You don't make friends with salad, but luckily that's not all that's on offer for veggies in this city.
The veggie offerings in Dublin City have thankfully come a long way from where they used to be a couple of years ago. Long gone are plates led by a Portobello mushroom baked to a sludge, rudimentary pasta that should never have been served in a professional kitchen and sometimes just plain ratatouille.
Restaurants worth their salt, generally have a handful of veggie offerings, and more often than not they are even good enough to tempt the carnivores.
If you've been tasked with finding somewhere to bring your veggie friend to dine, here are some of the 15 best spots in Dublin city where you'll win brownie points for bringing them for a good feed.
16. Lucky Tortoise
Temple Bar, more here
Lucky Tortoise is a haven for picky bits, with equal amounts of food that are veggie or vegan friendly as are meat accompanied.
Both times that I have dined at Lucky Tortoise I've gone for the veggie / vegan all-in menu, and that's saying a lot as someone who isn't vegetarian. The people I dined with were both fully veggie, and were not a bit disappointed by the gorgeous selection of food.
15. Aperitivo Cicchetti
Nassau Street, check out the menu here
From personal experience I can vouch that Apertivo Cicchetti went down a treat with my veggie friend. Most sections of their menu features a couple of options for vegetarians (with the exception of the Carne section for obvious reasons) and more than half of their pasta plates are without meat or fish entirely.
As a non pork eater, myself and my veggie friend were able to split everything that we ordered, and the addition of so many options was a welcome surprise. The top recommendations would be the burrata (a must order whenever it features on a menu), the cacio el pepe (obviously), and the Risotto al Parmagiano.
If your veggie friend is concerned about whether wine is vegan or not, the drinks menu at Aperitivo Cicchetti specifies whether it is or isn't without needing to ask the server or look it up yourself.
Camden Street, more info here
Indian restaurants are often praised for their inclusion of veggie friendly dishes, and Pickle is no different. They have a whole Shakahari (or vegetarian) section of their menu, with six dishes to choose from of varying flavours, with the likes of chickpeas, lentils, aubergines, and cottage cheese replacing the meat so to speak.
Pickle's reputation precedes it and hardly needs any introduction, so if you've been dying to try it for a while, and want to bring your vegetarian friend, you can do so.
13. Urban Health
Ranelagh, more info here
If you're taking your veggie friend out for a casual breakfast or lunch, Urban Health in Ranelagh specialises in non-meat plates.
While you can order the likes of a chicken salad or smoked salmon, for the most part this restaurant focuses on dishes like avocado on toast, acai bowls, tofu scramble, and their famous sweet potato waffles and eggs.
South William Street, more info here
A hellova lot more than just a central BYOB restaurant, Dada has an expansive menu of Moroccan classics with great options for pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Centrally situated on South William Street, Dada is also a beauty inside, stepping through the Moorish arched doors you feel like you are walking straight into a Marrakesh restaurant - except you can bring your own wine for corkage here.
11. Blazing Salads / Flip Burger
While Blazing Salads have recently left their spot on Drury Street, they have moved in with their sister restaurant Flip Burger, making this a vegan haven full of, you guessed it, salads, but also soups, quiches, imaginative burgers and plenty of drink options to choose from.
Established in 2000 this is the spot to go to if you’re in the market for wholesome, plant-based, and organic food in the city centre. They use locally sourced, organic ingredients and offer an extensive range of gluten-free bakes too - we love. You can also get some vegan soft serve for dessert too.
9. 3 Leaves
Blackrock's Main Street, more info here
Home to potentially some of the best South Indian food in the city, with a menu varies that varies from weekend to weekday with a nice rotation of dishes. Located inside the Blackrock market, the spot hasn't pivoted to Western diets instead staying staunchly authentic.
You'll find great service in 3 Leaves with staff that are attuned and knowledgeable about dietary requirements and allergies.
8. Pho Kim
Stoneybatter's The Glimmer Man, more info here
Some of the finest viet-nom-ese food in Dublin can be found tucked down the back of The Glimmer Man a couple of evenings of the week. They have a menu that changes with the seasons and supply, which remains short and sweet. This place sells out almost every night, so aim to get your ass down early to avoid disapointment.
Wicklow Street, more info here
The word 'institution' gets thrown about quite a bit these days, but few places in Dublin are more deserving of the title than Cornucopia the plant-based restaurant that has been operating at that site since 1986.
In that time they became a pioneer of conscious food consumption in the city with their cookbook Cornucopia at Home one of the first of its kind on the shelves of many Irish households. An incredible spot for a hearty plate of plant-based goodness.
Grand Canal Dock and Smithfield Square, more info here
The team at Nutbutter don't take themselves or their food too seriously, serving up colourful, light and relaxed dishes with a smile. The menu has umpteen veggie/vegan options most of which are extremely healthy - which as some vegetarians can attest can be challenging to find when dining out.
Drumcondra Road Lower, more info here
Check anyone's “want to try” list in the notes app and you will probably find Shouk itemised there. While the Middle Eastern restaurant does serve meat, its veggie/vegan salads and mezze platters are where it truly excels.
This is a destination spot for anyone who is into their grub, vegetarian or not.
3. Saucy Cow
Temple Bar's Crane Lane, more info here
Vegan food like you haven't tried it before, whether you are a vegan or not you are bound to fall for the saucy cow. A godsend for those craving "dirty junk food" and missing that Vegan Sandwich Co-shaped hole in their hearts. Service is always spot on and the atmosphere sweet, chill vibe.
The Hot Papi burger is nothing short of legendary at this stage.
Coke Lane, more info here
A great spot to keep both carnivores and vegetarians happy, Urbanity has some incredible dishes to cater for both diets. Serving up nourishing dishes from a small but exacting menu, the team are very open to replacing meat with veggie alternatives if you fancy a 'forbidden' menu item.
Inside it's got a super clean industrial vibe, with plenty of seating but at the weekend you are best to go outside of typical brunch hours to avoid disappointment. They've a great cake selection that will linger in your mind for a long time.
Chatham Street, more info here
An absolute godsend to Dublin-based vegans and vegetarians since it hit Chatham Street on October 2019, Glas is an impressive high-end restaurant that creates truly exceptional plant-based dishes (as opposed to meat alternatives).
Antithetic to the boring veggie dishes of yore, meals at Glas are carefully plated, and packed with flavour and texture. The perfect spot to splash out on a special occasion whether you are a veggie or not.
Do you know of any other good restaurants to bring vegetarians? Let us know on [email protected]