Hearty Vegan Food at Nancy’s of Ardara – Restaurant Review

I often find myself lazing around my house at weekends, and as someone with mental health issues and a habit of hibernating out of season, I felt I needed to get out of the house last weekend. I’m so glad I made a plan and saw it through – that in itself is good for mental health – as I had a wonderful time with my family exploring Donegal.

Naturally, explorers get peckish after a while and I was absolutely ravenous after we got to Ardara. We had driven through Ramelton, Glenties and we had yet to go to Donegal Town, so it was time for food!Β nancys restaurant review

I was a bit dubious at the prospect of finding a place that offered some hearty vegan food options for me, but after seeing a menu option for a ‘veggie burger’ at none other than a SEAFOOD BAR, I realised Ardara was not quite like other places! It was way ahead!

We decided to pop in to ask if the veggie burger was vegan-friendly and thank God it was because otherwise I might have turned my back and not experienced the delish food on offer at Nancy’s!

nancys restaurant review

The bar/restaurant is like a labyrinth inside; there are so many little hidden hallways and doorways and staircases and it’s so ‘old Irish’ charming. The staff as well are very friendly and they engage you with you at the table, which is always nice.

nancys restaurant review

They had a whole section of vegetarian food available and all of it could be modified for vegans. Their menu also specifically stated that their soup was dairy free (the menu was LAMINATED, so it’s here to stay πŸ˜‰ ) and it was so refreshing not to have to ask. They also had a vegan carrot cake on offer for the troopers who managed to get through their portions!

I also had a soup to start, which was so thick it was more like a stew than anything else. It was delish! Though it came with Dairygold butter, so obviously I avoided that and just enjoyed the soup on its own.

nancys restaurant review

I had a veggie burger with – wait for it – chilli on the side! I thought this was a bit strange (chips weren’t available), but although I could’ve gotten baby potatoes as a side instead, I really wanted to try the chilli because it’s a main option on the menu as well. Two birds with one stone! Not that I’d excuse violence towards birds, but you get the idea!

I didn’t opt for the carrot cake because I was absolutely STUFFED but I imagine it would’ve have been fab as well. The moral of this review is that you shouldn’t judge a restaurant or cafΓ© by its name or by the food it specialises in; you CAN be surprised!

Seaweed and Vegetable Korma | Exploring Donegal

Hey all!

My mammy and I took a trip to Kilmacrennan today to leave my brother off at a gaelic match and while we were there, we took a look at some of the gorgeous scenery. One thing you just couldn’t miss were the cutest little cottages this side of Donegal. There was actually a museum inside but we got distracted by a veggie cart and forgot to go in! I’ll have to put it on some kind of list to remember to go back.

I picked up some Donegal dulse (dried seaweed) from the cart so I’m going to fry that up with some herbs and have it with Linda McCartney sausages and beans on toast tomorrow. Delicious!

It was the sunniest of days today (which anyone living in Ireland will know is super rare) and I had Lavera suncream on my face but none on my body. I was convinced I’d be lobster red by the end of the day, but thankfully I avoided sunburn by jutting in and out of shady patches!

There was a car boot sale at the church across the road from the cottages in aid of the Northwest 10k but although we went to take a look, there wasn’t much there. Though I did have my eye on 70s style upholstered chairs that turned out not to be for sale! Sickened, but it’s probably for the best. I need to save more!

There was also the cutest little caravan next to the veggie stall selling tea and muffins and the like. I got really excited when I saw a chalkboard menu with the words ‘VEG’ in front of something, but it turned out not to be vegan unfortunately. It was a really unique little business, though, so hopefully they’ll expand their choices in the future to include at least soy milk (fingers crossed!)

We had hungry bellies so we drove back into Letterkenny to get some food at Wholegreens, an (almost) vegan cafe that serves delicious, filling food for vegetarians and vegans alike! I got a vegetable korma and picked the plate clean. I would highly recommend it if you’re in the area.

If you haven’t checked out my vegan haul video, check it out to see the vegan treats I picked up for myself in town as well!

Overall it was a gorgeous day and I so wish I’d gone to the beach as well. Next time!

Wholegreens | Vegan Food in Donegal

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 cafΓ© 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 cafΓ© 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.

IMG_4458The 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 cafΓ© 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 cafΓ© and I was very pleasantly surprised.

To my knowledge, there are no totally vegan cafΓ©s 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 IMG_4371Wholegreens, 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 cafΓ© 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 cafΓ©, 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.

IMG_4390WholegreensΒ also features a fridge filled with yummy wares includingΒ delicious rawΒ 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!