When growing up in Derry in the 1970’s & 1980’s gastronomic delights where few & far between. Beyond ”la cuisine de ma mere” stand out dining experiences normally revolved around a take away or dining in portion of chips, peas & gravy with a dash of malt vinegar from “ Swanky Frankie’s” (Frankie Ramsey’s café in William Street – since renamed as Café Grianan)
City of Culture 2013 Derry presents a great opportunity for food, tourism & hospitality businesses in both Derry/Londonderry & Donegal to show case their products & business. I know we are entering the second quarter of 2013, but the City of Culture is starting to take on that holiday feeling & the official start of summer time is all contributing.
In no particular order I have listed below 5 places popular for coffee, lunch or Dinner. You will find their contact details on the web or via Twitter. This is not an exhaustive list & there are many more eateries serving great food & good coffee
- Beech hill House Hotel – long before all the accolades, eating out & foodies Patsy & her team where serving outstanding local food. Leading the way & continue to do so. Barry heads up the kitchen team creating great country house food with a modern twist. The hotel is set in its own beautiful gardens & Woodland. This season a polytunnel has been added to the renovated walled gardens – a real treat for foodies. @BeechHillDerry
- Browns Restaurant & Champagne Lounge – Headed up by Ian Orr, fresh from his appearance on the Great British Menu. Head Chef Ian & his team continue to serve fresh seasonal produce and support of local suppliers. If you fancy a main course lunch of Greencastle fish of the day with smoked celeriac milk puree, lettuce, cauliflower beignet then this is the place for you! @ian034
- The Exchange Restaurant & Wine bar – bang in the heart of the city located at the city side of the peace bridge. Mark Caithness (the man who gave me my first break in professional kitchen in 1986) & team have been producing great value food in Derry in various locations for over 2 decades now. Worth checking out for lunch
- Fiorentinis Café – set in the Strand Road. Been in business for as long as I can remember & longer. Great for Ice cream & real Chips! A must for family treats
- Warehouse No1 – the new kid on the block. Opened in December 2012 & next to the Guildhall. Donal & his team serving up great coffee, in house pastries & treats & sour dough sandwiches & other dishes. Great for a coffee & catch up with city life! @Warehouse2013
For some street food keep your eyes peeled for @kevinPyke Pyke & Pommes street food
CITY OF CULTURE VIDEO
If you’re planning in visiting the city or just looking for a cultural over of Derry/Londonderry here’s a great video guide from Michael Bradley – bassist from the Legendry Undertones & now a radio producer for BBC Radio Foyle. By the way my claim to fame with the Undertones was the lead singer Feargal Sharkey, he was our cub leader in the scouts!