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 – Café 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. Café 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 Café Andaluz
When I first reviewed Café Andaluz about a year and a half ago, I remember having to explain to the waitress that no, omelettes generally have egg in them so can’t be considered vegan. Well, what a difference 18 months make! Café Andaluz now has a dedicated vegan menu with clear labelling and a great variety of vegan tapas to choose from:
- Pan Fresco Basket of mixed bread
- Pan Catalan Hot toasted bread spread with home cooked tomato and garlic chips
- Aceitunas Alinadas Marinated Spanish olives (also gluten-free)
- Patatas Bravas Fried potatoes mixed in a spicy tomato sauce (no alioli)
- Pimientos de Padron Padron peppers traditionally served with sea salt (also gluten-free)
- Ensalada Marroqui Roasted sweet potato, parsnip and chickpea mixed with chopped parsley and coriander, topped with a sundried tomato dressing (also gluten-free)
- Ensalada Andaluza A salad of asparagus tips, artichoke and sun blushed tomatoes with a sweet hinamin dressing
- Berenjena Rellenas de Pimientos Aubergine shell filled with couscous, peppers in herb tomato (served without cheese)
- Esparragos Plain grilled asparagus (also gluten-free)
- Ensalada de Pinones A salad of Pearl couscous with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, Spanish olives, fresh basil and toasted pine nuts
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: ★★★☆☆