From a lifestyle that used to be out on the fringe, plant-based eating has been making more of a name for itself recently, with a host of fun, approachable vegetable-focused and vegan food spots opening around town. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, here’s a handy list of breakfast, lunch and dinner spots where plants-based dishes are more than just an afterthought.
Vish Shop, Eatyard and 1 Blessington Street, Dublin 7
Dublin’s first purely vegan takeaway now has two outposts, in Eatyard (Thursday to Sunday) and a standalone shop on Dorset Street. Experimental vegan chef Mark Senn has created Vish, his own plant-based fish alternative made from cassava and wild seaweed. It’s smokey and textured with a perfect batter and the triple-cooked chips are as moreish as they come. Alongside the main act, make sure to try their cauliflower wings; just crunchy enough and served with tamarind BBQ sauce and the carrot dog with beetroot pickles.
Take A Veg, Moore Street Shopping Mall, 58 Parnell Street, Dublin 1
Tucked away in the eclectic Moore Street shopping mall, Take A Veg is worth seeking out for vegans craving moreish street food and mouthwatering doughnuts. Some of the short menu favourites are the Buffalo Sandwich, with deep fried southern-style seitan and homemade ranch; a grilled ‘cheese’ sandwich with ‘bacon’, and the Pepito sub; their take on a Venezuelan street food sub. Their deep-fried Long John raspberry and ‘cream’ doughnuts are a vegan marvel.
Kale & Coco, 18 Grangegorman Lower, Dublin 7
Starting out as a smoothie bowl pop-up, the wonderful Kale & Coco recently opened a beautiful, very Insta-worthy permanent café in Stoneybatter. It’s plant-based everything here, with bright smoothie bowls of goodness, topped with granola, nuts, seeds fresh fruit and even flowers. The Buddha Bowls are colourful, enticing feeds of bright vegetables and salad and they make every superfood non-dairy latte you can imagine.
Beast Eatery, 41 Victoria Quay, Dublin 8
This 100% vegan diner and takeaway is brought to you by the Moodley Manor team, who produce Irish-made vegan favourites like Badass Bacon, 3AM Garlic Mayo and More-ish mince. The menu, of course, features plenty of their own plant-based goodies made into messy (in a good way) comfort food staples. Think Philly Cheesesteak, tacos, wings and mammoth burgers, all meat-free. I imagine their breakfast burgers have been curing many a vegan hangover.
Nut Butter, Forbes Street, Dublin 2
Although this is not a full-on vegan restaurant, they tend to focus on bigging up plant-based food. Vegan-favourite jackfruit features alongside Irish brisket for protein bowls and tacos. There’s an interesting tempeh chorizo on the menu, sushi grade tuna and plenty of kale, quinoa and avocado. Simple breakfast staples of porridge and toast are pimped up with plenty of bright, fresh toppings, and homemade nut butters.
Blazing Salads, 42 Drury Street, Dublin 2
This wholefood stalwart has been serving up delicious vegan and vegetarian fare on Drury Street since 2000, so they know a thing or two about plant-based eating. The deli always has a selection of warm, filling hot dishes. Think Provencal lima bean casserole or butternut squash and spinach gratin. The super-fresh vegan salad bar is well known for being hard to resist, full of flavour and texture. The buckwheat with roasted kale squash and aduki is divine. Luscious bakes are made fresh onsite each day, with plenty of dairy-free options. They also have a well-stocked selection of vegan-friendly larder ingredients and homemade frozen meals to take home.
Happy Food, YogaHub, 27 Camden Place, Dublin 2 & Junction 6, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Tucked down a lane between Camden & Harcourt Street, you’ll find this plant-based haven serving breakfasts and lunch alongside a yoga studio. Vegans are top priority here, with a creative selection of reimagined café and diner classics. The Happy Vibe full breakfast is a packed plate with bean, coriander & tomato sausages, tofu bacon and a worthy egg alternative of chickpea scramble on sourdough. Lunch boasts a considerable vegan burger menu, built around a tasty black bean and sweet potato patty. They also have tofu BBQ ribs and delectable dairy-free shakes like the Snickers, made with peanut butter, banana, almond and cacao.
Eathos, 13 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 4
It’s hard to walk by this slick Baggot Street cafe, with its window piled high with mouth-watering baked goods. So don’t. Head here for an extensive menu with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out. Breakfast and brunch are particularly good — a delightful acai smoothie bowl is topped with toasted quinoa granola, passionfruit, coconut chunks and cacao nibs. The buckwheat pancakes come with coconut yoghurt as standard, and plenty of other dishes can be adapted to suit. There are piled high vegetable salads at lunch and try the vegan oat, date, almond and peanut cake to finish.
Sprout & Co, various locations
Plant-based eaters will find plenty on offer in Sprout's bright, stylish salad bars with an array of nourishing salads, wraps and cold pressed juices. Many of the signature salad bowls can be adapted to suit vegans and veggies or build your own protein grain bowl. Irresistible sweet treats supplied by Nutshed are all made without gluten, dairy or refined sugar. They also stock the excellent Boringly Good Almond drinks and well made Roasted Brown coffee comes with dairy-free options.