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Shopping in Belfast

Shop till you drop in Belfast city centre and beyond

Time Out in association with Tourism Ireland
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In its markets, galleries, central city craftshops and streets like Wellington Street and Ormeau Road, the breadth and skill of Northern Irish craftsmanship is celebrated and makes shopping in the city a real treat. Oh, and the high-street staples are pretty well-represented too. 

Studio Souk

Over two bright floors, the lovely Souk Studio sells the work of some 80 artists and designers, all of it eminently desirable. Set up by silversmith and jeweller Linzi Rooney in 2013 as ‘somewhere to spend the day with like-minded people,’ it’s now an Aladdin’s Cave of wonder, with many of the makers working in huts in the upstairs space. The ceramics, prints, woollens and produce just scream ‘buy me’, and the prices are affordable enough to do just that. There’s a coffee shop and lots of well-curated vintage ware too. Nearby, Space CRAFT has an equally fine selection of crafts and design.

Studio Souk

wicker man, belfast

The Wicker Man

This little shop is the place to head for traditional crafts that span the gamut from tweed scarves and pure traditional linen to Celtic jewellery and hand-thrown pottery. The staff are lovely and will happily spend time giving you the provenance of the art, homeware and accessories on sale; standout features on our visit included tweed knitted scarves by a pensioner from Donegal who uses his free bus pass to deliver his stock to the shop, super-sweet knitted woollen sheep brooches, the rainbow hues of dyed and spun Irish wool, and traditional bog oak jewellery by Toni Whiteside.

The Wicker Man

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sawers, belfast

Sawers

St George’s Market is the best place to find a wonderful selection of authentic, local foods, but if it’s closed, then this illustrious food emporium won’t disappoint. It dates back to 1897 (its history takes in the Titanic, which it supplied with olives, cheese and more), and it’s still the place to head for the most exotic foodstuffs in the city. Stuffed to the gills, it features mounds of delicious cheeses (including the wonderfully named and properly stinky Humming Bark) and a great own-brand selection of artisan-produced preserves and condiments, including the perfect pressie of Belfast Breakfast Marmalade.

Sawers Belfast

avoca, belfast

Avoca

The Belfast branch of this small but highly respected brand is just as lovely as you’d expect if you’re at all familiar with its colourful throws and scarves, which have been hand-woven on traditional looms in the County Wicklow village of Avoca since 1723. Nowadays the stock in this bright, airy three-storey space takes in food, an own-brand skincare range, ceramics, jewellery and all manner of great gifts, including a great selection of those trademark throws. There’s also a carefully selected range of goods from further afield, including the PIP range from Denmark. The top floor café offers a great two-course lunch for £12.95.

Avoca

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st george's market

St George's Market

Live music, vintage wares, crafts and fine food make this 19th-century market a real treat to explore over the weekend, when it’s open as a Friday Variety Market, and a City Food and Craft Market on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s a wonderful mix of traditional and bohemian, old and new, both in terms of its wares and its style – think old-school Brick Lane and Spitalfields with a smattering of Borough Market and a dash of Petticoat Lane. Hipsters will enjoy rootling through vinyl, secondhand books, ancient cameras and costume jewellery, but probably be bemused by the vacuum cleaner bags stall (here for four generations) and racks of corsets. A delight.

St Georges Market

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