Sat on a flight last week, I just so happened to get sat next to a guy from Edinburgh, who turned out to be vegan. It’s like god/Buddha/Allah/whoever/whatever had checked out my Easyjet seating allocation and plonked me right next to my perfect pal. After chatting about our destination for a while, we got onto to topic of vegan dining in Edinburgh.
And that’s when I got to realising… Edinburgh is pretty shoddy in terms of vegan eats. My 1 hour flight buddy knew very little of the offerings it has (suggesting that what we do have really isn’t marketing itself to its full potential). However, in the last year we’ve seen a good turn around for our fair town (thank god!). It’s taken a while for our celebrated city to catch up to the rest of the world… but I think we’re getting there.
Below are my faves. I’ve deliberately left out a few of the big obvious ones, everyone knows them (Henderson’s – I’ve mentioned them in other posts), and others I find a little over rated (too much fuss and the flavours are lost).
Moon and Hare
Great coffee shop with a real ‘hipster’ feel (think white painted wood and lots of green plants). Moon and Hare are very much a deli style set up, with loads of coffee’s, teas, cakes alongside lunch bites such as wraps and (my personal favourite) vegan banana waffles.
Hula Juice Cafe
Take a stroll down to the grass market to enjoy not just juices, but perfectly decorated breakfast bowls and light lunchtime eats. Not strictly vegetarian I’m afraid, however, the menu is very heavy heavily focused on the fresh vegan/veggie ingredients. My two favourites; the Acai bowl, and the Maca Nana bowl (banana smoothie bowl blended with almond milk, topped with a toasted raspberry granola, blueberries and peanut butter!!!)
Leith Vegan Quarter
Everyone loves a bit of street food these days. Running on the first Saturday of every month, the Vegan Quarter at Leith market is a quick couple of stops away from town on the 22 bus route. My first trip to the market was pretty exciting; vegan pizza, vegan cake, vegan donor kebabs (yeah, you heard me!!). I’m still not really over my excitement. Be sure not to miss Hilary and Alberto at the Sgaia ‘mheat’ stand – my favourite vegan visionaries, I love how passionate they are. Focusing on simply letting you try what their cruelty free options have to offer (as opposed to guilt tripping), the duo sell their own vegan steak, burgers, bacon, deli meats…*drools*
Unreal ‘pub grub’ veggie/vegan style. Paradise Palms oozes cool, acting as a diner, bar, events venue and record store. The ideal stop to take your meat eating friends, as they specialise in burgers, hot dogs and all things calorific – they won’t even notice its not meat! Their Facebook page details the shed load of events they run, including pub crafts and charity music festivals. Go try their pulled BBQ jack fruit and hot dogs now!!
My ‘best kept secret’ of the bunch. Again, not specifically vegan/veggie, but Wee Buddha‘s menu is heavy on the cruelty free side, with the chef making the concerted effort to make their bowl dishes vegan friendly, using tasty Asian ingredients. The best bit.. the price!! Great value for money, the Malay veggie curry and udon noodle dishes were more than enough to fill my dustbin sized stomach at way under the £10 mark. If you’re feeling flash, also dip into their cocktail menu; when we were there, the staff were really keen to try out their new recipes for us.
Like this post? Check out my other ‘eating vegan’ posts;