The Cornucopia Wholefood and Vegetarian Restaurant has graced Dublin's streets since 1986, which means it is almost as old as me. It also means that if you are vegetarian or vegan and have been to Dublin, you may well have visited this place. If you haven't, it is very much worth visiting.
|Cornucopia; the long take away queue, cozy seating, and salad selections|
I had Cornucopia marked as a potential spot to visit and managed to fit two visits in over our three days in the Dublin area. Not a bad hit rate! It helped that it is centrally located in the south city area, around the corner from Trinity College. It also helped that there was a (non-veggie) crepe restaurant nearby. On the two occasions I got food from Cornucopia, Mr Bite had crepes. We ate in the grounds of Trinity College on trip one, and in the nearby St Stephen's Green on trip two.
|Lunching at Trinity College|
Trip one was for lunch. I really liked the mix of main meals on offer at Cornucopia, in that they had the 'traditional' vegetarian dishes that don't get me so excited (quiches, filo rolls, bean-based stews) as well as more innovative hot (tofu and sweet potato curry with quinoa) and cold (11 different salad!) options. The same applies to their baked goods and desserts, although I enjoy both traditional and non-traditional options there. Muffins and scones sit next to raw cheesecakes and slices. Not all items are vegan but most are. Whilst Mr Bite was entertained with crepes, I think he could have found food options at Cornucopia if needed, as the menu is very diverse.
For lunch, I opted for a small salad box, which equates to three salad choices. I wish I could remember the exact titles, but know there was a tofu and chickpea option with basil pesto, a Waldorf style salad with apple, and an Asian cabbage salad. All were good (and vegan). I also bought a vegan date and vanilla scone, which I didn't photograph, but did very much enjoy later in the afternoon.
Trip two was for afternoon tea. We had made a day trip out of Dublin (more on that another time) and I'd failed to find much vegan-friendly lunch food, so had snacked on assorted items I'd brought with me. By mid-afternoon I was ready for a decent food hit. Cornucopia well and truly provided with a raw vegan raspberry chocolate tart.
|Park-based afternoon tea|
As you know, I have had a fair few raw vegan desserts over the years. This one was up there with the best. I couldn't say with certainty if the tart was avocado or cashew (or other) based, but my guess is avocado for the incredibly silky smooth texture. The raspberry tones offset the richness of the chocolate, and the base was a raw fruit and nut layer that was semi-sweet and delicious in its own right.
Eating this tart, in the gorgeous sunshine of that afternoon, set against the flowers of St Stephen's Green, was perhaps a definition of perfection.
|Spring flowers in St Stephen's Green|
I ordered hot drinks on both of my visits to Cornucopia, but confess to liking them less than the food. However, I suspect this may be down to me rather than the restaurant. Since switching to drinking tea and coffee black at home, I have found it harder to enjoy milky take away coffees. I had an almond milk cappuccino with the chocolate tart, which nicely offset its sweetness but was still a little too milky and bitter for me. When I bought lunch, I had an almond milk chai latte made with a tea bag and found it too weak in flavour. They also offer chai lattes with syrup, and I liked that they gave the choice, so the drink options were pleasing even if I struggled to get the right choice for me.
As for Mr Bite's crepes? He had a tuna and cheese version for lunch, and a chocolate and banana version for afternoon tea, and rated them as highly as I did my food!
Cornucopia Wholefood and Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 19-20 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, and their website is http://www.cornucopia.ie/ . They provide take away and eat in options every day of the week and are open from 8.30am to 9pm Mondays and Tuesdays, 8.30am to 10.15pm Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 12pm to 9pm Sundays.
Mr Bite's crepes came from the Lemon Crepe and Coffee Co. They have several branches in Dublin but he visited the store at 66 William Street South, Dublin 2. Details of all stores and opening hours are at http://www.lemonco.com/ .
Do you have a local or favourite long-running vegetarian place?