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 positioned me right next to my perfect pal. After chatting about our destination for a while, we got onto to topic of vegan food in Edinburgh.
And that’s when I got to realising … Edinburgh has become a main talking point for veganism in the UK. 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’ve definitely made our mark – it was recently voted as one of the UK’s most vegan friendly cities!
Below are some of my favourite vegan friendly restaurants in Edinburgh. I’ve deliberately left out a few of the big obvious ones, everyone knows them (Hendersons Edinburgh, for example, who I’ve mentioned in other posts). Certain others I find a little over rated (I won’t name names).
Hula Juice Cafe Edinburgh
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, 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!!!). It’s a wonderful place to get a vegan breakfast in Edinburgh, set amongst beautiful old-town surroundings.
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!). The most fabulous vegan shop experience. I’m still not really over my excitement. Be sure not to look out for Hilary and Alberto at the Sgaia ‘Mheat’ stand; my favourite vegan visionaries, their passion is unrivalled. 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*
Paradise Palms Edinburgh
Unreal ‘pub grub’, veggie/vegan style. Paradise Palms oozes cool, acting as a diner, bar, events venue and record store. This place is 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 plentiful list of events they run, including pub crafts and charity music festivals. Go try their pulled BBQ jack fruit and hot dogs now!!
Wee Buddha Vegan food
My ‘best kept secret’ of vegan friendly restaurants in Edinburgh. Again, not specifically vegan/veggie, however Wee Buddha‘s menu is heavy on the cruelty-free side. The chef makes a 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.
Looking for more vegan food in Edinburgh? Since writing this post, I’ve added a second Edinburgh vegan food guide to my list. Check it out for a more extensive list!