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 Post subject: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:20 pm 
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So I mentioned Ireland to my husband and he was excited but very tentative. After searching happy cow, I think we'll be fine. I think it is moving up to the top of our list for next year. Dublin and Cork look very promising but I've been browsing western Ireland and options seem to be less.

We'd be fine, right? I just need to convince my husband.

We still need to consider other countries but I want lots of greenery and a fairly short flight.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:51 pm 
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if you can speak English, and the people you're interacting with can speak English, you're already 80% of the way there :)

you'll be fine!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:00 am 
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Ireland is the pits. Starvation is possible! Check out http://www.irishvegan.ie. They have a list of places to eat sorted by county.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:10 am 
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I visited both Connemara and Galway earlier this year and was surprised by both the availability and variety of vegan options available. I'm sure there are some places where it'll be a little challenging but both of these places were easy. I blogged about them both here and here if you wanna get the lowdown on what I ate.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:58 am 
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daisychain wrote:
Ireland is the pits. Starvation is possible! Check out http://www.irishvegan.ie. They have a list of places to eat sorted by county.


Thanks, that site is great. I was most concerned about Kerry which does seem to have slim pickings but some options. If all else fails, I'd also bring a jar of peanut butter.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:36 am 
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We did fine in Ireland! Go to Donegal! Most beautiful place ever and our hotel made me a vegan Irish breakfast every day. Actually, our hotel in Galway did that too. There's always Indian restaurants too.

The small towns are the most amazingly beautiful and intriguing, so a little starvation shouldn't keep you away.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:49 am 
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vijita wrote:
The small towns are the most amazingly beautiful and intriguing, so a little starvation shouldn't keep you away.


That is what I was thinking! My husband isn't too picky about food, I mean I think honestly we'd prefer a cultural/historical experience with great food options (I think of Asia) but given great food options or great cultural/historical experience, we'd go for the cultural/historical experience. We actually will probably solidify our plans in the next week.

And although my husband is indifferent about seeing where his family came from, I kind of think he'll feel differently after we go. I am hoping he'll really enjoy that aspect afterall.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:38 am 
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my mother was just in a bunch of smaller towns doing a garden tour. she made a point of telling me one of her group was vegan yet managed to get something to eat everywhere. He sounded like a health-vegan type, and there may have been some "cheating" but from what she told me there was always some kind of option.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:39 am 
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He will! We talked to so many charming characters in little towns. So friendly and interested in us, and us them. They might not understand why you don't want to drink Guinness and eat black pudding, but you might find that guy in the pub who will go from talking about faeries to singing to telling you about his neighbour's sheep situation. I guess I'm making generalizations because of course there are also jerks all over the world, and maybe it's not your thing to buy a guy a beer so he tells you another story, but I was so invigorated by the spirit and beauty of Ireland, and it made me really happy to find that in my own heritage. My dad's background is as English as can be, dating back centuries, I imagine, and I have nothing wrong with that, but my mum's Irish side resonates with me quite a bit more.

While I do tend to extensively research my eats when I plan a trip; I tend to enjoy myself more when I just wing it. We went to a few Indian restaurants, and the veg curries were usually marked as "dairy free," which is a great way of knowing something is vegan in an Indian restaurant because they don't exactly put eggs in say, chana masala. I found a lot of granola bar-type things at regular old grocery stores that were vegan, so we stocked up on those when we weren't sure what to expect at the next town.

Jealous!


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:48 am 
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Even when I visit my parents in their small town, their favourite place for Sunday lunch is really accomodating towards me and I always get something tasty. If you're in Dublin or Cork you'll have more options (I can't remember the last coffee shop I went to that didn't have soy milk) but you're not doomed if you stray outside those :)

I think the key is calling in advance where possible and explaining that you're vegan. Most restaurants will have something on the menu that can be veganised simply by leaving off the cheese or whatever. I was out to dinner in an omni restaurant last night and had the heirloom tomato and watermelon salad without the goat cheese (it was glorious), and then fresh pea and mint risotto for main, which they made a special batch of for me without dairy. No fuss at all.

Funnily enough, I've found it easier to be vegan than veggie here. Places seem to take more care with vegan options, while I lost count of the number of times I had to explain that parmesan isn't veggie (when I was veggie) and that no, vegetarians don't actually eat "a little fish" or roast potatoes fried in goose fat.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:05 am 
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I managed fine visiting Ireland earlier this year. Dublin is really easy with loads of veg*n restaurants and cafes, although not the cheapest! I then spent just over a fortnight in a small town in the northwest (Letterkenny) and managed fine, although I was cooking most of my own food, and managed to find vegan yoghurt, tofu burgers, soy milk, nutritional yeast and plenty of other things easily enough.

ETA: One thing I found was that outside the big cities, very few places were actually on Happycow. If you find any, please do submit them! I did for a couple of places in Ireland that I found but I'm sure there are many more.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:34 am 
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I survived on curry chips in Western Ireland.

fork, now I want curry chips.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:35 am 
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I survived on curry chips in Western Ireland.

fork, now I want curry chips.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:10 pm 
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I think we have decided on Ireland for next May/June. I'm excited.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:53 am 
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Rocking!
Once you have an idea of what areas you'll be staying in, be sure and give a shout here - tips aplenty.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:38 pm 
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mumbles wrote:
I survived on curry chips in Western Ireland.
Yep.
mumbles wrote:
fork, now I want curry chips.
Me, too!

We were in Ireland last summer and found the overall lack of options pretty disappointing; there were more than a few times on road trips when there was nothing on the menu we could eat but chips and (delicious) beer. Even in Dublin, vegetarians - never mind vegans - don't seem very catered for, and the few places we did find weren't especially great or inspiring. (I like hummus, but I don't want to eat it at - or for - for every meal!)

We spend lots of time in England (which is great for vegetarians, getting better for vegans, and even pretty far off the beaten track there's generally good Indian food), so I guess were expecting/hoping to have a similar experience.
vijita wrote:
The small towns are the most amazingly beautiful and intriguing, so a little starvation shouldn't keep you away.
Absolutely! It's a lovely country and we had some great days out; a little culinary challenge isn't the end of the world!

On balance, my best advice would be to make sure you always have stuff on hand like fruit, nuts, etc. in case you get stuck. Fortunately we were staying with a friend and had access to a kitchen, or we'd have subsisted almost entirely on chips, beer, and unbuttered bread (not that there's anything wrong with that for a short time).

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:51 pm 
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I'm a Canadian currently living abroad in Cork and there's a lot of options here!

There is a very fancy and delicious vegetarian restaurant called Cafe Paradiso that is SO good. They do have a lot of dishes with dairy in them but they're very sweet and accommodating there for vegans.

http://www.cafeparadiso.ie

There's a raw vegan restaurant that does good takeaway and juices. On Thursdays they do a 3 course raw vegan dinner

http://www.veryhealthyfood.com/

My fave takeaway place is caller Iyers and it is all vegetarian (the owner's are so nice) Indian and its so good! Its not open very late but its definitely worth trying!

The Quay Coop is a health/specialty store downstairs and a restaurant upstairs and is nice too! There's always lots to choose from.

http://www.quaycoop.com/

There's lots of "regular" restaurants that have nice vegetarian options too and curry chips are so good/bad! The ones above are all city centre too and cork is lovely for being very walkable.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me we won't starve in Ireland (in smaller towns)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:34 pm 
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The Quay Coop has the best vegan brownies evah!

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