34 Bedford Street Belfast BT2 7FF
Many a café has come and gone on this Bedford Street site, but Faye Rogers’ Harlem has successfully broken the curse. Opened in 2009, this café-restaurant next door to the historic Ulster Hall has established itself as the place to meet and do deals for otherwise office-bound locals. Also look out for local television and radio presenters; the BBC studios are just around the corner. The quirky décor, mismatched chairs and tables with concert posters and flyers in heavy gilt frames successfully transport diners to a bygone era, resulting in a relaxed atmosphere. The lunchtime fare is simple but delicious – chicken pie, salads and burgers with tobacco onions – indeed it can be difficult to find a lunchtime table. For mornings and afternoons the coffee and pastries are great, and will encourage you to linger, but be warned they are not cheap and a coffee and a slice of apple pie can end up costing as much as you might expect to pay for lunch. Mind you, it's finger-licking good. Check out the website for special events.