Well now i must say, the last thing I expected to happen when I moved home from one of the most veggie-friendly city in England (Bristol) -as a fully-fledged plant-eater- was for a plant-focused café to open in my home-town! I always commented on how the “Alaska” of Ireland was rural and traditional in it’s beliefs and that vegetarianism, never mind veganism, was a rare and unusual thing. And to be fair, when I first went veggie, it definitely was! But times have RAPIDLY changed….and i mean RAPIDLY! It’s crazy how many Donegal vegans and veggies there are these days and it delights my heart. 🙂
Wholegreen café opened in the heart of Letterkenny (which is the heart of Donegal ;)) on the Church Lane in early December 2015 (exactly around the time I moved to Dublin…typical). Anna and her husband Paul, the owners, also run their own cold-pressed juice company which is what led to the opening of a plant-based café.
They serve an array of colourful and raw salads, a number of hot dishes from curries to stews, with wedges, rice or beautiful homemade bread as a side. The salads range from spiralised courgette and broccoli to beetroot and apple concoctions, and there’s also a beautiful kale, brussels sprout and goji berry one too! All full of flavour and easy on the eye with all the colours. Eat the rainbow, as they say.
The also serve beautiful and decadent desserts that you can enjoy completely GUILT-FREE!! Since when do you meet a friend for coffee, share a slice of cake and NOT have to worry what part of your hips the cake will end up? Never! But this happens in Wholegreen! You can enjoy your food worry-free, knowing that your body is getting the fuel it needs along with a whole heap of nutrients, all the while tasting like the most indulgent food ever!
It is a food revolution and we all need to get behind it! Eating out should not be the set-back to our diet or something we regret or feel guilty for. It’s about time we had somewhere to go that provided healthy food as well as a nice lunch experience.
Oh and guess what. THEY MAKE VEGAN SCONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now I can’t proclaim that scones are healthy, whether vegan or not. But when they’re vegan you can be sure they are butter-free and cholesterol-free as a result. It’s not a common thing to be able to get a decent scone as a vegan! In fact I don’t know anywhere else who does them.
Aside from the beautiful food for eating in, they also stock a range of juices, healthy breakfast pots to go, specialty health foods that you can’t get anywhere else like super food and vegan protein powders, nut butters, healthy snacks like Nakd infused raisins and Cliff bars.
And the vegans or veggies of Donegal are not the only target clientele of Wholegreen. Anna and Paul want to see healthy people everywhere. They want everyone in Donegal to have access to food that will fuel them, fight disease and protect against disease. More and more evidence is coming to light lately that is exposing the meat myth and the “wonders” of protein. Thousands of studies show the healing effects of a plant-based diet. Heart disease is the leading killer in Donegal and it can not only be prevented by eating a plant-based diet, but it can be reversed!
So Wholegreen isn’t just there for the craic. That food can heal. It’s something we all need to eat more of, and maybe you can get ideas and inspiration from the beautiful food there and attempt some of the recipes yourself.
It’s so uplifting to see a plant-focused café 4 hours from the capital. If Donegal can do it, every county in Ireland should too! The food is tasty, healthy, interesting, nice to look at, and very reasonably priced. All served with a smile from the cheery and always positive Anna. 🙂
This place is a must.