Having dabbled with the idea of veganism for the good part of a year, I finally found my feet in November 2017. The very same month, Edinburgh would be my first trip away as a fully fledged vegan, and I was both nervous and excited.
To make life as easy as possible, I consulted the good ol’ internet prior to my visit and found myself immersed in an ocean of useful information. My most valued resource was Vegan Edinburgh, a comprehensive collection of vegan-friendly recommendations revolving around restaurants, cafes and everything in between (thank you Emma)!
So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s where I ate as a vegan in Edinburgh, over three days:
Edinburgh in November was cold. One hell of a lot colder than I had anticipated; and I was craving a cooked breakfast to warm my bones and fill me with the kind of energy you need for hours of traipsing around a new city. My gut (and my stomach) knew that The Caffeine Drip should be first on the agenda.
The basement cafe has a South African twist, though I opted for a brekkie much closer to home; scrambled tofu, mushrooms, avocado and haggis. Vegan haggis. The stuff dreams are made of.
I really loved the shabby decor and warm, cosy feel to the place, a welcomed pitstop from the bitter winter air. The coffee went down well too.
I love cake. I don’t think I could go a week without a little bit of cake, so we dropped in here for a hot drink and a slice of the good stuff.
This 100% vegan joint is another basement cafe, yet it has a wonderfully light and airy feel about it. The decor is charming, the staff are lovely and it serves a range of lunch foods, including burgers, soups, sandwiches and salads.
Mexican food is my weakness. When I’m craving something particularly junk-like, I usually turn to this comfort-inducing cuisine. Illegal Jack’s caught my eye for two reasons; it had vegan cheese available and something I’d been wanting to try for a while, pulled jackfruit.
I ordered an enormous bowl of nachos, complete with the sweet, sticky BBQ jackfruit, guacamole and oozy melted cheese and was left in a glorious food coma for the rest of the evening.
We reserved a table at this vegetarian restaurant for my birthday meal, as I fancied getting a little dressed up and experiencing the snazzier side of vegan cuisine. We both opted for the aubergine, chickpea and cashew koftas, which came with roasted sweet potato in a coconut, courgette and tomato sauce, green beans and toasted almond flakes. Beautiful.
I loved this vegetarian cafe, so much so, that I went there twice! Most dishes on the menu are, or can be made vegan friendly.
I fancied a sweet breakfast one morning, so ordered the pumpkin pancakes. They came topped with Sgaia streaky bacon (life changing), banana, maple syrup, walnuts and pecans.
The counter was full of tempting brownies, though I was too full to sample them on this occasion.
On our last day in the city, we headed back for a roast dinner; a mountain of nut loaf, hassleback potatoes, roast veggies and a vegan yorkshire pudding.
I found Edinburgh to be exceptionally vegan-friendly. Not once did I feel awkward or struggle to find decent food; from the healthy snack to a cheeky wedge of cake, a causal cafe brunch or a bit of posh nosh. To see what activities I got up to (between stuffing my face), check out my last blog post, How to Spend 3 Days in Edinburgh.
Have you been to Edinburgh? Do you have any vegan foodie recommendations?