Killarney, County Kerry, is a town that in many ways captures the beauty of traditional Ireland – from its trad music scene to its cosy pubs, and it’s plethora of stores selling Aran woollen jumpers and old-time penny sweets.
However, while their restaurants certainly still offer more typical dishes like stews and roasts, you may be surprised at the wide range of options on offer for those on a more plant-based diet.
Here we round up the top 5 vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants in Killarney!
5. Curious Cat Cafe – for a light lunch
The curious cat is a wonderful cafe, as quirky as its name and with attentive and friendly staff. Vegetarians are in their element here – the cafe has a wide range of delectable baked treats, such as banana bread and brownies.
The star of their daily specials menu is always their homemade soup. The kitchen conjures up fabulous flavour combinations such as carrot and orange or parsnip and rosemary – and it always comes with a hearty side of bread, all for just €4.95.
Vegans are not left out of the loop as their coffees can be made dairy-free. In the mood for something more refreshing? Try one of their ice-cold smoothies, such as their dessert-like dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana concoction.
Address: Unit 1, Newmarket Lane, Killarney, Co. Kerry
4. Rob’s Ranch House – for a cheat day
Don’t let the Wild West decor fool you – Rob’s ranch serves up more than just steaks and ribs. In the last year or so the menu has been adapted to cater for veggies and vegans alike. Indeed, it is one of the best vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants in Killarney.
Mains start at around €10 and additions include vegan burgers, vegan pizzas, and their standout vegan nachos – a spicy, flavoursome mix of tofu and beans served with crunchy nachos.
Though the food is good, the atmosphere is relaxed and makes Rob’s the perfect place for kids or large groups. In the mood for a pint? Rob’s serve Cronin’s, a deliciously dry cider which is both vegan and gluten-free.
Address: 9 Plunkett Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry
3. Danny Mann Pub – for great food and amazing trad
If you enjoy your food with a hearty side of traditional music, look no further than the Danny Mann. Each night over the Summer, and every weekend during the Winter, the Danny Mann comes alive with the sounds of the fiddle, bodhrán, and tin whistle.
For a pub with such traditional values, veggies and vegan are certainly not left hungry – options include sweet potato and chickpea curry, and their special vegan pie of the day.
If you’re looking for a spot of indulgence then their “beyond burger” is the thing of dreams. A juicy, meaty, but cruelty-free burger sandwiched between a brioche bun with chilli jam and home-style fries, this dish will set you back €15 and keep you fuelled for a night of music and pints.
Danny Mann’s is certainly one of the best vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants in Killarney.
Address: 97 New Street, Killarney, Kerry
2. J.M Reidy’s – for the fantastic atmosphere
Reidy’s is renowned throughout the county as being the best cocktail bar in the Kingdom – but during the day they run a fab cafe with coffees, baked goods, and light lunch bites.
Scones, cookies, and muffins are baked fresh each day and are best enjoyed with a smooth coffee in hand while watching the buskers and bustle of Main Street.
Their lunch menu boasts some stellar options, like their refreshing acai bowl topped with homemade granola and exotic fruits for €10.50, or their protein-packed superfood salad with tofu for €11.
Of course, many of Reidy’s cocktails are also vegan-friendly, so it would be a shame not to pop back in that evening and check them out for yourself …
Address: 4 Main St, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
1. Genting Thai Restaurant – for a taste of Asia in the heart of Kerry
Genting Thai is an authentic taste of Asian cuisine in the heart of Kerry. The restaurant has been recently renovated and is now beautifully decorated, with ambient lighting and oriental ornaments.
They offer a tantalising cocktail menu, with classics such as bellinis and strawberry daiquiris.
For those on a plant-based diet, Genting Thai have a designated vegetarian/vegan menu. Starters begin at about €7 and include tasty morsels such as tangy miso soup and fresh spring rolls with chilli dipping sauce.
Mains include classic dishes such as satay, black bean, and sweet and sour, all updated to replace the traditional meaty components with fresh, crunchy vegetables and perfectly cooked tofu.
Mains are around €15 once you add rice – the restaurant offers a fine-dining experience at a reasonable price, and is one not to be missed during your visit to The Kingdom.
Address: Beech Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland