Belfast is a city with a lot going on, and that goes double for the evenings, when the bars fill with revellers and the city buzzes with the sound of good company and good conversation. For friendly places where anecdotes are made and shared, our guide to the best cocktail bars in Belfast should be the first port of call! Whether you like classic flavours or want to surprise your taste buds with something quirky, these bars will not disappoint you. Check out these eight of our favourites that you’ve got to try.
Snuggled next to Voodoo (its sister bar) on Fountain Street, Santeria is a must-visit and surely has to be one of the best cocktail bars in Belfast. The laid-back Mexican ambience at Santeria is enough to get you grooving, whilst the contemporary cocktail menu serves all rum, gin, whisky, vodka or tequila lovers well. Amongst their cocktails, their mezcal ‘Oyin’ and hot beverages like ‘Café Royal’ are a standout, but the range of local beers and Latin American cuisine make it a winner too.
19 Fountain Street, BT1 5EA.
Rita’s is nestled in the city centre’s bustling Linen Quarter. We’re obsessed with the chic interiors and by sipping a drink by the fireplace – with a Mai Tai or Zombie often proving our poison of choice. The whole menu is blessed with a variety of gin, signature cocktails, and craft beers, so there’s something to suit all palates. The vegan food they serve is pretty unmissable too!
44 Franklin Street, BT2 7GE.
3. Bert’s Jazz Bar
Bert’s pleases you with New York-style décor from the 1930s, which is very on-trend for the snazzy Merchant Hotel, in which the bar is found. A fabulous collection of cocktails is inspired by the world’s jazz capitals, such as New Orleans, New York, London, Havana, and Paris. Live jazz music fills the bar every evening, and French bistro cuisine is on the food menu. The price points for cocktails are a little higher here, but it’s worth saving a little to come and enjoy them.
16 Skipper Street, BT1 2DZ.
4. The Cocktail Bar at The Merchant Hotel
Come for the antique décor – including gorgeous antique Baccarat chandeliers – stay for the drinks. The second watering hole of the posh, period Merchant Hotel’s is The Cocktail Bar. A touch more laidback than Berts, this place offers you a menu of cocktails inspired by trailblazing mixologists, which is a neat touch. They home-make their ingredients or source them responsibly.
16 Skipper Street, BT1 2DZ.
5. The Observatory
How could we leave somewhere serving Belfast-themed cocktails out of our best cocktail bars in Belfast guide? If the drinks don’t make you weak at the knees, the view from The Observatory will. Perched on the 23rd floor of the Grand Central Hotel, it’s the tallest cocktail bar on the island of Ireland. Their swoon-worthy cocktail menu features drinks named after the city’s landmarks, perfect for enjoying gorgeous views of Belfast.
9-15 Bedford Street, BT2 7FF.
6. The Bar at Fitzwilliam Hotel
Copper lighting, renovated interiors, and exquisite food are enough to entice you into visiting The Bar at Fitzwilliam Hotel. Still, it’s their collection of cocktails that remains the bar’s calling card, such as the Pineapple Fizz, made with Prosecco, Jawbox Pineapple, and ginger gin. Another fantastic cocktail, ‘Leading Lady,’ is a mix of Chambord, Grey Goose La Vanille and peach liqueur, which is the first thing we’ll be ordering.
1-3 Great Victoria Street, BT2 7BQ.
7. Angel and Two Bibles
You’ll need to buzz for entry and ascend heavenwards to get into this excellent speakeasy, but once you’re in, Angel and Two Bibles promises a great variety of drinks. Their ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’ is widely regarded as an absolute do-not-miss! You can sit with a glass next to the fireplace or on their heated rooftop terrace, and if you’d like to make your evening truly memorable, you can book them for private parties from Sunday-Thursday.
1 Goose Entry, BT1 1FP.
8. Liquor XXX
If you live in Belfast, LiquorXXX is a must. Which means that if you haven’t been, you’ve got to stick it on your list ASAP! LiquorXXX – recently voted Ulster’s best cocktail bar – houses a collection of tequila-based Latin-American inspired cocktails, and their cachaça is a can’t miss. Grab a drink, enjoy the bar’s cracking music mix, and get ready to boogie into the night.
49 Dublin Road, BT2 7HD