Eating a (healthy) vegan diet in Cork (Ireland) is actually much easier than I ever thought! I today’s post I want to share my favorite vegan finds from both coffee shops, restaurants, and markets.
Cork has to offer A LOT when it comes to vegan options! You will be able to find loads of restaurants that have vegan meals on the menu and most coffee shops have soy milk ready for your latte. However, one thing is to find something vegan, another thing is to find something healthy and vegan! Vegan fast food is easy to find almost everywhere nowadays. I mean, french fries are always an option, right!? But when you are looking for something that is nutritious and maybe even organic then things become much more difficult. I believe however, that I found the best places for healthy vegan food in Cork (Ireland)!
Coffee and sweets
Let’s begin with coffee and sweets. Sure, you will find Starbucks and chains such as Costa Coffee in Cork too. And yes, they have do have soy milk waiting for you. However, maybe you want to try something more local, something more individual. You get the idea.
Okay, so this place has the best coffee and the best bliss balls and this place is actually going to close down in just a few weeks because of rent increase. So probably it is not very useful to share here it. BUT in case you travel to Ireland this Summer; make sure to go to Gulpd Cafe!
They have vegan food options but mainly do they have really good coffee and the best ever bliss balls! Try them! I never managed to make bliss balls as tasty as the ones from Gulpd Cafe 😀
So whereas Gulpd is serving the best coffee and the best bliss balls, Myo is the coziest and nicest place to spend a few hours. I went there when I had to work during my vacation and it felt like at home immediatly. They have good coffee too but their collection of high quality tea is even better. You can choose between almond and soy milk for your (roibos) tea and between a whole variety of vegan cakes, flapjacks, bliss balls, etc. I had a peanut butter bliss ball (it ws HUGE. Like a real meal. So good!) and a raspberry flapjack which was like the sweetest treat I had in a long time.
They also serve a variety of soups and sandwiches for lunch which unfortunatly I did not get the chance to try. Next time 🙂
The owner is absolutely super nice and if I would live in Cork, I would for sure be a regular customer at the Myo Cafe. They have WiFi and in case you are going to work or blog or whatever during your trip to Cork, I recommend spending a few hours at the Myo and doing it there.
Lunch and Dinner
It really is much easier than I thought to find a good lunch or dinner in Cork City. You can choose between various options. Our to-go place definetly was the Quay Co-op which is an organic shop with a veggie restaurant on the second floor. They have a small variety of dishes, a ton of different salads, and everything for reasonable prices. We went there three times in one week! So yes, it was good.
However, if you prefer something like a small snack for lunch I recommend visiting the English market and getting some bread at the alternative bread company together with some olives and other anti pasti, veggies, and fruits.
Also make sure to visit the Cornmarket street farmer’s market on Saturday’s! They have amazing food from the region, including homemade cakes, raw sweets, tons of vegan options…
If you like Japanese food you do not want to go anywhere else after having visited the Miyazaki!
I had a few really good Japanese soups and salad in my life so far… but the Miyazaki topped them all! I had the probably best food of my life in this place. No matter if vegan or not, you have to visit this place. So when you want something vegan there is not too much to choose from in the first place. The rice balls and the soba salad is vegan and both are amazing. Unfortunatly, a hot ramen soup or vegan sushi is not on the menu. HOWEVER, when you tell sweet Emily at the bar (who is the calmest, friendliest, and most down to earth waitress I have ever met by the way! You will love her!) that you prefer vegan food she may recommend you to back tomorrow so that the chef can prepare something special for you!
This is what happend to us so we pre-ordered two soups and a vegan sushi for the next day. The sushi was for our little one and it was made with lotus, fermented plums, and fresh herbs, and it was SO good. But everything was. The soba salad, the edamame, the ramen soup with soba noodles, the rice balls with different flavors. We were amazed! Amazed by the beyond great service, the quality of the food, and not to forget the atmosphere in the restaurant.
Actually, the Miyazaki is a takeaway place with only six or seven seats available and it is crowded most of the time, however, everyone working there seems to be hyper relaxed, with a smile on their faces at all times (the kitchen is open so you can see the magic happening and observe the cooks preparing your food with an almost meditation like calmness). And if you want to have a seat, Emily will make sure you will get one. Just relax, take a glass of water and enjoy! You will! I promise 🙂
The Quay Co-op is the go to place for everyone. You have a small variety of different menus and a whole bunch of different salads to choose from – either as a starter or for your salad plate. Almost all dishes are vegan with just a few vegetarian options.
In the wholefood store below the restaurant you can not only buy all kind of organic produce but also take away food made in their very own restaurant. We tried their nut roast and different soups which we brought together with some bread or some cold baked potatoes when we went out for day trips.
The Quay Co-op is absolutely family friendly, easy going, and cozy, and I cannot come up with any reason for why you should not go there during your stay in Cork 😉
This market hall is most definetly an experience that you do not want to miss. It’s crowded, it’s full of scents and flavors, and you find everything you could possily wish for.
Make sure to visit the alternative bread company for some fresh, delicious bread. The omega 3 bread was my favorite but they are all good. Plus they have some pretty tote bags too 😉
Otherwise, just enjoy strolling through the market hall, enjoy the atmosphere and get inspired by the variety of foods.
Vegan in Kinsale
I think like everyone who is visiting Cork, is also visiting Kinsale so I want to write a few words about eating vegan in Kinsale. Kinsale is an hour by bus from Cork, located by the sea and absolutely super cute and beautiful. When it comes to food the town is mainly known for good sea fish and anything sea-related. So not thaaaat vegan friendly. However, there is one place where people will understand you when you ask for “plant based milk” and do not look at you with a “what are you even talking about” kind of look. You get the idea 😉
The Lemon Leaf Cafe is your vegan refuge in Kinsale! Not that the place is entirely vegan; you will find sauage rolls and omlets and even protein balls made with Whey (which is like the most unhealthy thing one can eat by the way. Whey is basically 100% casein, a protein that is highly linked to cancer, like basically nothing else out there).
BUT they do have two different kinds of plant based milk for your latte, they have vegan bliss balls, and they even have a vegan breakfast that is served all day! So yes, here you can stay for a while. The place is really cozy and the service very nice and kids-friendly. They have sofas, a small winter garden, and even a few toys for toddlers.
In case you visit Kinsale, you definetly have to check it out.
Otherwise, how did we do eating healthy and vegan during our trip?
We made breakfast in our airbbnb every morning; we bought some plant based milk, some muesli and fruit and had a nice muesli breakfast. On a few days we also made lunch at home. We kept it simple and just made some potatoes, broccoli and baked beans. In the Quay Co-op you will be able to find baked beans with no added sugar. I often made pasta with pesto in the evening to take with us on a day trip. Its easy to carry in a box, tastes great cold, and our little one loves it too. We also made sandwiches sometimes, or we brought cold poatoes and a ready made stew from the Quay Co-op. We always went out for dinner because usually we came back home late and hungry from our day trips and did not want to spend time on cooking.
You can find basics such as pasta, vegan pasta sauce, whole wheat bread, muesli or oats, peanut butter, humus, fruits, and veggies in every super market. Plant based milk can be found in the Quay Co-op, they also have vegan pesto, sugar free baked beans and a variety of ready made vegan stews and soups.
Have you ever been to Cork or Ireland? What where your vegan experiences? I would love to know!