Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen
42 Howe Street
+44 (0)131 237 5695
Overall score: ★★★★★
One of my favourite vegetarian Italian restaurants in Edinburgh is Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen, located on Howe Street. Technically it’s in Stockbridge, but it’s still fairly close to the city centre with only a 10-15 minute walk from Princes Street. While there are lots of options for vegan pizza in the Capital, Novapizza has arguably the largest vegan Italian menu in the city, boasting a wide selection of starters, pizza, pasta, and (perhaps most importantly!) desserts.
I popped along recently with a bunch of new-found vegan chums that I had met through the Tartan Carrot Meetup Group (well worth joining if you are vegan – or thinking of going vegan – in Scotland) so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to snap some of the tasty food this place has on offer.
Vegan food on offer at Novapizza
Novapizza has a completely vegetarian menu, and around half of the options are suitable for vegans. Gluten-free options (of which there are a fair few) are clearly marked too. 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 vegan desserts, which include cakes, bakes and dairy free ice cream, change on a daily basis, so ask your server for the day’s selection.
I shared some garlic focaccia with my dining buddies, which was a nice light crispy start to the meal, however I must admit I got a little bit of food envy when some of our party ordered some bruschetta, and it looked absolutely amazing. It didn’t help when they told me it tasted as good as it looked.
Of course, I knew I had to save some room for my pizza! I couldn’t really decide what toppings I wanted, so I decided to get a little taste of several toppings with their four seasons pizza: artichokes, vegan ham, mushrooms and vegan pepperoni. The pizza was huge, but I am both ashamed and proud to say I demolished the whole thing no bother. I hadn’t had a decent pizza in a while and my meal was so delicious I knocked back every single slice quite easily. If I had to pick my favourite topping out of the four, I think it would be the vegan pepperoni – so I might order the vegan pepperoni pizza next time I go along.
Having said that, the pasta dishes that my dining companions ordered looked great as well. I was especially intrigued by the penne vegan salmon dish, a relatively new addition to the menu that was served with a garlic soya cream and fresh parsley.
Against my better judgement, I decided to go for a dessert as well – but ohmygoodness I am so glad I did! I chose the peanut butter and jam vegan “cheese”cake and my word – it was incredible. The delicious biscuit base was topped with a generous layer of peanut butter and a soft yet so tasty smothering of jammy vegan cream. I have tried a lot of vegan desserts in Edinburgh, but I think this is one of my favourites so far. If it’s on the menu when you go in, make sure you order it!
Novapizza has a great reputation for vegan food in Edinburgh, and for good reason. The choice here is second to none and there’s some brilliant imaginative twists on some old Italian classics. An essential visit for any vegan in Scotland’s capital.
Menu info: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★☆