Plant Bae is a vegan and vegetarian cafe in the West End of Edinburgh, a mere stones throw away from the center’s smaller Haymarket train station. It’s an impressive pint-sized addition to Edinburgh’s growing list of vegan-friendly cafes; a trendy little spot to enjoy a weekend brunch or a casual coffee. You can find even more inspiration in my vegan breakfast in Edinburgh post.
Pretty cafes in Edinburgh
With its little pastel coloured booths and neat rows of bar-stooled benches, Plant Bae reminds me of the small (but fashionable) fast-food vegan cafes you might find hidden amongst the streets Berlin or Milan.
Plant Bae Edinburgh menu
When I first visited Plant Bae, they were still working on putting their menu on their website. This now seems to have been remedied, but since you;re here …
Alongside a familiar offering of smoothie bowls, granolas and plant-based breakfasts, Plant Bae have a hidden ace up their vegan sleeves: waffles! And not just any waffles! I’m talking ultimate waffles.
Up until now, I’ve never used waffles as a way of converting newbies to the clan of cruelty-free. Harmonium, in Edinburgh’s East end, serves up a tasty fried chicken and waffle dish, but excitement for them still tends to be reserved for these of us truly invested in our vegan journey.
What we needed was a hook. A syringe full of Biscofe sauce perhaps?
I’m not joking. Syringes in your food shouldn’t be work, right? But fill it with sugary goodness and pop them in a dairy-free dessert and suddenly it’s the smartest thing I’ve seen Edinburgh’s cafe scene do for a long time.
Vegan brunch in Edinburgh
There are 3 vegan waffles options to choose from at Plant bae, I opted for the Bi-scoff it down; waffles topped with blueberries, Bi-scoff sauce, crushed Biscoff, vegan yoghurt and finished off with a bar of chocolate peanut butter avocado ganache. Wait whilst I pretend not to calorie count!
Always keen to line our stomachs with something savoury, we also order the ‘Magic Mushrooms’. Not to be confused with the more obvious interpretation of magic mushrooms, this dish consists of a generously sized sourdough slice, topped with walnut meat and mushrooms in a cashew garlic aioli. This was delicious but, be warned, was very garlic heavy.
The final verdict
If you’re in the Haymarket neighborhood, it’s definitely worth checking this place out. I’d have loved to see them get truly creative and step up to the plate with a fully vegan menu like some of their existing Edinburgh competitors have.
Plant Bae’s statement reads that they are on a mission “to help everyone introduce more plant based foods into their diet, whilst showcasing how tasty and nonrestrictive a plant based diet can be.” With this in mind, it was disappointing to have to pay an extra 30p for dairy-free milk (and it’s often a decision maker for me when making a quick coffee stop). I get it, I really do! The alternatives cost more, but when a possible 50% of your target customer is after it …
Am I being whiny? Maybe. Should I just be grateful that another cafe is trying to make a difference? Probably! Would my grumbling have been put to a prompt stop with the addition of cheap ass soy option like other places offer? Most definitely. We’re crossing our fingers for a menu that delivers Plant Bae’s mission without offering dairy options. Perhaps I’m being somewhat over critical, but we felt it creates a confusing message to those new to the plant-based diet.
Regardless, go try the waffles … and the mushrooms!