The Vegan Food Guide to Edinburgh’s Christmas

It’s that time of year again! Yesterday Edinburgh’s Christmas threw open its gates for 2022, and will spread celebration and festive cheer in the Capital until 3 January 2023.

With charming markets, tempting street food and thrilling fairground rides, it’s an excellent opportunity to meet up and get merry with family, friends and colleagues. But as a vegan, you want to know that you’re not going to go hungry – right?

Don’t worry, friends. I’ve got your back. Today I went on a wee fact-finding mission to uncover what vegan treats are available at this year’s festivities.

The good news is: you definitely won’t go hungry. There are plenty of options, as you’ll see from the list below.

The bad news? Well, like most markets of this nature, the prices are pretty high, and the quality can be… unpredictable. Don’t get me wrong, Edinburgh’s Christmas has a magical and buzzing atmosphere. Still, you might not have the best culinary experience during your visit.

If you want truly terrific vegan food, remember there are plenty of great vegan restaurants and cafés in the city centre all year round that can hook you up.

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, here’s what I found at Edinburgh’s Christmas 2022:

Vegan galettes

Vegan galette at Edinburghs Christmas 2022

You’ll be pleased to know that the vegan galettes are back again this year. You will find them at the crêpe stall in the square next to the big wheel. Galettes are made from buckwheat flour, carbonated water and soy milk and are similar to crêpes in look and texture. Technically these wee beauties are gluten-free too, but the chefs use the same griddle for their crêpes, so be wary of cross-contamination.

These galettes can come with a range of fillings, but sadly most of them are unsuitable for vegans. To keep your galette cruelty-free, you can fill it with fruit for a wholesome sweet treat.

Vegan nachos

Vegan nachos at Edinburghs Christmas 2022

In the same big square beside the big wheel, there is a nacho stall. This place offers a wide range of vegan toppings, including:

  • Vegan haggis (they use Macsweens)
  • Vegan black pudding
  • Vegan cheese
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole

This is a pretty decent option if you are craving something indulgent and savoury. The staff here are really friendly and willing to help if you have any questions.

Chip on a stick

Vegan Chipstick at Edinburgh's Christmas

Walk along the market to the Royal Scottish Academy, and on the right side of the thoroughfare you’ll spot a large stall specialising in everything fried potato, from chips to twirly potatoes on a stick. Seen as these are fried in vegetable oil, they are suitable for vegans.

You may need to ask which seasonings are suitable for vegans. In previous years, you could have the piri piri or salt & vinegar.

Vegan Indian treats

Pakora at Edinburghs Christmas 2022

Towards the back of the area beside the National Gallery, there is a stall called Indian Delights which proudly advertises they have vegan options. Their menu includes bhajis, wraps and samosas. Feel free to ask which vegan options are available that day.

Vegan hot dogs

Vegan hot dog at Edinburghs Christmas 2022

Of course, countless stalls at Edinburgh’s Christmas offer the standard meat bratwurst. But, thankfully, there is a vegan option too. Hidden in plain sight beside the National Gallery, there is a stall called Big Angus that offers vegan hot dogs topped with onions or Asian slaw.

The same stall also had a daily special of vegan Thai lentil broth at the time of writing, which may be a good option if you are craving something a little more wholesome.

Vegan pizza

Vegan Pizza at Pizza Pitch, Edinburgh's Christmas

Hankering for some pizza? Head to Pizza Pitch, which once again has the option for vegan cheese this year. As the base and tomato sauce is already safe for vegans in any case, this is a good option if you are feeling VERY hungry!

The pizzas look quite big, which make them perfect for sharing (or for keeping to yourself, if you are absolutely ravenous).

Vegan glühwein

Vegan mulled wine at Edinburghs Christmas 2022

But, I have saved the best for last.

After years of asking and asking… I have finally sourced some vegan mulled wine!

You can find it at the drinks stall between Pizza Pitch and Big Angus beside the Royal Scottish Academy, where the servers wear German-style hats and checked shirts.

Big thanks to Sarah, who works at this stall – she went above and beyond in checking the supplier’s wine list and confirming that the glühwein is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. She also confirmed that the toffee apple cider is vegan friendly too.

Unlike previous years, different companies run different stalls, so I can’t confirm the mulled wine is vegan at every bar in Edinburgh’s Christmas. So when I inevitably go back for more Christmas cheer – you will find me propping up the bar there.

It’s good to see there are still vegan options at Edinburgh’s Christmas, even under new management. Although it is disappointing that there is no dedicated vegan stall this year. If you miss Caravan of Courage, the totally vegan stall that did Edinburgh’s Christmas in 2019, you’ll find them at Christmas at the Botanics.

This post is the result of a whistle-stop tour of Edinburgh’s Christmas market with the Vegan Edinburgh meetup group. Huge thanks to the group for bearing with me as I wandered around the market and took pictures of their food!

I have tried to list everything I found at Edinburgh’s Christmas this year. If you spot any more delicious vegan finds in the market, please share them with the community in the comments below. Happy Festive Feasting!

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8 replies on “The Vegan Food Guide to Edinburgh’s Christmas”

Hey Kim! The salmon stall is to the West side of the Big Wheel. There are three galette stalls: one beside the Big Wheel, one down towards Santa Land, and one on Castle Street. Hope that helps!

Thank you so much for this!! The Christmas market gets so busy and I always struggle to try to look at every stall attempting to find a vegan option – so helpful having a starting point! I’ll definitely be trying a galette, they look delicious!

Yes, Edinburgh’s Christmas market is only closed on Christmas Day. It is open on Christmas Eve (although it will close a little earlier than normal) and will open again on Boxing Day.

Just wanted to say thank you for such a useful article… we visited on Thursday and ate at Caravan of Courage. The very best burger ever and the lovely mac and cheese was so
warming (needed as it was blowing a gale whilst we were there). Keep up the good work – it saved us searching for our lunch!

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