Travelling abroad with special dietary requirements can be daunting, especially if the country you’re visiting has a reputation for having very traditional food. With meat as one of our main exports, Irish food doesn’t always appeal to those who follow a vegan diet.
Irish food, while traditionally bland and basic, has come to reflect the multiculturalism of the nation in recent years. Ireland’s growing cultural diversity and globalisation have led us to embrace change and welcome new flavours and trends. There has been a surge of experimental, contemporary Irish chefs that are changing the reputation of Irish food. Ireland has also adapted to special dietary requirements, like those with Coeliac Disease and many other allergies.
As more people take an interest in following a plant-based diet, the vegan food scene in Ireland is gradually growing, in nearly every city and town. People who have grown up on the “boiled dinner” diet are embracing the vegan lifestyle and enjoying the wealth of variety that is on offer. We have compiled a list of restaurants around Ireland that offer some delicious vegan food.
The Saucy Cow, 19 Crane Lane, Dublin
Many typical fast-food chains fail to accommodate vegans and if there are vegan options, they often lack the flavour and excitement of non-plant-based food.
Introducing The Saucy Cow- the colourful, messy fast food of dreams, for vegans and non-vegans alike. The Saucy Cow has taken Dublin by storm with its take on vegan cheeseburgers, loaded fries, wraps and a wide variety of vegan dips and sauces. Customers not only rave about their food but their competitive prices too.
The Dough Bros, Cathedral Buildings, 1 Middle St, Galway
A Galway cult classic, that boasts the best vegan pizza you’ve ever had (their words not ours but they were listed as No. 79 in the 50 Top Pizza World Awards for 2022). While this family-owned business is not entirely vegan, it does have a selection of vegan pizzas that are hugely popular. They also have a choice of vegan dips for the pizza dippers.
Jumon, Unit 6, McAuley House, Fountain St, Belfast
Jumon is a trendy Asian fusion restaurant that is entirely plant-based. They are challenging the stereotype that vegan food is boring by creating dishes that are rich in colour, flavour and style. The menu offers a range of small plates to suit those who come to enjoy their creative cocktails and share some appetizers. They also offer hearty curries and ramen to warm your soul.
Cornucopia, 19-20 Wicklow St, Dublin
Cornucopia caters to various restricted diets, including veganism and gluten-free. They are open for indoor dining, outdoor dining and takeaway in their three-floor, restored Georgian House. Dubliners flock to Cornucopia for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to enjoy their huge variety of sandwiches, salads, wraps and homemade soup. They also have vegan ice cream which is (of course) one of their biggest attractions.
Dela, 51 Dominick St Lower, Galway, H91 E3F1
A Galway favourite for brunch, this quaint cafe is highly rated among Galway restaurants. Customers recommend the vegan burrito and the range of toast- mushroom, avocado and homemade jam. Dela also offers a classy dinner menu and a range of local craft beers.
Paradiso, Cork, 16 Lancaster Quay, Mardyke, Cork
If it’s fine dining you’re in the mood for, Paradiso is an internationally acclaimed restaurant that caters to vegans and non-vegans. They have two extensive dinner menus to suit both tastes and offer a six-course set menu at €65 per person. They recently featured in an article by the Irish Times that gave it national exposure. We recommend making a reservation for this one, to avoid disappointment.
Lyons Cafe and Bakeshop, Quay St, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo
Sligo is a hidden gem for alternative food options and new trendy cafes are popping up all over the town. Lyons Cafe is a local favourite that has been located in the centre of Sligo, since 1926. The cafe is known for its innovative take on classics, taking inspiration from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian dishes. Their healthy, home-cooked lunches have been feeding the masses for generations and there are always vegan options included on the everchanging menu.
Boojum, (Various locations around Ireland)
This Mexican chain is a student staple that offers cheap eats that will fill you for the day. They offer vegan burritos, tacos, fajitas and salads, that are dressed with their seriously delicious authentic salsas. Their tortillas, vegetables, rice, beans, salsas, chips, pickled onions, jalapenos, and guacamole are all vegan. We recommend adding their signature ‘chickpea crunch’um’ to your burrito- thank us later.