Belfast city is buzzing with small craft businesses, independent artists, home-owned restaurants and chefs. To get a taste of all these cultural highlights under one roof, here’s our guide to the fantastic traditional markets on offer this year.
St George's Market
Market, Farmers' Market, Vegetarian, British, Fast Food
Belfast’s most popular local market, St George’s Market is an award-winning attraction packed with fresh produce, street food and local art. Since 1890, the market has been a centre of Northern Irish cuisine and culture, and increasingly diversifies to give customers a taste of international culture. The Friday Variety Market is a must-see for food tourists, showcasing 248 stalls, from fresh vegetables to Belfast bakeries – it’s also the leading fish marketer in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The City Food and Craft Market runs on a Saturday, specialising in international speciality foods, local jewellery, fashion, and art producers in Northern Ireland. If you can’t choose, you can head to the Sunday market for a mix of the best stalls from the food and craft markets. Open Friday-Sunday. You can find the daily opening times here.
The Continental Market runs from November–December annually as part of European Continental Markets. Sitting on the grounds of the beautiful Belfast City Hall, this market grows bigger each year and delights visitors with international cuisine, craft and toy stalls, patisseries and a giant snow globe! If you’re in the mood for a prosecco speciality burger or a famous bratwurst sausage, this is the Christmas market to try this year. There are two beer tents, in which to enjoy a cactus beer or hot cider, and over 150 stalls to peruse throughout the day, making this market the ultimate Belfast Christmas experience. Open November–December, 10 am to 10 pm daily.
Situated beside the city centre, in Bank Square, the Folktown Market is a weekly market bringing together fresh grocers and street food vendors to share beautiful local food and live performances with the public. This market is the perfect stop for vegetarians and vegans, with many speciality stalls, like the popular ‘Matter Not Batter’ vegan vendor. As a proud supporter of the Earth Market project, Folktown Market supports the surrounding community through locally sourced food and small businesses, giving visitors the most authentic Northern Irish cuisine – for the best prices. From locally brewed coffee to fresh baked bread, the smell alone will draw you into this delightful market. Open on Thursdays, 11 am to 4 pm. You can find out more about the summer events here.
Sitting in the heart of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, the city’s most famous quarter, the DOCK Market hosts over 20 stalls filled with crafts and food to take home. From homemade cupcakes to local jewellery and fashion, the DOCK Market is the best place to find authentic designers and artists in the city. Situated next door, the DOCK café is a quaint coffee and cupcake house run by volunteers and features an interior they describe as ‘Victorian-Edwardian-Industrial-Pop-Up-Chic’! The café is funded through an honesty box, meaning customers decide the price for their visit. If you pop by, you’ll likely find the usual chess clubs, knitting groups or book groups that call this café home. Open Monday- Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm.
Campus Food Market | Courtesy of Queen's University Belfast
The Campus Food Market arrives at various times of the year, usually monthly, and hosts great food trucks from home and beyond. This market has some of the best food on offer, including the famous Belfast Boojum truck (visit if you’re a fan of Mexican burritos) and the Dublin-based Burger Republic truck. If you want a taste of the hottest street food in 2017, put this market on your list. You can find the latest timetable for the Campus Food Market here.
Held once a month, Fine and Dandy Market is a bohemian market located in Belfast’s Botanic area and features a range of vintage crafts and independent artwork. This market selects the best alternative small businesses, including Urban Tonic for beard oils and balms, or Wee Yarn Designs for the cutest hand-knitted presents. Located in Crescent Art’s Centre, it is only open to the public for a half-day every month, but it draws in regular visitors who are unlikely to find these treats and products anywhere else. From kimonos to artisan chocolate, this market satisfies the hipster in everyone. You can find the latest timetable for the Fine and Dandy Market here.