The city's night-life is mainly focused on the weekends, with several bars and clubs providing "student nights" during the weekdays. Waterloo Street and Strand Road provide the main venues. Waterloo Street, a steep street lined with both Irish traditional and modern pubs, frequently has live rock and traditional music at night. The city is renowned for producing talented musicians and many bands perform in venues around the city.
Derry was awarded Purple Flag status in October 2011, which recognises that the city provides evening visitors with an entertaining, diverse, and safe night out.
Image: Eating out in Derry
NB: If visiting on a Monday or Tuesday, a lot of restaurants in Derry have offers of 33-50% off meals on those days so it is worth checking those deals out when you arrive.
Fiorentini's: Italian-owned cafe, known throughout the city for its great value meals, and home to the best ice-cream in town. Be sure to try the Knickerbocker Glory! Great food, staff very helpful, especially the three owners.
Guapo, 69 Strand Road (next door to Fiorentini's. Newly opened Mexican restaurant. Food here is tasty, fresh and affordable.
Danano's: A really nice Italian that is relatively cheap but great food.
Badgers: A great port of call for lunch while shopping. Can be crowded and cramped at busy times.
Quaywest: Strand Road: by the Waterfront, quite near the Mandarin Palace. Serves light and sumptuous cuisine. Relatively cheap.
The Mandarin Palace, Strand Road: Long established Chinese food restaurant with excellent service and value. Has a tapas/cocktail bar as well as a restaurant. Can be pricey but they have very good early bird prices.
The Exchange: The best restaurant in Derry in the opinion of many ... try the duck!
Custom House, one of Derry's newer restaurants. Has a good selection of meals however can be slighty expensive.
Timberquay Restaurant & Wine Bar , Strand Road: A new vibrant dining experience located on the banks of the River Foyle.
Brown's Restaurant and Champagne Lounge, Certainly one of the North West's finest restaurants and first champagne lounge. On the Waterside of the City but can be reached quickly by walking across the Peace Bridge. They also have a sister restaurant in the city centre.
Derry is a small city with a recent turbulent past. Odds are, you shouldn't have any problems, but be aware of tensions. For it's size Derry has a large selection of bars and pubs, but those looking to try local Irish beers will be sadly disappointed as international brands dominate the Derry pub scene. There are 2 local breweries, Northbound and Walled City.
Located in the centre of the city, just outside the Walled City, Waterloo Street is a steep hill lined with some of the city's liveliest bars.
Peadar O'Donnell's, 63 Waterloo St. If you are looking for traditional Irish folk music sessions, this is the best place in Derry. Such sessions are held nearly every day of the week, and both locals and visitors create a nice atmosphere. Drinkers can access Gweedore Bar through an interior door.
The Grand Central, Strand Road. Popular bar for young people. Has a range of quiz and music nights during the week and also serves food. Also has a decent selection of craft beers.
Gweedore Bar, Waterloo Street. Geared purely to live music but with a more contemporary band nature than Peadar O'Donnells. Here you can listen to line ups of all ages strutting their stuff giving their interpretations of all the favourites and some original self penned music. Upstairs is in a nightclub-style, with disco nights.
Sandino's, Water Street. A small, cosy bar themed around Cuban rebels. Due to it's small size there is nearly always a crowd and nice atmosphere in here. Has a selection of Belgian and German bottled beers. Upstairs is a live music venue. Be sure to try a bottle of MacIvor's Cider.
Wetherspoons, The Diamond. Part of the UK Wetherspoons chain this bar serves cheap drinks and affordable meals.
The Metro, Bank Place. You'll find this charming bar in the shadow of the imposing city walls. The décor is interesting, with intriguing bric-a-brac collected from around the world, and lots of alcoves provide an intimate atmosphere. The pub grub here is of a high standard and features every thing from soup and sandwiches to a hearty beef stew. A night the upper level transforms into ad hoc dance area, filled with a young crowd. Complete with a roof-top smoking area, great on a sunny day.
Walled City Brewery, Ebrington Square. Across the Peace Bridge is the town's only brewpub serving a big selection of their own beers as well as other Irish and International craft beer. NB: Due to licensing laws, to have a beer you must order food. Tapas dishes are not expensive and purchasing one per person is sufficient.