Have you ever heard of Veganuary? This initiative has been in place since 2014 and it has inspired Since 2014, Veganuary has inspired more than half a million people in over 170 countries to try a vegan diet during the month of January.
Whether you want to take part in this initiative for animals rights, to try and live with a low carbon footprint or just to challenge yourself for a month, it is good knowing you have options even if you want to enjoy a meal out or if you feel like having some not-too-healthy comfort food.
In the past year or two, Dublin has become the perfect place for vegetarian and vegan. With so many plant based restaurants opening up, and more and more restaurants and bar offering vegan and vegetarian options, everybody can enjoy a meal (almost) everywhere.
I am based in the South Side, so I usually try to go for food in this area. The goal is of course to try them all, but this is a guide to my favourite restaurants in Dublin I have tried so far, which have great vegan options.
1 . The Carrot’s Tail
Who said vegan meals have to be boring? The Carrot’s Tail has only been open for less than a year but so many people already love it. Their menu includes so many classic brunch dishes made vegan, such us chickon and waffles, a delicious black bean burger with seitan vacon and tofu egg and a selection of vegan bagels. Brunch here is something not to be missed if you are visiting Dublin!
Alongside their fix menu, they continuously experiment to make food from other parts of the world vegan friendly. In the past they had things like empanadas, arepas and coxhinas, a dish from Brazil that I really wanted to try when I was over there, but couldn’t as it’s usually made with chicken.
Finally, in the restaurant there is a small zero waste shop, where they sell food and other items for the house and personal care, all vegan and plastic free!
2. Di Fontaine’s
This is one of the first places I discovered when I moved to Dublin on one of my nights out in Temple Bar, and I have been loving it since. Their pizzas and calzones are so delicious and freshly made everyday.
The good news is that they also make vegan pizzas now. Their menu includes vegetable options with no cheese, but the even better news is that they have a selection of vegan cheeses you can put on your pizza, from vegan mozzarella, vegan Parmesan and cashew ricotta!
Can this get any better? Yes! As this place is involved in a lovely initiative called Pay it Forward. The idea behind this initiative is simple: you buy a slice of pizza for you and pay for another one which will be suspended and given to some in need. As a matter of fact, this place works closely with several charities in Dublin that run soup kitchens in various locations around Dublin to feed the homeless and needy.
3. McGuinness Takeaway
When I became a vegetarian, chipper food was one of the comfort food I missed the most, as most chippers only have chips, onion rings (which I don’t like) and – if you are lucky – mushrooms.
When I found out about McGuinness Takeaway, I couldn’t have been any happier! This chipper has a full vegan menu with all the dishes cooked separately and that includes options like burgers, pizzas, sauces, chicken stile dishes, seitan steak sandwiches and my favourite…vegan battered sausage! Really worth trying this.
4. SOVA Vegan Butcher
I first tried this place in Portobello years before I gave up meat and I loved it so much.
Their menu for brunch and dinner has so many different options and it is very hard to pick one. They have options like burgers, the full Irish breakfast and different kinds of pasta. When I go there, I usually share different things with other people, so we can all try everything, but my favourite is still their gnocchi dish!
5. Brother Hubbard
This place has two locations, one in Dublin 1 and the other in Dublin 8. Although I have never tried their dinner menu, I love their brunch options.
Even though this is a vegan-only restaurant, three out the seven option in their brunch menu are vegan, three are vegetarian and only one has meat in it. Of course you have the option of adding more meat or cheese to your dish, but I love how their base menu is so vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Every time I had food here it was amazing and make sure you try their specials too!
If you love fish and chips, than Vish is what you are looking for. Their alternative to fish is made from cassava and sea weed and it’s delicious.
All their ingredients are ethically sourced produce with minimal ecological impact and natural, without using alternatives or preservatives. They also make an effort to serve each meal in biodegradable packaging, although they are happy to use your own lunch box if you bring one with you.
Despite the name, they don’t only serve fish, but they also have different alternatives for wings, burgers and hot dogs, all made with natural ingredients like cauliflower or beans.
7. The saucy cow
This place is the best for when you want to have spicy and greasy vegan food, because nobody should be missing out on comfort food because of their diet choices!
Although their menu is Southern-inspired, recently they have added some Mexican and Asian options in their menu, and I can’t wait to try them all.
8. Happy Food
Happy food has plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free options and plant-based food for breakfast and lunch during the week and brunch at the weekend.
Their menu has so many choices for food, from burgers, to the traditional breakfast and salads and their coffee is super tasty too.
9. Bounceback Cafe
Bounceback is my local lunch spot in the Liberties. Although I’m the biggest fun of their burritos, they have other options in their menu. This small cafe has a small menu and all the vegan options here are quite simple but still delicious and I love the fact that they have a more vegetable options for your burrito, such us peppers, aubergine, sweet potatoes and more.
This is a family run cafe, which gives it a very relaxed vibe, and the owners are so lovely. They also take part in sustainable campaign like the 2go cup initiative, where you get a discount if you bring your own coffee cup or pay for you cup and get your money back if you bring the cup back.
10. Umi Falafel
For a long time falafels were the only option on the menu for vegan people, so I can understand how some people might not get too excited about this, but Umi Falafel is so worth trying!
This is Ireland’s largest 100% vegetarian chain, with restaurants in Dublin, Cork and Belfast and they have so many vegan options on their menu, from saladas, to sandwiches, mezze plates, dips and a lot more.