The Best Vegan and Vegan-friendly restaurants in Cork City, Ireland.
If, like me, you have embarked on Veganuary to kick-start the year it is likely you have already eaten your own body weight in protein-based stir-frys. You have probably exhausted all possible ways to cook Tofu and tried vegetables you never knew existed.
Your kitchen cupboard has never held so many nuts, and your fridge is like an ad for Alpro! You feel great but may be starting to feel the strain of finding nutritious and yummy yet meat and dairy free meals and snacks. There is only one thing to do, it’s time to go out!
And if you’re lucky enough to live in or around the gorgeous city of Cork here are a few places you can find a table safe in the knowledge there will be more than leaves for you on the menu. You’re welcome!
5. Loving Salads, Academy Street
This gem of a spot takes salads to a whole other level. Their creations are mouth-watering, and a large number are vegan. The ingredients are deliciously fresh as well as tasty. The curried chickpeas with coconut are bursting with flavour and so satisfying.
The fresh juices complement the food so well and leave you feeling like you have been really good to yourself … making the vegan brownie difficult to bypass on the way out!
This is a great place for a guilt-free lunch and is especially handy as a takeaway given all the salads are served in manageable tubs. Probably not ideal for a leisurely lunch but certainly a big hit with vegans on the go.
Address: 15, 16 Academy St, Cork, Ireland
4. Umi Falafel, Academy Street
This is a great spot for grabbing a healthy meal if you’re tight for time. The Falafels are so fresh and satisfying. Well worth a visit if you want fast vegan food without feeling you’ve missed out on the ‘real food’ from the menu.
Most of the combinations are vegan, and there are other options including eye-catching salads or yummy lentil soup (this goes down well with a side of Umi falafel bites.)
And if it’s comfort food you need, the spicy wedges are vegan too, while the tasty stuffed vine leaves make a quirky bit on the side. A great place for lunch, a snack or for perfect soakage between pubs.
Address: 11-12 Academy St, Centre, Cork, T12 T381, Ireland
3. Koto, Carey’s Lane
This popular Asian restaurant has a completely separate menu for vegans, and if you like Tofu, you will be in soy heaven. A mouth-watering choice of rice, stir-fry or noodles are on offer (all with Tofu!), or a choice of two sweet potato and butternut curries are available and both equally delicious.
After opening less than two years ago, the restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere yet with an air of ambition. They pride themselves on creating culinary delights that have only the freshest ingredients and contain absolutely no additives.
It sits in a good location and is open all day until 10 pm. For tasty vegan food, very reasonably priced it is one to watch. Koto appears to be getting more and more popular, and with such a pleasant team of staff and skilled chefs, it is not surprising.
Address: 6 Carey’s Ln, Centre, Cork, T12 FH27, Ireland
2. Paradiso, Lancaster Quay
An all-time favourite for a special night out, Paradiso is primarily a vegetarian restaurant but poses no challenge to accommodating vegans too. Their culinary skills are second to none, and the dishes on offer never fail to impress with flavour and presentation hard to beat.
Nestled in a perfectly central location this popular eatery brings an element of style to any evening. Nibbles on arrival are a welcome bonus, and the wines are excellent. The staff are experts in their field and will happily guide you according to your dietary needs.
The founder of Paradiso, Denis Cotter, is the author of four award-winning cookbooks so you can continue your journey at home. The creative use of vegetables in Paradiso Seasons is inspiring and can provide a welcome break from Tofu.
Address: 16 Lancaster Quay, Mardyke, Cork, T12 FKE1, Ireland
1. The Quay Co-op, Sullivan’s Quay
The Quay Co-op is a long-standing hot-spot among locals and visitors to Cork. Serving delicious vegetarian and vegan food for more than three decades, it has perfected the art of combining the most delicious local ingredients with complimentary flavours from across the globe.
The restaurant upstairs is bright yet cosy with lovely views of the river and wood stoves burning softly. The vegan dishes are wholesome and delicious, the vegan patties being particularly moreish!
Downstairs the café serves lighter meals with scrumptious vegan cakes to compliment a coffee. All the food is very well priced and tastes fresh and nutritious. And with the added bonus of it all being set in one of Cork’s finest health food shops, you can fill your bags full of yummy vegan goodies to bring home.
Address: 24 Sullivan’s Quay, Ballintemple, Cork, T12 X867, Ireland