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Ireland’s best restaurants: Eight great places for vegetarian and vegan food

Part of the Irish Times guide to 100 of the best places to eat in Ireland 2022

3 Leaves

Blackrock Market, Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin;

To know 3 Leaves is to love 3 Leaves, and that includes its chef-owner, Santosh Thomas, and his genial wife, host-owner Milie Mathews. Everything about the small Indian restaurant in Blackrock Market is pure of purpose, and their thalis, samosa chaat and special biryani have redefined the idea of Indian food for many Irish people. A kitchen expansion in June is going to mean new dishes on the menu, in case you needed any more reasons to visit. Lisa Cope

Dooks Fine Foods

Kerry Street, Fethard, Co Tipperary; 052-6130828,

If life is too short to rustle up an Ottolenghi salad, head to Richard Gleeson’s smart daytime restaurant, where lunch will set you back no more than €18. Ballymaloe- and Ottolenghi-trained, he offer lunch options that include a trio of seasonal salads with beetroot hummus and freshly baked focaccia, bruschetta with all sorts of toppings, and his signature Crowes pork sausage rolls. Corinna Hardgrave

Iyer’s Cafe

38 Pope’s Quay, Cork; 087-6409079,

For many years Iyer’s was one of the few places to serve dosa, a thin pancake made from fermented batter of rice and lentil. But regardless of whether you order dosa, samosa, uthappam or a piece of pistachio-and-rosewater cake, Iyer’s lays down a benchmark for mindful and soul-warming eating. It is 100 per cent vegetarian and often vegan. Joanne Cronin

Izz Cafe

14 George’s Quay, Cork; 085-1495625,

The story of Eman Alkarajeh and her husband, Izz, is one that is often shared. From the Palestinian territory to direct provision and, finally, opening their own cafe, they bring Palestinian food to life. Many dishes are vegetarian by nature. Try manaeesh (flatbread), or fatayer, a cheesy egg mixture baked in pillowy dough and covered with traditional toppings such as minced beef, potatoes and olives. Follow with a sweet treat and their rich cinnamon-infused coffee. JC



14-15 Main Street, Tramore, Co Waterford; 085-2635555,

You might spot the queues outside Mezze before you spot the restaurant itself. Devoted locals and day-trippers congregate to get their hands on owner-chef Dvir Nusery’s Egyptian-style omelettes, French toast with challah bread and, of course, the full mezze platter with falafels, pitta, salads and sauces. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a lovely courtyard in the back with a stretch tent and heaters. LC


43 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2; 01-5557755,

The food at Pickle is so good that sometimes you forget the impact it made when the place opened. But bring someone here for the first time and your eyes will be opened all over again, as if you’re a tourist in your own country. The goat keema pao has gained cult status, but this also is a place for vegetarians and vegans. It is one of the few restaurants where, regardless of your dietary requirements, the food is spectacular. CH


40 Drumcondra Road Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9; 01-5322114,

Shouk owner Alon Salman says they want to bring vegetables to life, not kill them, and one thick spoonful of their chargrilled smoked aubergine with tahini, tomatoes, zhug, pomegranates and spring onions will illustrate how well they’re succeeding. The sincerity of their first-class food never falters, and while a lot of Middle Eastern food is naturally vegan, there’s plenty for meat eaters too. The atmospheric courtyard seats 80, and a Middle Eastern food shop and bakery are coming later this year. LC

Sweet Beat Cafe

Bridge Street, Sligo; 071-9138795,

Everything at Carolanne Rushe’s Sweet Beat Cafe is plant-based, but you might not realise it until after you’ve left. From apple-crumble doughnuts to their OG hummus toast, it’s all brightly coloured and beautiful to look at, and best enjoyed on the deck outside in some Sligo sunshine. LC

Follow a link below to read the other sections of this guide

Corinna Hardgrave’s introduction
Fourteen new places to eat great food
Thirteen top tables by the sea
Seven top outdoor dining spots
Eighteen top places to eat on a special occasion
Twenty places dishing up great local produce
Ten places with wonderful wine lists
Ten great places to eat — and stay over afterwards