Belfast is a great drinking town. Many bars do serve food, if you wish to combine your drinking and dining pleasure. McHugh's offers a variety of exciting cooking, including great noodle dishes, as well as being the oldest bar in Belfast, dating from 1711.
Nick's Warehouse, near St Anne's Cathedral, has one of the best wine lists in the city and merges exquisite vintages with great food. A meal upstairs in the evening can be quite expensive but lunch at Nick's is always great value for money.
In the ornate Victorian décor of the Crown Liquor Saloon you can enjoy a plate of oysters or authentic Irish Stew with your pint. This bar is owned by the National Trust and is one of Belfast's most famous institutions. If you want some privacy, bring your drink into one of the many snugs that line the ground floor.
If you've come to these shores to listen to some of Ireland's famous traditional music, step inside a bar to hear it played. Kelly's Cellars is famous for its traditional music sessions and excellent pints of Guinness. The Duke of York and the John Hewitt, practically next door to each other, offer excellent live music, of either the traditional or the jazz varieties. Jammed during the weekends, earlier in the week you can find yourself in these beautiful bars with just a few others, entertained for free with some foot-stomping jigs and reels.
Other bars, such as Morrison’s Bar or Katy Daly’s, offer you live music of a more contemporary nature to encourage the consumption of liquor. Both these establishments run very popular club nights. At the Fly or Lavery’s Gin Palace, one of the city's oldest and most famous drinking institutions, you can simply sit back and enjoy the craic. If you like cocktails and are curious to see some enormous Soviet realist statues, call into the Northern Whig. The weekend trade is always busy in bars, but if visiting Belfast mid-week you'll find bars will often have promotions or quizzes to keep the customers coming in the doors.