Veganism is on the rise here in the Emerald Isle and Dublin has certainly caught on to the foodie trend, with a generous scattering of vegan-friendly eateries throughout the city centre and further afield.
However, it is not just our bustling capital which caters for a plant-based diet – there are an abundance of restaurants and cafes throughout the country which aim to please the vegan palette. Here we list our top ten vegan eateries outside the capital.
10. The Happy Pear Café, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
No vegan-friendly countdown can be complete without mentioning the acclaimed Happy Pear. The café is owned and run by twins Steve and Dave, two advocates for a healthy lifestyle.
The Wicklow branch of their café was the first establishment opened by the brothers and has been making customers smile with their healthy and nutritious breakfasts, lunches, dinners and treats since 2004. It’s the perfect place to meet with friends for a casual lunch or a coffee and dessert.
They offer a fantastic range of vegan treats including their vegan scones and croissants which go perfectly with a matcha latte – don’t let the vibrant green drink scare you off! Their website doesn’t offer any updated prices but the café is good value for the quality of the produce you receive.
Address: Church Road Lower, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
9. Wild Café, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Wild aim to fuel meat eaters and vegans alike with super fresh and tasty locally sourced food.
The atmosphere is laid back and authentic with a truly grassroots feel. Bread is baked on site, fresh juices are made daily and a stand out feature is their live herb wall which is harvested to bring life to their dishes.
The food certainly lives up to the surroundings, with a stand out being their vegan sandwich – confit tomato, roast squash, rocket and avocado fillings make for a substantial lunch at just €9.
Address: Wild Café, The Mall, Tralee, Co.Kerry
8. Loving Salads, Cork City, Co. Cork
In need of some nutritious food to refuel you after a day exploring and shopping in Cork city centre? Then look no further than Loving Salads. Lovely Salads offers a casual dining experience for very reasonable prices – small salad tubs are €3.50, whilst large ones are just €5.50.
This is not your average lettuce and tomato job – these salads are substantial and flavourful – try the curry roasted apple with black and red rice, apricots, dates, spinach and toasted almonds.
The staff are friendly and they also cater for the carnivores in your life with plenty of meat options. They have more than just salads on offer too, with their juices and energy balls proving popular.
Address: 15& 16 Academy Street, Cork City, Co. Cork
7. Lowe and Co., Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Nestled in the heart of the Midlands, Lowe and Co. is a true vegan-friendly gem. The atmosphere is homely and oozes positive vibes, mainly due to the wonderful staff who gives each customer the utmost attention. They cater for meat eaters too but always offer a vegan sandwich, hot dish and are happy to construct a vegan-friendly salad too.
The soup is usually vegan-friendly but do ask to make sure – staff will be happy to help. Located very near to the River Shannon and famous Athlone Castle, try to grab a small table outside on a sunny day and soak in the atmosphere.
If you’re just there for a quick refuel their soya chai lattes are second to none at just €3 for a generous steaming mug – pair it with a filling energy ball for €2.50, with flavours such as bounty and chocolate orange on offer.
Address: 8 O’Connell Street, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
6. Sweet Beat, Sligo Town, Co. Sligo
Based in the heart of Sligo town, Sweet Beat café is a fabulous plant-based dining experience.
The staff are fantastic and their passion for their business really shines through. Ingredients for their dishes are locally sourced and there is an impressive array of salads, juices, hot dishes and much more on offer in a bright and airy setting.
They don’t offer updated prices on their site but like the other locations on our list Sweet Beat offers great value for money. Their food is bursting with flavour – their smoothie bowls are vibrant and refreshing.
If you’re on the hunt for something more substantial look no further than hot dishes such as the Moroccan tagine which is jam-packed with authentic flavours.
Address: Bridge Street, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo Town, Co. Sligo
5. Cow Bog, Derry Town, Co. Derry
A striking name backed up by stellar food, Cow Bog well deserves its spot on the list. It has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere despite its popularity. The interior is brilliantly basic, with white walls and mismatched furniture lending a uniquely cosy vibe.
Produce is locally sourced and they are huge fans of homemade, organic, honest food. The menu changes frequently to reflect what is in season.
Their pancakes are a safe bet, light and airy, and are just £1.50 and accompanied by the classic combination of peanut butter and banana. Their cakes are delicious too – the pistachio and rosewater is delicate and moist, and a steal at just £2.80.
Address: 2 Waterloo Street, Derry Town, Co. Derry
4. The Lighthouse Café, Galway City, Co. Galway
Galway is without doubt one of the most atmospheric cities in Ireland, and this vegan-friendly café using local farm produce fits seamlessly into its inviting surroundings. It is a vegetarian café but boasts many tantalising vegan options which are clearly marked.
The service is great and customers can truly relax in the cosy café after a day out in Salthill or drinking in the liveliness of the city. Try the smoky sweet potato burger – packed full of flavour it is accompanied by a delicious beetroot relish and tahini sauce in a fresh crusty roll for just €10. Their hummus is homemade and definitely worth ordering on the side for €1.50.
Address: 8 Abbeygate Street Upper, Galway City, Co. Galway
3. The Honest Vegan, Belfast City, Co. Antrim
We’re back up north again and this time at the aptly named The Honest Vegan. This is an eatery that is passionate about animals – not one item on the menu contains any animal products.
The staff are wonderful and clearly love what their workplace stands for. Their diverse menu will please even the fussiest vegan. You can’t go wrong with their hearty chilli – a steaming bowl of lentils and kidney beans with all the trimmings – rice, tortilla chips and an impressive cashew based sour cream. It’s filling, extremely tasty and will set you back a reasonable £8.50, plus has the added bonus of being gluten-free.
The restaurant only opens Thursday to Sunday so plan your Belfast trip wisely – this is one place you don’t want to miss.
Address: 336 Lisburn Road, Belfast City
2. The Candied Hazelnut, Waterford City, Co. Waterford
This Waterford haunt scores so highly on the list for not only being vegan but also being gluten free and nut free – perfect for those with a range of special dietary requirements. The value is incredible, with two courses for €22.95 and three courses for €27.95.
The most striking dish on the menu is surely their mock fish and chips – their fish is made from tofu and with its delicate seasoning is served perfectly with chunky chips, homemade tartar sauce and a simple squeeze of lemon. To say you receive service with a smile is an understatement as the staff could not be more helpful or pleasant.
Address: 11 O’Connell Street, Waterford City, Co. Waterford
1. The Old Fire Station, Limerick City, Co. Limerick
This vegetarian and vegan restaurant has earned its coveted spot on our list as it provides patrons with a unique dining experience and mouth-watering dishes. The décor is a standout, with a modernized take on an industrial fire station intriguing customers from the offset.
The staff are amazing and all the products are organic and locally sourced, leading to a regularly changing menu. Star dishes on an impressive menu include the full Irish breakfast at just €7.50, with a perfectly flavoured tofu scramble taking place of eggs.
If you’re there for lunch make it your mission to try the raw courgette spaghetti satay which is bursting with fresh chill flavours for €8. Limerick has thrived in the last few years so round off a visit to the city with this eye-catching restaurant which will leave you a very happy vegan indeed.
Address: 35 Thomas Street, Limerick City, Co. Limerick