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!

The Hatter Tea Room | Vegan Food in Donegal

As I chronicled in my last vlog, I went to Stranorlar last week to check out The Hatter Tea Room with a friend of mine and her baby. The cafΓ© is breastfeeding-friendly so that was a big reason for going in the first place, but I was even more excited to find out that they sell vegan treats.

This is a big deal to me as not many regular cafΓ©s/restaurants in Donegal (or many places in Ireland for that matter) sell any vegan food whatsoever. I messaged the owner on Facebook the day before we went and asked if they had vegan options and he was very helpful, offering me several choices. He also said that they had a selection of vegan sweets available so, needless to say, I was buzzing about trying those.

Although I initially thought the cafΓ© was called the Hatter Tea Room for no reason, it does actually have an Alice in Wonderland theme. It’s so pretty inside and the atmosphere is lovely and peaceful, with plenty of seating and light.

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You can immediately see the vegan food on offer when you walk in the door, as a selection of Natasha’s LivingΒ Food kale crisps were displayed as well as chocolate treats from Lazy Day Foods. SynerChi’s kombucha drinks were also available to buy (I reviewed the drinks recently) but IΒ decided to go for a coconut cappuccino instead. The cafΓ© is well known for it and it’s one of those things that’s accidentally vegan and absolutely delicious!

I bought millionaire’s shortbread and a chocolate chip cookie from Lazy Day Foods and they were both really good. Tiffin was also on offer. I tried both flavours of kale crisps available but I preferred the lemon and pepper variety over the spicy tomato flavour, though both were good. It was my first time trying kale crisps and I’m pleasantly surprised seeing as they look like crunchy leaves!

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Overall, the staff were fantastic, the free wi-fi was a great touch and the food on offer was brilliant so I’ll definitely be back again. If you’re looking for breakfast or a snack or just a nice coffee, definitely check them out if you’re in Donegal.