Is it easy to be vegan in Edinburgh? Heck yes!
Hi – I’m Emma, and you may know me from the website veganedinburgh.com. I’ve been vegan for about a year and a half now and for around six months of that time I have been singing the praises of the vegan foodie scene in Edinburgh. I’ve made it my life’s mission to eat my way around all the best cruelty-free food in the city and share my mouth-watering discoveries with visitors and locals alike.
There seems to be this preconceived notion that vegan food is boring and bland – but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, in my opinion, vegan food is far more inventive and far more tasty than a lot of traditional meat and dairy dishes, and the fact that you’re doing what’s best for your health, the animals and the planet is just the proverbial cherry on the cake. Read on to discover how I would spend a foodie day in the Scotland’s capital, without a single morsel of “rabbit-food” in sight.
Breakfast – Loudons
94b Fountainbridge, EH3 9QA
One of the most popular breakfast haunts in the city has a wonderful inclusive menu, with a couple of delicious options for vegans. The blueberry pancakes are my current favourite, served with banana cream and cherries. Pair this up with a carrot, ginger and apple juice and you’ve got yourself a power-up breakfast that will stand you in good stead for the rest of the day.
Mid-morning Coffee – The Milkman
7 Cockburn Street, EH1 1BP
A relatively new addition to the Edinburgh coffee scene, The Milkman on Cockburn Street has a really great vibe and offers one of the best shots of espresso in the city. This place isn’t exclusively vegan by a long stretch, but they have sweet treats that cater for all, including treat-sized bars of Pana Chocolate and the odd vegan option from gluten-free baker Glutteny.
Lunch – The Pakora Bar
96 Hanover Street, EH2 1DR
Fancy a quick bite for lunch? Look no further than The Pakora Bar, which can be found in the heart of the New Town on Hanover Street. These guys deep-fry vegetables like no-one else in the city, and their £4 – £5 portions of pakora make for a reasonably priced yet indulgent treat. Most of their veggie options are vegan, including mushroom, asparagus, aubergine and (my personal favourite) cauliflower varieties. If you fancy something a bit more, you can also order their curry of the day, which is also usually vegan.
Dinner – Novapizza
42 Howe Street, EH3 6TH
You don’t have to roll too far away from The Pakora Bar for the next stop on our vegan tour of Edinburgh – Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen. This Italian restaurant has a completely vegetarian menu, with half of the options suitable for vegans. If you’re craving a vegan pizza fix then this is the place to go – it was even recently named by the Vegan Society as one of the best vegan pizza spots in the UK. Need I say more?
Evening Cocktails – Foundry 39
39a Queensferry Street, EH2 4RA
Again, this is not a vegan place in the slightest (in fact, their food menu is completely devoid of vegan options at the time of writing – boo!), but sometimes I find these “accidentally vegan” treats that I just have to shout about. Case in point – the Far Eastern Orchard cocktail at Foundry 39. Made with coconut cream, lemongrass-infused vodka and vanilla syrup, it’s a lovely rich concoction that is perfect for rounding off an indulgent day of eating the best vegan food in Edinburgh.