Whether you are flirting with flexitarianism or are simply plant-based curious, there has never been a better time to ditch meat while still enjoying delicious food in Dublin. We’ve compiled a list of Dublin’s best restaurants for vegans and veggies so you will never be short of inspiration.
Gone are the days of measly green salads, beige bowls of risotto masquerading as something worth eating and other such sorry excuses for a vegetarian option on menus, as the below vegan and veggie restaurant picks prove with gusto.
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A pilgrimage to Drumcondra is a must for lovers of Middle Eastern food and a feast from the east awaits at Shouk. Far from standard fare, Shouk offers an array of incidentally vegetarian specialities such as everyone’s favourite falafel done right, as well as deliciously vibrant vegan creations like whole roasted cauliflower or aubergine, with lashings of tahini, zhug and pomegranate. Here you can dabble in a spread of showstopper dishes for meat-eaters and veggies alike, and the plant-based plates will outshine the shawarma for many.
Kale and Coco
You don’t have to be a devoted vegan to know that a vibrant smoothie bowl (which frankly tastes like dessert with benefits) from Stoneybatter’s Kale and Coco will leave you feeling revitalised, ever so satisfied and a little bit smug. Eating the rainbow has never been simpler or more tempting and even the coffee cups at Kale and Coco deliver uplifting vibes for an all-round feel good experience.
Vegan Sandwich Co
The clue is in the name, and if it is a vegan chick*n fillet or sausage and bac*n stuffed breakfast roll you crave, look no further than Vegan Sandwich Co in Smithfield. They have every classic sandwich you could ever want sans meat and dairy, plus sides like jalapeño cheeze bites, taco wedges and allll the vegan garlic mayo. If dry January is a bridge too far, this is the place to banish your hangover hunger pangs. You can also pick up some pre-packed roast chick*n and bac*n strips to recreate your favourites at home.
The good people behind Veginity set an impossibly high bar for cauliflower wings for me from their Vish Shop vegan takeaway, which is well worth a visit next time you fancy your 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.
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.
Sova Vegan Butcher
Ireland’s first fully vegan restaurant, Sova Vegan Butcher, 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.
Big Fan is the newest Dublin entry to the Michelin Guide and an dining ideal spot if your group includes a mix of different dietary leanings, although I would caution that the Wagyu beef and Andarl Farm pork creations may be difficult to resist if you’re only veggie curious…For a Chinese vegan banquet, pile your plate high with aubergine and Beyond Meat stuffed baos that would tempt the most ardent carnivore and delicate woodear mushroom wontons in shiitake broth, served alongside divine sides like corn ribs and lucky crackers with yuzu tofu cream.
With locations on Bachelor’s Walk, Tara Street, Howth and now Malahide, 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 many a veggie has sighed at predictable pasta plates as the solitary available option on a menu, Sprezzatura is *the* place for meat-free, handmade pasta dishes that aren’t overpriced token afterthoughts. Bowls of deliciousness like mafaldine, Cashel Blue and caramelised onions or classic Cacio e Pepe will call the name of every pasta lover and their arancini will seal the deal. Get your fix in Rathmines or Camden Market.
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.
WRITTEN BY DARINA COFFEY