Ability Café operates two catering venues in the zoo providing hot and cold food, drinks and snacks. Both venues accept debit and credit card payments. The Ability Cafés are operated by the zoo’s catering partner, USEL.
USEL (link opens in new window) is a charity that employs and trains over 1,200 people with learning difficulties and disabilities, helping them get employment and new skills.
Ability Café at Lion's Den
Lion’s Den café is near the zoo’s Visitor Centre. This large café has an extensive menu of sit-in and takeaway meals along with light snacks. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
Lion's Den opening hours
|April||10am to 3pm, daily over Easter (from 11 to 24 April)|
|May and June||10am to 3pm at weekends and bank holidays|
|July and August||10am to 3pm daily|
|September to March||Closed|
Ability Café at Treetop Tearooms
The Tearooms are at the top of the zoo, offering panoramic views across Belfast Lough, the Belfast Hills and some of the zoo residents including our Malayan sun bears.
The Tearooms provide takeaway only, offering hot and cold light snacks, drinks and ice-cream.
Treetop Tearooms opening hours
|April to August||10am to 6pm daily|
|September to March||10am to 3pm from Friday to Sunday|
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available in both cafés. If you have any special dietary or allergy requirements, contact us by phone 028 9077 6277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before you visit.
Confectionery vending is available in the Visitor Centre, the Monkey House and at the picnic area located at the top of the zoo. Please note that the vending machines at the top of the zoo are cash only.
Picnics in the zoo
There are picnic tables throughout the zoo, including a large picnic area at the top of the zoo, giving visitors the perfect setting to enjoy takeaway food from the zoo’s cafés.
You can bring your own food into the zoo. For this reason, we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment. We do not allow barbecues in the zoo. All visitors must put their rubbish in the bins around the zoo site. You must not feed the animals in the zoo.
Our customers' feedback
"Only thing nicer than the hot chocolate here, is the staff. So friendly and welcoming."
"We had a great experience and the food was delicious! And a great price! Staff were all super friendly. Some staff explained the café to us and who they employ which we think is fantastic!"
"The Lion’s Den is a restaurant near the entrance and serves a good variety of hot and cold foods including options for vegetarians. Very impressive and highly recommended."
"This café serves the most amazing hot chocolate. Well worth the climb."