Beautiful County Mayo is renowned across the country for many of its features – the revered Croagh Patrick, it’s stunning Atlantic Coast, and of course, it’s strong GAA roots and traditions.
Mayo is also a hot spot on Ireland’s culinary map. Restaurants in the Connacht County traditionally stand out for their fresh fish dishes, such as salmon caught off the coast of Clare bay or Wild Atlantic monkfish.
A sure haven for the seafood fanatic, but what about the ever-growing army of vegetarians and vegans in Ireland?
Fear not – while the cafes and restaurants of Mayo have not forgotten their traditional beginnings, they have certainly expanded their menus to cater to the vegetable lovers amongst us.
Take a look at our Top 5 Vegetarian and Vegan-friendly cafes and restaurants in County Mayo!
5. The Pantry and Corkscrew, Westport
The Pantry and Corkscrew is a warm and welcoming restaurant which places a huge focus on the freshest free-range products sourced from local suppliers. They work in conjunction with local farmers and suppliers to showcase the best food that the West can offer.
Several tantalizing vegetarian options stand out on the menu – their lemon, herb and fennel risotto is an epic starter garnished with a generous crumbling of Aran Island Feta cheese.
For the main show look no further than the spicy and aromatic lentil, chickpea and vegetable masala – the flavours and ingredients are a dreamy combination.
Vegan options are also available – friendly staff are more than willing to cater to your dietary needs!
Address: The Octagon, Co. Mayo, Ireland
4. Al Muretto, Castlebar
Italian restaurants are usually a safe bet for those following a vegetarian or plant-based diet, and Al Muretto certainly adheres to this claim.
The menu is packed with delectable dishes made to traditional Italian recipes – the pizzas are thin and crispy while the pasta is fresh and full of flavour.
Vegetarians are spoiled for choice with creamy dishes garnished with parmesan cheese and vegans are catered for too.
Their vegetarian pizza can be ordered cheeseless, and you won’t even miss the dairy thanks to the crown of veggies that adorns the freshly made dish. Al Muretto is reminiscent of a classic Italian eatery and is ideal for a cosy date or a special family occasion.
Address: Tucker St, Garryduff, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland
3. This Must Be the Place, Westport
From the name to the carefully considered decor, This Must Be the Place is a cute and quirky cafe with a wonderful atmosphere.
The establishment is relatively new but appears to be growing in strength with locals full of praise for the delicious coffees, breakfasts, and desserts which are the stars of the menu.
Plant-based coffee drinkers will be in their element as they walk through the door – the cafe offers an extensive list of milks with soya, almond and coconut options available to compliment your caffeine hit. Their vegetarian breakfast is one of the finest in the country.
The platter is composed of homemade bread, perfectly poached eggs and home-style baked beans which will leave even the biggest appetites satiated for hours.
Address: High St, Cahernamart, Westport, Co. Mayo, F28 Y440, Ireland
2. Rua, Castlebar
Rua originally opened in 1995 and has since become a bustling business with two cafes and a deli now in operation.
The deli adds a special sparkle to the store, and restaurant-goers are free to call downstairs and purchase homemade breads, chutneys, and cakes after enjoying a wonderful meal in the upstairs dining area.
Be it for a quick coffee (roasted weekly in the heart of Westport and available with oat milk!) or a more substantial lunch, Rua is sure to impress every time.
Our top choice? It has to be the Rua Veggie Burger – a satisfying mushroom and bean burger on a soft fluffy blaa and topped with a perfect trio of chilli relish, creamy avocado, and basil mayo.
Vegan? There is a fully plant-based burger calling your name – just mention it to staff during your visit!
Address: New Antrim St, Knockthomas, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland
1. The Olive Tree, Castlebar
If you’re on the hunt for a plant-based feast for the senses, then look no further than the Olive Tree!
The restaurant is a Greek restaurant which strives to bring Eastern Mediterranean flavours to the heart of the West.
The cosy family run restaurant is a hit amongst locals and tourists alike – it is easy to see why when you spot their fantastic menu packed with an array of vegetable-based dishes.
Their bites and nibbles are dangerously moreish and reasonably priced – think creamy, zingy hummus, juicy stuffed vine leaves and light, crispy vegetable samosas. Don’t fill up too much on these bite-size treats though – their range of vegan desserts are to die for!
Blueberry, coconut, and chia seed pudding anyone? Or how about a chocolate and strawberry mousse?
These desserts are a far cry from the bog-standard vegan offerings of sorbet and fruit salad, and a trip to The Olive Tree is worth it for the final course alone!
Address: Newtown House, Newtown, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland