VeganMoFo Day 17: A walking tour around Grafton Street..

This one will be rather long and picture heavy, but will hopefully be useful to anyone planning a visit to Dublin.

The Happy Cow website is fantastic, but doesn’t do the city justice at all (I know, I know, I need to get my butt in gear and contribute to it!). There are oodles of places to eat, drink and be very merry indeed, and while it’s not the veggie-topia that many American cities are it’s really possible to eat well. That said, it can be confusing for tourists, so I thought I’d do a bit of a walking tour. It’s also entirely possible to be ripped off to epic proportions here, as with most capital cities, so hopefully this will make your dosh go a little further.

This is the National Art Gallery, and is well worth a look.

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It’s a stone’s throw from Trinity College and the corner where all the tourist and local busses converge. It’s very much worth a look around – not just for the Caravaggio.

Down the street, back towards Trinity, you’ll find a few good places to grab a takeaway post-gallery coffee to sip as you stroll. Cup and The Brewbaker are two, and both have non-dairy milk.

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Nibbles may be on the short side though, so head further down the street to The Runner Bean for a sandwich, coffee, some kale chips or other goodies (it’s where I buy my avocados!).

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It’s a little treasure trove.ย  Right next to it is O’ Briens, a familiar Irish sandwich chain that I usually avoid like the plague – I find them to be overpriced and overrated.

If the weather doesn’t lend to al-fresco eating, which it often doesn’t, then you might want to escape in out of the elements for some lunch or drinks.ย  Continuing up the road you’ll find the fabulous K.C. Peaches, which is good for coffee/tea and cake (there’s always a vegan one – just ask!) or breakfast…or lunch or dinner.

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I heart this place. It’s an omni restaurant where you don’t get looked at like an alien if you ask what the vegan options are – and there are lots of them. Just take a plate and have a little of everything you fancy. All the serving dishes are labelled clearly and if in doubt, the staff are very knowledgeable.

A little further down the street is the Porterhouse, which is good on craft beers and therefore one of the best places for vegans to drink in the area.

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As we head to the corner and look to our right, we can see the side of Trinity on the right, largely obscured by trees, and Bank of Ireland at the end of the street with a queue of morning busses in front of it – this used to be the old Irish Parliament building.

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Turning (or possibly stumbling!) left onto Grafton street (with the highest land prices in Ireland), then we turn right down Wicklow Street.

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Here we pass Nourish, which is an itty bitty goldmine for vegans as they have a freezer full of Frys products (with a few Amy‘s vegan products as well). They’re also the only place in Dublin with a reliable stock of seitan in the fridge. Next door is the secret book and record store– one of the few remaining independant music shops in the city.

A couple of doors down is the veg*n mecca, Cornucopia.

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It started in just one building as a health shop with a takeaway counter and has bloomed. In the last few years it took over the building next door and also has seating upstairs now – despite this, it’s always jammed to the rafters. They even have a (very nice) cookbook out. I highly recommend their vegan breakfast (portabello mushrooms, roasted onions, homemade baked beans, homemade vegan sausages, toast and tea or coffee with a few non-dairy milks to choose from). If you’re there at lunch, you can’t go wrong with a bowl of their soup – it’s life-enhancing stuff. Their garlic and roasted hazelnut potato salad is something that I lust after, and they make a great vegan brownie.

If you’re still peckish, directly across the road is the best thing to happen to ice cream in Ireland, ever.

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Murphy‘s make amazing handmade frozen treats and always have two incredible vegan sorbets on hand. I’d recommend one, but they’re all fantastic and the flavours rotate during the year, depending on what fruit is in season.

Down the road again, Wicklow Street turns into Exchequer Street and we have itsa and Fallon and Byrne (our teeny version of Dean and Deluca) side-by-side. Itsa have a great vegetarian bagel that is vegan if you have it without the goats cheese (I ask for extra hummus instead). It’s truly delicious. Fallon and Byrne is very omni-targeted, but is great for store cupboard essentials and breads.

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If we take another left here, we pass Blazing Salads, which is very much closed at 8.30am.

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I thought it was just being painted, but the name has been gone from over the door for a while now, leaving nothing but an intriguing carrot to identify themselves. It’s spendy, but good, especially for people with food intolerances.

Georges market, likewise, is closed, so I’ll have to talk about that one again.

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Passing my beloved Asia Market we see two pubs that everyone ends up in at some point, but that really should be avoided; the first is the rather cute-named Hairy Lemon. The other is Break for the Border.

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Around the corner and across the street there’s a laneway which holds Pablo Piccante.

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There are a couple of branches in Dublin – this is the only one with tortas, but I haven’t tried them yet. Head to the burrito side for a Vittorio Verde, no cheese, and have your tastebuds thank me. Probably the best burrito in town.

Around the corner to the right and directly under one of the tackiest tourist shops in the world lives Wagamama, which has a few vegan options (mostly the yasai, or “healthy” options). I like their udon quite a lot.

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Passing the Gaiety Theatre on the left..

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..we’ll pop out at the other end of Grafton Street.

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A word to the wise – don’t get coffee from Butler’s. Blargh. Their dark chocolate with almonds is delish and accidently vegan though.

Right beside us is Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre (photo from across the road) which is a lovely building that reminds me ofย  the Botanic Gardens – it’s like a huge Victorian greenhouse. The shops always leave me a bit cold though, as they just don’t live up to the dramatic and beautiful structure.

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Across the road from the centre is the entrance to Stephen’s Green park – which is well worth a stroll around and tends to be mobbed at lunchtime in summer with locals enjoying the sunshine.

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No sunshine today though, so I’ll leave you here as the rain is pelting down and I need to get to work. Hope you enjoyed this round of the vegan survival guide: Dublin edition ๐Ÿ™‚

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