Fiddler’s Hearth is the very first restaurant we dined at when moving to South Bend, Indiana. It is a traditional Irish pub located downtown. Genki Husband and I absolutely love Irish pubs for not only the food but the atmosphere- this place fits exactly into these two categories. South Bend does have a large Irish heritage background so it is not really a surprise but it is thrilling experience to go to this restaurant. Actually I have never been to Ireland (just a frequent visiter at an Irish pub in Japan), but if I were to go I would imagine this is what would be seen. One would not expect it but there are vegan options:
We have dined a few times at the Fiddler’s Hearth so we have had plenty of experience with tasting the food. I can generally say you will love the food, as long as you are not expecting a full on salad experience. Who goes to an Irish Pub though for a salad? ha-ha Not anyone I know but just thought I should mention it just in case.
Just in case you are the type that likes to know ahead of time, there is parking in front of the restaurant but mostly of the time it is full as it is downtown. The great thing about parking is there is a parking garage across the one-way street and it is free for the first two hours. Can it get any better?
Why yes it can with the food!! Remember it is more traditional Irish Pub food so everything is warming, hearty and homey. If I weren’t German but Irish, I would imagine the food served here would be what my imaginary Irish grandmother would make for us grand-kids. Think Shepherd’s pies, pastry’s, soups and so on. Seating is family style, so everyone rather sits together at combined tables during busy hours, like Friday nights. If you aren’t good at sharing a table with others, I would suggest take-out.
There is actually an in-house made vegan burger; yes, you read that correctly. It is made from mushroom/barley and has a slight spice to it. It is a rather large burger so Genki Husband and I tend to share it one lighter days. There are days when we are greedy though and don’t want to share – which let’s face it is a lot of the time. ha-ha Order it without the cheese.
Not only is the burger made in-house, the fries are too. Now I am a fry addict so I am a bit picky on them. These are amazing! I could eat these just about every day. nom nom nom
Night photo on a live music night so the lighting was really hard to get a photo, sorry. This was a special item called Tempeh Reuben, I think. Occasionally the restaurant has special items on the menu for a week or so and this was one of them. I wish it was a permanent item since it was so moist and delicious. Normally I can only eat 1/2 a sandwich but I ate this entire dish myself. So greedy, I know!
On the same dark night Genki Husband ordered one of his favorite dishes, Shepherd’s Pie. This was another special of the week and he loved it! Why do restaurants tease us? This might be available if you ask your waitstaff nicely. It’s worth it.
As you can tell we have been to the the Fiddler’s Hearth a few times and each time we have never had any complaints. We have been a few more times than the photos given here but we ordered the same items so I didn’t want to repeat. The food is wonderful and if that weren’t enough, the waitstaff is always very nice and helpful when you tell them you are vegan. We have not come across anyone that does not know what vegan is so you can ask them what they have as specials or what they suggest. The price is also very reasonable for the area so you can dine and leave happy in all aspects of the dining experience.
My suggestions: (From the Permanent Menu)
Fresh Cut Chips (Starter)
Wilted Kale Salad with the Tahini Dressing- to make this a meal you can add marinated grilled tofu for an extra fee
Madras Curry with Tofu (Never actually tried this but it is available)
Mushroom Barley Burger
If you go to this restaurant, which I highly suggest, tell them Genki Kitty Sent you!