From a lifestyle that used to be out on the fringe, plant-based eating has been making more of a name for itself recently. Whether it’s vegan, vegetarian or 'flexitarian', more of us are eating this way, but in a country reared on meat before veg, it’s not always easy. Thankfully, there’s a growing interest in treating our vegetables like the brilliant ingredients they are, and it’s not just in specialised restaurants anymore. Here’s a handy list of vegetarian and vegan-friendly breakfast, lunch and dinner spots where plants-based dishes are more than just an afterthought
Nut Butter, Forbes Street, Dublin 2
Image from Nut Butter
Nut Butter is an exciting new spot that quietly opened recently in Grand Canal (doors are officially open from Monday 9th April). The bright, light-filled space is an Instagrammer's dream, all muted pastel interiors, geometric tabletop designs and plenty of greenery and raffia. The idea behind Nut Butter is a focus on bigging up plant-based food but also offering choice. Vegan favourite jackfruit features along with 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 textures and homemade nut butter of course. They will open for dinners too, serving ‘late plates’ along with wines & beers.
Blazing Salads, 42 Drury Street, Dublin 2
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This wholefood stalwart has been serving up delicious 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 - buckwheat with roasted kale squash and aduki is divine. Lucious 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.
Eathos, 13 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 4
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It’s hard to walk by this slick Baggot Street café 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.
Image from Tang Food Dublin
This busy little spot on Dawson Street evolved from a dinky frozen yoghurt joint to a rustic, relaxed cafe with a strong vegetable focus. Daily-changing seasonal salads are full of earthy Middle Eastern flavours with plenty of dukkah, zaatar and sumac featured. Falafel, hummus and lots of beans means plant-based eaters won’t go hungry. Breakfast boasts freshly squeezed juices, Le Levain sourdough and excellent coffee. A gem of a spot right in the city centre.
Vish Shop, Eatyard, 9-10 Richmond Street South, Dublin 2
Image from Vish
Dublin’s first purely vegan takeaway opens its chip van window Thursday to Sunday in Portobello’s Eatyard. 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. There’s usually a decadent vegan dessert to finish things off.
Sprout & Co, various locations
Image from Sprout & Co
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 you can 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.
Hey Donna, 137 Rathmines Rd Lower, Dublin 6
Image from Hey Donna
As ‘vegan-friendly’ becomes more of a thing, Hey Donna is a wonderful example of a well-sourced menu that can keep carnivores, vegetarians and vegans happily fed. The vegetable-centric menu with a Middle Eastern slant gives plenty of room to its Garden section, featuring enticing sharing dishes like ember baked beet and roast cauliflower. You can find yourself ordering meat-free without even noticing and for even more options, let the helpful team know you’re eating vegan. For those who don’t get to Dublin 6 much, there’s a well-backed rumour that Joe Macken may soon open another version of Hey Donna closer to the city centre... fingers crossed.
Brother Hubbard, 153 Capel St, Dublin 1
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Brother Hubbard on Capel Street is one of the best-loved cafés in Dublin, serving breakfast, lunch and now dinner with their veg-friendly menus full of filling plant-based delights. For breakfast, try the vegan avo & peppers, piled high with smashed avocado, chickpea spread, roast peppers, house nut dukkah and beetroot powder on toasted sourdough. Lunch salad plates have a strong emphasis on vegetables and pulses and plenty of house-made hummus. Dinner is served Tuesday to Saturday mezze style and is proudly 50% vegan. Keep an eye out too for their monthly Vegan Supper Clubs. Brother Hubbard South on Harrington Street also serves up much of the same great vegetable-focused fare.
Happy Food, YogaHub, 27 Camden Place, Dublin 2 & Junction 6, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Image from Happy Food
Tucked down a lane between Camden & Harcourt Street, you’ll find this plant-based haven serving breakfast and lunch alongside a yoga studio. Vegans are the 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 with the chickpea scramble on sourdough. Lunch boasts a considerable vegan burger menu, built around a tasty black bean and sweet potato patty, as well as tofu BBQ ribs and delectable dairy-free shakes like the Snickers, made with peanut butter, banana, almond and cacao.