Giro d’Italia inspired cuisine in Northern Ireland

May 6, 2014

Posted by

The Giro d’Italia may be Italian but with produce grown and reared locally, cooked and prepared ‘al dente’ and served ‘al fresco’ you can enjoy an Italian inspired dining experience in Northern Ireland.

Fuelling the Giro d’Italia

Local producer Hannan Meats are even giving the Italians a run for their money with their Great Taste Award winning Guanciale, a type of cured bacon, traditionally a delicacy from the Italian regions of Umbria and Lazio.  Guanciale is the proper meat for the classic carbonara pasta sauce and a great example of how we do Northern Ireland food with an Italian ‘twist’!

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, and here in Northern Ireland we make amazing ice cream! So if you are following the Giro d’Italia trail, why not call into one of our Italian themed restaurants, and sample for yourself  some wonderful Italian inspired food made with our great Northern Ireland ingredients.

Coppi – St Annes Square, Belfast

Opened in 2012, in the heart of Belfast’s Cultural hub this ultra cool venue is named for Fausto Coppi, cycling legend of the 40s and 50s’.   On offer is a great selection of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, a range of cicetti (Italian style tapas), small plates, think feta fritters, and pork and fennel sausages,  main courses, pizzettas and pasta made freshly in the restaurant daily.  They are winners of a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand for GB and Ireland 2014.

Il Pirata Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast

Named after veteran cyclist Marco Panani, (‘the pirate’) and inspired by the Italian restaurants on Manhattan’s lower East side, Simple rustic, tasty Italian food is the order of the day! The menu ranges from Venetian style cichette to share, to hearty plates of Parma ham and braised beef brisket, while  their Portavogie prawn pizzette is a perfect fusion of Ireland and Italy.

Little Wing, Ann Street, and Lisburn Road, Belfast & Bangor

These are as close to the real deal Italian pizzas as you would get anywhere!  Their traditionally made Naples style pizzas are made with the finest locally sourced ingredients, and their coffee is organic and fair trade.

Greens Pizza, Lisburn Road and Ballyhackamore, Belfast

One of Belfast’s longest established pizza restaurants, they are so popular they had to open another branch in Ballyhackamore village.  All their dishes are prepared with the freshest ingredients.   A favourite starter with regulars is their aptly named Dragons Tongue Supreme - garlic bread, with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Mozzarella.

Coast Pizza and Pasta Restaurant, Portrush

This Italian style food bar, offers authentic Italian and modern fresh stone-baked pizza and modern pasta dishes. With great food, including a must try chilli chicken penne pasta, a lovely view of the harbour, and great service, no wonder this venue is so popular!

Morelli’s Ice Cream, Portstewart

A trip to Portstewart should always include a trip to Morelli’s!.  One of the oldest, and most famous ice cream parlours in Ireland, this Italian family run business was first opened in 1911.  With over 40 fabulous flavours of ice-cream, not counting frozen yoghurts and sorbets,  made by combining Northern Ireland dairy products with  flavourings from some of Italy’s most prestigious flavour houses we believe that this ice cream just may be some of the finest that you’ll ever taste.

Redz Piano Bar and Grill, Junction One, Antrim

Redz endeavours to keep in touch with the traditional roots of true Italian cuisine, fusing Italian and Mediterranean flavours.  Their ingredients are 100% locally sourced, which reflects their passion for quality and provenance.   The great choice of pizzas, pastas, and European dishes, coupled with a warm and friendly atmosphere is leading to their ever growing popularity.

Milanos Restaurant, Ballymena

Why not ‘build’ your own pizza at this lovely restaurant, decorated in vintage style, with a great atmosphere, friendly service, and its ‘BYO’ (bring your own alcohol!)

Macaris Ice-Cream and Coffee, Armagh

Just opened in 2011, on offer is a fantastic variety of  ice cream flavours,  from Jaffa cake and Turkish delight to Mint Ice tea,  The proprietor describes it as  “ 100% Italian ice cream made by a 50% Italian” add to all this great service, and décor, no wonder this newcomer is proving to be a great local success!

Fiorentini’s Ice-Cream, Derry

This lively Italian café and ice cream parlour, has been in operation since 1911 and is still in the hands of the same family.  Its reputation is built on its fabulous ice-cream, but it also serves great coffee and fish and chips.  Its central location, just five minutes from the Guildhall, makes it the ideal place to stop by.


For further details or to attend the Giro d’Italia ‘Grande Partenza’ visit

For further details on Dining and Food & Drink in Northern Ireland visit


It's fair to say we love a wee cup of tea here in Northern Ireland. But did you know that our love of...

Read More »

Whether you're on a short break to Northern Ireland or organising a girls' day out, what better way to kick-back and relax than with a...

Read More »

With superb craft ciders and ales, exquisite gins and wonderful teas, take a short break to Northern Ireland and experience a brewery...

Read More »

Leave a comment

Thanks! your comment is currently being moderated.