It was the morning of Monday, October 16 and my husband and I had arrived in Dublin the previous day, just in time for ex hurricane Ophelia to hit Ireland. After watching the local news, we felt safe enough to venture out, as the storm was not scheduled to reach that part of Ireland until 1 pm.
It was our first time in Dublin and we were looking for a full Irish breakfast experience. It only made sense to enjoy a good meal before hunkering down inside at the recommendation of the newscasters who had strongly encouraged, “No unnecessary journeys” that afternoon.
As we walked the streets it became clear that the city was shutting down. We knew schools were closed, but we were surprised so many shops and restaurants had already hung signs in their windows indicating closures due to Ophelia.
We consulted my Google Map where I had starred several restaurants we were interested in trying in Dublin. Two of the first three we walked to were closed. Then we made it to Cornucopia.
It was open. Even better: they were serving Irish breakfast, one that also happened to be a non-GMO, homemade vegetarian breakfast. Though he didn't show it, my husband was probably a little disappointed that he wasn’t getting a taste of traditional Irish blood sausage. I felt excited to start the morning with vegetarian goodness.
What Exactly is A Vegetarian Irish Breakfast?
As is typical with many restaurants offering Irish breakfast, Cornucopia allows patrons to choose from a selection of several hot items to “build your own” breakfast.
My husband and I both chose the “Five Item Breakfast” and ordered at the counter. For €8.95, the options include:
- Frittata of the day (gf wf)
- Homemade vegan sausages (v, gf, wf)
- Oven roasted tomato (v, gf, wf, yf)
- Red onion with fresh herbs (v, wf, gf)
- Homemade hash browns (gf, wf)
- Roasted chilli mushrooms (v, wf, gf)
- Homemade baked beans (v, wf, gf)
- Scrambled tofu (v, wf, gf)
We chose the frittata, homemade vegan sausages, oven roasted tomato, homemade hashbrowns and roasted chili mushrooms (pictured).
Our meal was served to us immediately from the hot plate and also included a choice of toast. We also ordered organic tea and fair trade coffee.
The meal tasted healthy and fresh. The frittata was light and fluffy and included bits of vegetables. The hashbrowns contrasted nicely boasting a crisp and toasty exterior. Mixing a bite of frittata, hashbrown and mushroom was my go-to move for this meal.
A special item to note is the homemade vegan sausages. This day they were made from jackfruit and sun-dried tomatoes. I can honestly say I haven't had a vegan sausage quite like it. It was salty and a great compliment to the meal. Many people believe jackfruit tastes like meat, and I have to agree it is very reminiscent.
While we refrained from ordering any sweets, there was also an incredible display of baked goods which I wish I could go back to sample right now.
Cornucopia's approach to food is truly impressive.
They are wholefood and vegetarian and have been since January 1986.
They are very transparent on their website about their food practices and policies.
In my experience, it’s rare to find a restaurant that is so open about their sourcing of non-GMO vegetables.
Beyond food, the owners are clearly very thoughtful and mindful in the way they choose to run their restaurant.
Below are some additional "green" reasons that I am happy to share this restaurant option with you. Note these are taken directly from the Cornucopia website where they have a page devoted to their green choices.
- They recycle and compost almost all of their waste and have very little general waste.
- They reuse plastic containers wherever possible.
- Packaging and paper
- They allow customers to bring in their own take-away containers.
- They use recyclable and biodegradable takeaway containers and biodegradable disposable forks and knives; they use recycled unbleached envelopes for office stationary.
- They use e-light long life bulbs; they use Airtricity – a wind energy company, as their electricity provider.
- They use natural gas for all their cooking.
- Employees Health
- They have a bike-to-work scheme for employees.
- Their staff eat nutritious vegetarian food to keep them healthy and happy.
The interior of Cornucopia is welcoming and comfortable.
Being that it was a windy, cool day with a storm approaching, I was cozy and warm inside Cornucopia. There are casual tables to seat 2, 4, or even more. They also host private parties, if desired.
We chose a wooden booth that featured a lovely floral wallpaper behind it. We felt like we could have been in a grandmother’s kitchen. A health-conscious Irish grandmother’s kitchen, that is.
A reason to return
On their website, Cornucopia is advertising Live Guitar & Harp Music on Thursdays and Fridays from 7.30 – 9.30pm. The next time I visit Dublin, I can’t wait to dive into their dinner menu in a fantastic setting with a background of guitar and harp. Diners on Yelp and Trip Advisor also love Cornucopia.
Thank you Cornucopia for offering such health-conscious, delicious and ethical food options in the heart of Dublin. And thanks for being open on the morning of ex Ophelia. Our stomachs thank you as well.
That afternoon, we returned to our lodging to wait out the storm. We were lucky in Dublin, and save some wind blown leaves, the storm was uneventful. We even saw this rainbow that afternoon.
Cornucopia is located at 19/20 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, Ireland and their hours are Monday: 8.30 – 21.00, Tuesday – Saturday: 8.30 – 22.00, Sunday & Public Holidays: 12.00 – 21.00.
Have you been to Cornucopia? What’s your favorite healthy restaurant in Dublin?