This guest post on how to be vegan in Dublin is written by Janelle Axton. After traveling to over 25 countries and living abroad in Ireland, Janelle created Make the Trip Matter – a travel blog dedicated to helping budget travelers and remote professionals travel more, live abroad, and get a more meaningful experience from their travels.
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)
When thinking about traveling in Europe, “incredible vegan food” is not what typically comes to mind for most people.
Over the last few years, Dublin’s vegan food scene has completely transformed and surprisingly, being vegan in Dublin is much easier than you might realize!
According to different studies, Dublin is the NUMBER ONE most vegan-friendly city in Ireland and worldwide with 21.2% of local restaurants offering vegan-friendly options!
Plus, Ireland is the 3rd country in the world with the highest number of vegans per capita with approximately 4.1% of the population (about 146,000 people) reporting being vegan.
Even still, there are some tips and tricks you should know about being vegan in Dublin, Ireland:
Tips & Tricks on How to be Vegan in Dublin
Many of Ireland’s traditional meals and restaurants feature primarily meat-based dishes. Asking for no meat or a plant-based meat substitute is an option for vegans in Dublin.
However, there are still a few things to watch out for in your food.
A lot of Irish dishes are made with butter. Make sure to ask if your food has been cooked in butter and if so to exclude it or use olive oil instead.
Plus, many dishes in Ireland use milk as well. Double-check if your dish can be made without milk or with a milk alternative.
Soups are a staple in Ireland but often include butter or have a base of chicken or beef stock. Make sure to verify that the base of your soup is vegetable stock.
Unfortunately, the popular Irish Soda bread is often made with buttermilk, eggs, and butter. It doesn’t hurt to ask about the ingredients, sometimes they can make it vegan-friendly!
How to Find Vegan Food in Dublin
Luckily, Ireland is a farming country and many of its dishes have hearty vegetables as a base such as carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.
There are certainly easy ways to find vegan food in Dublin (keeping the above foods to watch out for in mind) such as the following.
Potato Dishes – many of Ireland’s dishes have a base of potatoes and vegetables and they are cooked in a variety of different ways to make for some interesting dishes.
Soups – soups and stews are popular in Ireland and can easily be made vegan.
Guinness – vegans in Dublin are in luck! Guinness changed its brewing process to remove isinglass (a type of gelatin made from fish), so the popular beer is vegan.
Aldi – this widespread grocery store offers non-dairy milk options.
Tesco – another popular supermarket, Tesco sells vegan ice cream and chocolates.
Traditional Irish Foods That Can Be Made Vegan
Most traditional Irish foods are not initially very vegan-friendly, but nowadays in Dublin, you should be able to ask for substitutes to make many of the popular traditional Irish recipes vegan.
Full Irish Breakfast – traditionally very meat-heavy, there are a few ways to make this dish vegan. Ask for a vegan sausage substitute or ask if the restaurant can do a tofu scramble.
Otherwise, stick to hash browns, tomato, mushroom, beans, and toast. Often the breakfast dishes are served with soda bread, check if the bread has been made in a vegan-friendly way.
Bangers and Mash – Better known as sausage and mashed potato. Ask for a vegan meat substitute and order a side or two of veggies to compliment the dish.
Colcannon – Mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. Often this dish is made with milk, cream, and/or butter but you can ask for these ingredients to be replaced with milk alternatives or sunflower or olive oil.
Shepherd’s Pie – This one might be harder to change up at the restaurant, but it is worth a try. Otherwise, this is a favorite traditional Irish meal that you might want to try to make at home!
You can substitute the butter/milk and add more vegetables or even lentils as the base instead of meat.
Top 4 Best Vegan Restaurants in Dublin
For those looking to make their lives a bit easier and stick with places that can guarantee vegan-friendly meals, rest assured Dublin has quite a good selection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants as well.
Here are a few of the top recommended vegan restaurants in Dublin:
1. Sova Vegan Butcher
This restaurant serves 100% plant-based breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Their dishes are varied, delicious, and healthy featuring kebabs, gyros, steak, risotto, sushi rolls, and gourmet gnocchi.
The atmosphere is relaxed, and the dishes are well-plated, giving Sova Vegan Butcher a high-class feeling.
For a less healthy, more comfort-food-style vegan option in Dublin, check out V-Face. They specialize in plant-based burgers, wings, and loaded fries (The Katsu Fries are especially a crowd favorite!).
V-Face is in a great location near office buildings and between TU Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, which makes it the perfect lunch break for students or workers in Dublin.
3. KALE + COCO
For the best vegan snacks and bowls, there’s no place that can beat KALE + COCO.
This café serves completely plant-based goods and specializes in beautiful and healthy smoothie bowls, nourishing bowls, smoothies, sweet treats, and superfood lattes.
The friendly staff and laid-back atmosphere make this the perfect place to stop and relax for a bit, or even to sit and chat with your friends for an afternoon.
4. Vegan Sandwich Co
Another great place for a vegan lunch in Dublin is Vegan Sandwich Co.
They offer toasties, sandwiches, kebabs, wraps and more. Everything they make is not only delicious and filling but made using natural ingredients and packaged in fully compostable packaging.
If you are craving a more “traditional” but entirely vegan meal, this place has an extensive menu and quality dishes!
Bonus: Buttercream Dream
This is Dublin’s first vegan bakery and got the award for “Best Bakery in Ireland” in 2019. They bake in small batches to ensure freshness and the best flavor.
Their cakes and cupcakes come in just about every flavor you would want from Red Velvet, Salted Caramel Pretzel, and Banana Hazelnut Chocolate to Boston Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, and Lavender Early Grey.
Plus, they have gluten-free options available for many of their flavors as well.
Ireland should be at the top of your travel bucket list for a variety of reasons including gorgeous scenery and great sites to see.
There are also numerous stunning fairytale towns in Ireland you need to explore!
Dublin is an impressive city that has completely transformed over the last few years to prioritize safety, inclusion, and accessibility for all – including providing ample access to vegan-friendly options across the city!
You will find yourself loving Ireland and enjoying dining as a vegan in Dublin.
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