The Irish diet once consisted of meat, potatoes, and a scattering of veg, with traditional dishes such as stews and shepherd’s pie dominating restaurant menus.
However, in recent years vegetarian and vegan diets have begun to work their way into Irish society, and this is reflected in the fantastic array of plant-based options available in restaurants and cafes throughout the country.
The capital is no exception to the rule, and those who abstain from meat are spoiled for culinary choice when paying a visit to the capital.
Here we count down the top 5 vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants and cafes in Dublin City.
5. Blazing Salads
Bringing fresh and vibrant flavours to the people of Dublin since the year 2000, this family-owned establishment specialises in healthy takeaway dishes.
As well as their name-sake salads, Blazing Salads offers a tantalising selection of hot dishes to bring home and enjoy.
They offer curries with flavours such as spinach, butternut squash and butterbean, and warming soups with exciting ingredient combinations like cashew and cauliflower.
Blazing Salads incorporate seasonal and fresh produce into their hearty dishes, rotating their “veg of the week” and “grain of the week” dishes in accordance with the seasons.
All hot dishes are priced based on the weight of your meal, so you are free to choose as little or as much as you fancy!
Address: 42 Drury St, Dublin 2, Ireland
4. Umi Falafel
Made from an intoxicating blend of chickpeas, herbs, and spices, the falafel craze is going nowhere, and no-one in the city centre does it better than Umi.
The falafel is made fresh before your eyes and accompanied by one of the many authentic Lebanese side dishes makes for an excellent vegetarian or vegan meal.
For just €8.50, patrons receive 4 fresh falafels with a salad of their choice, accompanied by their delicious hummus and a drink.
It is hard to settle on one salad when you place your eyes upon the fresh decisions before you, but after a lot of deliberation, we have decided on their “Moroccan Quinoa Salad|” as our number one choice.
The salad consists of quinoa, kidney beans, sweetcorn, olives, onions, mint, coriander, lemon, and almonds, and is an explosion of flavours.
Address: 13 Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland
3. Happy Food
Happy food is an all vegan restaurant which serves breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday, with a special brunch menu on Saturdays.
The restaurant is set in a yoga studio and is a firm favourite amongst yoga fanatics and the more general public. Their dishes are famous throughout Dublin for placing their meat-based competitors in the shade.
A stand-out on their menu is definitely their Tofu BBQ Ribs – smoky, sticky, plant-based “ribs” accompanied by a bed spinach with roasted cashews and blueberries. This dish is so good that real ribs pale in comparison.
The ribs are just one stellar choice, with plenty of Buddha bowls and burger bowls to appease the vegan palette. They also have a huge range of coffees, milkshakes, and smoothies – all dairy free!
Address: 5-8 Camden Court, D02 X284, Ireland
2. Sprout & Co
Sprout and Co is one of the best spots in the city for vegetarian and vegan breakfasts and lunches, and they also offer plenty of dishes to keep the meat-eaters of your friends group satisfied.
For the perfect winter warmer breakfast look no further than “Free From Everything” porridge. This porridge is completely vegan, with the coconut milk base lending a natural sweetness to the dish which is further enhanced by the addition of maple syrup.
As an added bonus, this breakfast option is also gluten-free and makes for a hearty start to the day. Their lunch options are also second to none – we’re talking some seriously dressed up salads here.
Get your hands on their signature Viet Nom Ese salad during the summer months – perfectly spiced tofu, red cabbage, and roasted peanuts make for a flavour salad experience which is a far cry from the boring bygone days of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.
Address: Dawson St Dawson Street, Dublin 2, D02 VY51, Ireland
A true haven for vegetarians and vegans alike, Cornucopia offers a meat-free dining experience like no other.
The name is revered throughout the city and further afield for the impeccable service and sheer quality of the food placed before you.
Salads, hot dishes such as veggie lasagna and casseroles, sweet treats like peanut butter brownies – Cornucopia has it all.
Their soups are up there with the best in the country – for just €5.50 you will receive a large, piping hot bowl of soup with a bread of your choice, and we guarantee this will keep you full well into the evening.
The menu changes daily but expect offerings like carrot and sweet potato or wild mushroom.
The staff are nothing short of wonderful and there is a sense of community amongst the customers that is quite unlike any other restaurant we have ever been to.
The word Cornucopia links back to a Latin term for something bountiful, which provided whatever was needed – and Cornucopia is certainly a source of bounty for anyone who enters the threshold.
Address: 19-20 Wicklow St, Dublin 2, Ireland