Coming to Edinburgh for the festivals? If you’re a vegan visiting the city for the first time, don’t worry – there’s absolutely no way you’ll go hungry!
August is the busiest time for Edinburgh with the Edinburgh Art Festival, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, The Edinburgh International Festival and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. During this time of year the city’s population doubles in size, and we’re willing to bet that there will be a few vegans among the newcomers.
So, consider this a little cheat sheet to Edinburgh’s vegan scene. A lot of the festival action takes place in the Old Town, so we’ve cherry-picked some of our favourite eateries in the area to help you find some of the best vegan food that can all be found in the heart of the action. Of course, there are even more vegan-friendly areas outside this area so please take a look at the rest of site to get the full picure of what the whole city has to offer.
The Auld House
23-25 St Leonards Street, Edinburgh EH8 9QN
Feeling hungry after a long day of festival fun? The Auld Hoose has a legendary reputation for satisfying the most ravenous of vegan appetites. Their generous plate of nachos, served with lashings of chilli, vegan cheese and guacamole, is just the ticket after a long day of festival performances and exhibitions. Order a side of onion rings and you’ve got yourself a solid vegan feed that is guaranteed to see you through until the wee hours.
Trying to navigate the festivals on a budget? Look no further than the Baked Potato Shop for a fabulously filling lunch. Around £6 will buy you a perfectly cooked baked potato with a huge range of hot and cold vegan fillings, such as the vegan haggis pictured in the beauty above. Trust us, you will not need to eat for the rest of the day.
Perfect for: A quick and cheap lunch that will keep you satisfied all day long
Feeling a bit tender from a Fringe all nighter? A vegan fry-up is just the thing to sort you out – and nobody does it better than BBL (breakfast, lunch and brunch). Just up the road from The Pleasance Courtyard venue, this small café does a perfect meat and dairy free fry-up for just over a fiver. With homemade vegan sausages, fried mushrooms, beans, toast, veggie haggis and potato scones, you’ll be ready to get back to all the action in no time.
Perfect for: A no-frills full vegan Scottish breakfast
This great little Japanese restaurant is tucked off the main thoroughfare in Newington, about a 5-minute walk from the Pleasance, The Dome, Underbelly George Square and Gilded Balloon. Bonsai Bistro is a wee gem that makes fantastic sushi, and many of their vegetarian options can be tweaked for vegans. While these aren’t signposted on the menu yet, if you ask your server they will be able to keep you right.
Perfect for: Really good sushi near lots of the major Fringe venues
Found in the heart of Marchmont, a popular area for Fringe accommodation, you’ll find charming little porridge café Brochan. With a focus on happy and healthy eating, you’ll find most options on the menu here are suitable for vegans. If you get caught in one of those inevitable Fringe rainy days, a warming bowl of porridge from Brochan is guaranteed to hit the spot.
Perfect for: a good breakfast to set you up for a long day of Fringe-ing
Checkpoint is not only a fantastic Fringe venue – it’s also home to a pretty decent restaurant that boasts a couple of really delicious vegan options. Their curried tempura vegetables are absolutely glorious – and its ideal location means you can maybe sneak in a meal between shows without taking yourself too far away from the action.
Perfect for: A delicious feed right in the heart of Fringe-land
Hunters Square is a hub of Fringe activity and in the heart of it all you’ll find Civerinos – a pizza haven that’s popular with visitors and locals alike. Their vegan pizza (with the slightly tongue-in-cheek title ‘Meat is Murder’) doesn’t have any cheese – but the marinated tomatoes and Sicilian breadcrumbs carries it through. Many pizza places in the city cater for vegans, but this one is only a stone’s throw from the Royal Mile making it an ideal option to pop in to between Fringe shows. They also have a smaller pizza bar venue, Civerinos Slice, just across the road from Underbelly’s McEwan Hall.
Fancy something sweet? Then look no further than Considerit, who are located at Sciennes, just across the road from Summerhall. Considerit specialise in doughnuts, ice cream and chocolate – essentially anything that your sugar-laden heart desires! Their cinnamon sugar doughnut is especially worth trying.
Perfect for: The best vegan doughnuts north of the border.
Over the past year local favourite El Cartel have expanded to a new location on Teviot Place – super handy for McEwan Hall, George Square Gardens and the Pleasance Dome.
For those who don’t know, El Cartel do some of the best TexMex tapas in the city and they have been aggressively expanding their vegan offering, with a vegan alternative to most of their vegetarian tacos and regular vegan specials.
Getting sick of all the junk food? Then you need to check out Hula Juice Bar in the Grassmarket. This award-winning café is open daily, serving up delicious healthy juices, nutritional breakfasts and naughty-but-nice raw treats. Their Rainbow Bowl changes every day (check the specials board for the latest), but it’s bound to be bursting with tasty veggies and that’s ideal for a nutritional pick-me-up.
No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a meal at Illegal Jacks. This Edinburgh institution has been filling the bellies of hungry locals for years and has a menu that is over 50% vegan. Choose from veggie haggis burritos, pulled jackfruit quesadillas and enjoy it all with vegan cheese, available on request.
If it’s the final night of your Edinburgh festival trip and you really want to spoil yourself, there’s only one place you should go. Kalpna is a vegetarian restaurant located on St Patrick Square that has a whole range of vegan options – just ask your server for the latest. Our personal favourite is the vegan thali raj bhog, which boasts a serving of pakora, rice, bread, three curries, a chutney and a vegan dessert. Make sure you turn up hungry!
Perfect for: Treating yourself to something special
Keep an eye out for the brightly coloured tardis on Melville Drive and you will find the “meatiest” burgers in Edinburgh courtesy of Lazy Lettuce. Their handy location on the edge of the Meadows and the hub of the festival action makes it the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat before catching a show or two.
Just a stone’s throw from the hub of the main Edinburgh Festival Fringe activity on George Square you’ll find Paradise Palms, a cool, laid back, retro-style bar that is currently home to Lucky Pig – a fabulous kitchen that specialises in “vegetarian soul food”.
All the menu is completely meat-free and over half of the options are vegan. Treat yourself to a vegan “Lucky Dawg”, their famous black bean and seitan burger or, if you pop along on a Sunday, their wonderful vegan Sunday roast. Delicious!
Perfect for: Filling your belly with wonderful comfort food
Another place you need to try if you are looking to stick to a budget, the Mosque Kitchen on Nicolson Street is legendary with locals for their cheap, quick and tasty food. However, not many people know that they use vegetable oil in their cooking – making their veggie curries safe for vegans! We love their vegetable and chickpea curries, each coming with a generous portion of rice for less than a fiver a serving. The perfect no-frills dinner.
Mother India is a bit of an institution here in Edinburgh, and it’s easy to see why. Their Indian tapas style of dining means you can try a little bit of everything, and their food is incredibly tasty. Their food isn’t vegan by default, but if you tell them your requirements they will swap out the traditional butter ghee with vegetable oil.
Just off Jawbone Walk in the Meadows, Melville Drive, Edinburgh, EH9 1JU
The Pavilion Café is a completely vegetarian establishment on the edge of The Meadows, the perfect location for retreating from all the Festival Fringe madness. There’s nothing better than settling into one of their comfy chairs during a sunny festival day in Edinburgh and enjoying a cuppa with a slice of vegan cake or a wrap for lunch.
Need to just shove some food in your face in-between shows? Then pop into this local cult favourite, The Piemaker. The food here is cheap, it’s fast and there are a good few vegan options that are clearly labelled. I particularly love the mushroom vergas bake (pictured), but you can also choose from other baked goodies such as the double potato roll and veggie paradise.
Ransacked specialises in Persian and Middle-Eastern food, with a rotating menu that changes every day. There are daily specials for salads, hummus, hot pots and more. No matter what is on offer, the vegan options are always super-tasty and clearly labelled on the menu and the specials board inside the restaurant.
Perfect for: Healthy and hearty food with a friendly atmosphere
This is another local cult favourite which can be found within a stone’s throw of George Square Gardens. Everything is made to order: just choose your noodle, your veggies, your sauce and you are good to go. Helpfully, there is a sign on the counter that tells you which ingredients are suitable for vegans.
Perfect for: A satisfying bowl of bespoke noodles made to order
Sushi lovers in a hurry should give this wee place on Nicolson Street a try. With nearly half of the range dedicated to vegan-friendly sushi, Soul Sushi is ideal for satisfying your Japanese food cravings fast. Can’t decide what to get? Order the tasty vegan platter, which has a little bit of everything!
Craving some good Japanese food? Head to Tangs, which is located on Candlemaker Row heading into the Grassmarket. The vegan options aren’t clearly marked (yet) but like a lot of East Asian food places there are many menu items which are quietly suitable for vegans.
Found in the heart of the action in the Old Town, Union of Genius is a cult lunch favourite for many Edinburgh locals. There are usually six soups on each day, and two or three of them are usually good for vegans.
Treat yourself to a big warm bowl of soup or their vegan chilli. If you can’t decide, try a soup flight for three little tasters of each of the day’s varieties.
Perfect for: Warm and comforting soup on those inevitable rainy festival days!
Fancy getting off the beaten track and trying somewhere different? Yes, Edinburgh has lots of great places that are well-known for catering to vegans, but there are plenty of cafés and restaurants in the city that have quietly been nurturing their vegan offering away in the background, without as much of a fanfare.
Some of these places may look ordinary at first glance, however take a closer look and you’ll find a surprisingly good vegan offering – perfect if you want to try something new. Read on to discover some of our favourites…
65 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9RU
From the outside it looks like your regular greasy spoon – but appearances can be deceptive. Step inside and you will be greeted with a clear and expansive vegan menu, ranging from filled rolls to full vegan breakfasts.
As well as their usual omni offering, Alan is dedicated to making all their vegan link and lorne sausages fresh on the premises, and his passion really shines though. Whether you have them in a roll or as part of a full Scottish breakfast, these are quite easily the best vegan sausages you will ever taste. Trust me.
Chinese food can sometimes be a bit of minefield when ordering vegan, but the Chinese Manor House in Corstorphine have made a real effort to understand the needs of the vegan diet. A lot of the items on their vegetarian menu can be veganised quite easily or are already vegan – just ask the kitchen and they will be happy to accommodate.
Starter options include mixed vegetable spring rolls, crispy seaweed, melon balls and salt & chilli tofu. For your main course, you can have Singapore noodles, tofu with Chinese mushroom in plum sauce or Monk’s vegetables with tofu. You can even get fried rice without egg!
It’s a little bit further out of the city centre, but if you are craving a good Chinese meal this is well worth the journey.
Most Edinburgh locals know of the Filmhouse – it’s the quirky cinema on Lothian Road that showcases all the latest blockbusters and lesser-known indie gems, and is the flagship venue of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. But did you know that it also has a buzzing café and bar with a really decent food menu for vegans?
Options include cauliflower curry, homemade falafel and baked potatoes with a wealth of vegan-friendly fillings including spicy beans, hummus and veggie haggis.
The falafels in particular are really delicious, served with a tahini sauce and you can order the flatbread as extra if you want a more filling meal. Meanwhile, the cauliflower curry is so creamy that when he first tried it, Mr B turned to me and asked “are you SURE this is vegan”?. For the record, yes it is, the folks at the Filmhouse have just managed to make a lovely sauce out of rich coconut milk.
Even if you’re not planning on catching a movie, the Filmhouse Café is a great place to grab some lunch, dinner or a light bite.
Located a little off the beaten track just off Ferry Road, The Herringbone is a gorgeous bar/restaurant that specialises in local and seasonal ingredients, served simply. This stylish venue is very popular with locals, and if you ask your server they will be able to provide a full vegan menu with lots of imaginative seasonal dishes. Even their wine menu has the vegan options clearly marked (hooray!).
The menu changes all the time depending on what ingredients are in season, but you can expect dishes such as colourful beetroot hummus and flatbread, charred aubergine and chickpea & sweet potato burger.
Edinburgh University Student’s Association, Potterrow Building, Edinburgh EH8 9AL
Hidden away in the corner of the Potterrow Student Union you’ll find Humpit Hummus. Humpit is a hidden vegan gem in the quite literal sense of the word, as it may take a minute or two to find. It’s also hidden in the sense that Humpit doesn’t make a big song-and-dance about the fact it is completely vegan – the food and drink they serve are just naturally free of animal products.
Dig into a classic bowl of hummus served with pita bread, a warm filled pita with hummus and falafel, or a colourful salad bowl with optional extras like tahini and mango chutney. And yes, it’s all completely vegan.
Leith Depot is already a firm favourite as a bar and music venue, but did you know they also have a pretty decent vegan offering? This place has a couple of great vegan-friendly options for brunch and nibbles. My personal favourite is the creamy tofu kedgeree: rich and comforting, this is one of the best hangover cures in the city.
Far from a “hidden gem”, it feels like everyone knows about Mosque Kitchen. Serving up cheap and cheerful “curry in a hurry” in their no-frills canteen-style restaurant just a stone’s throw from the University of Edinburgh, this is a firm favourite with cash-strapped students and anyone who is trying to save the pennies.
But when I first went vegan, I wrote it off as one of those places I couldn’t visit any more – after all, their menu isn’t marked the clearest so I wasn’t sure if there was any dairy lurking in their veggie dishes. Happily I discovered that because they use vegetable oil instead of butter ghee, most of their vegetarian curries are also vegan-friendly. Choose from mixed vegetable curry, saag aloo (spinach and potato), chana (chickpea) masala or Bombay aloo (potato).
Unfortunately the bread is still made with butter, but if you’re like me a curry with rice will be plenty for a satisfying meal.
Hidden in plain sight in the lobby of the Rose Theatre you’ll find the wonderful Rose Theatre Café. This warm and welcoming café has lots of vegan options for you to choose from, including all-day-brunch, soups, sandwiches, cakes and bakes.
This place is particularly renowned for their delicious vegan cinnamon rolls. Moist and sweet, if you see any left on the cake counter I would heartily recommend you take one! They make a really comforting treat, especially paired with a warm cup of coffee or a spot of tea.
The Sheep Heid Inn is Scotland’s oldest pub, located just off the shores of Duddingston Loch near Holyrood Park. Even though this pub is steeped in history, Mr B and I always just assumed that The Sheep Heid Inn wouldn’t cater for us, so you can imagine our delight when we discovered it actually has quite a big vegan offering!
For such a traditional venue, The Sheep Heid Inn takes its vegan offering very seriously. There is a full plant-based menu for vegan diners, and all their chips are prepared in separate fryers to avoid cross-contamination.
The menu has a good mix of options, and those with a sweet tooth will be particularly impressed with the range of tempting desserts on offer. My favourite dish is the pineapple tart tatin – with flaky pastry, caramelised pineapple and a creamy coconut sorbet. Absolutely delicious.
This cute and cosy café specialises in delicious food made from thoughtfully sourced and seasonal ingredients. While their menu labelling could be a bit clearer, they have a few decent options that are vegan or can be made vegan quite easily. Just ask your server and they will be able to keep you right.
I really like their full vegan breakfast, made with grilled tomato, wilted spinach, fried mushroom, veggie haggis and falafel (yes, falafel!). Paired with one of their fresh smoothies, this is a great start to the day.
Of course, this list is completely subjective and based on my own experience – so there are bound to be places I have missed! Do you have a favourite secret vegan-friendly haunt in Edinburgh? Share it in the comments below!
Start the day right with a belly-busting vegan breakfast in Edinburgh. Whether you’re looking for something comforting like a warming bowl of porridge, a tempting tower of pancakes, or the vegan answer to the traditional full Scottish fry-up, there are lots of options for you to choose from. Take a look at the list below to discover some of our favourite vegan brunch spots in the city…
33 Brougham Street, Edinburgh EH3 9JT
Edinburgh’s newest vegan café, the Black Rabbit, has lots of options for breakfast. They make their vegan bacon from scratch, and stuff it in yummy filled rolls with other goodies such as vegan egg, haggis and more. You can also try a vegan twist on a breakfast classic, the salmon and cream cheese bagel, or try one of their deliciously buttery croissants – all completely free of animal products, of course!
This completely vegan café in Bruntsfield is a firm favourite for plant based eating, so you can be sure that they do a cracking vegan breakfast. Indulge with a full cooked vegan breakfast (pictured above), a breakfast wrap, avocado and ‘bacon’ on toast, bacon and tofu scramble or a tall stack of soft and sweet pancakes with maple syrup, banana and strawberry. It’s all totally vegan and utterly delicious.
94 Hanover Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DR (The Salad Table, Shop and Deli) 67 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AU (Holyrood)
Hendersons is one of the biggest names in Edinburgh for veggie grub, so it’s inevitable that they do a great vegan breakfast as well. Options include tasty pancakes, a full Scottish vegan breakfast or a filled morning roll.
They occassionally do special breakfast events too, with relaxing yoga sessions and exclusive breakfast creations such as tofu florentine and avocado on toast.
This all-vegan café serves breakfast all day long, with a mix of wholesome and decadent options to choose from. Sourdough toast is available with a range of toppings including avocado & lime, baked beans, scrambled tofu and sauteéd mushrooms.
For those with big appetites, the full cooked breakfast includes scrambled tofu, roasted portobello mushrooms, baked beans, avocado, haggis, sauteéd kale, tomato and sourdough toast.
Fancy something a wee bit healthier? Beetroot Sauvage also serve up vegan-friendly power porridge, french toast and granola bowls.
Having recently just made the change to a fully-vegan establishment, Chapter One Coffee shop has a wonderful vegan breakfast menu with both sweet and savoury offerings. For a wholesome start to the day, why not try their porridge bowl? Or for something sweet, their french toast topped with yoghurt, blueberries and maple syrup is just yummy.
Of course, you’ll also find a vegan twist on the full Scottish breakfast with sausage, bacon, scrambled tofu, haggis, baked beans, tattie scone, tomato spinach and toast. Or keep it simple with a filled roll, stuffed with options such as vegan square sausage, black pudding or bacon.
Just a couple of minutes walk from Haymarket Station, this is the perfect place to start your day if you are catching a train.
Okay, I’ll admit. At first look you might dismiss bbl as yet another greasy spoon, but nothing could be further from the truth. This wee café has a great range of vegan options, including a full Scottish vegan breakfast (pictured above), link sausages and lorne sausage rolls, which are made fresh on site to bbl’s very own special recipe.
You won’t find a good ol’ vegan brunch like this anywhere else in Edinburgh, and the prices are super reasonable too. Well worth a visit.
Hidden in plain sight in the heart of the New Town you will find the Rose Theatre Café. This place has won all sorts of awards within months of opening, so you know you are on to a good thing.
The full vegan breakfast here consists of veggie haggis, quinoa fritters, veggie sausages, smokey mushrooms, tomato and avocado with sourdough toast. If that sounds a bit much for you, you can try a wholesome bowl of porridge avocado sourdough toast or coconut pannacotta. There are also morning rolls available here too: vegan-friendly fillings include smokey mushrooms, veggie sausage, veggie haggis, avocado and tomato.
Loudons has a fantastic reputation for breakfast with Edinburgh omnivores – so it’s great to see that they do some vegan options too. Fancy something sweet? Their spiced sultana pancakes with mango compote is absolutely divine.
Prefer a savoury start to the day? Loudon’s vegan ‘benny’, based on the traditional eggs benedict and made with garlic spinach, courgette and vegan mint aioli is particularly delicious. They also have a full vegetarian breakfast, which can easily be modified to be vegan. Or, you can keep things simple with a soft breakfast roll – vegan options include veggie haggis, veggie sausage or tattie scone.
It’s not often that you will see an Indian restaurant throw open its doors for the breakfast shift, but there are always queues out the door early on the weekend at Dishoom in St Andrew Square. Famous throughout the city for their unique brunch offering, they also have a wide selection of options for vegans.
Dishoom serves Indian twists on British classics. Their ‘Full Bombay’ (inspired by the full Scottish breakfast) boasts a hearty selection of vegan sausage, black pudding, fried mushroom, fresh tomato, akuri and masala beans.
My personal favourite is the vegan sausage naan roll – a freshly-made soft naan bread filled with vegan cream cheese, vegan sausage and chilli jam. Wash it down with a vegan lassi (made with soy yoghurt) and you’ve got yourself a cracking start to the day.
Feeling a bit tender from the night before? A brunch at Leith Depot is just what the doctor ordered. A full vegan breakfast here consists of vegan sausage, roast tomatoes, mushrooms, wilted spinach, baked beans, toast and scrambled tofu – but my favourite dish here is the kedgeree. Rich, thick and creamy, this bowl of heaven is quite unlike anything else you’ll find in the city.
This cute café, located on the shore of the Water of Leith in Canonmills, has an understated yet impressive vegan offering. While none of the vegan options are clearly marked on the breakfast menu (#sadface), if you tell the kitchen what your requirements are they will be happy to pull together something for you.
This impressive full vegan breakfast boasts beans, toast, tomato, mushroom, spinach, falafel (yes, falafel) and some of the best veggie haggis I’ve ever tasted. A hidden gem but worth a try!
If you want to start the day with something a little healthier, then look no further than Pumpkin Brown. They have a menu full of treats perfect for brunch, all of which are free of dairy, refined sugar and gluten. Their sweet chia pots are tasty and full of energy, perfect for setting you up for a day exploring Edinburgh.
186 High Street, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 1EX 105 Leith Walk, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 8NP 19 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh EH2 4QW
In a hurry? Bross are famous bagel bakers in Edinburgh and have a range of delicious vegan bagels that are filling and perfect for grabbing to go. Options include the Hungry Vegan, with smashed avocado and chilli cream cheese (pictured above) and Little Apple, filled with pastramheat, vegan cheese, dill pickle and egg-free mayo.
They also roll out the odd imaginative vegan special from time to time – so keep an eye on their social media to find out what’s on offer.
Just around the corner from Pumpkin Brown you’ll find another nutritious brunch haunt – Hula Juice Bar. One of their delicious juices or smoothies is bound to set you up for the day, paired with one of their vegan breakfast options including porridge, acai bowls or sourdough toast. Yum!
Well known for their cakes, bakes and afternoon tea, Mimi’s Bakehouse also do a mean vegan brunch as well. Hungry? Go for their full vegan breakfast, which includes veggie sausages, veggie haggis, potato scone, tomatoes, beans, avocado and sourdough toast.
You can also choose from avocado toast on its own, or a vegan brunch stack, which has avocado, red onion, tomatoes, sausages and sourdough.
For the healthiest start to the day, head to Kcal Kitchen in Leith. This eatery is aimed at those who are watching their macros, but that doesn’t mean that their food isn’s absolutely delicious.
Because they are so health-conscious, everything on the menu is clearly marked and the vegan options are easy to find. Vegan breakfast options include a full vegan breakfast, caramel protein pancakes, and yummy juices and smoothies.
Roots is a wee gem in Edinburgh’s West End. Because everything is made from fresh, local ingredients, the menu changes daily – but you can be sure of a great selection of seasonal vegan breakast specials including porridge, granola and toast. If you are in hurry, the breakfast pots are a fantastic option to grab something on the go.
If you find yourself confronted with a freezing cold morning (and let’s face it, we’re in Edinburgh, we get our fair share of them), then a bowl of delicious comforting porridge from Brochan is just the antidote. This cute little café in Marchmont has cosiness down to an art, and you’ll be tempted to spend forever savouring your warming bowl of vegan oats.
Porridge not your thing? No problem. Most of Brochan’s menu is vegan by default, so treat yourself to smashed avocado on toast, a bowl of their moreish granola or keep it simple with a smoothie.
Afternoon tea. It’s one of those great British traditions. A towering cake stand filled to the brim with savoury sandwiches, sweet delights and scones served with lashings of jam and cream. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a decadent indulgence that can only be enjoyed by meat-eaters, but in fact there are lots of places in Edinburgh that have created their own version of vegan afternoon tea, all of which are even more tempting and delicious than their onmivore counterparts.
Read on to discover some of the best vegan afternoon teas you can get in Scotland’s capital…
33-41 Ratcliffe Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1SX
One of Edinburgh’s favourite vegan cafés has started serving afternoon tea! Filled to the brim with mouthwatering savouries and cakes, this is the perfect way to treat yourself.
The savoury layer contains smoked no-mackerel pâté and apple oatcakes, cucumber with garlic and chive cream cheese, pesto mayo, feta and roast sweet potato wrap, “egg” mayo and cress, pesto and sun-dried tomato vol-au-vent, and cheese and chilli jam toastie.
The top layer has an ever-changing selection of mini sweet treats, and of course don’t forget the scones served with jam and lashings of vegan cream! Available Tuesdays to Fridays only.
The original and one of the best. Casa Angelina has been serving vegan afternoon tea for as long as I remember, and it definitely does not disappoint. Hidden just off the main thoroughfare of Broughton Street, this cute little café has a tempting range of tea, coffee, cakes and other sweet treats – but their vegan afternoon tea is (understandibly) one of their best sellers.
The savoury layer is made up of an ever-changing array of pastries, pretzels, bagels and even Vietnamese spring rolls. The scones, cakes and sweet treats are all full-sized, so you might find yourself admitting defeat and having to take a doggy-bag home. That’s not a bad thing though – because ripping into these leftovers after a few hours is an absolute joy.
The Dome is a very old-fashioned, prestigious place so we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the Georgian Tea Room has been serving vegan afternoon tea for quite some time.
Expect the usual plate of sandwiches as well as scones with cream and jam. The real star of the show, however, is the final sweet layer which groans under the weight of cakes by Naked Bakery that are pretty much full size. Expect bright strawberry sponges, zesty lemon tarts and wonderfully creamy mille-feuilles.
If this list had a dark horse award, The Dome would be the clear winner.
The Grand Café is a spectacular dining room set in the former advertising trading halls of The Scotsman newspaper. Boasting a gorgeous interior that dates back to 1905, full of character and period features, this is the perfect place if you are looking for somewhere to impress.
Their standard fare consists of onmivore afternoon tea, breakfast, brunch, lunch and evening dining. Their vegan afternoon tea isn’t listed on the menu, but if you phone ahead with a couple of days’ notice the kitchen will be delighted to to whip up a cruelty-free feast for you.
As each vegan afternoon tea is made completely bespoke, it is unlikely you will get the exact same offering as listed above, but hopefully this gives you an idea of the standard of what to expect.
When I was there, they served me sandwiches filled with avocado, hummus and gazpacho tomato, alongside a lovely pomegranate salad. Sweets included a vegan meringue, a mochi style dumpling, a light lemon and blueberry cake and coconut yoghurt with pineapple. And of course, there was the layer of fluffy plain and fruit scones with a lovely homemade jam.
63 The Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA 227 St John’s Road, Edinburgh EH12 7XD
Mimi’s Bakehouse has a stellar reputation in Edinburgh for belly-busting cakes and bakes, so we were delighted when they announced they were adding a vegan afternoon tea to their offering. It is still quite new so you need to give at least 48 hours notice (just so they can get all the specialist ingredients in), and you may be asked for your credit card details to secure your booking.
A word of advice: Mimi’s are famous for their generous portions, so make sure you go to your afternoon tea HUNGRY.
The savoury layer consists of two different finger sandwiches and four balls of freshly warmed falafel. The sandwiches are filled with avocado and tomato, and hummus with roasted vegetables.
The vegan scones are small and cute, served with vegan butter and jam. They have a bit more of a flourish than your regular scones with fruit throughout, sweetly spiced and a little sprinkling of brown sugar on top. Finally, the sweet layer has a Snickers crunch bar, a slice of the lemon and raspberry loaf, and a chocolate Biscoff traybake.
As well as the vegan afternoon tea, Mimi’s Bakehouse have a range of vegan options on their menu and always have at least one or two vegan delights in their cake selection each day.
Afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria is the ultimate decadent treat – but did you know that Peacock Alley also caters for vegans? While it’s not hugely obvious on the website, if you call ahead and book in advance (just like the Grand Café) they can rustle up a vegan version of their afternoon tea.
Their regular and vegan afternoon tea offering changes seasonally, so while you might not get exactly what is pictured above, you are guaranteed a special experience in sumptuous surroundings.
The vegan restaurant scene in Edinburgh has transformed completely over the last couple of years. When I first started veganedinburgh.com back in 2016, there were a handful of vegetarian restaurants in Edinburgh, and only one completely vegan eatery. How times have changed! There are now lots of vegan and vegan-friendly cafés in Edinburgh, so much so that it can be difficult to choose which to try first!
These are all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Edinburgh that I am aware of, but of course the scene is changing all the time. If you notice somewhere that I have missed, drop me a line and I will get them included as soon as possible.
Now, onto the food…!
Vegan Restaurants in Edinburgh
33-41 Ratcliffe Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1SX
Beetroot Sauvage is a community space and vegan café in the old Earthy building just off Ratcliffe Terrace in the south side of Edinburgh. Upstairs there is a studio which hosts weekly yoga classes, meditation sessions and other wellbeing events, while downstairs you’ll find Marie-Anne’s cosy vegan café. There’s also a lovely garden out back which opens up during the summer where you can enjoy the long evenings and maybe even a fresh pizza from the outdoor pizza oven!
The café has a wide range of healthy food such as soups and buddha bowls, as well as treats such as macaroni cheese, cakes and even afternoon tea! If you try one thing at Beetroot Sauvage though, make sure you try the cheese platter. Marie-Anne is very talented at making at dairy free cheeses, so it’s worth a try if you’ve struggled to find a cheese you like. The macaroni cheese and full vegan breakfast are also both absolutely incredible.
Being a community space, there are also lots of great events here, including poetry slams, live music, markets and cookery classes. Check their website below to find out what’s happening next.
This cute café in Tollcross has lots of options for breakfast and lunch. Enjoy a breakfast roll stuffed with vegan alternatives to haggis, egg, or bacon – or enjoy a vegan twist on breakfast classic salmon cream cheese bagel. For lunch there are lots of tempting sandwich fillings, and a quiche special which changes every day.
Got room for something sweet? Treat yourself to a “cruffin” – that’s a croissant in the shape of a muffin with a sweet icing filling. Yes, it tastes as incredible as it sounds.
A couple of months ago Chapter One Coffee made the brave decision to become a fully vegan establishment, and we couldn’t be happier! Now their delicious breakfast, brunch and lunch menu is completely animal free. They do a mean coffee as well – their default is oat milk, but soya, coconut and almond is also available for an extra cost.
They are just a couple of minute’s walk from Haymarket Station, ideal if you want to grab a little pick-me-up before heading on the train.
Pop in and discover Chapter One’s mouthwatering range of vegan sandwiches and bakes, or start the day right with their delicious vegan offering – complete with vegan croissants!
Considerit is a must-visit for all the vegan sweet-tooths out there! This place specialises in decadent chocolate, doughnuts and, in the warmer(?) weather, ice cream.
Whether you are vegan or not, you are going to love the baked delights here at Considerit. Their doughnut flavours change all the time and they often do seasonal specials for Christmas, Halloween and Easter (vegan creme eggs, anyone)? However, some of their more regular flavours include biscoff, cinnamon sugar, Oreo and smores.
Let’s be honest, you are not going to get health food here. However, if you want a treat that is completely free of animal products then Considerit is the place to be. People who say that vegan food is tasteless and boring have clearly never paid this place a visit.
Grassroots Health is a bit of an institution over Bruntsfield way. Boasting one of the highest scores on Happy Cow, this friendly café serves up delicious and nutritious vegan food to lots of happy punters every day.
Dean and Jo are incredibly passionate about what they do, and it really shines through. Their main focus is raw, healthy food, but you can also find some really decadent treats here too. Jo makes her own seitan on the premises and loves to experiment with making “cheesy” sauce and other delightful concoctions.
They also work with a lot of local suppliers to make up their varied food menu, including Cool Jerk Vegan Pies and Missy’s Vegan Cupcakes. You can also stock up on all your vegan essentials at their shop, including vegan cheese, faux meats, vegan dog food, whole foods, Ecover cleaning products and even cork bags!
Edinburgh University Student’s Association, Potterrow Building, Edinburgh EH8 9AL
Humpit Hummus is a completely vegan hummus and falafel bar in University of Edinburgh’s Student Union. Don’t let the location put you off, though – everyone is welcome to visit, whether you are a student or otherwise.
Choose from a classic bowl of hummus served with pita bread, a warm filled pita with hummus and falafel, or a colourful salad bowl with optional extras like tahini and mango chutney. All completely vegan.
Dishes cost £5.40 to sit in or £4.50 to take away. Humpit is open 11am – 5pm Monday to Friday, making it perfect for a cheeky midweek lunch.
Harmonium is one of the most famous vegan establishments in Edinburgh. From the same people who brought you the likes of Stereo, Mono and The Flying Duck in Glasgow, this bar and restaurant is completely vegan, from the food menu to the wine list.
Comfort food is top of the agenda here at Harmonium, so expect to find tempting classics like pizzas, burgers and macaroni cheese alongside new inventive dishes like mushroom “scallops” and vegan Bhan Mi.
Harmonium is worth the hype and if you fancy treating yourself, this is definitely the place to visit.
You know how I mentioned right up at the start of this guide that when I started veganedinburgh.com there was only one completely vegan restaurant in Edinburgh? Well, you’ve guessed it – Hendersons Vegan was that restaurant.
Fast forward three years and the vegan scene in Edinburgh is undoubtedly thriving, but Hendersons Vegan has remained a stalwart through it all. Even though they are the most established vegan eatery in Edinburgh, they’re not getting complacent. In fact, Paul the Head Chef is constantly experimenting with new ideas and techniques to keep the menu fresh and exciting.
The iconic vegan haggis, neeps and tatties is an absolute must-try if you want to try a vegan version of Scotland’s famous dish. Or try a twist on the comfort food classic with the delicious lentil ragu.
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.
Just around the corner from Edinburgh Bus Station you will find one of Edinburgh’s most popular vegan cafés: Holy Cow. This eatery has a varied menu of imaginative vegan dishes, but honestly it is most well known for its mouth-watering range of burgers and cakes.
Holy Cow is open daily from 10am to 6pm and everything is homemade, organic and made freshly on the premises. As the menu is based on seasonal ingredients, you can expect the food available to change throughout the year, however it will always be vegan and there will always be a couple of gluten free options available too.
I would personally recommend the juicy portobello mushroom burger, which is served with a generous portion of homemade chips. If you have room for dessert, make sure you try a slice of the red velvet cake. It is to die for.
Karma Kebab is not only the first 100% vegan kebab shop in Edinburgh, but it’s also the only vegan kebab shop in the entire country! As the name suggests, Karma Kebab specialises in good old-fashioned junk food. Everything on offer is completely vegan, plus the houmous, falafel and seitan are all homemade.
Kebabs can be made with seitan or falafel, and are available with a range of toppings. If you are a spicy fan like I am, I would recommend the Karma Sutra kebab topped with jalapeños and Screaming Chimp chimpotle sauce. They also serve other treats such as falafel boxes and vegan poutine.
If you are hungry, I would recommend getting the meal deal – for £10, you can get any kebab served with chips and a soft drink. If you’re feeling particularly gluttonous, you can finish off your meal with a soft and sweet doughnut provided by local vegan bakery Considerit.
Melville Drive, just off Jawbone Walk, The Meadows, Edinburgh
Pop along to the bright tardis on the Meadows and you’ll find the meatiest non-meat burgers around, at a price-point to rival McDonald’s and Burger King.
Their menu consists of classic “beef” burgers, “honey-mustard chicken” burgers, fries and soy milkshakes. If cheap-and-cheerful fast food is what you’re after, then Lazy Lettuce is the place to be. The menu is small but it’s really well priced and perfect for satisfying those junk-food cravings.
In this small café you will find some of the most decadent and beautiful vegan food you have ever encountered in your life. Louise says that she tries to create “edible art” and boy, does she deliver – from candyfloss cupcakes decorated like unicorns to dainty little macarons in every colour of the rainbow.
Naked Bakery built their business on a foundation of sweet treats like cupcakes, macarons, doughnuts and pastries. However, since they opened their first bricks-and-mortar premises in late 2018 they have expanded their savoury offering to include mac ‘n’ “cheese”, Beyond Meat burgers, full vegan brunch, pink hummus on toast and much more.
The café itself is also one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The walls are covered in oh-so-Instragrammable purple flowers, the table numbers are labelled with beautiful gold signs, and the plates, bowls and cups are gorgeous black and gold. These guys have paid serious attention to detail, and it shows.
If sweet delicious treats are your thing, then add Naked Bakery to your must-visit list. With their beautiful cakes and tasty macarons, this is an essential stop on the vegan Edinburgh circuit.
16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS
Those who are a bit health-conscious will love Pumpkin Brown. This little spot on the Grassmarket has a bit of a celebrity following (Zoella has been known to pop in from time to time) and specialises in fresh, wholesome and healthy plant-based food.
Pop in for breakfast for one of their famously colourful smoothie bowls or a comforting bowl of porridge. At lunch there is a range of fresh salads, a seasonal hot dish of the day served with brown rice or hummus on toast – the hummus flavour changes daily.
Seeds for the Soul is a charming little café in Bruntsfield which serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and sweet treats – all of which are completely vegan. The owners are very passionate about good food, using organic ingredients where possible and making everything from scratch right on the premises. They also clearly label the gluten-free options too, both those that are naturally gluten-free and those that can be made gluten-free on request.
Their menu is full of great options for both breakfast and lunch. Their full vegan breakfast features meat-free sausages made by local greasy-spoon BBL, and their sweet pancakes are delicious and Instagrammable in equal measure. For lunch, you can either go healthy with wholesome soul bowl salads or rainbow wraps, or treat yourself to something naughtier like vegan poutine, pizza or hot dogs.
They also have a rotating range of speciality cakes and bakes. If you have room for it, their moist carrot cake is definitely worth a try.
The following places still unfortunately serve dairy, but I have included them on this page as they each also happen to have a very comprehensive and clear (and in most cases, very delicious!) vegan offering.
13 Newington Road, Edinburgh EH9 1QR
Annakut quietly popped up in Newington back in 2017 and, despite its slightly awkward location outside Edinburgh’s city centre, has been enjoying a steady stream of punters who enjoy their vegan and vegetarian Indian cuisine.
The restaurant is completely vegetarian, with vegan options clearly marked on the menu. Their food selection is split on the menu by geography, so you can enjoy specialities from South India, Gujarat and the Punjab. If you really want to treat yourself, try the vegan thali which comes with a selection of taster dishes for you to try including seasonal vegetables, dal tadka, rice and naan – plus a seero for dessert.
Annakut is open for lunch service 12midday – 2pm Tuesday – Saturday, and dinner service is 5.30pm – 10.30pm Tuesday – Sunday.
If you’re looking for a cheap, easy and quick bite to eat – look no further than The Baked Potato Shop. This hole-in-the-wall café enjoys a really handy location right between the back entrance of Waverley Train Station and the Royal Mile, making it the perfect place to fill up on cheap, satisfying eats before heading off for a day of sightseeing in Edinburgh.
All of the fillings are vegetarian, with a good selection of vegan options thrown in for good measure. You can build your perfect potato with one to three of the following: baked beans, vegetable curry, vegan chilli or veggie haggis (my personal favourite). Cold vegan-friendly fillings include hummus, vegan coleslaw, pasta salad, cous cous, sweetcorn, bean salad, plus much much more.
If you want to finish your meal off with something sweet, The Baked Potato Shop has lots of vegan-friendly treats including tiffin and cake. The selection changes daily so check the counter to see what’s on offer.
The only slight issue you may have at the Baked Potato Shop is its lack of seating. With only one table, be prepared to take your food away or get very friendly with fellow patrons! But with food this good and simple, it’s a small price to pay.
If you fancy a cosy, slow morning – then you need to pay a visit to Brochan. This cute café specialises in healthy porridge and other breakfast goodies that are mostly free from animal products, however a couple of their dishes do include honey or bee pollen (but these are always clearly marked on the menu).
Brochan serves a tempting range of porridge, granola bowls, overnight oats, toasts and smoothies, as well as a constantly-rotating board of specials.
Brochan try their best to use local produce where possible, which means all their patrons get a real taste of Edinburgh when they visit. When the nights get longer and the days get colder, a steaming bowl of porridge from Brochan is just the ticket to help you get through Edinburgh’s harsh winter months.
David Bann has a handy location just off the Royal Mile, and has a great reputation for vegetarian fine dining in a relatively relaxed setting. There are plenty of options for vegans to choose from, including quinoa chilli, stir-fried udon noodles, aubergine koftas served with coconut, courgette and tomato sauce, and red pepper risotto.
This restaurant is a great option if you want something a little bit special, but there is certainly no stuffy vibe here. This place gets the balance between great food and a relaxed atmosphere absolutely perfect. It’s fairly family friendly too.
The Forest Café is volunteer-run café and arts space near Tollcross. It might pass some people by who are only in town for a day or two, but its a staple in Edinburgh’s social scene with live music and performances. Their menu is completely vegetarian and everything can be made vegan on request. You can find the options written on a blackboard above the main service area, and gluten-free options are clearly marked too.
Dishes include the Forest Burrito, vegan chilli, nachos, hummus with pitta bread and a seasonal selection of salads. The falafel meal (pictured above) is a bit of a beast and at £6 is incredible value for money.
Right beside Hendersons Vegan restaurant you will find Hendersons Deli, and Hendersons Salad Table Restaurant in the basement. Hendersons Deli is open for breakfast and lunch and has some great vegan options and deli meals that can be also be taken away. I’m personally a huge fan of their Thai nut burger, which can be served with two of their seasonal salads.
Downstairs from the deli you will find Hendersons Salad Table. Established in 1962, it is the longest running vegetarian restaurant in the UK. This laid back eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a range of daily specials as well as a tasty dinner menu featuring their famous vegan haggis, neeps and tatties.
While both of these venues do handle dairy, everything is clearly marked on the menu and there are also plenty of options that are gluten-free too.
They also have a branch over at Holyrood, which is handy if you happen to be near the Palace of Holyroodhouse or Dynamic Earth.
Hummus is a lovely wee Middle Eastern café that has just opened up recently in the heart of Morningside. This new establishment is completely vegetarian and specialises in breakfast, coffee, tea, lunch and snacks.
The seating is pretty limited, with just a couple of bars and a small table outside. If you manage to grab a seat you can enjoy the intimate and cosy setting, but if you’re not as lucky you can always get your food to go as well.
Here you can enjoy vegan meze, with options such as hummus (obviously), baba ganoush, stuffed vine leaves, tabbouleh salad, pastries, falafel and wraps. Everything that’s vegan is clearly marked on the menu board.
Kalpna is a glittering vegetarian institution in the heart of Edinburgh’s student district. And I mean that quite literally – there are lots of little sparkling mirrors on the walls which makes up its iconic interior!
This place has been on the go for over three decades and even before I turned vegan all those years ago, I still loved dining at Kalpna. Their South Indian menu is full of delightful vegan finds, but my go-to dish is always the vegan thali. For about £18 you get a taste of five seasonal wet dishes, bread, chutney, rice, pakoras, poppadom and a dessert – all presented in a beautiful silver platter. Definitely one to try for a special occasion.
Located in the thick of Edinburgh University’s campus buildings, Paradise Palms is one of my favourite places to go for a drink. This delightfully kitsch bar has a fabulous cocktail menu and a great atmosphere to boot.
Lucky Pig has been in residence at Paradise Palms for a couple of years now, and has built a reputation on great vegetarian soul food. They have lots of vegan-friendly options too, including vegan macaroni cheese, hot dogs, nachos, burgers, and much more.
Novapizza is a legendary vegetarian Italian restaurant on edge of Stockbridge and the New Town, about a 10-15 minute walk from the city centre. While it is technically a vegetarian restaurant, most of the menu is vegan, or can be made suitable for vegans. They also have an option of a gluten-free pizza crust.
They have a huge menu full of Italian delights, and a seasonal menu which changes every six months or so. Starters include bruschetta in every way you can imagine, such as your traditional tomato variety, vegan cheese, vegan pizzaiola, vegan pesto or with vegan salami and mozzarella. Or, if you fancy sharing a starter with your friends, a garlic focaccia might be just the ticket.
Onto the main event, you have a wide choice of pasta dishes and pizzas to choose from. Of course, there are plenty of tomato-based pasta dishes on the menu, including spaghetti bolognese, penne all’arrabbiata and spaghetti all’amatriciana, but there are plenty of lovely creamy dishes to choose from too, featuring gnocchi, vegan cheese and even vegan ‘salmon’!
The vegan pizza menu reads like something you would find at any onmi Italian establishment, except that all the usual ingredients such as mozzarella, salami, ham and pepperoni have been swapped out for vegan alternatives. So if you have been craving a vegan alternative to pepperoni pizza, then Novapizza will definitely hit the spot.
The desserts are also incredible. Their signature vegan tiramisu is next on my “to-try” list, but my current favourite is their peanut butter and jam cheesecake. If you’re struggling for room but still fancy something sweet, their affogato (made with vegan ice cream, of course) is also a good option.
Just off Jawbone Walk in the Meadows, Melville Drive, Edinburgh, EH9 1JU
The Pavilion Café is a completely vegetarian establishment on the edge of The Meadows, and is open during the spring and summer months. There’s nothing better than settling into one of their comfy chairs during a sunny day in Edinburgh (hey – they DO exist!) and enjoying a cuppa with a slice of vegan cake or a wrap for lunch.
A lot of Pavilion Café’s menu rotates on the specials board, but there are always a good few options for vegans. Expect wraps with fillings such as falafel and roast vegetables, vegan-friendly soups of the day, mezzes, salads and more.
On the sweet side of things, they are supplied by gluten-free bakers Gluttony who provide tasty cakes, some of which are suitable for vegans. You may also spot their little ice-cream cart outside, which always has a vegan flavour or two.
There is a handful of indoor seating for when it rains, but when the sun is out in Edinburgh there really is no better place to be than their outdoor terrace on the Meadows.
Just down the road from Seeds for the Soul you’ll find Thrive Café:Bar. Thrive’s menu has more of an evening dining vibe than Seeds, but they also have a brunch menu which I have personally yet to try.
Everything at Thrive is at least vegetarian, but I would say around three quarters of the menu is suitable for vegans. Even the wine list is vegan – three cheers for that!
Their evening menu consists of salads, comforting grain bowls (including the delicious mac ‘n’ peas pictured above) and a range of vegan friendly burgers. With a range of naughty and nice options, this is one establishment which is bound to be a crowdpleaser for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Edinburgh: Map
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! Yes the vegan and vegetarian scene in Edinburgh is buzzing and thriving, but hopefully this guide will help you navigate all the fantastic restaurants and cafes that we have here in Scotland’s capital.
Use the map below to figure out what is nearby, and build your itinerary from there. Green dots are vegan, yellow dots are vegetarian.