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“Just for a change.”

Holohans At The Barge
Ranked #4 of 1,043 Restaurants in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $45
Cuisines: Irish, European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Families with children, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Cash Only, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Holohan's is a family owned Irish restaurant situated on the Belfast Barge and permanently moored beside the Waterfront theatre and Queens Bridge in the heart of Belfast City. Holohan's unusual and picturesque setting is the perfect accompaniment to the unique dining experience, based around great Irish produce, recipes and warm, genuine Irish hospitality. Using classic recipes, updated with modern cooking techniques and some of the best local ingredients, the chefs at Holohan's produce food that is both nostalgic and contemporary. There is also a real focus on locally sourced craft beer, ale and cider, and a great selection of some unusual Irish whiskey's. As a family Holohan's has valued their gift for hospitality through three generations, the current owners grandmother, Sabina Holohan , encouraged the family to welcome guests "as if it were visiting your home." With modern life accelerating at such a fast pace, we often forget that the most important part of hospitality is to be hospitable, something for which the Irish have been renowned the world over. While there is an informal and relaxed ambience at Holohan's, the staff is nevertheless consummately professional, with a fantastic knowledge of our food, drinks and provenance. The Irish have a rich and wonderful culinary heritage, our extensive research has gathered a wealth of cooking methods, recipes and techniques from the last three hundred years. Many of the dishes on our menu have a weight of history behind them and have been passed on down through the generations. From the peasant food of the North West born out of hardship and necessity which gave us dishes like Craibechan, a delicious savory porridge made from pearl Barley and of course the house specialty, BOXTY, which comes from the traditional word bacstai or aran bocht ti meaning 'poor house bread'. Boxty on the griddle, And Boxty on the pan; The wee one in the middle Is for Mary Ann.[ Our goals are to provide and champion our particular brand of food and service in a relaxed and visually striking setting. While we celebrate Irish culture, we try to do so without resorting to Irish cliches, we feel the "Irish-ness" comes from the welcome, the hospitality and the wealth of history contained within our menu. At Holohan's, we aim to work in a transparent and ethical manner, ranging from the treatment of the animals that provide our meat, to sourcing sustainable fish and using seasonal, locally grown fruit and vegetables. Fast becoming known around the world for the quality of our produce, our little Island is becoming known as the larder of Europe, and what better way to demonstrate and celebrate this then using Irish produce to cook Irish food. Holohan's is the perfect place to enjoy this resurgence in Irish cuisine, and more than just food, we aim to give a good night out! We hope to see you soon, Holohan's at the Barge
Magherafelt, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Just for a change.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

I did the History of Terror tour today and it finished off at what I recognised as The Belfast Barge or also known as Holohan's. I guess it goes by both names, depending who you talk to as to what its better known as.
I am a KFC or Big Mac man. That’s what my taste buds demand and I have to say I love the stuff but today I thought I would venture onto something new.
So into the Barge I went fully expecting to be in McDonald's within the hour.
I was shown to my table and a glass of water appeared from no where (good start)
As I scanned the menu McDonalds looked even more promising as I was planning my escape before the waiter came around again.
Too late, he arrived at my table and offered the days specials.
Starters,
Goats cheese, NO
Some fish thing, NO
Onion Soup, ONION SOUP!!! Really "Onion soup" Tomato soup, Chicken soup, Vegetable soup maybe, but ONION SOUP.
I like Onions so why not give it a try?

Main,
Some fish thing again, NO
Boxty potato with Chicken, Bacon and Cabbage.

"What's that Boxty potato thing?"
Boxty Potato???? First its Onion Soup now Boxty Potato.
My taste buds are going to think I am in foreign country when this food arrives.

So I settle for Onion soup for starters followed by Boxty potatoes with chicken.
At least I know I like chicken.
"Would you like anything to drink?"
"No thanks, water is fine"
I always think when you say "water is fine" that you can almost hear the waiter saying to himself,
"Cheap skate, pick the cheapest thing on the menu and don’t even buy a drink"

The soup arrived with 2 slices of wheaten bread on the side and something else, when I asked the waiter what the something else on the side was, to my utter embarrassment he said, "That’s butter"
It was butter with herbs, how was I to know. Golden Cow is butter, anything else is not butter.
This wouldn’t happen in McDonalds
The herbal butter, wheaten and Onion Soup was lovely.
As soon as I had finished, my plate was taken away and my water filled again (I am liking this place)

Main arrived, it looked like a crepe rolled with chicken and bacon inside with some sauce over it and cabbage and some other green leaves on the side. ( My cousin used to own a Crepe bar, that’s how I know what a Crepe looks like but not herbal butter)
Man it was lovely, really so tasty.
Half way through my main I get another top up of water,(wouldn’t get this attention in McDonalds)

My taste buds just had a rollercoaster of an afternoon.
I will definitely be back.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
14 Thank Barney G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,261 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Always a Treat going to this place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

Visited Holohans for my birthday sat the 9th of August, second time here and once again food was outstanding, I had the beef starter which didn't look appealing but was infact delicious followed by the Boxy which was chicken wrapped in pancake with a sauce, salads and some irish style champ. Food was really good again and really i cant fault the staff or food. The place itself does need a little bit of work to bring it up to what could be an amazing experience. But other than that really great little place with bags of atmosphere and well priced.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank fastalien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jane F, Guest Relations Manager at Holohans At The Barge, responded to this review, August 19, 2014
Thanks for you great review and feedback - so pleased you enjoyed your visit . We are in the process of refurbishing the dining room and hope to complete this work in the next few weeks,
kind regard
HOLOHAN'S
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“big disappointment”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

We were there few days ago and I was expecting good food and atmosphere for restaurant on 1st place in rating
Very disappoint - meal very small cost around 20 pounds each and best part of meal were potato's
dirt and dust all around especially on light bulbs ( hasn't been cleaned 2 years or more)
Nice service apart from that waste of money.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
12 Thank Martin Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jane F, Guest Relations Manager at Holohans At The Barge, responded to this review, August 19, 2014
Dearest Martin,
thank you so much for your feedback. I have addressed the cleaning issues with our chief cleaner and they are gobsmacked ( and deeply impressed) you can ascertain its been two years! ( we have only had the Barge nine months) We have - you will be pleased to hear - ordered a deep clean of the offending light bulbs and the cleaner is currently walking the plank : ) come back soon !
Kindest regards
Holohans
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“European style with an Irish twist....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

Totally enjoyed our family meal at the barge last Saturday . The fish meal was super. a genuinely friendly atmosphere with young attentive staff. Good food and chat would certainly revisit.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 90adventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jane F, Guest Relations Manager at Holohans At The Barge, responded to this review, August 19, 2014
Thank you so much for your great review- we loved it : ) So please you and your family enjoyed your visit, we enjoyed having you : )
best wishes
HOLOHAN'S
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Stunning and fresh, relaxed atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

Really enjoyed my experience here. The food has an Irish theme and was so fresh and delicious I can't wait to go back. Staff charming and full of chat. Informal, relaxed and great night out

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Pootsies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jane F, Guest Relations Manager at Holohans At The Barge, responded to this review, August 19, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful feedback - we really strive to keep it relaxed and have great food : ) we look forward to looking after you again in the future : )
best wishes
HOLOHAN'S
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