Step away from the pre-made sandwich, put down that sad, calorie-lite salad bowl, and get ready to venture beyond your usual lunch destination, we’ve listened to our readers and analysed Google insights to bring you something it appears you often go in search of: a guide to healthy cafes in Dublin city.
Whether you’re following a vegan/paleo/*enter latest trend here* diet, need to shake up your lunch routine, or are just in town for a few days, this list of cafes and delis across Dublin city has something to satisfy to every craving, to nourish, and to cater to your caffeine fix while you’re at it – the jury’s in, they say coffee is healthy now.
And naturally, the TheTaste team gave them a go – all in the name in research – to bring you a healthy food tourist’s guide to the capital. Consider our anything-but-a-boring-salad Little Black Book to eating out healthily, open.
Cocu’s founder and executive chef Emilia Rowan took inspiration from the diverse health food concepts she encountered while travelling and working abroad and put them together to form what is now a duo of eateries in Dublin. Devising a menu with dietician Orla Walsh, the health hubs can be found at Baggot Street Upper and under the arches of the Station Building at Hatch Street.
Hidden away off the bustling thoroughfare of Camden Street, situated within YogaHub yoga studio, Happy Food is an all vegan, newly expanded cafe that is worth seeking out. Signature dishes include a foodporn-equse Sloppy Joe Burger, a fully vegan brunch spread, and Vegan ‘Fish and Chips’ are a regular special.
The Fat Fox has become an integral part of the strong coffee community that’s brewing in the city, but aside from their signature latte art skills, the charming crew serve flavoursome salads and sandwiches, pimpin’ porridge, great vegetarian options, and looks-naughty-but-are-actually-nutritious sweet treats.
This hipster haven is so cool that they can’t even be found on social media, but that doesn’t stop food lovers finding their way here meaning there’s almost always a queue. Order a blackboard menu of breakfast and lunch dishes made with the best quality ingredients, and grab a seat where ever you find a mismatched chair. They’re open for dinner on Wednesdays too.
Set up by sisters Pamela and Lorraine Fitzmaurice, this compact deli on Drury Street has been serving wholesome vegetarian and vegan food since 2000. Pick a box size that matches your appetite and fill as you fancy from the salad bar and hot food counter. Strictly takeaway, on sunny days there’s a scramble for the benches outside or take yours to the steps of Powerscourt Townhouse and watch the world go by.
Two Pups cafe, located in Dublin’s antiques quarter, started small with a focus on great coffee. They have since doubled in size and upped the ante with their small, mostly vegetarian, food menu including all day breakfast-style dishes like sourdough toast topped with jazzed up eggs or avocado, and a ‘Daily Dahl’.
Lunch starts at noon at Green Bench Cafe and from then on you likely will have to join a queue as fans wait in line for their famous door step sandwiches made with bread straight from Baker Street Bakery in Sandycove and other locally sourced ingredients. If you’re trying to avoid gluten you can be assured their house-made salads, stews and soups are always free-from.
Little Bird cafe sits alongside a purpose built, light filled yoga studio, and once you’re done with downward dog you can get down with their simple menu of breakfast and lunch dishes and great coffee from Badger & Dodo.
Umi Falafel’s formula of serving great value, fresh falafel, Middle Eastern mezze and salad dishes in a modern, informal cafe setting has proved so popular that they claim that they roll enough falafel each week that, if laid side by side, would stretch from their Dame Street cafe all the way to their most recent opening in Rathmines.
Located in the heart of the city centre, on Wicklow Street, since 1986, Cornucopia is Dublin’s original veggie mecca. Here you’ll be served hearty portions of home cooked salads and hot dishes, and a range of breads, cakes and desserts. There’s always raw/living options on the menu too.
Originally located in Temple Bar, this Grattan Street gem set out to for two of the main modern food tribes; paleoism and veganism, but their heaving salads, generous grain bowls, plentiful bowls of pasta and heartwarming hotpots will fulfill anyone, no matter the diet.
Now open from morning to night, since opening on Capel Street in 2012, Brother Hubbard’s reputation for feel-good, Middle Eastern inspired food has grown so exponentially that they opened a Brother Hubbard South in 2014, and in 2017 expanded the original location to four times the size. Brunch dishes like Turkish eggs menemen have gained cult status.
This specialty coffee shop doesn’t just do killer coffee, their food offering is legitimately great too. If you manage to overlook the decadent cakes and bake display, you can have a healthful choice of substantial salads, supergreen omelettes, baked eggs and more.
Meet Me In The Morning will meet your need for a healthy meal, a raise you a colourful, inspiring menu that is often speckled with the fruits of their foraging ventures, and always made with local ingredients and whole lot of heart.
Hidden away in the residential back streets off Camden Street you’ll at how the chefs at Bibi’s create such magic from such a tiny kitchen. Along with brilliant breakfast and brunch dishes are salads with attitude, like Miso roast Aubergine, Feta and Buckwheat and a Tahini Orange Dressing. Excuse us while we make our way there, we’ll Bibi right back.
Visit Pang and meet your new healthy craving. Dublin’s first rice paper roll restaurant takes inspiration from a trend established in ahead of the food curve cities of New York and Melbourne, Pang reimagines the traditional Vietnamese rice paper roll and delivers a menu that is packed with punchy flavours, quirky ingredients combos and sassy sauces.
As well as an upstairs restaurant and downstairs restaurant, Fallon & Byrne on Exchequer Street has a more casual offering on their ground floor. Choose from bountiful salads and freshly cooked proteins, to sit in or take away, and try not get lost in the aisles of their gourmet food emporium while you’re there – your lunch break might just run over.
Sprouting up at an ambitious pace all over the city, once you experience a made-right-in-front-of-you, deliciously devised salad from Sprout & Co it may be difficult to go back to inferior healthy food ‘chains’. Wraps, smoothies, breakfast options, and nutritious NutShed treats, and Roasted Brown coffee complete the seasonally changing menu.
There is a definite Middle Eastern tang to the food offering at this little Dawson Street nook, but that’s just one flavour profile infused in dishes that includes pan seared oyster mushrooms and poached eggs on sourdough, a daily changing roast salad, and vegan pancakes piled high with all the toppings.
Sustain your shopping spree at the iconic Brown Thomas luxury department store on Grafton Street, with a visit Green & Bean Café. Located on the newly refurbished premium Athletic and Fitness themed Level 2, this primely located healthy eatery offers great coffee, fresh juices and ‘power salads’.
You’ll probably have seen PÓG’s decadent pancakes on Instagram even if you haven’t visited, but that is just one of the picture perfect menu items served here incluing Pittaya bowls, pink beet lattes, and ‘breakfast boards’ that come laden with colourful fruits, proteins, and even healthy chocolate pudding.
With stores in Donnybrook and Ranelagh, if you’re around the South side of the city you have no excuse not to have your fill of raw cold pressed green and various other coloured juices, (healthy) shots, and smoothies – the Cafe Coyote, made with cold brewed coffee, cacao, oats, banana, dates, and homemade almond milk, might just be the best thing since, eh, coffee.
A sweet addition to the city, Honey Truffle is newly opened eatery on the bustling, but sparsely populated food-wise, Pearse Street, that boasts an impressive food display not unlike those at Yotam Ottolenghi’s London delis and is building a reputation for serving up one of the best almond milk flat whites in the city.
The ethos of Eathos is simple. Nutritious food served in stunning bright and airy surroundings that will make your saintly choice feel like anything but a sacrifice – if you can mange to steer clear of the indecently decadent desserts display you will float out of this heavenly space with a healthy halo.
Cocobrew gathered a following for serving superfood spiked bulletproof and speciality coffees and nutritious treats at their Temple Bar cafe, and have since added protein pancakes and salads to their feel-good, energy boosting offering. Their vintage VW kombi van has also become a glorious and common sight at festivals when getting a coffee fix is most often a matter of urgency.
While upstairs at Honest Pizza is all about our favourite Italian indulgence, downstairs at Honest to Goodness you’ll have your pick of dishes from egg white omelettes to pancakes that will fit around your macros. This is great tasting, freshly made, healthy food, honest.
The Good Food Store is so good there’s two of them, one in Ballsbridge the other on George’s Street in the heart of the city. A deli cum-gourmet grocery store, you can choose from a plentiful array of freshly prepared food, salads, soups and hot-pots, and pick up an array of artisan foods while you’re at it.
It is not surprising that given its location, within the award winning home and lifestyle store Industry & Co, that this eatery is oh-so-chic and majorly Instagrammable. Aesthetics aside, the freshly made food, salads and speciality coffee have made this in-store cafe healthy hit in its own right.
Despite its location, hidden away on Coke Lane in Smithfield, Urbanity Coffee has gained a significant fan base, so much so that it has evolved from a day-time only cafe with a focus on coffee to a food-centric venue with business hours into the evening. Their acai bowls are up there with the best in the city.
A stalwart in the Irish retail and dining scene, sink below ground level at Avoca’s Suffolk Street store to their food market, deli and coffee shop to pick up their iconic salads or ready made dinners and soups to go, or climb the stairs to their restaurant, which is always a very civilised, seasonal and delicious affair.
Part of the, eh, network of eateries that spans from Camden Street to Georges Street, Network on Aungier Street established itself as a go-to for great coffee and has since built a reputation for serving considered salads, brunch dishes and porridge, which is nearing legendary status.
A little outside the city’s boundaries is Storyboard, a recently opened eatery and coffee shop in Islandbridge, Dublin 8, that is definitely worth a mid week detour or weekend wander to sample dishes like ‘Spuds and Eggs’, cumin spiced baby potatoes with eggs, beet yoghurt and feta, ‘Squash and Toast, roast crown prince pumpkin on Le Levain sourdough with tahini nut butter, all made with local veg from McNally’s farm.
There’s always a queue at this sleekly designed hot-spot in Phibsboro, that’s inspired by the coffee and brunch culture in Melbourne where owners Kevin and Taurean once lived. Nutritious menu stalwarts include their house coconut granola, the Almond & Apple Bircher Bowl served with homemade almond butter, and a roast veg sandwich on granary bread that’s layered with goats cheese, hummus, rocket and a spicy romesco sauce.
Urban Health in Ranelagh packs all your health needs into one building. Downstairs there’s a cafe, juice bar and store, so you can stock your store cupboards as you wait for your banana bread to toast. Upstairs there’s a boutique fitness studio that runs regular yoga and pilates classes. You can also sign up for their 3/5 day juice and/or soup cleanses – if you dare.
If you have a dose of the morning blues, a toasted blueberry scone and blue Algae Latte at The Cracked Nut will go a long way to lifting your spirits. The blue latte is part of their colourful latte selection (beet, turmeric, charcoal, matcha) but you can always count on them for equally nutrient dense salads, sandwiches and wraps too. Grab a handy tubes of their ‘raw vibrant nutrition balls’ to go.
SLICE Cafe might have more than a few slices of tempting cake on offer, but they keep things balanced with a menu full of nutritious, and no less delicious, sweet and savoury options. Try Porridge with Newgrange Camelina Oil, Toasted nuts and Honey for breakfast, a Grilled Vegetable sandwich with Green Goddess dressing on Sourdough Bread for lunch, and Spiced Carrot and Walnut Pancakes made with spelt flour for weekend brunch… but we won’t judge you when you order that slice of cake.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law degree, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.