77b George Street
+44 (0)131 220 9980
Overall score: ★★★☆☆
Now, contrary to popular belief, vegans do not hang around in packs. In fact, the vast majority of my friends are categorically omnivore! So, quite often, I have to go to quite nice places that aren’t necessarily known for their vegan options. Case in point – Cafe Andaluz, one of Edinburgh’s most popular Spanish tapas restaurants on George Street.
My experience in Edinburgh is that you can pretty much dine anywhere as a vegan, as long as you tell your server when you order. Cafe Andaluz was no different, and I’m delighted to report there are a couple of great vegan dishes on offer in this popular Spanish tapas haunt.
Vegan food available at Cafe Andaluz
Unfortunately, as is still so often the case these days, none of these vegan options are clearly labelled on the menu. I also had to explain to the server that omelettes generally have eggs in them and so no, they are not usually vegan(!). Having said that, once we clarified the parameters of the vegan diet, the server was really helpful in cobbling together a few dishes that would be safe to eat. Some I was able to have right off the menu, others had to be tweaked slightly.
These were the dishes that were good to go for me, but always double check when you order as menus and ingredients may change:
- Pimientos De Padrón: Small green peppers served in a pan and sprinkled with salt
- Ensalada Marroqui: A salad of sweet potato, parsnip and chickpeas with a tomato dressing
- Ensalada Andaluza: Asparagus, artichokes and sunblush tomatoes with a sweet hinamin dressing (similar to tahini – according to a quick google)
All these items are also on their special menu – so if you visit before 6.30pm Monday to Friday you can get all three for a special price (£12.95 at the time of writing).
I had the ensalada marroqui and the ensalada andaluza, plus the berenjenas rellenas de pimientos, without the mozzarella cheese. All three dishes were absolutely delicious, although I must admit the ensalata andaluza was my personal favourite. I am going through a bit of an artichoke phase at the moment, which this dish certainly catered too.
The berenjenas rellenas de pimientos was wonderful as well, which makes me wonder what the mozzarella cheese would really add to it. The only dish that I would consider swapping out next time would be the ensalada marroqui, purely because I find sweet potato a bit hit-or-miss depending on my mood. Next time I would want to give the pimientos de padrón a try instead.
Given that Cafe Andaluz isn’t really seen as a vegan place, it was a decent spread and definitely worth trying if you want to please tapas-loving friends.
Menu info: ★★☆☆☆
Value for money: ★★★☆☆