As the nation jumps on the bandwagon of vegetarianism and veganism that’s taking the rest of Europe by storm, we’ve put together your guide to eating meat-free in the Food Capital of Ireland, our beautiful city of Galway. There’s plenty to choose from, whether it’s innovative alternatives to mains and pastries or addictive streetfood trends. Of course, be on the lookout for many mouth-watering vegetarian dishes which can be found in Latin, Asian or other ethnic joints around Galway.
Located on Abbeygate Street, this cute café is a much-needed stopover for the hungry vegetarian or vegan and a wholesome lunchtime delight for anyone. They serve everything from chickpea burgers to cashew cream tarts; enjoy soups, salads, cakes, Bliss Bites vegan desserts and coffee made with oat or soya milks. Most of their food is gluten free. With a bright, ambient interior at the heart of the city centre, there’s really no excuse not to sample some of the dishes on offer.
Try out a tasty range of morning tuck-ins and vegan hot soup or dahl of the day for lunch. You’ll find veggie mezze, with additions of halloumi cheese – a staple alternative for vegetarians and popular snack for all kinds of foodies. This café is right in the middle of Galway City Museum, so a great place to relax after discovering the heritage and sea faring history of our town. Either way, it’s highly recommended by veggies as the place to go for meat-free treats during the day.
From the Galway Market to Electric Picnic, The Gourmet Offensive is renowned for quality-tasting and reasonably-priced falafel, hotpots, pickles, chillies, sauces and plenty of lime and cumin grilled halloumi cheese. Their fixed premises on Mary Street is a favourite with students; close to NUIG and providing a 10% student discount for takeaways. They also boast some mean organic, home cut chips that are arguably the best in Galway.
This one’s for the suburbans in Knocknacarra, as it is situated on Shangort Road. Most of the menu is vegetarian and their small but select range is done well. It’s tasty and flavoursome. Expect imaginative salads, a vegan, gluten free toffee and apple loaf or their raw pistachio and chocolate cake. Delicious sandwiches, Burren balsamic vinegar, porridge with caramelised banana and peanut butter are available, washed down with some refreshing smoothies or warming coffee. Perfect for all your breakfast and luncheon needs.
Moreish and creamy, Galway goats’ cheese is always a winner. Like all their dishes, Delight Cafe’s warm goats’ cheese salad toasted on sourdough bread is all about good health and good food. If you want to go all out and vegan, opt for their nutritious raw power salad bursting with fruits, vegetables and a homemade vinaigrette. They’ve also got pittas, paninis, breakfast and bagels. Since they pride themselves on local ingredients, alfresco dining and excellent customer service, it’s true, they’ve really got it all.
Vegetarians like to reach for a burger too, particularly during nights on the town when everyone else is doing it or after one too many cocktails. This place has, quite possibly, the greatest veggie fun in a bun in Galway, but you can compare it with The Lighthouse, 56 Central, The Kitchen’s pate, the g Counter, Handsome Burger or Massimo. It consists of fried halloumi cheese, pickle, onion, french mustard and ketchup. The Burgatory is also the place to explore local craft beer and Buckfast milkshakes. That’s if you’re not following the next latest trend of going teetotal with creative non-alcoholic brews….