There’s nothing worse than enduring a post-lunch slump and struggling through the second half of your working day in a sleepy, stuffed, saturated haze. We believe in healthy nutrition with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to fuel you through the day, and lunch should be filling, fuelling and fast (even better when there’s a little fruit in there too!)
Dublin is absolutely awash with healthy eating options to see you through the daily grind and we’ve rounded up 10 of the best salad bars in Dublin!
Newly-opened in the IFSC is Foodie Cafe, run by young entrepreneur Chloe Harris. She describes her popular little cafe as “a passionate love letter to delicious and healthy food”. Basing the menu around salads and sandwiches (all with very witty names and very delicious ingredients), there’s also porridge, egg pots, all-day breakfast and protein shakes. Sure where could you go wrong?
With some of the city’s most sought-after sandwiches filled with incredible Irish produce, Oxmantown is guaranteed to have a queue every lunchtime. You’ll find this little cafe right between the Four Courts and Abbey Street in Dublin 7. If you’re not in the mood for a sambo, salad is a steal at €5 whilst the soup of the day is just €3.50. Sandwiches range from €5.50 base price to €6.90 for the daily special options.
Salads and noodles – two lunchtime staples that a lot of us will have had time and time again, but Toss’d makes the familiar feel really refreshed. Right in the heart of Dublin’s financial district in the CHQ Building, pick up one of the pre-prepared salad plates for just €7.50 or build-your-own with the likes of grilled courgette, real roast chicken, crayfish, spiced chickpeas and blue cheese; every combination under the sun is pretty much catered to here!
“You are what you eat” is the bones of what Borlottie is based upon. With a desire to increase wellbeing, energy and vitality and maintain a healthy lifestyle, eating healthily at lunchtime is easy with Borlottie, which has two branches (one in the IFSC and one on Baggot Street) and also deliver direct to offices. They look to promote the nutritional values and benefits of their menu, from the richness of vital vitamins, essential amino acids and proteins to the essential carbs and fats necessary for everyday function, not to mention a focus on that all-important foodie feel good factor.
6. Honest to Goodness
Nestled neatly on Dame Court is Honest to Goodness whose food philosophy is ‘ totally natural ingredients (without preservatives); freshly-baked bread; and good food that tastes great in a place you can enjoy, leaving you well-fed, happy and honest’. Everything’s made from scratch right in the kitchen and they have an incredible amount of fresh and flavoursome salads and sandwiches – all for just €7 or €8.
Outside the city centre you have the likes of Urban Health in Ranelagh, The Happy Pear in Greystones (with head chef Juan Manteca at the stove, read our interview with him) and Select Stores in Dalkey. A little closer to the city centre in Clontarf is Fuel (formerly Honeysuckle). Eating clean, lean, healthy food means plain, tasteless and boring to most. At FUEL, eating healthily promises tasty, zesty and fresh dishes, full of herbs and spices, nuts, pulses, lean and fresh fish and meat and an incredible array of vegetables and salads. From former Gruel chef Benedict Gorman in association with The Edge Gym, Fuel offers meals that fit in with the latest advances in healthy nutrition for everyone from the healthy-ish to the elite athletes. Getting into great shape is predominantly a direct result of what we eat, so this is a fantastic pairing.
One of the kings of the salad scene in Dublin is Chopped, which specialises in build-your-own salads freshly ‘chopped’ to-order in their six branches across Dublin and beyond (with many more in the works and even a franchise scheme rolling out). Choose your perfect combination of crisp lettuces, garden fresh vegetables, incredible salad dressings and more than 30 other additional toppings and ingredients. With a focus on low-fat and low carb salads and sauces, you can have your creation in a bowl or in a fresh wrap.
For vegetarian and vegans, head over to Cornucopia on Wicklow Street for salads that are definitely not run of the mill. Serving some of Dublin’s most comforting, filling and fresh salad plates and larger hot veggie mains for the past 30 years, it’s sometimes on the pricier side but very generously-portioned – you’ll never leave here hungry! Sit at the bar by the window on the ground floor or head upstairs to perch and people watch as you enjoy your grub.
2. Blazing Salads
Obviously, the closer to Grafton Street you find yourself you’ll be spoilt for choice with the likes of Avoca, Alchemy and Fallon & Byrne nearby – all big names with great options themselves. While over on Drury Street sits one of the city’s most established and celebrated salad bars – Blazing Salads. Combining a deli, salad bar, bakery and café, this family-run business has been feeding the hungry people of Dublin for 15 years and some of their flavour combinations are really second to none.
A real game-changer and one of the best of the bunch, Eathos is a Baggot Street-based whole foods café and restaurant that’s one of the best new additions to the Dublin casual dining scene over the past few years. Located on Upper Baggot Street, eathos is a café, eatery and patisserie that, as the name suggests, has a particular philosophy at its core.
Run by Lisa Murrin – a fellow Clontarf native – eathos offers a fresh approach to food, with quality and provenance at the forefront of everything they offer. Daily salads, hot and cold dishes are created by the team’s innovative chefs, who have designed a menu of creative flavours with first-class ingredients, delivered by incredibly cheery and friendly staff. From weekday lunch to mid-morning breakfast, weekend brunch to a coffee and cake grabbed on-the-go, eathos really has everything under its big glaring white roof!