If you’re the type of thrifty traveler who seeks out good nosh then you’ll be delighted to discover there are some great low-cost vegetarian with vegan option restaurants that range from fast food to deli-style to sit down brunches. Some cafes grow their own organic produce and feature vegetarian cuisine from all over the world. As a matter of fact, there seems to be an obvious absence of strictly vegetarian Irish dishes, except for the traditional potato and leek soup, but there’s no doubt the Irish palate appreciates the inventive vegetarian recipes from other cultures, these restaurants are quite popular with the locals and close by to many cheap Dublin hotels.
Seomra Spraoi Vegan Café
Don’t let the name fool you, this place isn’t just about serving animal-free dishes, there’s an air of rebelliousness brewing at this autonomous social center that bills itself as an anti-capitalist collective cleverly disguised as a nonprofit entity. On Wednesday nights around 7:30 PM the Vegan Café roll out its infamous all-natural “punk-food” menu cooked by volunteers in a fun atmosphere where there’s no bill for dinner, just the understanding that you’ll donate €5.00 for the cause. A donation of €4.00 gets a seat at the Tuesday Teatime Café for a light vegan dinner from 6 to 7:30 PM. A hotbed for Dublin’s activists, rebels and eco warriors, Seomra Spraoi is a gathering place for meetings, workshops and lively public debates. They’re too anti-establishment to deal with liquor licenses but don’t mind if you bring along your own flask or thermos.
With three locations and a kirtan center scattered around town, Govinda’s has proven that the Irish have a taste not only for vegetarian Indian food but for Eastern Philosophy as well. Incorporating seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables grown at their organic farm in Fermanagh, the delicious homemade Indian breads and hearty curries aren’t the only thing happy customers rave about after a trip to Govindas, they also comment about the convenience of the deli style setup and the great value. You can even grab a ready-made takeout salads, some exotic Shipibo Amazon Teas and coffee drinks as well as sweet or savory yogurt smoothies (ask for a Lassi), spiced ginger beer, milkshakes and pure fruit juices quench your traveller thirst!
If you caught wind of the savory reputation of Dublin’s award-winning vegetarian restaurant and have Café Fresh on your “must do” list, make sure you know their “trading hours” because this restaurant only serves till 6:00 PM and isn’t open on Sundays. During the evenings, Café Fresh holds cooking classes in everything from traditional vegan Indian dishes to raw cuisine. So synchronize your schedule, it’s worth a trip to the top floor of the Powerscourt Tower Center to enjoy a meal of their hearty miso soup with a loaf of fresh seeded, spelt or sourdough bread or their delicious goat’s cheese focaccia. On their raw food menu they have intriguing recipes like raw lasagna with a creamy cashew sauce that you can finish off with a raw chocolate and fruit truffle coated in a pistachio nut crust. Hur-raw!
In their recently refurbished and extended dining space, Cornucopia has proudly carried on their tradition of serving Dublin delicious whole foods that was started in 1986.
From gluten-free breads to yeast-free deserts, dietary restrictions are honored with specialty dishes at a great value. The friendly atmosphere makes delicious dinners like Japanese rice noodles in the peanut and chili dressing with a nice light organic house wine all the more fulfilling, but be sure and leave some room for the assortment of desserts like warm rhubarb crumble with natural yogurt or chocolate and hazelnut brownies. Breakfast at the Cornucopia includes dishes like vegetarian sausages, stuffed field of mushrooms, buttermilk pancakes and fresh honey-roasted granola.
Agreed, it’s a little surprising to find an Indian Vegetarian Restaurant smack in Dublin’s most traditional district, but Delhi O’Deli sits right on Henry Street and proudly offers “finger-licking” good food. Using India’s popular fast food model, they use high-quality ingredients and fresh ground herbs and spices to give their meals a distinctly delicious aroma. For as much as you would expect to pay for a fast food burger, you can have a hot meal of delicately fried samosas with chole, veg biryani or Kachori Aloo filled with spicy lintels and topped with potato curry. Try the filling parantha breakfast and the tasty kebobs covered with fresh salad and topped with spicy chutney and wash it all down with their non-alcoholic Virgin Marys, Indian fizzes or fresh mango shakes.
The only sit-down vegetarian restaurant in Dublin, Juice is open seven days a week and has an extensive wine list and is conveniently located on South Great George’s Street. Start your day with one of their popular brunch dishes like eggs Florentine, huevos rancheros and spicy corn fritters, vegan options are available. At lunch they offer fabulous homemade dips served with crudités and strips of warm Pita bread. Many customers rave about dinner selections like their mushroom Wellington and Thai curry, so if you have trouble deciding between the two meals you might want to plan a second trip or request a doggie bag!