Food in Ireland: vegetarians unite!
I didn’t feel morally sound writing about the food in Ireland without recommending my new favourite vegetarian (with many vegan options!) spot: Cornucopia. Cornucopia is a small, health-conscious café located in Dublin’s city centre. Their dishes include Indian-inspired casseroles, creative salads, and homemade, dairy-free scones and muffins. What I personally look for in a vegetarian restaurant is that the focus be on the VEGETABLES and not on imitation meat/cheese/sauces. I would much rather indulge in a platter of food that I could find in a local garden than a platter of food full of ingredients impossible to pronounce. Cornucopia gets an A+ in my book. With the rotating menu, homemade recipes, and full lists of ingredients — you always are fully aware of the fuel that you are putting into your body. It is definitely a “must eat at” restaurant for Dublin excursions. Govindas is also good, and they have a restaurant on both the south and north side of the city.
As far as the other food options go in Dublin, there is a huge variety (and coming from living in Brooklyn, that’s really saying something). If you find yourself getting tired of the traditional stews or fish and chips, there’s always more to choose from when you leave the touristy spots. I’ve had exceptional Indian food at a number of places, and would highly recommend the small “mom and pop” cafés that pop up on the side streets; most of these use meat from local butchers and fresh vegetables in their sandwiches and salads without being too pricey on your student budget. But in saying that, if you’re willing to indulge for a meal or two, I would highly recommend the fish and chips spots on the streets on Temple Bar for a treat!
Dublin is known for having amazing baked goods as well. A great spot for dessert and small sandwiches is the Queen of Tarts located near Trinity College Dublin. There are two cafés, but the bigger one is tucked away on Cow’s Lane across from the entrance to Dublin Castle, and it has an array of comfortable benches and tables to rest your bones and enjoy scones and coffees. Before I came to Dublin, I was told that the food would not be comparable to New York City, but I was misinformed and pleasantly surprised. The vegetarian options are harder to find in the city, but as long as you stick to spots like Cornucopia and sampling the delicious soups and pastries at other cafés, you should not have any problems!