It’s almost hard to imagine that not too long ago eating out as a vegan or vegetarian in Dublin equated to ordering a ‘veggie-side-as-main-course’ or begging your skeptical friends to join you at one of the few dedicated vegetarian restaurants in the city.
Ease of eating for vegetarians has come hand in hand with a jump in the number these vegetable-centric eateries but also the influx of veggie-friendly ethnic restaurants and the trend for chefs across the board to make vegetables just as delicious as their meaty main course counterparts.
So whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just aspire to eat less meat (which makes you a reducetarian FYI) here are 18 vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Dublin city that will keep every type of hungry herbivore happy.
When you have a city centre eatery like Glas at your disposal, you have no excuse not to give a meat-free Monday, or any other day, a go. Offering fine dining fit for kale lovers but just as enjoyable for confirmed carnivores, Glas challenges the meat and two veg paradigm with clever and innovative dishes including juicy king oyster mushrooms and carrot “pastrami”. Don’t forget to order a side of courgette fries for greedily dunking in Nigella seed mayo.
Located in the heart of the city centre, on Wicklow Street, since 1986, no list of vegetarian restaurants in Dublin would be complete without Dublin’s original veggie mecca, Cornucopia. A cornucopia is a mythical horn that symbolises food and abundance and the eatery has always stayed true to its name serving hearty portions of home cooked salads and hot dishes, and a range of breads, cakes and desserts. There’s always raw/living options on the menu too.
Set up by sisters Pamela and Lorraine Fitzmaurice, this compact day time only deli on Drury Street has been serving wholesome vegetarian and vegan food since 2000. Pick a box size that suits your appetite and fill as you fancy from the salad bar and hot food counter. At the till there’s spelt base pizza slices, filo pastry turnovers and their signature veggie burgers as well as a vegan, and often gluten free, cakes and bakes, all homemade. Fridges are packed with soups, curries and stews that you can take home for dinner too. Strictly takeaweay, on sunny days there’s a scramble for the benches outside or take yours to the steps of Powerscourt Townhouse and watch the world go by.
It’s no secret that Indian food is one of the best cuisines for vegetarians and vegans. Since a large chunk of the Indian population is vegetarian, you’re spoilt for choice with an abundance of dishes. Doolally’s menu was originally created in collaboration with Alfred Prasad, a renowned Indian chef who was awarded a Michelin star at the age of twenty-nine. Doolally has an array of curries, chaats, biryanis and kebabs to choose from, and we can guarantee that it’s delicious. Onion Bhaji’s and Bhindi Masala anyone?
Serving authentic Thai and Vietnamese food, Saba on both Clarendon Street and Lower Baggot Street has plenty on offer to spice up a vegetarian’s life, from curries and salads, to noodles and stir fries. If you’re strictly vegetarian just be sure to ask for no fish sauce. Serving the kind of food that tastes too good to be healthy, Saba even partnered up with nutritionist Erika Doolan to create an innovative menu which offers symbols that suggest the calorie count, and highlights coeliac options and paleo dishes, which are all dairy, wheat, soya, and legume free. The best bit? Regardless of what you order, or how fussy you are, the friendly team at Saba will always go the extra mile to make sure you have a memorable dining experience. After all, Saba in Thai does mean ‘happy meeting place’.
Ireland’s first fully vegan restaurant, Sova Vegan Butcher, now Coco Sova, has been feeding the plant-loving masses since 2015 in their cool casual Portobello eatery. A trip here is just as tempting today as it was when they first opened their doors with the promise of healthy, sexy food. They stick to their word with an array of plant-packed vegan sushi options and plenty of dupes like vegan black pudding and seitan steak with horseradish sauce.
This hipster haven is so cool that there’s almost always a queue. The menu is spiked with the results of their fermentation experimentation, which also informs a quirky collection of drinks, and there’s plenty on offer for vegetarians and vegans. Early risers are treated to their signature Fumbally Eggs, scrambled with Gubbeen cheese, garlic and tomatoes served on toasted brioche, and ‘Self Service’ porridge that comes with a selection of toppings and an invitation to come again if you please. For lunch you’ll be tempted by their falafel, an ever changing array of flavoursome salads and there’s always a daily veggie special. They’re open for dinner on Wednesdays too.
Sprout & Co Kitchens have really taken root in Dublin since first opening on Dawson Street in 2015, branching out to open multiple standalone stores across the city. With their genuine commitment to seasonal and local produce, fresh and flavoursome food, sleek branding and even slicker service, it’s little wonder Sprout has seduced so many, vegans and non vegans alike. Plant based eaters have plenty of choice for breakfast with the likes of avo on toast, smoothies and chia pudding. For lunch their falafel is a favourite in the Super Guacabowle salad, and you can’t pass the dazzling display of NutShed‘s nutritious treats to finish. Didn’t get your Sprout fix during the day? The Dawson Street and Ballsbridge stores are open late for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays too.
Shaku Maku, which translates to ‘What’s the Story’ or ‘Cad é an scéal’ from Arabic, is a wonderful spot for all things Middle Eastern soul food. This cuisine has some of the best vegetarian and vegan mezze around, and although Shaku Maku is known for their Josper Grilled meats, they have an abundance of vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. Opt for the classic Shakshouka, the Vegetarian Moussakka or their Lentils Mujadara, to name a few. They also have a delicious Fattoush salad drizzled with tangy pomegranate molasses, and of course, the classic hummus. Delicious.
One of the original vegetarian eateries in the city, Govindas harks back to the classic approach of catering to veggies; serving deli-style huge portions of colourful food in a casual setting that lifts the spirit and satisfies the hunger. Operating from two outlets in the city centre, Middle Abbey Street and Aungier Street, the menu has a strong Indian influence but includes a diverse mix of European foods too. All food is made in house and often with fruit, vegetables and nuts from their farm in Fermanagh, where they have polytunnels, 70 fruit trees and 15 nut trees.
Now open seven days a week, Two Pups cafe is part of the 74 Francis Street Collective located in Dublin’s antiques quarter. Along with great coffee, they have a small but considered food menu that aside from option to add ham to their Tasty Toastie is entirely vegetarian. Alongside all day breakfast-style dishes like sourdough toast topped with jazzed up eggs or avocado, there’s a ‘Daily Dahl’ and a veggie salad or noodle bowl. Plant food lovers are by nature animal lovers too, so will be happy to hear Two Pups is dog friendly.
With locations on Bachelor’s Walk, Tara Street, Howth, Malahide and now Clontarf, rapidly expanding Póg has proven that it pays to offer a tempting vegan line up in addition to conventional crowd-pleasing dishes. Their vegan afternoon tea is a very safe bet for a delicious day out, skipping dull ham sandwiches in favour of vegan jambons, For a brunch treat, you will never go wrong with a fat stack of vegan pancakes with all the toppings or their Avo Vegano toast with plenty of pink pickled red onions and garlic portobello mushrooms.
While most would associate Japanese cuisine with the likes of salmon sushi rolls and tuna sashimi, vegans and vegetarians will have plenty of options at any one of Yamamori’s city centre locations. Try hot dishes like roast vegetable curry, tofu steak and vegetable ramen at Yamamori Noodles on South Great George’s Street, vegetable gyoza and agedashi tofu at Yamamori Izakaya across the road, or sushi nigiri and norimaki skillfully prepared with vegetables at Yamaori Sushi on Ormond Quay. At all three venues there’s a generous daily veggie bento box that will satisfy any Japanese food lover’s appetite.
When chef Dylan McGrath opened Rustic Stone in 2011 many people were skeptical of the forward thinking, nutritionally-aware menu that showcased raw food and promoted cooking on the stone. But the restaurant on South Great George’s Street proved it was ahead of the health conscious curve and still to this day is innovative in its offering. Vegans and vegetarians alike are catered for as comprehensively as meat-eaters, with tempting plant-based creations from robata-grilled aubergine to papaya salad and tofu baos.
Umi Falafel’s formula of serving great value, fresh falafel, Middle Eastern mezze and salad dishes, in a modern, informal cafe setting has proved so popular that they claim that they roll enough falafel each week that if laid side by side they would stretch from their Dame Street cafe all the way to their suburban store in Rathmines. Owners say their secret is making the falafel to order and sticking to family recipes for salads, sauces and pickles. The relaxing environment makes it a perfect place to catch up with friends over a shared mezze, lingering a little longer with some loose leaf mint teas to complete the authentic Middle Eastern experience.
Formerly located in Temple Bar, the mandate of this Grattan Street gem is to cater for two of the main modern food tribes; paleoism and veganism. Located nearby the Grand Canal Dock, just a short stroll from the city centre, healthy eaters won’t leave hungry with their menu of heaving salads, generous grain bowls, plentiful bowls of pasta and heartwarming hotpots inspired by the flavours of Mexico, the Middle East, Japan and India, most of which come with the option of vegan falafel.
The good people behind Veginity set an impossibly high bar for cauliflower wings from their Vish Shop vegan takeaway, which has now re-branded as Pretend and is well worth a visit next time you fancy a plant-based chipper fix. For a vegan dinner date, the more formal Veginity restaurant on Dorset Street is a plant based paradise. With an ever-changing menu showcasing global street food favourites from Brazil to Ethiopia, veganised, you’ll never tire of Veginity’s offering.
A popular dining destination since opening on Capel Street in 2012, Brother Hubbard’s reputation for feel-good food that doesn’t compromise on flavour saw them open Sister Sadie in 2014, now rebranded as Brother Hubbard South, and more recently Brother Hubbard Ranelagh. All with their signature Middle Eastern twist, for lunch Brother Hubbard offers vegans open hummus sandwiches, smashed avo and cannellini beans on toasted sourdough, and their daily soups and salads are often vegan too. Vegetarians have their pick of brunch dishes like turkish eggs menemen and beans baked in a rich tomato sauce, served with a fried egg, feta and olive yogurt. Open seven days a week for breakfast, brunch and lunch, Brother Hubbard North also serves dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, for which the menu is over 50% vegan.
Last but absolutely not least, Nutbutter was the home of pulled jackfruit, cashew cream and sashimi watermelon long before any of these terms made sense to the average diner. Its long anticipated reopening in a shiny, bigger premises in Grand Canal Dock in late 2020 after a hiatus was undeniably a source of joy for Dublin’s vegans and veggies. Kaleidoscopic veggie packed bowls, tacos piled high with plant-based chorizo and portobello asada…this is one place where over-ordering is absolutely necessary to avoid food envy of your fellow diners.
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