Beyond “Chips”: Tips for Eating Vegetarian While Traveling in Ireland2 min read
Are you excited about your vacation to Ireland but less excited about the prospect of winding up in pubs where your only option is to say, “I’ll just have the chips?” While eating at least a few potatoes is probably a rite of passage, visiting Ireland as a vegetarian doesn’t need to limit your experience. Here are some things to consider so you enjoy your culinary experience just as much as the meat-eaters.
Go (vegan) ham in the cities
In cities like Dublin and Limerick, options are plentiful. You should have no problem choosing from a variety of vegetarian-friendly restaurants. In Dublin, which ranks 26th in a survey of best cities worldwide for vegetarian living, cafes and foodie-friendly restaurants range from offering multiple vegetarian options to serving a full vegan menu. Notable restaurants include Cornucopia, The Fumbally, and Rustic Stone. In Limerick, check out LANA (ask for the vegan menu) and The Grove Veggie Kitchen, among others.
Once you move into the countryside, it is less safe to wander into a random restaurant and assume they offer a plant-based option beyond salad or potatoes. Look up menus of local eateries ahead of time to see which meals appeal to you. You should be able to find one—you just have to do your research.
If you don’t eat fish, say so
The fishing industry looms large in Ireland. It can be a common misconception for people to think that “vegetarian” means that you still eat fish. To be safe, avoid identifying yourself to servers with terms like “vegetarian” or “plant-based.” Be more specific. Try saying “I don’t eat meat or fish” when asking for their suggestions.
Ask about the soups
Even if a menu only lists vegetable ingredients for a soup, you should not assume the broth or stock is meat-free. Before ordering, make a point to ask if any fish or meat was used in the soup’s base. Even if the server has to check and get back to you, it’s better than accidentally eating something you are trying to avoid.
Plan your country travel around veggie-friendly restaurants
While the cities naturally have more of a density of vegetarian restaurants, the Irish countryside is not without them. If you are deciding between towns or villages to spend the night when planning your route, there’s no reason not to make your journey a gastronomic tour. Seek out restaurants that offer vegetarian or vegan menus, like The Old Stone House Restaurant in Ballinlough. Or choose a hotel with vegetarian options on helpful sites like HappyCow. The better you eat, the better your vacation will feel.