3 Days in Dublin checking out top vegan foodie hangouts
By Sarah-Louise (@secretvegangirl) travelling with my friend DJ Melody Kane.

Massive thanks to our Followers. We put a couple of posts out on social media and as usual received a heap of really cool recommendations –
Thanks Guys! Sadly we couldn’t visit all the places but I’m sure we’ll be heading back very soon.

DAY 1

After landing at Dublin Airport, we picked up our hire car (our extremely small Hyundai) and headed to our first stop for a much needed breakfast.

 

Breakfast

Arriving at the fabulous Green Beards Juicery in Ranelagh, we were given cold pressed raw shots which were insanely good and the perfect pick me up after our early start. Such a great touch to have these freshly made and ready for customers.

We checked out the delish superfood smoothie menu (mostly, but not all vegan)… Who doesn’t love a smoothie for breakfast? I had to go for the “Chewmaca” as it sounded irresistible (figs, banana, hemp protein, maca powder, homemade almond milk, agave and peanut butter) – it tasted UNREAL! The raw chocolate sweet treats were so good too, the Hazelnut Bar with 70% chocolate, crushed hazelnuts and edible flowers stole the show for me, actually so good that writing about them is making me crave one right now. Melody went for the delicious “Honey Badger” smoothie (minus the honey) and was totally in love with the Synickers raw bites.

This is mainly a take away foodie place but as we wanted to meet the team, we “dined-in”…

It’s clear that these guys are on it when it comes to reducing waste, they use 100% compostable cups, straws, cutlery, gloves, smoothie cups, lids etc and offer discounts to people who bring their own cups… which I think deserves a massive thumbs up!

What I love about Green Beards is that they are friendly and welcoming, they have a really down to earth vibe and the juices, smoothies and raw sweet treats are out of this world delicious. Definitely a place to add to your list, grab some treats to take away and go exploring!

Lunch

After checking in to our hotel and enjoying some down time after the early start, we headed to our next stop… Lunch at the famous Cornucopia Vegetarian and Wholefood Restaurant which is on Dublin City Centre’s Wicklow Street.

We met with Dairine – the daughter of the founders who opened this super special restaurant back in 1986 and now part of the team who run this fabulous place that is a piece of the fabric of Dublin’s Vegan and Veggie scene. We learnt how the venue was once a lot smaller before moving across the neighbouring building, now home to a two story sprawling restaurant attracting people of all ages who love good food (it was packed!)… Upstairs feels very sophisticated but also very homely and welcoming, think William Morris wallpaper teamed with dark wood furniture, quaint music playing in the background giving you a “Pimms O Clock” sophisticated family sort of vibe, that’s before you even add the hearty food on offer!

Anyway, food was served and Melody and I were in food heaven, delicious comfort food… Just wow! The Aubergine & Vegan Cheese Moussaka was so good and irresistible with the melted cheese – I’ve been dreaming about this ever since. The Passion fruit cheesecake and juice too, wow! As for the gluten free chocolate brownie, it was divine! Melody was totally hooked on the mushroom, cashew and spice pate with homemade sesame and chai crackers (off of the healthy meal offer menu). It had a totally authentic pate taste and texture that we think even non-vegans would love.

Cornucopia offer a Healthy Menu meal deal which is great. You can also use the counter service if you haven’t got time to dine in and they cater for coeliac, sugar-free and raw dietary requirements – Perfect.

Aside from the delicious home-cooked food, I love the way the upstairs almost feels like you’re eating at a relatives house, with a relaxed and friendly vibe and great service.

If you’re in central Dublin, this is the perfect place to enjoy with friends and family.

Dinner

After an afternoon of photography, walking and relaxing we got ready for the evening and headed out to Temple Bar. Dinner was lined up at Umi Falafel which we’d heard great things about from our Facebook community.

Temple Bar is the popular, famous cultural hub of Dublin with live music, cobbled streets, fabulous restaurants and galleries. It’s a must visit place to add to your travel list when in Dublin

We arrived at Umi Falafel and checked out the menu… spoilt for choice (again!) we opted for a selection of dishes, salads, stuffed vine leaves, hummus and baba ganoush and falafel, of course falafel! Dishes were served and everything we had chosen was absolutely delish, washed down with a healthy, freshly squeezed carrot juice.

Umi Falafel have other venues in Ireland and are definitely worth a visit for wholesome food, falafels and salads to enjoy in a relaxed and friendly setting. Take Away service is available too.

Umi means Mother in Arabic and in Umi’s own words “explains why our falafel are handmade with care” – we agree, they taste very good!

We left with a feeling of contentment and that we’d filled our bellies with a lot of wholesome goodness. Umi Falafel is my new love… delicious, fresh & authentic falafel served up with great sides & yummy salads, what more do you need?

With Umi Falafel situated on Dame Street close to Temple bar, we ended the day with an essential trip to the legendary Temple Bar Pub, which opened in 1840. We arrived and worked our way through the crowd, the place packed out with people listening to traditional Irish live music – such a great vibe and somewhere you can’t miss!

Another perfect day!

Day 2:

Breakfast

After starting the day with a jog and mini workout in the park, we were en-route to Urban Health in Ranelagh. We were welcomed by the lovely Dee and Bella at their super chilled foodie hangout (with a yoga / pilates hub attached!)

Urban Health was created by Dee and her husband Darragh in 2014 and in their words “born through a love of healthy, nutritious food and an active lifestyle”… anyway, the girls talked us through the vegan options, cakes, smoothies and juices and you know that feeling you got when you were a child with sweets? It’s like that, Dee and Bella have such passion for what they do and it REALLY shines through. We were so pleased that Urban Health was on our list of places to check out.

Cappuccino flowing and starting the day off nicely, food arrived… we opted for a selection to share, including smashed avocado on toast (who can pass up an avo opportunity?), a Badass Breakfast Wrap (adapted to be vegan stylee), smoothie and because we’d heard it was something special, some of their epic Banana Cake (huge portion alert!).

What a cool place. They do yoga and pilates classes throughout the day, have shelves stacked with tea, chocolate, granola, skincare products and other goodies to take home AND serve up some of the best breakfasts we’ve tasted. As well as, (I’m sure everyone will agree) THE BEST Banana Cake in Dublin!!

Thanks so much ladies, we LOVE your place so much!

LUNCH

After perhaps staying a little longer than planned at Urban Health (it’s so inviting you see!) we headed to our next destination – FACEBOOK DUBLIN! We had an invite for a tour and food through my friend Tobias, who I hope we’ll see more of in our blogs. He’s a super cool dude.. has a super cool job at Facebook and gets to travel around Asia… he’s a massive foodie too, so stay tuned!

As you’d expect, Facebook have a workspace that has everything you could wish for and more… Treadmills with space for a laptop so you can walk while you get your creative on, a mammoth lego wall so you can release your inner child, a help yourself sweet station, a selfie booth with flashing lights in all the colours of the rainbow, rooftop seating area AND vegetable garden (Go Facebook!) and not to mention the fitness studio, pool tables, hands on creative hub and epic canteen.

Tour complete, there’s so much food choice, they have a themed lunch once a week and in addition to that, a HUGE and I mean HUGE selection of dishes on offer for their employees, SO MUCH choice for vegans and brownies, we love brownies!! We had so much fun and were fed so well, thanks guys.

… and back to the hotel for a relax and unwind.

AFTERNOON DELIGHTS:

Who loves Pizza? We do!… so many people recommended DiFontaines Authentic New York Pizzeria, so, after a quick rest we headed into town to grab a slice or two of their famous vegan pizza!

On arrival we met the lovely Nikola and watched him very skillfully tossing the pizza dough for the most gigantic pizza bases we’ve seen…. DiFontaines recently added an epic new Vegan offering to the menu after carefully perfecting their vegan cheese game with help from vegans in the area. They had a tasting afternoon and the best cheese topping was picked which includes their very own homemade Cashew Ricotta (which is a total yumfest!).

This is a busy take out pizza joint with a few stalls if you want to eat in. We had planned to get take out pizza but felt so at home chatting so stopped for a while… Bliss!

It’s worth a trip to Dublin JUST for the pizza from DiFontaines – totally awesome vibes and the BEST vegan pizza we’ve tasted.

Pizza stop complete, we jumped in the car and were en-route to Ticknock Forest, which is situated in the Dublin Mountains about 30 minutes in the car from central Dublin. The surroundings are so picturesque & tranquil. This is definitely somewhere for your list if you love walking, exploring or mountain biking. We love this place, we enjoyed a walk into the magical forest as we worked off our pizza and took in the totally breathtaking scenery. Wishing we had longer to enjoy this beautiful place…. Next time hey?

Dinner

After a super busy but totally awesome day we were ready for our evening destination, Sova Food Vegan Butcher, another place top of the list following recommendations from our awesome Facebook community!

This is a gorgeous fine dining restaurant in the Portobello area of Dublin, with an understated but classy “shop-front”. As we arrived we felt a welcoming and cosy vibe, the distressed walls, cool artwork and industrial lighting downstairs look totally fab!

The waitress brought over the menu which was filled with out of this world creative vegan treats, expect to see starters like the ones we got to enjoy… The King Skallops or the Grilled Eggplant Tower both served up with a whole heap of delicious vegan goodness and mains like Soya Schnitzels and the Chia Cheeseburger. (On a side note, we spotted a “3 course for 24.90 euros“ option on the menu – another great reason to visit!)

Food arrived and the starters were huge! Presentation was first class so after a few pictures had been taken, Melody and I tucked in… Wow! You know some places you go, you are left wanting more when you order a starter? Well that’s definitely not the case here…. Beautifully presented food, generous sized dishes and delicious flavours.

Feeling content after our starters, our main courses arrived, again, beautiful masterpieces of culinary delights, rich in out of this world flavours.

We couldn’t resist a dessert or two – my absolute fave was the Chocolate and Avocado Mousse, I’ll let the photos do the talking!

In Sova’s words they are “promoting vegan food and a healthy lifestyle”… In our words, “this is a must visit foodie hang out if you’re in Dublin… We are so in love with this place, definitely one of the BEST places in Dublin for dinner. The whole dining experience at Sova was perfect, Barto the owner was so welcoming, the Sova team were friendly, the ambiance was perfect after a long, busy day and the food was so impressive, up there with the best we’ve tasted! Thanks Barto and your team.

After a perfect evening we were back at the hotel ready to catch some Z’s before our super early start!

Day 3:

Early Starts and breakfast:

5.30 wake up call and it still felt like the middle of the night! BUT Melody & I had somewhere important to be….. So, slightly bewildered, we were out of the hotel, in the car & en-route to Greystones to meet Dave from The Happy Pear to brave it with an early morning sunrise swim in the Irish Sea.

Melody had watched the Netflix series “Somebody Feed Phil” and after seeing Dave and Steve and The Happy Pear on the Dublin edition, we couldn’t resist checking out the magic and meeting these awesome guys!

As we drove towards Greystones, the clouds looked grey, rain was coming down over the sea and it all looked a little bleak for my liking. Melody was so excited and we definitely weren’t going to let the weather kill our vibe…. it was 6.30am and Melody was ready for action!

We arrived outside, with the bright, friendly “The Happy Pear” signage looking very inviting through the rain.  We met Dave & his adorable daughters who welcomed us with delicious warm scones & fresh fruit before we headed to the beach (slightly nervous) for an epic dip in the cold sea! (Dave & his brother Steve swim all year round!!). As we strolled down the road to the sea, the weather didn’t get any better. I was nervous to say the least.

We stripped off to our swimwear, walked down some steps and followed Dave into the sea – Dave quite majestic with his sea entry and me very much the opposite – oops! I started swimming and began to panic, it was FREEZING! (and yes this is summer and these guys do this all year around!) after the huge shock to my system, getting out of the sea actually felt warm! Today I wasn’t going to swim as I have a bit of a fear of the sea BUT, I conquered a big fear today and panic aside, I loved this experience, it was strangely calming to the mind.

We walked back to The Happy Pear and enjoyed the most yummy breakfast spread you could wish for served with fresh coffee (The Happy Pears own coffee!) wow! Such a perfect post-swim treat, we loved the relaxed and rustic eating area upstairs & we could have stayed in Greystones all day. Breakfast bowls with all the toppings, scrumptious avo on toast, chia pots to die for and warming porridge too… Perfect!

The Happy Pear isn’t just a great place to eat, they have a food store too, with an open, traditional feel and the most colourful fruit and veg on sale – cake and cook books too! Definitely pay these guys a visit, you’ll relax and unwind as you enjoy their delicious grub, watch the world go by and then want to explore the area all day.

After a perfect early start we headed back to the hotel…

BRUNCH:

After checking out of our hotel (thanks Sandymount Hotel!), we were en route to Drury Street to check out Blazing Salads… they serve up delicious wholesome veggie and vegan options (both sweet & savoury!) from their cute award-winning, family-run deli & you can enjoy take out boxes filled with the most flavoursome comfort food you can imagine.

We walked to  St Stephen’s Green and enjoyed an outdoorsy brunch… Bliss! We loved the deli boxes you can take away, filled with delicious hearty grub, the pies and cake are awesome too…

We definitely recommend stopping by if you’re in the area.

DONUTS:

Who doesn’t love donuts? We’d enjoyed so much delicious food during our stay and one name that we had heard before our trip was “Rolling Donuts”… so despite eating a fair amount already, we made sure we left some room for a donut fix to check these guys out.

Arriving at the packed out Rolling Donuts store – we knew we were in for a treat. Queues were out onto the street and all we could think about was hoping they didn’t sell out of vegan options! Anyway, thankfully they didn’t and the choices were to die for….

Although these guys aren’t exclusively vegan, they have about 10 scrumptious vegan options on the menu – we were spoilt for choice with flavours like Sugar Cinnamon, Coffee and Walnut and Vegan Chocolate and Coconut.

Our favourite was definitely the Vanilla Glaze with Almonds – in fact we left wishing we’d ordered an extra box!

Rolling Donuts are a family business founded in 1978, they have shops across Dublin, fab vegan options & are probably the best donuts in town!

DINNER:

As our trip drew to a close we had one more place to visit…

You could say, we were saving the best til last – but after meeting so many super lovely vegan friendly businesses we can’t possibly pick a favourite!

We were welcomed by Yvette along with the amazing Chefs who were preparing delicious authentic cuisine in their open kitchen. The spices cooking smelt SO GOOD!

This isn’t an exclusively vegan foodie spot BUT they have a separate, amazing vegan menu (which also lists calories per dish, great for fitness fanatics!) – it’s divided up into “Bombay Bites”, “Small Plates”, “Salads & Boxes”, “Sides” and “Mains”…. Across the menu you’ll find delicious dishes like their mahusive Samosas which are filled with a potato masala and cashew nut combo and served with a yummy tamarind dip (so good!), warming and mouth watering Chana Masala or Chana Tarkari, delicious Dahl’s & fresh Sauteed Broccoli – Total foodie heaven!!

Bombay pantry was established over 20 years ago and they’ve won numerous awards – it’s clear to see why! They started with just one Indian food to go shop and in their words “The idea was to produce really top quality Indian food to go, restaurant quality food at home” – they certainly raise the bar on delicious Indian cuisine and now have 7 food-to-go shops in the greater Dublin area – (so there’s always one close by!). If you’re in Dublin for leisure or business, we’d say these guys are a must to check out! (they do delivery too!).

Anyway, we were served up a truly amazing spread… the dishes taste traditional, fresh and are cooked with LOVE. Wow! What a way to end our Dublin trip with possibly the best curry we’ve ever tasted – thank you Bombay Pantry.

……And Goodbye Dublin – Amazing Trip – We can’t wait to be back again soon.