Every year, thousands of people sign up to take the pledge to go vegan in January for Veganuary. Rumour has it that 2018 is already bigger than ever, with 100,000 participants from 172 countries (and counting).
If you are one of them – Hello! Welcome.
I have some fantastic news for you: you have picked the BEST TIME to try vegan. It’s true. Never before in the history of veganism has there been so much delicious vegan alternative food to choose from. In Veganuary 2018 you will find being vegan is not only incredibly easy, it’s an absolute joy.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. There are plenty of places in Edinburgh to eat vegan, and you can find quite a few of them browsing my wee site here, but I thought I would hand-pick a few of my favourites to get you started. I hope you’re feeling hungry…
34 Elder Street, Edinburgh EH1 3DX
Even though it has a completely vegan menu, Holy Cow has a menu that will delight vegans and omnivores alike. They have a fantastic selection of mouthwatering burgers made from juicy portobello mushrooms, pulled jackfruit, tofu and much more, all served with a generous side helping of their legendary homemade chips.
Make sure you leave room for pudding, as you won’t be able to leave without devouring one of their delicious cakes and bakes. Vegan red velvet cake, anyone?!
Lucky Pig @ Paradise Palms
41 Lothian Street, Edinburgh EH1 1HB
Taking up residence in one of Edinburgh’s coolest bars, the vegetarian foodies behind Lucky Pig have lots of delicious options for vegans. Here you’ll find lots of comfort food favourites, from their Lucky Sunday Roast (pictured above) to dirty vegan hotdogs and fries. Perfect for those chilly Veganuary days!
Bread Street Brasserie
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh EH3 9AF
Every month, Bread Street Brasserie at the Hilton DoubleTree hosts a mouthwatering vegan night that proves a hit with vegans all over Edinburgh. If you want to get an idea of how varied and imaginative vegan food can be, I would highly recommend giving their completely vegan three-course menu a try.
Each month the menu completely changes, so no two meals here will ever be the same. The next vegan night will be on the 3rd January 2018, and you can enjoy three courses for £17.50 a head.
42 London Street, Edinburgh EH3 6LX
Do you sometimes like to indulge in a spot of afternoon tea? Don’t worry – you won’t have to give any of it up for Veganuary. There are actually lots of places across the city that offer a vegan afternoon tea option, but my personal favourite is Casa Angelina, a cosy café that is hidden below street level on London Street.
With delicious cakes, seasonal savoury treats and of course, big fluffy scones, you’ll definitely not leave hungry from this place!
44-45 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh EH8 9ET
Mexican food is a staple of the vegan diet. With burritos bursting with rice, beans, veggie chilli and guacamole, I challenge you to find a vegan who doesn’t love a bit of Tex-Mex. One of my favourite places in the city is Illegal Jacks, where over half of the menu is vegan-friendly.
You absolutely have to try the pulled jackfruit quesadilla, which is the first of its kind in Scotland. Smothered with beautiful melted vegan cheese, this is one dish that proves that anything you can ever want, there is bound to be a vegan alternative that is even more delicious.
Charlotte Lane, Edinburgh EH2 4QZ
Talking of food that you won’t have to give up – don’t think for one second that you will need to go without pizza for Veganuary. Lots of pizza chains are waking up to the fact that people want to eat dairy-free, so there are lots of options available.
My personal favourite at the moment is @Pizza, a freshly open fast pizza joint in Edinburgh’s West End. They offer vegan cheese at no extra cost, and you can build your perfect pizza from their wide range of vegan-friendly toppings.
Land of Bourbon
22a St Patrick Square, Edinburgh EH8 9EY
This wee police box opened earlier in 2017, specialising in vegan Caribbean and West African street food that is extremely good value for money. With prices starting from as little as £2, almost everyone can afford to treat themselves here.
The vegan buffalo “wings” (pictured above) are my personal favourite. These deep-fried balls of cauliflower smothered in chilli sauce are deeply moreish and very warming during the cold Scottish winter.
38 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1LL
Just down the road, you’ll find Piemaker – another great place for cheap yet comforting vegan eats. They have a great wee selection of vegan pies and bakes, both sweet and savoury. Perfect for grabbing something tasty on the go.
65 Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9JQ
A relatively new addition to Edinburgh’s Old Town, The Herbivore Kitchen has already established itself as a firm favourite in the city’s veggie scene. Most of the items on the menu are completely vegan, including delicious sandwiches, pancakes and tempting cakes and bakes.
They also do a regular supper club, where head chef Alison fills the café for an evening and does a magical vegan set menu for dinner. The next one is on 13th January.
24 Marchmont Crescent, Edinburgh EH9 1HG
If you like porridge, Brochan is the place to go. This cosy little café in Marchmont is the very definition of hygge and is the ideal place to snuggle up on a cold January morning.
The menu is full of delicious breakfast treats, including warming porridge that is made with non-dairy milk, making it safe for vegans. The spiced apple chai porridge (pictured above) in particular is a bowl of warm comforting yumminess.
bbl (Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch)
65 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9RU
If you prefer youe breakfast on the naughtier side, however, look no further than bbl. This greasy spoon café on the Pleasance specialises in guilty pleasures, and their full vegan breakfast does not disappoint.
Their vegan link and lorne sausages are made fresh on the premises, so you won’t taste anything else like it in the city. If you find you are missing the taste of meat during the first few days of Veganuary (don’t worry, it will pass), then this is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings.
3-5 Sciennes, Edinburgh EH9 1NJ
Talking of guilty pleasures, I hope you like doughnuts. Considerit has recently opened up a new premises on Sciennes, but they had previously been doing the rounds with vegan fairs and supplying other local cafés with their sweet treats.
These are the best doughnuts you will ever taste – and they are completely vegan too.
The Caffeine Drip
10 Melville Place, Edinburgh EH3 7PR
There are lots of places in Edinburgh where you can find vegan burgers, but Caffeine Drip quite easily offers some of the best in the city. This South African coffee joint in the West End has a full vegan burger menu, boasting delicious patties from Sgaia’s vegan mheats.
They also have a cracking breakfast menu, where you can build your own perfect start to the day from the wide range of vegan options available. Oh, and their coffee is pretty good too – which of course can be made from your choice of dairy-free milk.
20 Lochrin Buildings, Gilmore Place, Edinburgh EH3 9NB
Grassroots Health is a vegan café / shop run by Dean and Joanne, with lots of great vegan food to try. Joanne makes a lot of the food fresh on site, such as seitan sandwiches, Portuguese custard tarts and delicious soups and salads. They also get regular deliveries of Considerit doughnuts, Cool Jerk Vegan Pies and raw treats from Blitz Patisserie.
60 Henderson Street, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6BS
Finally – I couldn’t write a post about vegan places in Edinburgh without giving mention to Harmonium. From the folk who brought you Mono, Stereo and The Flying Duck in Glasgow, this vegan bar / restaurant in Leith is a must-visit during Veganuary.
All of your old favourites can be found here, including creamy mac and cheese, delicious juicy burgers, tasty pizza and yummy sweet desserts -all vegan of course. Make sure you turn up hungry!
Hopefully, the list above shows that there’s absolutely lots of vegan choices in Edinburgh – and this just scratches the surface!
Don’t forget, you can sign up to the Veganuary pledge at veganuary.com/register. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below. Good luck!