I live in a town in a rural area of Ireland called Donegal and you’d have more luck spotting a unicorn than finding a vegan restaurant or café here. Before I was vegan, I used to love eating out but now it’s just such a chore. Everywhere I go I see cheese, milk, meat, and more cheese on everything. Good luck trying to find something dairy free in any café in Donegal because it is a serious struggle, even for something as readily available as soy milk for a cup of tea. Some places are starting to change, though.
The healthy eating movement has caught on pretty much everywhere so there are way more veggie options now than there has ever been, even in my town. A few months ago, a café sprung up out of nowhere called Wholegreens and, even though the name itself screamed ‘healthy, vegetables, green, good for you’, I’ve been fooled before. As nothing exciting usually happens here, I of course headed down to try out this new café and I was very pleasantly surprised.
To my knowledge, there are no totally vegan cafés or restaurants in Donegal, even Wholegreens, which offers a meat option on their hot food menu. However, it is a very nice change to see the shoe on the other foot; in Wholegreens, it is the meat eaters who have very little choice and those who want to chow down on chick peas and broccoli have the last laugh. Although the café uses animal products in some of their foods, it is mostly a vegan heaven, as there are plenty of raw desserts, rich spicy curries, herb-filled potato wedges and salads to keep anyone happy.
The café, although small, has a lovely layout and very friendly staff. Each table also has a fresh jug of water with cucumber or lemon in it, which is a great touch, as some businesses don’t put free water on the table and instead get you to pay 3 quid for a small bottle. Blah.
Wholegreens also features a fridge filled with yummy wares including delicious raw juices bottled by the owners, alternative milks, ginger husks and water. They also offer crisps made from lentil and quinoa, little boxes of pre-made raw treats and plenty of health food bars. You won’t be hungry leaving here, that’s for sure!
It’s my go-to place for some hearty food (the portions are huge!) and a natter with a friend or my dad. It’s hands down the best eatery in the county (for me, anyway) as the food is always delicious and varied, the prices are reasonable and the staff are very friendly. I can only hope that they move to a bigger premises as the place is so popular that it’s always packed!