It seems to get earlier every year, but last Friday saw the annual Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations kick off once again, marking six weeks of celebration and festive cheer in the Capital. With charming markets, tempting street food and thrilling fairground rides, it’s a great opportunity to meet up and get merry with family, friends and colleagues. But 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 factfinding mission to uncover what vegan treats are on offer at this year’s festivities – so read on to discover the good, the bad and the ugly of the vegan offering at Edinburgh’s Christmas.
New for 2019! Caravan of Courage
You’ll be very pleased to hear that there is a brand new street food location at Edinburgh’s Christmas this year which is 100% vegan! It’s called Caravan of Courage, and it sells lots of lovely vegan treats like hot dogs, mac ‘n’ cheese, haggis and burgers. Click on the gallery above to see the full menu.
The Caravan of Courage is located in the new ‘Southside’ area of Edinburgh’s Christmas, which may be a struggle for regulars to find. You can get there via the gate on Waverley Bridge next to Market Street. Given how quiet it was when I visited, I am not sure how many people know about this new area – but it is an essential stop for vegans who want to load up on some decent vegan food.
The pricing is admittedly quite high – the hot dog pictured above cost £8.00 – but I suppose that’s Edinburgh’s Christmas for you.
You’ll be pleased to know that the lovely vegan galettes are back this year. Similar to crêpes in look and texture, galettes are made from buckwheat flour, carbonated water and soy milk. Technically these wee beauties are gluten-free too, but they do use the same griddle for their crêpes so be wary of cross-contamination.
These galettes can come with a range of sweet and savoury toppings, including fried mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, fresh strawberries, banana, cinnamon, flaked almonds, sugar, maple syrup and dark chocolate sauce (the ingredients of which are vegan, but it does come with a standard “may contain traces” warning).
The kind people at this stall rustled up a glorious chocolate strawberry beauty for me, and I can confirm it tastes as good as it looks.
There are a couple of galette stalls in the market – one by the big wheel, and another one on the mid level towards Santa Land.
Chip on a Stick
Head down towards Santa Land and you’ll spot a large stall that specialises 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. The piri piri and salt & vinegar seasonings are good for vegans too.
At £5 a pop, they don’t offer the best value for money, but might be worth it for the novelty Instagram factor.
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).
The vegan option at Edinburgh’s Christmas is not too bad this year. It’s still unclear whether the mulled wine is vegan (sorry) and most of the mainstream stalls refuse to stray away from the usual pork bratwurst, but it’s heartening to see that there is a dedicated vegan stall this year – even if it is tucked away slightly in the Southside area.
I would definitely encourage you to go to Caravan of Courage and offer your support. If they do well this year, the organisers of Edinburgh’s Christmas will need to take notice and improve the vegan offering even more in years to come.