25 Thistle Street
+44(0)131 225 2605
Overall score: ★★★★★
Disclaimer: In exchange for this post, my companion and I dined here free of charge. The opinions expressed in this article remain my own.
When I started veganedinburgh.com nearly three years ago, I thought I was in for a fairly easy ride. There was only one fully vegan restaurant in Edinburgh, and a handful of vegan-friendly places. So, I thought I would only have to do 10-12 reviews (at the very most) and then I could sit back and admire my small albeit completely comprehensive website.
Of course, fast forward a couple of years and I have a rapidly growing database of 100+ eateries and an even more rapidly growing text file on my phone with a list of places that I have heard are vegan-friendly but haven’t had the chance to visit yet.
The vegan scene in Edinburgh is thriving, but I’ll never forget that first wee restaurant that started it all on Thistle Street: Hendersons Vegan.
Food at Hendersons Vegan
As the name of the restaurant suggests, all of the food at Hendersons Vegan is, well, vegan. They have a really clear menu with allergens clearly marked, so gluten-free patrons will find it a breeze to eat here as well.
Their menu is evolving all the time, but this what is currently on offer at the time of writing:
- Marinated olives with rosemary, chilli lemon and garlic
Soup of the day with sourdough bread and sunflower oil spread
- Playful platter Sun-dried tomato and basil hummus, fig tapenade, slices, herby cashew cream cheese oatcakes and sourdough
- Chargrilled broccoli with chilli garlic, toasted almonds, pomegranate and tahini dressing
- Roasted portobello mushrooms with confit tomato rocket pesto and toasted seeds
- Stuffed courgette with smoked garlic and cream sheese risotto and crispy capers
- Cured carrot bruschetta on rye bread with lemon and dill cashew cream
- Celeriac gnocchi with whisky and date cream, fresh figs, raw cacao and celery ash
- Sliders of black bean pudding on homemade beer batter bread with home-made ketchup, pickled apples and rocket
- Pasta with ragu of lentil, walnut and smoked aubergine, basil cream and almond parmesan
- Jackfruit, tomato and coconut stew with sweet potato, quinoa doughnuts and crispy kale
- Haggis with herby smashed purple potatoes, caramelised onions, spring greens and red wine gravy
- Tofu teriyaki buddha bowl with coconut, lime and coriander rice, Asian veg, pickled shiitake and candied radish
How much does it cost?
At the time of writing, you can expect to pay around £6.50 for the smaller dishes, such as the bruschetta or the chargrilled broccoli. The larger dishes are around £12.50, and the sliders are £9.50. The last meal I had there would have come to £28.50 for two, including drinks.
Is it any good?
The food at Hendersons Vegan is as good as you would expect. The head chef likes to experiment with ingredients and techniques so you are always bound to discover something new.
The haggis and mash is an absolute must-try, especially if you want to taste a cruelty-free version of Scotland’s most iconic dish. The last time I went, the lentil ragu pasta was positively wolfed down by my non-vegan friend!
While there are now lots of vegan places to choose from, your first visit to Scotland’s capital isn’t complete without a meal at the establishment which blazed the vegan trail in Edinburgh.
Menu info: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★☆
Hendersons Vegan Opening Hours
These opening hours are correct at the time of writing. For the most accurate times, check Hendersons website (linked above).
Monday 11.30am – 9.30pm
Tuesday 11.30am – 9.30pm
Wednesday 11.30am – 9.30pm
Thursday 11.30am – 9.30pm
Friday 11.30am – 9.30pm
Saturday 11.30am – 9.30pm
Sunday 11.30am – 9.30pm
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