1st Aug 2019 in Food & Drink
Veganism and plant-based diets have seen a surge in popularity over the last couple of years.
Citing health and environmental concerns as well as animal welfare reasons, more and more of us want and expect plant-based and animal-free options on the menu when we dine out.
The eateries of Belfast have responded, and the Cathedral Quarter is no exception. Most places will either have at least a vegan-friendly option or options, offer vegan-adaptable dishes, or are willing to cater for vegans on request. Some have full vegan menus available and a notable few have proudly incorporated them into their permanent main menus – a bold statement that plant-based offerings are here to stay at these establishments.
This is our full, A – Z guide to eating vegan in The Cathedral Quarter. If you think we missed anyone – let us know or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Known for their tapas and al fresco dining, 2Taps has a full vegan menu available, including starters, tapas and even desserts.
44 Hill Street
Vegans are very well catered for here, with imaginative options on the tapas menu, as well as bruschettas, a vegan board, vegan mains including a tasty burger and pasta dishes, and a vegan chocolate cake in the desserts!
This is the licensed training restaurant at The Ulster University on York Street, so you’ll be eating food cooked and prepared by the superstar chefs of the future! As it’s a training restaurant, they are limited in what they can produce if you just walk in and tell them you’re vegan. However, give them 24 hours’ notice and they will be able to create something vegan-friendly. They reopen in October for the Autumn term.
Bert’s Jazz Bar
Another of the much-loved bars and eateries at The Merchant, Bert’s offers a vegan menu – which includes the all-important vegan dessert option!
Buba brings the flavours and rich cultural mix of the Eastern Mediterranean to Belfast’s buzzing Cathedral Quarter. The colourful layout showcases an open kitchen where the chefs cook up modern-day Eastern Mediterranean-inspired food. They offer a full Vegan menu which is comprised of lots of small plate dishes, designed to share, including nibbles of Baklava Stuffed Medjool Dates and Chilli Hummus with Hazelnut Dukkah, a choice of Flatbreads such as Chermoula Roast Mushrooms & Confit Garlic. There is even a choice of vegan desserts, such as Baklava or Chocolate Brownie, Raspberry Sorbet.
Located on the ground floor of the Fenderesky Gallery, this cafe is open daily. There’s always a vegan-friendly sandwich on the menu and at least once a week the soup will be vegan-friendly too – there’s also oat milk available for your tea and coffee.
Cafe on the Square
This popular new-kid-on-the-block over at Custom House Square has several vegan or vegan-adaptable items across their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, including a tasty chickpea and coconut curry.
This coffee stalwart of the Cathedral Quarter always has at least one vegan-friendly option on its menu, as well as dairy-free milk options for hot drinks. At time of writing, there is a delicious vegan sausage panini with chutney and harissa available to order.
The Cloth Ear
The Cloth Ear has a dedicated, comprehensive vegan menu including original dishes like sea kelp tempura, vegetable ragout and the restaurant’s signature hanging skewer, plus vegan wines and beers to wash it down. They also do a range of vegan desserts including sticky toffee pudding and a rich chocolate cake.
Coppi restaurant is Belfast’s first cichetti bacari and restaurant, inspired by those found in Venice and named after cycling legend Angelo Fausto Coppi. It offers a great selection of Italian and Mediterranean inspired vegan dishes alongside their main menu. Vegan cichetti include beetroot, balsamic and walnut baby gem cups and polenta scraps with red pepper ketchup. Other starters include ratatouille bruschetta or pizzetta of truffled mushroom with rocket and onion. For mains, try the homemade pasta dish, roast butternut squash tortellini with tomato pesto, broccoli and hazelnut. With vegan desserts, wines and beer all on offer, it ticks all the boxes.
The newly opened fried chicken eaterie has a vegan chick’n burger and nuggets on its menu!
Curated Kitchen curates its menu from the best cookbooks on the market, hence it is different every week, but there seems to be at least one vegan option on the menu each week.
Direct Wine Shipments
You’d think fermented grapes sound safe enough, but not all wine is vegan due to the filtration process some producers use. Direct Wine Shipments stock a range of vegan-friendly wines – staff can assist you with a comprehensive list of producers who state ‘vegan-friendly’ on the bottle.
Their soup of the day is always vegan and gluten-free. They also introduced a delicious new vegan bowl in January, featuring miso and malt roasted celeriac, braised puy lentils, shallot puree, lemon and cashew crema with salsa verde and cavolo nero.
Hadskis have some mouthwatering options on their Earlybird and A La Carte menu, including the highly recommended Stuffed Smoked Aubergine with Spicy Tomato Sauce and popular Fennel, Quinoa & Blood Orange Salad. They can also cater for vegan desserts (for example, sorbet or an almond cake) if you give them a few days’ notice.
House of Zen
House of Zen advise that most of their vegetarian & gluten menu is vegan adaptable – ask your server to talk you through it.
The discount supermarket may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of the CQ, but their own brand vegan range No Bull has been very well received.
Made in Belfast CQ & The Grill
Both of Made In Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter iterations have tasty vegan-friendly dishes – both have a crispy fried cauliflower katsu curry on the menus, Made In Belfast have dairy-free ice cream on their dessert menu, and there’s a vegan cheeseburger in The Grill that sounds incredible.
The funky boutique hotel offers a vegan afternoon tea and vegan menus in the Chez Mal brasserie.
Traditional Irish cuisine with a modern twist – and this includes a couple of really tasty vegan dishes, including bean and mushroom ‘meat’ balls and a basil ratatouille.
The Merchant – Grand Room
The Merchant has a set vegan menu available Monday to Saturday at dinner time. They do not have a vegan afternoon tea at present but will be able to offer vegan-friendly alternatives.
Muddler’s Club Belfast
Named after the secret society that met in its building a couple of centuries ago, The Muddler’s Club is well known for the culinary theatre of its open kitchen. It also offers a five-course vegan tasting menu!
This delicious slice of India in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter serves authentic Indian cuisine which, as most vegans know, lends itself well to vegan food, being heavy on flavour and predominantly plant-based. The restaurant advises that everything is cooked from scratch and virtually every dish is vegan-adaptable.
They offer a delicious vegan cooked breakfast, and there are vegan options in their tapas selection, including falafel and chickpeas.
Novelli at City Quays
They have a dedicated vegan a la carte menu, offer vegan alternatives to some dishes on their prix fixe menu, and they offer the all-important vegan desserts!
Pizza Express has an impressive vegan menu which includes starters, mains, pizzas (of course), sides, desserts and even vegan-friendly drinks.
They offer interesting and tasty vegan toppings including jackfruit and veggie haggis, they offer vegan mayo and mozzarella and there’s even dairy-free ice cream on the dessert menu!
The much-loved sandwich bar in the heart of the CQ currently has a vegan soup on the menu, so always worth checking that specials board. Sandwiches are made up on site, so have a look at the ingredients of the day and they’ll be happy to advise and make up something that will work for you.
Remember, if you’re out and about in the CQ, tag us in your pics and posts on social media. If you decide to give one of these fab eateries a try, why not make a day or an evening of it? Check our What’s On listings for events and keep an eye on our News articles for inspiration too!