by Ailsa Tyrrell.
With the return of college and more than 16,000 hungry students flooding into Dublin, we have compiled a phenomenal list of lunch spots sure to satisfy your appetite. Not only do they all serve delicious plant-based dishes but they are only a stone’s throw from campus, making our picks ideal to grab a quick bite between lectures. We won’t bore you with a list of the tried-and-true classics, instead, we’d like to introduce you to some new spots worthy of a try. If you’ve just begun to dabble in plant-based food, these dishes are so delicious you’ll be converted.
Our first recommendation goes to one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Dublin, Govinda’s. This fantastic Indian restaurant is open every day from 12 to 7, so is the ideal spot to grab lunch. Located on Abbey Street, it’s a seven-minute walk from Trinity’s main campus. At €9.95, these delicious lunch boxes are filled to the brim with your choice of dhal’s, curry, and vegetable dishes and make this place unmissable. And if you’re still hungry grab one of their samosas too. We like to grab a box and maybe a samosa and head back to college, to find a bench to enjoy our Indian feast and more than likely fight off some seagulls.
You may have heard of this little spot on the end of Dawson street but were you aware that every single wrap, ciabatta and salad bowl on their menu can be made plant-based? That’s right, every single sandwich can be substituted for vegan ingredients including, tofu and hashbrowns. They also boast an all-day vegan and vegetarian breakfast to cure your inevitable fresher’s hangovers. Prices range from €10 for sandwiches to €15 for a full breakfast, making this haven extremely popular, and with delicious food, we can understand why. This family-owned, independent café is also known for excellent coffee to fuel you through your morning lectures and afternoon energy crashes. We suggest grabbing their Breakfast Buzz or Beanhive Summer sandwiches on ciabatta, and heading across to Stephen’s Green to enjoy them.
- It’s a Trap
Aungier Street’s very own vegan café opened its doors in late May of 2022 offering up delicious plant-based baked goods and lunches. Their menu varies slightly from week to week but some of their regular items include Korean BBQ wraps and triple-decker spicy sundried tomato sandwiches. And if you’re in the mood for something sweet their cinnamon rolls are so good you’ll be questioning whether they’re vegan. With prices ranging from €10-€12, and only a nine-minute walk from College, this plant-based paradise is sure to have you running back for more.
- Blazing Salads
A short walk up to Drury Street will bring you to the happy haven that is Blazing Salads. Their deli offers a selection of wholefood vegetarian and vegan salads, pizza slices and quiches. They also serve a variety of pre-packaged meals including delicious curries and shepherd’s pie. Not only do they serve delightful, hot, and cold deli food, but partnering with their sister restaurant Flip, they offer a range of vegan burgers, chips, and shakes. Their Flipper burger with a black bean and quinoa patty, and a side of hand-cut chips comes in just under €15. All of the food available at Blazing salads is insanely fresh and flavourful, leaving you completely satisfied but not full to the point of exhaustion, as many burger lunches can. We recommend getting a slice or two of their pizzas, with a side of salad or fries. You can either enjoy the sunshine on their terrace just outside or have your food to go.
This Japanese restaurant has locations on both the east and west sides of college, on Capel Street and Hogan Place, meaning you’ll never be more than a ten-minute walk from one of their incredible bento boxes. They have a vegan section of their menu with sushis such as tofu nigiri and avocado rolls starting at €3.99 and larger dishes like udon ramen and tofu teriyaki costing up to €14.90. All of their options are extremely tempting but it is their vegan bento box that steals the show. For €14.95 you have a choice between tofu teriyaki or tofu katsu curry, yasai gyoza or edamame, which comes with two pieces of sushi, rice, and miso soup. The crispy, flavourful tofu you are served is almost an entire block and sits on top of a rich, savoury sauce. This recommendation is slightly pricier than our other options, but so delicious and so filling, that you need to try it at least once. Be warned that despite being a chain their menus and prices vary slightly from restaurant to restaurant, but their vegan options are plentiful regardless.
We’ve come a long way in terms of dietary inclusivity, with a fifth of our restaurants said to be vegan-friendly, these are just a few of the great, tasty, selections that can be found around Trinity College. That being said some honourable mentions could not go amiss. Briefly, these include the Tofu Satay Bowl from Sprout, the Palestinian Falafel from Umi Falafel, and last but by absolutely no means least, the plant-based Chicken Fillet Roll from Spar. All of these spots are within a 10-minute walk from college and will be sure to satisfy and maybe even surprise you. So treat yourself, and see the host of incredible plant-based food Dublin has to offer.