For our two two-day, two-night stints in Dublin (they were the bread around a four-day Edinburgh sandwich), S and I found places to stay via AirBnB. During our first stay in Dublin, we rented a room with a truly lovely older Irish couple. They were the epitome of hospitality, despite Hans’ slight mockery of “céad mile fáilte and all that bullshit.” Every morning we broke our fast at their table; they served up bread, jam, berries, and a host of un-vegan things as well, and they doled out site-seeing advice galore. With their house as a conveniently located home base, we explored the city in comfort.
Between their recommendations and my memories from studying in Dublin five years ago, we were pretty set with ideas of things to do. When it came to eating, we needed a little help. I downloaded the HappyCow app on my iPad and used it before we set out for the day to find vegan eateries that were nearby, and this approach worked wonderfully.
After arriving in Dublin and resting up, we needed sustenance. HappyCow told me that a vegetarian food bar (delightfully called Blazing Salads!) was but a ten or fifteen minute walk away, so we set out. We found Blazing Salads in the middle of a bustling shopping area, and we knew we’d struck gold when we entered the small shop and saw their signage:
The center of the shop features a salad bar with various varieties of salads and hot bar type items. There’s also a refrigerated section with juices and pre-made sandwiches, a pantry-like area with staples and freshly baked breads, and a counter at the front with other freshly made savory items. I chose from that section, ordering a vegetable and samosa spring roll to share and a brown rice ball stuffed with aduki bean and vegetables for myself. S chose a cold tofu, veggie, and sprout sandwich. While we waited for my selections to be heated, we nabbed a spot at the window bar (there’s no indoor seating) and I sipped on a bottled juice.
Strictly speaking, we didn’t need that to-go bag since we ended up eating in the shop. But the cashier gave it to us, and it was so cute that I just had to keep it! The colors complemented my juice nicely, too.
Soon, our hot foods were heated and ready for the munching.
That spring roll was filled to bursting with veggies, and my brown rice ball was a scrumptious, savory blend of beans and veggies. We had a couple of soy-based dips, and although I liked how they kept my rice from getting dry, their added salt made both the roll and the ball a bit too salty – umami overload! Even though I only ate the rice ball and half the roll, I was quite full when I finished. I wish I’d snagged a bite of S’s pita sandwich, though – it looked so yummy!
Actually, who am I kidding – if I’d had any room in my belly, I would’ve gone for one of Blazing Salads’ desserts – their front case had lots of creative treats, many of them raw. Alas, I did not have room in my belly.
During that first two-day stint in Dublin, we also ate at Diwali, an Indian and Nepalese establishment not far from Blazing Salads. With many vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, S and I had a hard time choosing what we wanted. I opted for the veggie Karahi curry, while S chose a veggie vindaloo that he described as “the hottest I’ve ever had, by far.” Neither of us could finish our meals, so they returned with us to Hans’ and Deirdre’s house. Alas, they were also forgotten there when we left Dublin.
Before we left, though, we grabbed snacks at a health food shop called Nourish. Actually, to be honest, I’m not 100% sure that was the place we stopped, but I think it was. We stocked up on flapjacks (oh how I love European flapjacks!), a delicious peppermint-filled chocolate bar that filled the spot that Junior Mints used to occupy in my heart, and various other vegan bars. I kept them stashed in my purse for times of hunger… as one does. ;)
The other place we dined was Cornucopia, but I’m saving my review till later. As you’ll hear, this joint quickly became our most-frequented eatery in Dublin. ;)
Other than eating, we also toured Trinity College, saw the Book of Kells, checked out the (overpriced) Guinness Storehouse (the Foreign Extra is vegan, so make sure to ask for that as your free pint!), and took a themed walking tour. We also spent a lot of time just wandering around and familiarizing ourselves with the city, something I always enjoy doing (as long as I have a map!). And we hung out at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with this guy:
Heh heh. Up next in my travel tales: Edinburgh!