluten-free treats.
They also run a themed (Mexican, Italian) Friday night supper club – it’s popular, so make sure you book in advance.
17 Stranmillis Road, BT7
Newly opened in Botanic Avenue, Northern Ireland’s answer to KFC provides a lot of tasty food for not very much money. Famous for its breaded chicken burgers above all else.
86 Botanic Avenue, BT7
Reflecting the increasingly varied cuisine of the city, the Middle East comes to Belfast with a delicious (and healthy) range of Lebanase food. For any of you unsure of where to start, we recommend the falafel. Why? Well, it’s deep fried!
9 Botanic Avenue, BT7
Does as it says on the tin (or the sign). A vast range of meats, breads, toppings and sauces awaits you.
Also famed for their BIG LAD food challenge – a 36oz burger (that’s a kilo of meat, by and large) in a traditional Belfast Bap with choice of sauces and toppings. Nutcases, sorry, customers have 30 minutes to complete the challenge before being rushed to the cardiac unit wearing their celebratory T-shirt.
75 Botanic Avenue, BT7
Aside from being a great place for a pint and a gig, the Empire has a decent line in hearty grub. On Mondays-Thursdays, you can get a ten-inch pizza for a scarcely believable three quid. Fair enough, you have to buy a drink to get it, but let’s face it – you were going to do that anyway, weren’t you?
42 Botanic Avenue, BT7
“Addictive chicken with a difference” is how this unique restaurant describes its mouth-watering array of everyone’s favourite poultry. Its buttermilk batter is what gets everyone talking. They also do cocktails. They’ll get you talking too. Alcohol usually does.
92 Stranmillis Road, BT9