Draft: Dublin Travel Guide: A weekend of vegan food and sustainable shopping
Vegan Food: Dublin is bursting with vegan and vegan friendly cafes and restaurants. Compared to the rest of Ireland which is a way behind the UK. There is even a donut chain dotted around the city that has at least three different vegan donuts available every day!
It would have been nice to see some street food vendors and some healthier options. Plus The Guinness Factory needs some food options although hats off to changing a 250+ year old recipe and making Guinness vegan.
Zero Waste Stores: As we were only there for three nights and ate out at every opportunity, we didn't need to stock up on cupboard essentials however Small Changes is a bulk buy plastic free store, and would have been good for juices and smoothies on the go, albeit a bit of a trek from the centre.
Eco Shopping: There are a bunch of vintage stores clustered behind Temple Bar which for me is a massive plus point - All in one place and close enough to the bars for a drink afterwards. I also stumbled across what could be my most favourite clothing shop so far packed full of organic, sustainable brands when you're looking for something new. (Keep reading for the low down). If you head to Powerscourt Centre, there's also lots of second hand jewellery and antique shops however these were on the expensive side.
Animals: Although Dublin isn't the place where animals are used for entertainment in the streets, Ireland still have three fur farms where 200,000 mink are killed every year and kept in cages the size of two shoe boxes. I actually bumped into some lovely locals who were raising awareness of the issue as the future of fur farming is being considered in the Dail. You can sign a Peta petition here as currently the two most popular parties have not yet confirmed their stance on the issue.
Activities: As our trip was a weekend away in a group of 12, our activities consisted mostly of eating and drinking. However Jason and I did stay on one extra day, hired a car (we couldn't find an electric one) and explored the Wicklow Mountains to experience some fresh Irish air. If it's a sunny day, the Guinness factory is also great for panoramic views of Dublin and beyond from their viewing platform.
Getting there: We flew for around £50 return. I know this isn't exactly an eco friendly travel option however I always make sure to donate and offset my footprint with the Carbon Trust. Travelling makes me appreciate this beautiful planet even more and spurs me on to make more eco friendly choices in all other areas of my life.
Accommodation: A friend booked our accommodation through booking.com. It was a little far out so I won't be recommending it on here. I have since come across Dublin's first sustainable hotel, The Iveagh Garden Hotel. A sustainable hotel constructed with low carbon emissions and powered naturally from an underground water source among many other sustainable construction features.
My Packing List
Jason and I now share toileteries since switching to all of these amazing plastic free unisex alternatives so this list covers both of us.
Bamboo toothbrush (the only thing we don't share)
Toothbrush holder to keep the bristles clean and stop other things getting wet
Mini truthpaste in glass jar
Mini deodorant in glass jar
Mini super balm - multi-purpose moisturiser for face and body
Natural soap - I cut a slither off and take it in an old washed out glass jar (old spice jars are the perfect size - the ones with metal lids from Sainsburys or M&S).
Dry shampoo - I pour some of the dry shampoo powder into an old glass jar (either a mini toothpaste or one of those mini jams you get at afternoon tea). Just remember to screw the lid shut unless you want your clothes covered in powder just like me!
We didn't even take a shampoo bar away with us as we were only there for three nights.
Water bottle for the plane and days out
Stainless steel straws for the cocktails - I took my set of six to share with friends.
Stainless steel lunchbox - however we only used this on the last day to take some snacks with us. If you're just staying in the city and planning on eating-in at restaurants and not over ordering, you shouldn't need one if you want to keep your bag light.
If you haven't already, purchasing the Happy Cow app for the £3.99 is a game changer if you want to find the best vegan/veggie food anywhere in the world! You can search nearby and the results are plotted on a map which makes it so easy. The app has really changed how I visit a city now in such a good way. I now explore new areas of a city I wouldn't have otherwise which tend to be in cool upcoming places with lots of independent stores and much more of a community feel.
153 Chapel Street, Dublin 1
Trendy spot for all day dining. Featured in Ireland's Top 100 Places to Eat.
An omni place with a separate vegan menu. Whole foods rather than fake meats.
52-57 Fleet St, Temple Bar
An omni American diner in Temple Bar with some serious vegan junk food. However, they were out of stock of most of the vegan items so we didn't get to try the ribs...!
Wellington Quay, Temple Bar
Cute little Japanese restaurant in Temple Bar with a veggie menu. Check online for listed allergens as it seems the tempura wasn't actually vegan!
5 Aston Quay, Temple Bar
A new omni restaurant started by a couple with a vegan option for each of the dishes using either soya mince or plantain. The jackfruit tostadas for starters are so good too! A shame the sour cream and cheese aren't replaced with a vegan alternative but delicious none the less.
The Rolling Donut
Donuts all day every day at several locations across Dublin. They did tend to sell out of the most popular flavours in the afternoon so if you take one peice of advice from this blog post, swing by mid morning.
72-74 Queen Street, Dublin 7
A retro arcade and pinball themed restaurant and bar. 32 machines and 22 taps of beer this is a great place to start the night. We had already eaten and didn't realise they had a vegan menu but the food is all kinds of amazing. Vegan bacon Mac n Cheese, Chicken Burger, Hot Dog, Taco's, fried chicken or chilli bowl. I want to go back just going through the menu!
The ones I didn't get a chance to visit but highly rated:
Cornucopio - Dublin's first and most famous veggie and wholefoods restaurant. Great for any time of day and near the main shopping area, Grafton Street.
Sova Vegan Butcher - Renowned for their brunch including pancakes and their take on the traditional Irish breakfast.
Blazing Salads - I needed to include something healthy amongst all of the junk food finds. Take your own lunchbox as it's a takeaway salad bar with some cakes, cookies and a hot food counter.
Fast fashion comes at a huge cost to the environment. Everybody likes to check out the shops whilst they are on holiday, so why not spend your time browsing second hand stores for unique pieces. Other than loving and re-using whatever you have, second hand is the kindest choice.
These five stores are clustered behind Temple Bar and it's so convenient they are all in one place.
Siopaella - 8 Crow Street
Lucy's Lounge - 10 Fownes Street
Tola Vintage - 11 Fownes Street
Nine Crows - 22 Temple Lane South
Fresh Limited - 1 Crown Alley
I picked up some polka dot trousers for £3 from Fresh and a pair of vintage Levi's from Tola for £40 which does seem expensive however is the going rate it seems. Plus the shop has done the hard work for you, finding the best good quality jeans and put them all in one place in size order so there's bound to be something that fits.
Another vintage shop (it looks like a charity shop - compared to those above which are a curated selection of second hand items) is Second Abbey which is right opposite Brother Hubbard mentioned in the food section. There are a few more charity and second hand shops in this area if you walk to Token for the evening. This area is a little cheaper with some cool bars. Check out Token, Dice Bar and Frank Ryan's Bar.
60A South William Street
This shop has so many brands that I either already loved, wanted to check out and some I hadn't even heard of. It's an absolute gem and independent too which I always love supporting. Just some of the brands...
Wills Vegan Shoes - Carbon neutral vegan shoes.
Dedicated - Sustainable streetwear. I purchased a beanie made from recycled plastic bottles.
Mud Jeans - Recycled old jeans into new. Pioneers of a circular economy.
Armed Angels - Organic materials and fair working conditions.
Fresh Cuts - Sustainable basics based in Dublin and where the store started.
So that's the end of my first travel guide! If Dublin is now firmly on your go-to list, let me know in the comments below! Thank you so much for reading. I've popped a few more images below.
Kind Adventures, Tash x