These are the best cities and towns in Ireland for vegans.

Plant-based diets are soaring in popularity in Ireland and around the world. Google searches for "vegan restaurants near me" have increased by 200% over the last year.

With this in mind, catering and hospitality experts Alliance Online Ireland have researched the top ten largest urban areas in the Republic of Ireland to find out the best cities for people following a plant-based diet.  

Using restaurant data taken from Happy Cow, and population data sourced from Ireland's 2016 census, the researchers looked at the number of vegan restaurants in each city, the number of restaurants per person, the number of top-rated restaurants, and the cheapest places for vegans in Ireland.

The number of vegan restaurants in each city

When it comes to the number of vegan restaurants, Ireland's capital city easily takes the lead. Dublin boasts 157 vegan-friendly restaurants, and 10 fully vegan restaurants, according to Happy Cow data.

Galway came in a distant second, with a total of 40 vegan-friendly restaurants and two fully vegan restaurants, followed closely by Cork, with 36 and one respectively.

Down near the bottom was Navan, with just two vegan-friendly and no fully vegan restaurants. However, the town also had the lowest population of all the destinations researched.

More surprisingly was that Limerick, the third most populous city, has no fully vegan restaurant listed on the Happy Cow website within five kilometres of the city.

The number of vegan restaurants per person

While Dublin has the most vegan restaurants when compared to other towns and cities, it doesn't have the most vegan eateries per person. That honor goes to Galway, with a total of 1,998 people for every restaurant.

(Only four of the towns and cities were able to compete in this category as these were the only ones with at least one fully vegan restaurant.)

Dublin, which is home to over a quarter of the Republic of Ireland's population, came middle of the leader board in the number of vegan-friendly restaurants per person, and was second to last place for the number of fully vegan restaurants category.

Navan came last with 15,086.5 people to every vegan eatery. 

In the fully vegan restaurant category, Dundalk came first out of the four, with 39,004 people to every vegan restaurant. However, it was near the bottom of the list in vegan-friendly restaurants per person category.

The number of top-rated vegan restaurants

Dublin was again the winner in this category, with the highest number of both vegan-friendly and fully vegan restaurants which scored four stars and above on Happy Cow. It had an impressive 68 top-rated vegan-friendly restaurants, which equates to over a third of the total vegan-friendly restaurants in the city. 

Dublin also had the most top-rated fully vegan restaurants, with an impressive nine out of the ten total fully vegan restaurants scoring four stars and above. Galway was the second highest in this category with two, followed by Dundalk and Cork with just one each. 

The cheapest place for vegans in Ireland

Cork topped the list with the lowest average price rating for fully vegan restaurants and also came joint top with Limerick in the lowest average price rating for vegan-friendly restaurants category.  Dublin came second place in both categories.

The overall winner

Dublin was the clear winner for the best Irish city for vegans. The capital has the most vegan-friendly and fully vegan restaurants, and has the highest number of top-rated vegan eateries. The research found it to be good value for money as well.

"If you're a vegan in Ireland, the good news is that you aren’t short of options in the country's capital," said John Girvan, Manager of Alliance Online Ireland.

"Dublin has a wide range of vegan restaurants with great reviews, and it's much better value for money than many think too. With an impressive 157 vegan-friendly restaurants, 68 of which are rated 4 stars or more on Happy Cow, it's easy to see why the city fared so well in our research. 

"However, there are a number of other towns and cities in Ireland that are great for vegans too. For example, Galway had the highest number of vegan-friendly restaurants by population, so you shouldn't have to worry about not being able to find a table. And Cork offers fantastic value for money for people with plant-based diets, making it a good option for vegans on a budget."

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