Yoga Travel Guide: Belfast, Ireland

Vegan eating and drinking

387 Ormeau Road

Well this cafe is an absolute treat! Let us start with the food , a 100% vegan cafe , I went for some cake and coffee on my first visit – the raspberry-choc brownie which are all made and delivered by local vegan bakery Crumbs Bakery alongside an oat milk flat white. What better combo can one ask for? I did take about five minutes standing at the counter trying to choose from the mouth-watering selection on offer; next time I’m going for the carrot cake. The coffee is also delicious.

On my second visit I went for their spinach soup which is served with bread and vegan spread. They also serve a vegan stew,’sausage’ rolls and plenty more to fill you with some plant based nourishment.

 

 

This is clearly a popular spot and I can understand why, the staff alone were so friendly and helpful and open to chat about the cafe and actually let me know about the upcoming vegan festival that happened to coincide with my trip. The cafe itself is cosy with a warm, bright and wooden interior, the board games are also quite a hit with the people who come here to pass a couple of hours in this relaxed space.

There is a small health store section where you can stock up on some health food items and vegan goodies to take home with you.

There are a couple of tables outside where you can sit.

I would have made many more trips here if I had more time (and space to eat more food) but I will definitely be back next time!

 

 

 

Kaffe-O

I just popped in here as I liked the look of it from the outside , I think my vegan friendly and good coffee radar is super sharp now, as this nordic inspired cafe was great. The coffee (with my second love, Oatly) was great, the beans are roasted in Copenhagen by roasting master Ricco Sorenson and delivered to these Belfast based cafes.

I always assume there will be some thing that can be made vegan friendly on the savoury menu but I’m always really happy to see vegan friendly desserts (they had some really tempting treats on offer here) – even if I opt for the savory choice, I appreciate how nice it is to have something sweet to enjoy with your beverage, if that is the mood you are in.

I had the veggie stew – which was a warm bowl of sweet potato, tomato-ey warmth, served with salad and some bread. Delicious.

Their mugs are fab by the way – and they have a mini shop with some really beautiful pottery and goodies on sale.

They use Vegware compostable cups and cutlery for their take-away customers.

I really liked this place, the atmosphere and the really lovely staff. I visted the Botanic road cafe but they have another location on Ormeau road and a kiosk at Donegall House.

Definitely recommend here for coffee, lunch, cakes or just a spot of coffee inspired shopping.

 

 

Umi Felafel in Belfast.

 

Umi Falafel 

I have wanted to eat in Umi Felafel for a while now since I became aware of their existence in Dublin city and being a hummus and falafel super fan (isn’t everyone?!). When I spotted that they also have a restaurant in Belfast (right near where I stayed) I had my sights set on eating here all weekend.

I went there super hungry after miles of walking around the city and a few hours spent in the gym and sauna, so I was ready for a delicious feast when I arrived – and I was not disappointed.

Firstly – the girls who served me were both so friendly and helpful (no matter how tasty the food is, I won’t return if the staff ain’t nice!) but there were all super nice!

I went for the (obvious , no?) hummus – lots of hummus- some salad and falafel, served with pitta bread. I got to try some of the baba ganush , which was also super tasty.

So all in all, a delicious feast was had and my hunger was well and truly eliminated. They also have a great selection of salads and varying versions of felafel to choose from.

If you are looking for some tasty, filling and reasonably priced eating then this is a great option.

Look at this feast – all the hummus, all the felafel.

 

Boojum

Did you know that Boojum  was set up by a couple from Belfast and was where the first burrito bar opened? I didn’t!

This burrito mecca is as popular in Belfast as it seems to be in Galway! I like Boojum when I need some quick, low cost eating – and you get loads of food, which I am all for! So after arriving late on a Thursday evening with days of of travel behind me – it was the perfect option for some quick and filling food.

There are quite a few locations around the city and never lets me down for some healthy-ish fast food.

 

 

Grab some good coffee or sit in for brunch at Harlem.

 

Harlem Cafe 

This place was buzzing on Saturday morning when I popped in here for a coffee , definitely looks like a weekend brunch spot.

The coffee was delicious and I had a quick look at the menu and they had a vegan breakfast option, with any Irish vegan’s favourite Linda McCartney sausages – so fear not there will be something for all if you decide to come here and hope for a seat.

Location 34 Bedford Street, Belfast

 

Dock Cafe

I was actually informed about this cafe on a recommendation on social media when I asked for some cool places to visit in Belfast. This was a really inspiring space to visit – Dock Cafe is a 100% donation based cafe , they have no prices and run on pay-as-you-wish basis which you can place into the ‘Honesty box’.

They have tea, coffee, some cakes and soup. It is filled with cosy couches (all donated) by the windows, or snug tables in the corners where you can play board games, read or chat to your neighbor. You are also welcome to bring in your own treats or food to enjoy in the space.

It is a very welcoming place to come and you could definitely feel comfortable to spend a few hours here to catch up on some reading or work.

The honesty cafe, all run by donations and volunteers.

It has been up and running for a few years now and it really inspired me to see a place like this exist and be so well supported.

I came in here after a nice long walk across Belfast and down to the docks to look at the Titanic museum (by look , I mean I went in the door and walked around the shop and came back out – Next time I will be more cultural!).

The cafe is quirky and with lots of books, local artwork and plenty of things to read and look through.

Really lovely and open space here. I popped into the nearby Spar shop to get some vegan friendly treats to enjoy with my filter coffee.

Location 2k Queen’s Road, Belfast BT9 3DT

 

Yoga

 

Ashtanga Yoga with Gabriela, Photo taken from Gabriela’s page.

Ashtanga Yoga Belfast 

Gabriella is a Belfast based Ashtanga yoga teacher who I know from the Ashtanga community here in Ireland and practicing with her at workshops in Galway. A wonderful teacher and practitioner to practice with and learn from.

The Current time table and info for Gabriella’s classes are here:

Flow Studio Malone classes:
Monday Mysore – anytime between 6:30am and 8:30am
Friday Led – 6:30am-8:15am

Drop in: £10
Student drop in: £8
6 class: £50 – valid 2 months
Student 6 class: £45 – valid 2 months
10 class: £70 – valid 3 months
Student 10 class: £65 – valid 3 months

To book in or for more info please contact gabriellanicholson@hotmail.co.uk

Location Flow Studio, 52 Hill Street, BT1 2RS Belfast

 

 

Walking and Nature 

 

Botanic Gardens

Soak up the plant healing at the Botanic Gardens.

 

Botanic Gardens are always a great way to spend a few hours and this one was not different. I loved sitting here and walking through the indoor gardens and Botanic Avenue is full or great cafes and restaurants so a perfect pre or post lunch walking spot.

This is a 28 acre park at Queen’s University which was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticulture Society.

Location College Park, Botanic Ave, Belfast

 

 

Wet feet and daffodils at Ormeau Park

 

Ormeau Park 

I really loved this park- I came here for a walk and a run a few times over my weekend here and it is gorgeous. I love parks in cities and I love cities that have lots of parks – so Belfast just keeps ticking all of the right boxes for me. Also you can pop down to 387 afterwards.

Location  Ormeau Rd, Belfast BT7 1SH, UK

 

 

Cool things happening

 

 

Irish Vegan Festival 

I just happened to be staying in Belfast on the same weekend that the Irish Vegan Festival was taking place and was delighted to have found out about it.

It was so wonderful to see a huge queue out the door when I was arriving to the festival and it was even busier inside. All of the talks were full, with people sitting on the floor and standing at the sides to fit in and hear some of the talks on offer.

Both upstairs and downstairs were buzzing all day – with so much on offer, from delicious food, cakes, juices and some exciting new vegan products new to the market. There were stalls of great vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics, clothing, accessories and lots of information stalls of charities and activist organisations who are spreading awareness of veganism and more conscious eating and consumerism.

I will be writing up a full blog post about some of the very cool vegan goodies and products I came across here. I am looking forward to the next event happening here on October 7th 2018.

Facebook event here.

Standard tickets to enter are £3 or you can pre-book VIP tickets for £15 and you will receive a bag of vegan goodies and support a great case as this festival is organised by the Farplace Animal Rescue, a UK based animal rescue and all profits from their events go directly to help the animals.

Location Europa Hotel, Great Victoria St, Belfast

 

 

St. George’s Market

Saturday market are always a nice morning routine when visiting new places, I think so anyways. There were plenty of vegan friendly spots to eat here – sweet and savory. There was a lovely stall with vegan cakes, some curry and Indian food as well as lots of other options.

It is not just food here but clothes, cosmetics, local artisans selling their goods, local growers and a lot more to peruse as you sip a smoothie, tea or coffee.

You can pop in here before taking a stroll across the bridge towards the docks and titanic museum.

 

 

Queen’s Independent Film Theatre

This is a really cool cinema in Belfast city which shows independent, indie and international movies as well an Education and outreach programmes such as talks and seminars and also they hold screenings suitable for people with disabilities.

They have popcorn, tea, coffee, drinks and some other snacks. Small and cosy theatre and a really nice atmosphere and a really great way to spend an evening. I was sorry to miss the Film Festival that was happening here the week after I visited.

Location 20 University Square, Belfast BT7 1PA

 

Fitness

 

Club Vitae Leisure Centre 

I always like to have a gym I can pop into nearby and when it has a full leisure centre- even better. I went here as I had read they had a sauna and they were happy for me to use it on a pay-as-you-go basis.

A small but fairly well equipped gym and a great sauna, steam room and jacuzzi – all nice and hot (the way I like them). There is also a swimming pool.

Large, clean and modern changing rooms – hair dryers, lockers, showers. You can refill your water bottle in the gym.

Location Clayton Hotel Belfast,22-26 Ormeau Avenue, Belfast,

 

On my list for the next visit

 

As I am only one woman, there is only so much I can actually fit into a weekend (although I do try my best to squeeze it all in). I am always stopping outside cafes and restaurants and interesting spaces though to see what is on the menu and what cool things are happening around the place. Here are a few things I will be looking for on my next trip. I also really want to do some tours and museums next time – so all recommendations for those are welcome.

 

Eat Street

Many, many people recommended this place to me and they were actually part of the Irish Vegan Festival, Another vegetarian/ vegan eatery that is top of my list next time.

Location 231 Lisburn Road, Belfast

 

Soul’s restaurant

I just happened to walk by here and stopped to look at the menu and I was delighted to see a full a la carte vegan menu on offer which was serving all sorts of Indian inspired dishes – Tofu Tikka or kofta, samosa, beet salad and other delights. Also serves non-vegan menu,

Location 89 Dublin Rd, Belfast

 

Belfast Flea Market

This is a market that runs every seecond Sunday from April to September, 12- 5 pm at the Sunflower Bar.

Location  Sunflower Public House, 65 Union Street, Belfast

 

Plant Based Living – Vegan Cookery School 

I saw these guys briefly at the Irish Vegan Festival and saw flyers in the 387 cafe, I would love to atttend a class sometime – so adding this here for the next trip and for anyone who may be interested in vegan cooking in Belfast.

 

The Nutmeg 

Knowing the local healthfood store is always helpful. I didn’t get to this shop but I saw them at the Irish Vegan Festival and I had been recommended to go here by a few places in town. The 387 cafe get their supplies from here for their shop also, so this is the place to check out for healthfood supplies.

I also just love the name!

Location 9a Lombard Street, Belfast.

 

I really loved my few days in Belfast and enjoyed the city feel but also how relaxed it felt here and how nice it was to just walk and walk around here.  I am really looking forward to coming back again very soon!

 

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