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Is Ireland Vegan Friendly?


Ireland breaks into the list of top ten countries as the country’s capital (Dublin) is among the highly vegan-friendly cities globally and has a greater interest in plant-based diets!

Even though Ireland’s two primary exports are dairy and meat, the country has seen an enormous rise in the popularity of vegan eating and plant-based diets while steadily moving away from traditional foods, including meat and milk. With consumers influenced by sports stars and celebrities, the trend of vegan and plant-based eating is touching new heights and making Ireland a vegan-friendly country.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, Deliveroo experienced 187% orders of plant-based meals, while Cork and Dublin remain the most popular cities. With people ditching traditional milk and meat meals that kept their ancestors fed for centuries, the Irish dairy and meat giant (Kerry Group) also came forward. So, they launched various plant-based proteins to meet their consumers’ needs.

Dublin Ireland. A view across the The Liffey in the fair city of Dublin, Ireland royalty free stock photos

Irish Veganism Statistics


More than a dozen publications released in 2020 indicate a significant rise in the popularity of vegan and plant-based eating in Ireland. Some even state that Dublin is the most vegan-friendly city in the world. Moreover, after examining everything from Google data to consumer research to consensus, some credible sources found the trend is becoming more and more famous and have no signs of slowing down.

  • According to Bord Bia’s report in 2018, it is found that about 4.1% of the total Irish population is on a vegan diet. The research further states that the average age of these adults is between 18 to 35.
  • Second research by the Chef’s group (Chef’s Pencil) after examining Google data suggests that Ireland is at number 8 in the world ranking for searching for meat-free recipes.
  • Another research conducted by TripAdvisor on cafes, restaurants, and takeaways in Ireland suggests that About one out of five eateries offer vegan recipes to its customers, making Ireland one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world.

Before we answer the question that “is Ireland vegan-friendly or not” let’s discuss vegan and plant-based diets and their differences.

Difference Between Vegan and Plant-Based Eating

Though both Plant-based and vegan diet plans are healthy and famous because of their benefits, both of them have some differences. For instance, a vegan diet means recipes that include no animal products, while a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily avoid animal products. However, it mainly focuses on plants, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.

Vegan DietSelection of good carbohydrates sources. Healthy vegan diet. Selection of good carbohydrates sources - vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds stock photo

As I mentioned, a vegan diet includes no such recipe that contains animal products, including poultry, dairy, meat, eggs, fish, honey, etc. People develop a vegan diet for various reasons, such as environmental, ethical, or health reasons. Though it is healthy to go vegan, there are some pitfalls that you should avoid.

Just because eating vegan products doesn’t mean they are beneficial. For instance, you can still eat potato chips, vegan cookies, or other vegan junk food. Recipes like these have a high amount of calories and low nutrients.


Plant-Based DietPlant based diet ingredients. Healthy food high in vitamins, antioxidants, smart carbohydrates royalty free stock photos

On the flip, a plant-based diet allows you to decide whether you want to include animal products or not, while most of the food still coming from plant-based sources. Plant-based foods consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and plant oils.





Plant-based and Vegan Diet Challenges in Ireland


Although Ireland is a vegan-friendly country, the industry is still in its early stages regardless of the above statistics. It means there are still a number of challenges for those who want to follow a vegan lifestyle and those who want to reduce meat consumption.

According to the Brod Bia Thinking House, about 67% of survey respondents state that eating out in restaurants is their biggest challenge. Moreover, finding vegan food that is convenient for their eatings is also an issue. Furthermore, variety in the vegan diet is the third most significant challenge. Similarly, adequate affordability and adequate protein in vegan foods are also among common concerns.



What Should You Expect as A Vegan While Traveling in Ireland?


Despite being one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world, when traveling in Ireland, you should keep in mind that the country is still has a long way to go when it comes to its vegetarian department. Unlike countries like Israel, Germany, the US, and the UK, it is hard to find vegan-friendly signs in Ireland. That said, there are also plenty of great vegan places that are just waiting to be discovered.



Vegan Groceries and Staples in Ireland


Local health food shops, groceries, and staples are some of the biggest reason that contributes significantly to making Ireland a vegan-friendly country as they are doing pretty well because of the supermarket chain giants, such as Tesco. You can easily find plant-based kinds of milk in almost all major supermarkets. While in Tesco, you can get cheese, sausages, vegan yogurts, and other frozen items.

Moreover, in health food shops, you will see an abundance of vegan products, including vegan food items, vegan snacks, and vegan shampoos.



Vegan-Friendly Accommodations in Ireland

Since Ireland is a vegan-friendly country, many hotels and B&Bs are happy to cater to your needs. However, having breakfast at a specific location requires you to call ahead and make a request for a vegan breakfast. It is because traditional Irish breakfast includes eggs, meat, and dairy.


Vegan-Friendly Cafes and Restaurants in Ireland

Ireland’s urban areas pave the way for the rest of the country. For instance, Dublin, the country’s capital, is among the most vegan-friendly cities with a fantastic vegan community, restaurants, eateries, cafes, and health-food stores.

Below, I will list down the restaurants, cafes, and takeaways in Ireland that offer 100% authentic vegan foods.

1.    Brother Hubbard

One of the best places in Ireland that offer 100% authentic, delicious vegan food is Brother Hubbard. Since its opening in 2012, the restaurant is serving its vegetarian and vegan customers. Their branches located at Harrington street and Capel street offer middle-east-inspired menus that are pretty popular. When traveling in Dublin, make sure to taste their homemade cornbread with grilled greens or meze feast.


2.    Kale and Coco

Kale and Coco is another great place that makes Ireland a vegan-friendly country. This restaurant is owned by two friends Rebecca and Jenny, inspired by their international travels and emerging health trends. In addition, the restaurant emphasizes engaging Irish people in a unique conversation about food while also cultivating a conscious eating culture in the community. Also, restaurant meals are pretty delicious and offer both home and abroad flavors. Its menu features savory nourish bowls, smoothie nutrient-rich bowls, and superfood lattes.


3.    Iyer’s

Iyer’s is another excellent place that contributes deliciously to making Ireland a vegan-friendly country. The little café located in Shandon, Cork, offers pure vegan menus. In addition to offering south Indian recipes, its vegan food is fiendishly tasty. The owner Gautham Iyer is an expert in mixing Irish ingredients through south Indian dishes. One of the famous dishes of Iyer’s café is wild white garlic flowers that topped the bhelpuri of herbs, tamarind, and puffed rice.


4.    Paradiso

Because of the presence of beautiful places like Paradiso, Ireland is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world. They are located in Mardyke, Cork, Paradiso, a great place to eat delicious dishes. The restaurant owner, Denis Cotter, got international recognition because he collaborated with the organic grower’s Lucy Stewart and Ultan Walsh of Gort na Nain farm.

In simple words, the restaurant’s farm partnership wasn’t down to any bandwagon-jumping. Some years later, both restaurants and farms are flourishing together.


5.    Sweet Beat Café

Located at Bridge Street, Sligo is another gem that is waiting to be discovered. When traveling in Sligo, Sweet Beat’s house beans were a godsend when everything else in the surrounding seemed closed. Moreover, the café’s rosehips and hibiscus kombucha are incredibly tasty with fizz and flavor. It is always so good to see how busy the café is.


6.    Cornucopia Wholefoods Restaurant

Cornucopia is yet another excellent place for those who want authentic vegan foods. The restaurant focuses on serving healthy, vegan, and vegetarian, and great-tasting food in a relaxed and friendly environment. You can have a tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner when traveling in Dublin. Moreover, the restaurant also offers a glass of organic vegan wine, artisan coffee, or fresh juice with your meal.

It specializes in vegan and gluten-free cuisine and has a dynamic team of chefs that develop the menu. Furthermore, the menu changes daily, offering a wide range of delicious and healthy options to choose from.


7.    Beetroot Healthy Food

If you have food allergies or suffering from food intolerances but still looking for cakes, you should pay a visit to Beetroot Healthy Food bakery. Based in Maynooth Co Kildare, they specialize in friendly and allergy-free baking. Moreover, you can also place an order if you live in Co. Dublin or Co. Kildare.

Their cakes are home-baked, so they are allergy-friendly. Moreover, you can also personalize your order, which means you can customize ingredients that you like. They also serve cakes that are purely made from vegetables, such as carrot cake, beetroot cake, etc. The bakery plays its part to make Ireland a vegan-friendly country.


8.    The Lighthouse Café

The lighthouse café is located in Galway city. They are basically two small vegetarian cafes owned by Mark and Kerry Legh. The café specializes in serving vegan menus, using ingredients from influences and local farms worldwide. When traveling in Galway and looking for plant-based global food, you should try this one out.


9.    Take a Veg

The restaurant is there since 2016 and is owned by a Venezuelan couple. The couple said they could not find 100% vegan food in the city, so they founded it to serve authentic vegan dishes. However, unlike a big restaurant, Take a Veg offer a limited menu with a Latin flair.

Some popular items that Take a Veg offers include garlic parsley chips, buffalo sandwich, filet no fish, and Pepito sub.

Update: Their website doesn’t show on our recent searches.


10. Soya Vegan Butcher

Another restaurant that serves vegan-friendly menus in Ireland is Soya Vegan Butcher. It is located in Dublin’s neighborhood (Portobello). The restaurant is a classy and entirely unpretentious purveyor in Dublin. Their creatively crafted and plated foods contain high-quality plant-based ingredients that provide all the essential nutrients.

You can have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch at this place at any time of the day. The Brunch menu includes apple and cinnamon pancakes and a plant-based Irish breakfast. The restaurant is a great addition that contributes to making Ireland a vegan-friendly country.


Is Ireland Vegan Friendly?

The short answer would be yes. However, unlike other vegan countries, Ireland still has a very long way to go. But because of food allergies and sensitivities, health issues, and the merging trend of vegetarianism, things are changing quite rapidly.


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Dublin, Ireland. The ha'penny bridge in Dublin, Ireland, at night stock photography
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