May 11, 2018
This beautiful old bar is situated in a unique wedge-shaped corner building bedecked with shamrock motifs, just off Belfast’s bustling Victoria Square. It is as narrow as a fish tank and has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The walls and drapes are dark green and adorned with a varied assortment of interesting artwork. Bright oils of literary luminaries from Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats to James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and a cluster of local paintings evoke the history of Northern Ireland and are a great accompaniment to the bar’s wide variety of drinks. In 2011, Bittles held a Samuel Beckett Centenary Exhibition. The bar’s friendly staff are extremely helpful when it comes to ordering, offering a superb selection of bottled beers, ciders and local and micro-brewed beers and ales. Tasty traditional pub grub is served in hearty portions and is perfect when washed down with a pint of Belfast Ale or any one of the fine whiskeys that line the back of the bar. The bar’s enthusiastic clientele ranges from old and wise to office types looking for a tipple after a hard day at work. Later on, young and trendy scenesters arrive to pile into the small space as a DJ plays disco until dawn. Whatever else you imbibe during your visit, make sure you leave time and space to try a sweet-hot whisky with lemon and cloves and dream that your horse is coming in. Bittles is Belfast’s best kept secret and one that deserves to be shared widely.