As a vegetarian (or 'pescatarian', if you want to get technical) going on four years, I'm always on the search for nice spots in cities with delish meat-free options. I hate anything bland, though, so it takes an especially tasty dish to satisfy my tastebuds.
I want loads of flavour, texture, and a bit of spice.
You too? Well, add these dishes to your bucket list this summer, and you're in for a meatless treat, my friend.
1. Ginger Rice Tofu Salad @ Cornucopia
This is my go-to spot for an always delicious, filling lunch or dinner. It's exclusively vegetarian, and the menu is extensive, wholesome and fresh.
They do takeaways, or you can sit upstairs for some finer dining and nice views of passers-by on Wicklow Street.
They even sell wine for €5.75 a glass – which we all know pairs so nicely with any dish.
I recommend mixing in the ginger rice salad in particular – marinated tofu, grated carrot, amare, ginger and spring onions dressed in tamari and mirin.
After seeing this in real life, you'll believe in love at first sight.
2. Volumptuous Vegan @ The Big Blue Bus
Pizza is so my thing, but I hate going with the dull cheese or margarita option. This meatless pie at The Big Blue Bus excites those taste buds with an array of fresh vegetables and pesto – ohhhhh, the pesto.
The beauty of pizza should never be sacrificed due to lack of meat. Dig into this freshly made, beautiful plate of veggie goodness on your next visit to the Shaw.
3. Anything @ Blazing Salads
This place is an absolute vegetarian haven. Load up a takeaway box with anything in the salad buffet, or pick up one of the tastiest veggie burgers in town – mushroom & bulgar with fresh coriander pesto; spiced red lentil burger with fresh coriander pesto; millet & vegetable with fresh coriander pesto – all burgers are €2.95, and all delicious.
Honest to God, mix anything and everything in this place – you can't go wrong.
4. Aubergine Veggie Burger @ Box Burger
A bit of a trek, as Box Burger is in Bray, but I had to mention this meal, as it's genuinely the best veggie burger I've ever had.
The halloumi cheese melting over a aubergine and parmesan patty, combined with their homemade pickles and onion, is absolute perfection.
5. Moroccan Salad @ Waterloo Bar
I could legitimately eat this 'salad' at the Waterloo Bar on Baggott Street every day for the rest of my my life.
It's chickpeas and sweet potato, red pepper, smothered in goat cheese, with a light baby gem and sesame dressing, served warm.
If you eat fish, like me, add a smoked salmon on top to make this an absolutely perfect hearty meal.
6. Fumbally Eggs @ The Fumbally
I am a brunch fanatic, I must admit. And there are waaaay too many incredible spots to get your toast and eggs fix in Dublin – but you haven't lived if you haven't tried this meal at the Fumbally.
It's a simple scramble with olive oil, gubbeen cheese, garlic and tomatoes on toasted brioche.
Paired with a cup of their 3fe coffee, this is your destination for a bang-up brekkie feed.
7. Bean Burger & Salads @ Avoca
Another place with basically unlimited options of vegetarian salads, meatless burgers, and healthy sides to load up your plate for a wholesome meal.
Honestly, if Avoca doesn't have what you're craving (as a meat-eater, or not), then you may need to check yo'self. It's a beautifully diverse menu, full of beautifully tasting veg dishes.
I need this now. All of it.
8. Giant Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad @ Umi Falafel
This place is THE DREAM. Umi does falafel so well, and the hummus, pita and everything in between is just as impressive.
Their array of salads range from €5-7.5, so there's no need to break the piggy bank either.
I can get behind this.
9. Stuffed Peppers @ The Farm
The Farm is a lovely spot for us vegetarians to enjoy with our meat-eating friends, as there are plenty of options on both ends of the spectrum.
The amount of overwhelming flavours in this stuffed peppers dish make it one of the nicest and most unique meals I've ever tasted.
What you get: organic peppers stuffed with broccoli & cauliflower couscous and organic Irish brie, served with basil & hazelnut pesto and a crisp side salad. There's also an option to make it vegan, if you're that hardcore.
Stuffed to the max.