A couple of weeks ago a vegan friend of mine came to visit me in Dublin. Although more vegetarian options are being offered around town, they usually contain some sort of dairy or egg product. Which means finding good vegan options takes a little bit of research, time and patience. As the wonderful friend I am, the decision was made to have an all vegan weekend together. No meat, no dairy, no eggs. Here’s what we discovered Dublin has to offer, and how pleasantly surprised a non-vegan can be with the selection!
The student friendly option: Umi Falafel
— Umi Falafel (@UmiFalafel) October 1, 2015
Price range: €5 – €7 per dish
Located on Dame street in front of a busy bus stop, Umi Falafel appears to be another takeaway spot at first glance. But upon entering, you find that they are so much more than that.
Although the menu is far from extensive, and the same flavors reappear in the different options of sandwiches, salads, and mezze, there seems to be a thought behind it. Everything is perfectly fresh. The falafel is incredibly moist, all of the vegetables of better standard than you’d expect to pick up yourself, and the flavors of the dips are perfection.
The dishes, we went for a falafel and salad but glanced over to size up other customer’s choices, can be rather small. However, once you’re done, it’s somehow incredibly filling. They do offer a good selection of mezze, pitta on the side and stuffed falafels which you can add to your meal, or share amongst a group of people if you’re craving a bit more food. All ranging from €1,50 to €7.
All in all, Umi is a great option for a takeaway as well as dine in experience, although the latter perhaps more so for a lunch than dinner. Umi Falafel get’s a strong 4.5/5 rating!
The café option: The Fumbally
Price range: €5 – €9 per dish
Located on Fumbally Lane in Dublin 8 you find The Fumbally. A great café option with a range of meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes (and yes, they serve beer and wine!).
The food is made with organic products, and as a result, everything tastes the way it should taste. Carrots don’t taste like cardboard, etc. As a vegan, you may want to double check with the staff which of the vegetarian options are non-dairy and egg free. Luckily, as they make everything on the spot, you can make dietary requests such as raw avocado instead of fried with your tacos to make them vegan.
The awkward part of this delicious café can be seating, and noise levels. The design is wonderfully bohemic, but this means you may be stuck on a chair which is about to fall apart, or sitting on a stool so short, you may as well be on the floor. But, the portions are large and filling, they have a great selection of their self produced juices, different kinds of cakes and a lot of gluten-free options.
Make sure you check their opening hours before deciding to go there, as they’re closed Sundays and Mondays, open until 5pm some days, and then 7-9:30pm on Wednesdays. The Fumbally gets a 4/5 rating!
The takeaway option: Siri
Price range: €9 – €17 per dish
Students, don’t be intimidated by the price range of Siri, because this one of the best value for your money places in Dublin. It is almost physically impossible to finish a dish on your own, so you can either split it or save it for later. The prices really start at €7, but adding rice starts at €2 and same goes with naan bread. I’d recommend getting a dish, a side of rice and a side of bread, which is enough for two people (unless you’re starving).
Everything at Siri is incredibly fresh and it almost feels as if you’re at a friends house eating a meal their grandmother cooked you. They have a great selection of different meats, vegetarian and vegan dishes. Your order is ready in about 10 minutes depending on how busy they are, which is ok because you’re at the top of Dame street overlooking Christchurch Cathedral. A prime spot for people watching.
The one drawback is that there’s no real area for eating in, the seats available are designed for you to wait on your order and then leave. But, with a takeaway as great as this, it doesn’t really matter. Siri gets a 5/5 rating!
The restaurant option: Cornucopia
Price range: €5,50 – €13,95 per dish
If you’re looking for a vegan restaurant experience, Cornucopia is definitely what you’re searching for. Located on Wicklow street in an old Georgian building with plenty of seats spread over two floors. Upstairs is highly recommended as it’s a bit quieter with large windows facing Wicklow street.
— Cornucopia (@CornucopiaRest) June 9, 2015
They offer a selection of soups, salads and main courses. The latter including dishes such as moussaka, stews, and pasta dishes. Their wide selection means that there really is something for everyone there. As with a lot of vegan food, it’s wholesome, filling and packed with great ingredients.
They also have a selection of desserts and organic wines to choose from, which generally is worth mentioning when you’re convincing non-vegan friends to try something different. Along with the different discounts if you’re part of a vegan society, a student, etc.
When it does get very busy, queuing up to the counter to order, pay and get your food on a tray can be somewhat annoying. It does affect that restaurant feeling you get once you’re seated. Although, their lovely staff does bring their rating up to a 4/5!