Plants grow in the new vegan restaurants of Dublin 7

There has been a noticeable growth in the popularity of the vegan diet worldwide in recent years. Ireland has been a bit slow to catch on, but new spots around Stoneybatter and Smithfield suggest we’re getting there. 


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Why would anyone become vegan – avoiding not only meat but animal products such as milk, eggs and even honey?

Research has suggested that a vegan diet can improve heart health as well as reduce the risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes. The right vegan diet can also be good for the environment, helping to slow climate change and secure our global food supply. 

Now that we are finally seeing restaurants fully re-open after the pandemic, diners can support local businesses and sit in for a meal – or even just grab a quick snack – at one of the vegan restaurants that Dublin 7 has to offer. 

The area is a hotspot for plant-based eateries. So, whether you are going completely cold-turkey – or should I say, cold-all-animal-products – or just willing to try something new, there are plenty of options in the neighbourhood. 

Vegan Sandwich Co. 

Located on Queen Street near in Smithfield, Sam Pearson opened this independent business in 2020, after initially starting out in a market stall selling vegan sandwiches. 

“Our production kitchen is based between Smithfield and Stoneybatter,” says Sian Conway, who manages social media for the sandwich shop. “After operating out of there during the pandemic, we applied for our current home on Queen Street and it worked out very well for us!”

This vegan restaurant serves a wide range of items. Not only do they serve sandwiches as the name suggests, but also burgers, sweet treats like pastries and even kebabs. 

“The Chick*n Fillet Roll is the first menu item we ever had, and it continues to be the most popular thing we sell. It’s great for people’s first time to our shop too because it’s completely customisable so it’s unique to each person who orders it,” says Conway.

So is veganism on the rise? “It’s definitely sky-rocketing in popularity in Ireland,” Conway replies. “I first went vegan in 2015 and could barely find almond milk in shops. Now almost all restaurants have a vegan option, if not multiple. Coffee shops offer oat milk as standard and grocery shops have sprawling vegan food sections.

“The abundance of vegan restaurants and cafes in the city and across the country is at an all-time high. It’s great to see,” she added. 

The company plan on opening a second restaurant in Stephen’s Green in the coming months. 


Brunswick Street near Stoneybatter and Grangegorman is the home of this ‘burger’ joint/cafe

Owner Sarah Boland explained how they came to open in Stoneybatter almost two years ago.  

“It was kind of accidental – we were initially looking for space for a pop-up shop to test the product and see how it went in the market,” she says.  

Boland then went on to become a food vendor in the area outside a local pub and it proved a success. 

“When we started looking for a unit for the restaurant, one came up in Stoneybatter. We just thought it was a great place to start because we knew that we had already built up a customer base there,” she says. 

They opened delivery services in May of 2020 and finally opened the doors to customers in late July of that year. 

“We started off with burgers so that’s our main thing. Our most popular item is the Mac D Lad. It’s like a vegan Big Mac,” said Boland.  

In addition to burgers, the restaurant also serves hot dogs, fries, cookies, coffee and recently added a selection of milkshakes to their menu too. 

“Now that we’re finally seeing a glimpse of normality again, sales are steadily going up,” she adds. 

Keep your eyes peeled as V- Face is planning to open a second restaurant on the Southside in the coming months. 

‘I first went vegan in 2015 and could barely find almond milk in shops. now almost all restaurants have a vegan option, if not multiple. Coffee shops offer oat milk as standard and grocery shops have sprawling vegan food sections’

Kale and Coco  

This café can be found in Grangegorman Lower near Stoneybatter, just up the road from V-Face. 

Rebecca Feely thought about opening a vegan restaurant after coming home from a backpacking trip around the world.  

“I opened with a friend of mine who no longer works in the business. We came back after travelling to a different Dublin, the healthy food kind of scene was taking off. We saw it as an opportunity to make our mark on the space,” she says. 

“We were sitting eating our smoothie bowls one morning as we did a lot when we were travelling and thought – there is nowhere in Dublin that does these,” she adds.

They started with a pop-up business and finally opened Kale and Coco in February 2019. 

“We started off doing smoothie bowls and they’re still very much what we’re known for,” says Feely. 

The restaurant also offers a range of other items like nourish bowls, overnight oats, smoothies and of course coffee, to name a few. They also have a grab and go section snacks and drinks. 

“Everything is vegan, and all our food is 100% gluten-free as well,” she added. 

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For those of us that are a bit hesitant to try out vegan food, Feely offers some advice.  

“One of the things people tend to have a bad connotation with veganism is ‘oh, it’s so extreme. I could never do that!’. At the end of the day, the whole premise is about reducing your animal intake and causing as little harm as possible. Any little shift towards reducing your animal consumption is still helping even if it is one day a week or even one meal a week, you’re still helping and doing something for the environment,” she says. 

It is clear to see that plant-based food has come a long way from what so many of us had previously engrained in our minds. It’s not in fact a boring diet of lettuce and lentils as stereotypically portrayed but can be quite the opposite as shown by these exciting eateries in the area. 

So, why not hop on the bandwagon and give a vegan meal a go while supporting small locally owned businesses? You might just enjoy it. 

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