It was once a craze favoured by healthfood nuts but ‘eating paleo’ is now a hugely popular lifestyle choice. Fans of the paleo diet can often be identified by their impressive collections of Tupperware and the bags of nuts they’ll have stashed in their bag. They’ve learnt that the best way to stay paleo compliant is to make it yourself. But with increased demand comes increased supply and more and more Dublin restaurants are offering specific paleo options.
First stop is Borlottie in the IFSC. This places oozes health and well-being and just walking in the door will make you feel like a better person. They’ve gone to the effort of getting their beet box, power box and gym box salads endorsed by Crossfit, who are the biggest paleo fans of all.
Drury Street’s Kaph, is fast gaining a name as the city’s leading paleo friendly café. With coconut milk lattes and cakes supplied by Paleo Man Foods they certainly won’t make you feel like you’re on a diet.
An Indian usually goes hand in hand with colossal servings of Naan bread and rice but Bombay Pantry have an entire page on their website dedicated to paleo. It’s not that they have a separate menu but more that they’re highlighting the paleo friendly options on their menu and emphasising that they’re passionate about provenance and they make everything from scratch, including their own yoghurt. Yes please.
J2 Grill and Sushi is a cool little spot overlooking the Liffey. The combo of sashimi to start and steak with salad for mains sounds like a fine way to fill up without falling off the wagon.
Pablo Picante at Clarendon Market. You might not expect a burrito joint to feature on a ‘healthy eating list’ but in January Pablo Picante announced the arrival of the ‘El Fresco Paleo Box’ at their Clarendon Street outlet and it’s a tasty looking box of goodness.
Fighter Food. This is a home delivery service where you can get 12 paleo and low carb meals delivered to your door €90. They’re popular with top UFC fighter Cathal Pendred. And, well, have you seen him? We’re not going to argue.
Steak. Any paleo enthusiast worth their salt know it’s not hard to eat out on the paleo diet, you just flock to the nearest steakhouse. Our pick for this is South William Street’s Bear. All their sides are sold separately so you can choose buttered leeks or a side salad and avoid arguments with the waiter about whether or not he can swap the fries for something else. Just don’t cave in when he offers you the ‘millionaire fries’.
Bunsen Burger on Wexford Street has a paleo option involving lettuce instead of a bun. It’s a nice touch which gives the anti-bread brigade the chance to sample their excellent burgers. They have sweet potato fries too which will please the paleoists even more.
With paleo fans using their ‘cheat meals’ when they go out for a fancy dinner not many high end restaurants are heavy on the healthy options. The exception is Rustic Stone where Dylan McGrath is bucking the trend by giving healthy food the five star treatment.