I lived in Dublin from 2015 to 2016 (and a few years earlier, in Cork), and have been back a few times since. Ireland is a great place to visit as long as you are not a beach person. Don’t get me wrong, trips to the ocean are actually really lovely in Ireland – just don’t count on the sun! Despite (or because of?) the unpredictable Irish weather and damp houses, Irish people are warm and relaxed, and have a great sense of humour.
While I was living in Ireland, I got the impression that many Irish people still didn’t know what veganism was, but I’m happy to tell you that a lot of new vegan food options have popped up in Dublin and Cork in recent years. I attended Ireland’s very first vegan festival (the ‘Dublin Vegfest’) in 2015, and it was a huge success. The venue turned out to be too small for the large number of visitors. I didn’t mind the crowds because the atmosphere was fantastic. I got to stuff my face and everything I tried was delicious. The ‘Dublin Vegfest’ takes place once a year over two days in the fall. From 2017, Cork followed suit with the ‘Cork VegFest’. Make sure to check out one or both of the festivals next year, and let me know what vegan treats you find there. 🙂
Below is my list of top 5 best eateries in Dublin and surroundings. (Please note that I haven’t yet had the chance to check out Veginity. It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it during my next visit to Ireland.)
1. Cornucopia: The best, coziest place for a healthy, hearty breakfast or lunch. A plate with one serving of a warm dish (changing menu) and a choice of two salads (make sure to try the creamy potato salad with roasted garlic!) costs approximately €14.
2. Pablo Picante: The best burrito place in town (I’d even say in Europe), and they now have four different Dublin locations! I’ve always ordered the ‘Victoria Verde’ without cheese to make it vegan, but they just introduced a burrito called the ‘Mega Vegano’, with citrus-marinated tofu, fresh avocado, different types of beans, as well as rice and salsa, which I can’t wait to try.
3. Sova Vegan Butcher: Amazing vegan brunch and dinner place. Make sure to try the ‘Apple and Cinnamon Pancakes’ and the ‘Seitan Doner Kebab’ for brunch, and the ‘Seitan Steak with Pepper Sauce’ for dinner.
4. Happy Food @ The Yoga Hub: Another great vegan place for a healthy breakfast or lunch. Try the ‘Happy Vibe Full Breakfast’ and one of their delicious smoothies.
5. The Happy Pear: The amazing vegan options at this vegetarian café and organic supermarket in Greystones are well worth the one-hour drive/train ride from Dublin City, and you could embark on the Bray Head Cliff Walk (see pictures below). Check out the Happy Pear cookbooks, as well.
I also want to mention that, if you get hungry after a night out in Temple Bar, I can recommend Hanley’s Pasties. They have several good vegan options.
Last, but not least, I urge you to take a day trip to Howth. The train takes about 25 minutes from Connolly Station. While I have yet to find a place for a good vegan lunch or dinner in Howth, I recommend visiting this beautiful peninsula and setting off on the lovely cliff walk. If you need a snack, check out the delicious little vegan treats at Bodega, and churros at Howth Market (only open on weekends!). Afterwards, take some time to relax at The Doghouse, a beautiful café with a fantastic selection of tea.