Picture this: the sun is shining, you’re with your friend and you’re just about to go into your favourite restaurant which you haven’t been able to go to in months.

Well, that day is soon to be upon us as restrictions across the country are beginning to lift! So, to make sure you’re well prepared, Destination Derry have put together our top 10 list of great eateries you should check out when you’re in Derry but don’t just trust our opinion, we asked Derry locals on social media for their best picks and these were the most popular answers.

In no particular order:

  • Pyke ‘N’ PommesPyke ’N’ Pommes originally started out as an adapted van in a disused car park, before moving to a semi-permanent pitch by the River Foyle in Derry in 2013. Since then, the team have done a range of events including festivals, pop ups, radio and have won a number of awards. In 2015, the team converted a shipping container and a double decker bus into a fully functioning restaurant and it is certainly the most interesting place to dine on this list. With the best local produce and all food being made from scratch, it’s not hard to see why so many people come from across the country to visit this fantastic restaurant.


  • Hidden City Caféthe Hidden City café is an award-winning, ethical, independent eatery which not only serves delicious food but also champions local producers such as Ann Marie’s’ Vegan Cakery, Broighter Gold, Joe Jacksons ice-cream, Managh Beg Mushrooms, Gavs organic produce, Donegal Prime Fish and Rough Brothers beer to name a few. One of the best things about this café however, is the range of vegan and vegetarian options on offer, so no matter what your dietary requirements are, the Hidden City café will have you covered.


  • Martha’s Vineyard – On their website, the tagline for Martha’s Vineyard is “A restaurant where the kids are entertained while you can enjoy a beautiful relaxing meal, what parent would say no?” The perfect place to eat while the kids can enjoy the arcade machines or a game of bowling, Martha’s Vineyard has a great selection of food on offer, however, it’s not just the food that attracts customers here. Martha’s also boasts some of the best cocktails in Derry at great prices, so for just £4.50 you can enjoy a Gin N Juice with the meal of your choice, what’s not to love?


  • The Sooty Olive – Located in the heart of Spencer Road in the Waterside area of the city, The Sooty Olive is a much-loved favourite by the locals. Within its first year of opening, The Sooty Olive was awarded the prestigious McKenna Award as well as being the proud winner of the ‘best restaurant’ in 2019 at the Irish Restaurant Association Awards for Co. Derry. Customer reviews include praise of the “excellent service” and “outstanding food with every bite.”


  • The Walled City Brewery – A multi award-winning restaurant and brewhouse based in Ebrington Square, Derry-Londonderry, the Walled City Brewery has a fully operating brewery and accompanying restaurant in the same building, making it the first of its kind in the country. The ethos behind the business is to provide locals and tourists with a “Taste of the North West” through crafting local, authentic, premium quality, flavoursome beer and food.


  • Browns in Town – Michelin recommended restaurant Browns in Town offers customers a casual, fine dining experience. Situated in the heart of the city, the restaurant is award winning and renowned for providing a casual dining experience in modern and comfortable surroundings. This trendy venue is extremely popular with foodies who enjoy Browns great quality food combined with excellent service and exceptional value.


  • Nonnas Woodfired PizzasNonnas was founded by two brothers and their passion for real Italian pizza. After years travelling and exploring the small towns and villages around Italy, they couldn’t find anything that compared to real Italian pizzas at home. So they built their own back yard pizza oven and taught themselves the art of proper pizza making, cooking pizzas for friends, neighbours and family and hence the idea for Nonnas was born. With features such their wood burning ovens which were imported directly from Italy for the perfect base, to the best ingredients and suppliers, Nonnas is not to be missed for pizza lovers.


  • Primrose on the Quay – From humble beginnings of selling tea, coffee, lunches and home baking, the Primrose brand has really taken off, especially with the development of the café, the Primrose Secret Garden, Primrose Pantry, Primrose Bakery and Primrose Events. Within 4 years, owners Ciaran and Melanie have achieved so much while priding themselves on maintaining high standards throughout all of their projects. From the charming vintage décor to the good food, Primrose on the Quay is a great dining experience.


  • The Gate Bistro and Cocktail Bar – On their website, The Gate Bistro state that “we pride ourselves on quality dining and unique experiences in a quirky, cosy environment. Our customers can expect an intimate and relaxed setting, designed to enhance their dining experience.” The Gate Bistro is the creation of local entrepreneurs Ruairi Breslin & Tony O’Connor, who have other successful restaurants throughout the city and as the name suggests, as well as good food they also provide good cocktails.


  • El Tapas Gra – The name of this restaurant translates as ‘Love Small Plates’ and it opened in early 2020. The food has a lot of Catalan influence and is combined with the best of homegrown Irish talent and ingredients, so when the hospitality sector is given the go ahead to reopen, this is definitely a place to go with friends.

This is just a fraction of all of the incredible restaurants, cafes and food stops in Derry and you will never be short of places to eat when restrictions lift. Where are you most excited about going when lockdown ends? Let us know!