Dublin is a city that boasts an incredible spectrum of restaurants and cafes.
Offering incredible food to suit any lunchtime-taste.
You’re probably expecting me to advise the bland chicken salad.
Theres no dish thats off limits.
But you do need to understand your nutrition goals to make informed choices that support your goals.
Thats what flexible nutrition is all about.
Its what we use with our 28-Day Challenge clients so they can enjoy their diet, social occasions, eat out and still get incredible results.
In this post we look at 7 awesome Dublin based restaurants offering tasty and healthy food that won’t break the (calorie)bank..
See what I did there. *Zing*
In no particular order let’s get to it!
1- Póg – Bachelor Walk/ Tara street – Dublin city Centre
With a menu that caters for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike Pog has become a popular destination among health enthusiasts since its opening a number of years ago.
Got a sweet tooth? The incredible range of protein pancakes are sure to fit you nutrition set while also packing the punch you need for a sweet-treat.
Easy to manage and track this option is sure to satisfy your conscious yet non-restrictive lunch-time needs!
Of course, this establishment also offers a host of superfood options; from salads to smoothies and to sandwiches to Acai bowls.
Pog offers a host of hot and cold options packed with healthy vitamins, nutrients and taste to boot! *mouth waters*
Coach’s Pick: For me, it has to be the Acai Bowl. Full of locally source and exotic fruits and topped with incredible textured toppings the bowl is not only filling but a feast for the eyes. Don’t play yourself and get stuck into one of the most nutrient dense options on any menu – anywhere.
2 –Baristas Cafe – Sandyford Industrial Estate
A hidden gem for those of us looking for an incredible meal while also maintaining focus on our nutrition goals,.
Barista’s Cafe Sandyford does not only have friendly staff efficient service and a cosy, casual atmosphere; but an incredibly varied menu that caters to just about any health-focused foodie.
With a menu that breaks down the nutrition of every meal and Chefs happy to make changes (sound) to dishes we can be guaranteed an easy to monitor and manipulate and tasty lunch.
Using only fresh produce, some of which is grown on-site in their garden a visit to this restaurant is a must.
Quality service, friendly staff and incredible food – can you ask for much more.
Coach’s Pick: This time it has to be the 4-8 whole egg/egg white omelette. This dish doesn’t compromise on taste nor volume. With the option to opt for egg white or whole eggs or a mix of both along with a host of possible ingredients this egg-cellent option is sure to leave you feeling totally full and satisfied.
3 – Cocu – Chatham Street, Hatch Street and Baggot Street – Dublin City Center
What makes Cocu so good is its message of simplicity, quality and creativity.
With its ‘salad/food – bar’ style of service there’s no doubt that you will be able to make the choices that suit the pickiest of the picky.
A solid for all of us guys with specific calorie and macro breakdowns!
Salads, Shakes, Smoothie-Bowls; all of your favorite nutrient rich foods under one roof.
Like every establishment we’ll talk about – Cocu will not skip out on quality ingredients for the sake of a cheaper service.
One can truly taste the quality of the food here regardless of whether you go for the sweeter smoothie/acai bowls, vegan meals or treats, salad or meat-based options.
There’s truly something for everyone here and with three locations around the city you’re never too far away from a solid meal.
Coach’s Pick: I’d opt for creating you own box. For me I go in with a script saying the same thing every time and it NEVER disappoints;
‘’Hit me with the Korean Chicken on a base of Brown Rice and Leafy Greens and sprinkle some Toasted Almonds on that.. Please and Spank you.’’
5 – F O O D I E – IFSC – Dublin City Centre
When you see the menu of this vibrant and upbeat cafe you get the immediate vibe of good food and good vibes.
‘Holy-Guaca Molly’, ‘Get figgy with it’, ‘Hamazing’ and my personal favourite ‘Motha’Clucka’ are just some of the options to choose from that all make up the bulk of your salad, sandwich or wrap. Again a positive atmosphere, quality service and ability to picky are probably the big Go-Gos for us Bodyfat-fighting-food-lovers and FOODIE ticks every box.
Set up by Chloe Harris, the message of foodie is a simple one. Healty food needs to be accessible and affordable. But, sometimes we can allow ourselves a particularly large slice of cake. Health comes first, but as we all know, balance is key and these guys have the balance of a food-loving tightrope walker.
*We had a bit of an issue getting the menu for FOODIE because its just SO BIG but the link above will take you straight there – just click the heading!*
Coach’s Pick: Motha’Clucka takes this one. Or in English – Lime and basil chicken with semi-sundried tomatoes served with slaw on a soft brown roll, wrap or in a leafy green salad. Voluminous, tasty, healthy and wholesome. My go-to everytime.
5 – The Lo-Cal Kitchen – Phoenix Park/ Castleknock – Dublin
With an ever changing and expanding menu but a message of healthy low-calorie meals the LO-cal kitchen is fast-becoming one of the bucket-list venues for health-nuts across The Big Smoke.
Salads – check. Pancakes – check. Beef Brisket – Check. Low calorie hangover curing all-day breakfasts – you better believe it. Expansive, varied and delicious.
In the heart of Castleknock The Lo-Cal Kitchen pave the way in finding healthy and food plan-friendly supplements for all of your favourite go-to lunch ideas.
Unrefined, ethically sourced and whole. The quality of the food here equates the quality of the service.
Helpful staff help you run through the options happy to break down every detail of your choice. Picky? Thats cool, I have personally created my own version of the ‘Beef Brisket’ without any fuss.
With a homely and comforting vibe The Lo-Cal Kitchen combined with walk through the ground of the Phoenix Park is a weekend lunch essential and is sure to set you up for a productive and nutritionally sound day!
Coach’s Pick: The Chicken Pesto Stack. That is all. Get it, eat it. Get it again.
6 – Cornucopia (V) – Wicklow Street – Dublin City Centre
Set up in 1986, Cornucopia has become THE place to go for vegetarian and vegan friendly lunch options.
What makes it so good?
Even if you don’t live on the veggie side of life totally you can still eat incredibly well presented and prepared tasty food.
Believe me, I love meat and still visit Cornucopia on a regular basis with my Plant-based pals.
Salads, Stews, Noodles and sweet-things that change by-the-day. You want a vegetarian or vegan option, these guys are bound to have it.
All sourced in a means that is ethical and waste minimising, the food here is of the highest standard.
And truth be told, every option would give your animal-based counterparts a run for their money.
For an eye-opening experience as an omnivore or if setting up a lunch-date with your Veggie orientated pals this is my go-to recommendation for all things scrumptious and… plant-y? You get it. Eat here.
*Cornucopia is yet another crazy-big menu. Follow that link to take yourself right to the day-to-day menu*
Coach’s Pick: Get yourself in there on a Thursday and smash a serving of the Marinated Tofu-Rice sure to knock you into a taste-trip, fill you up and get your thoughts on plant-based options changing!
7 – Sprout & Co. – Multiple Dublin Locations
First set up exclusively serving juices, Sprout has quickly grown to a well-regarded establishment serving whole and health meals both accessible and affordable.
As a theme with most health-focused restaurants everything is locally produced and ethically sourced.
This means the menu often changes but the quality remains!
With a number of locations around the city center and beyond you are sure to be close to your next health-based lunch option and possibly your new favorite eatery.
All the go-to options are abundant here. Salads, shakes, smoothies sandwiches and wraps – you’re sure to find what you’re looking for, leave happy and return for something new. (or the same, we don’t judge).
*Sprout & Co.’s Menu is but a click away – go get hungry*
Coach’s Pick: Roasted Turkey Salad and pick up a juice as well. Whilst many juices aren’t all that healthy, Sprout & Co. cold press their juices meaning they don’t oxidise or degrade the fruit or veg, thus preserving 100% of their nutrients. Tasty and smooth with health to boot.
Some honorable Mentions:
Brother Hubbards, Square One Cafe, The Happy Pear, Ethos, Chopped among others!
See, an impromptu lunch in Dublin does not have to spell disaster for you or your goals. You can easily access affordable healthy meals at a very reasonable price. So, to all of my goal driven, food lovin, flavour chasing, scrumptious savour- you get it. Get out there and enjoy lunch. Accept that offer for a date or maybe even set one up.