Ireland is the land of a hundred thousand welcomes, and so when it comes to catering for lovers of plant-based eating the Céad Míle Fáilte is as strong as ever.
While great plant-based dining is widely available, also waiting to be discovered right around the country is a range of vegan and vegetarian-friendly experiences and places involving natural Irish food and beverages.
One of the best ways to experience Ireland’s natural produce is to go foraging. When you’ve sourced the vegetables, herbs and other ingredients all yourself, your food will taste and feel so much better.
Spend time foraging in woods, fields and hedgerows for wild safe food foods with the likes of Blackstairs Eco Trail in County Carlow, or Harty Culture in the Orchard County of Armagh. Wild Food Mary will also connect you to Irish places and heritage through exploration, observation and the use of wild plants in County Offaly and beyond.
Ireland’s Ancient East is rich in experiences that suit the vegan or vegetarian. If you want to learn how to grow your own vegetables to sustain your plant-based lifestyle, head to County Waterford, where the Grow HQ offers tours around its three-acre urban garden, finishing at its award-winning zero waste café which showcases sustainable Irish food.
If you are interested in seaweed products, seaweed snacks, cookery and the health benefits of seaweed in the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, check out The Sea Gardener also in County Waterford.
More natural and wholesome produce can be found at River Run, located on a family homestead in County Wicklow. This fermentary and wood-fired micro bakehouse specialises in sourdough breads, koji based ferments, seasonal vegetable ferments of all kinds, and plant-based cheeses. Fermentation and sourdough workshops are available on-site and also around Ireland.
For a vegan-friendly beverages, Ko Kombucha in County Offaly produce a range of organic fermented pick-me-ups, Highbank Orchard Ciders will take you on a journey ‘from pip to sip’ in their organic orchard in County Kilkenny, while Ballykilcavan Brewery has thirst quenching vegan beers.
Another great stop is the unique Wicklow Way Wines, where you can take part in a tour and appreciate the tastes and aromas of Ireland’s Ancient East, delicately captured in delicious, small-batch vegan-friendly wines made from Irish berries.
From the country to the city, and the hot and cold vegetarian deli at The Wellness Centre in Sligo will set you up with a selection of organic raw salads, homemade hummus, and kimchi made with the finest Irish ingredients.
And an experience of somewhere like Belfast as vegan or vegetarian means being able to grab anything from a vegan hot dog, chocolate fudge and some orange tea at the renowned St George’s Market, dipping into the vegan food scene in the likes of Pizza Punks or dining in style at Jumon, where the Asian fusion style and vegan cocktails create something of a plant food heaven.
Listen to the article;