Belfast Telegraph

Lunch isn't for wimps: Prima Gusto, Harry's Road, Hillsborough

While it might be off the beaten track and might not look like much from outside, this Italian-themed spot between Spruce-field and Hillsborough is a real gem and has picked up armfuls of awards since it opened in 2007.

Just inside the front door is a deli counter with everything from preserves to wine, while the restaurant serves pastries and cakes, sandwiches and substantial main courses as well as speciality coffees and teas.

Following a windswept cycle around the nearby Down Royal racetrack, our party was in dire need of a carb injection.

I chose a ham, cheese and pineapple panini with garlic fries. The panini was excellent (my friend had the same filling in a bagel) but the thin-cut fries were not quite hot enough to melt the splodges of garlic butter they arrived with.

However my colleague's cheesy chips went down a treat. We also sampled some of the excellent apple and cinnamon scones and a slice of rhubarb pie for good measure. Popular with yummy mummies in the morning and ladies who lunch in the afternoon, this place is a lot less expensive than it looks - breakfast and sandwich options are all under a fiver and even the mouthwatering lunch specials, which included a Mexican chicken wrap and smoked haddock with mash on our visit, are all well under £10.

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