Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen
42 Howe Street
+44 (0)131 237 5695
Overall score: ★★★★★
Disclaimer: In exchange for this post, Mr B and I dined here free of charge. The opinions expressed in this article remain my own.
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 originally wrote this review in early 2017, but I was recently invited back to find out how much their menu has changed. Most of their menu is now vegan, or can be made suitable for vegans. But don’t worry, they still have that delicious gluten-free pizza crust and some of the old favourites including the bruschetta and (my personal favourite!) the peanut and jam cheesecake.
Vegan food on offer at Novapizza
Novapizza has 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.
- Bread basket Served with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Mixed olives
- Focaccua Romana Salt, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil
- Bruschetta tomato Toasted bread with fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and oregano
- Bruschetta pizzaiola Toasted bread topped with slow cooked tomato sauce, melted vegan mozzarella and oregano
- Bruschetta al salmone Toasted bread topped with fresh rocket, black olives, vegan salmon, lemon and vegan mayonnaise
- Crostino vegetariano 4 slices of toasted bread with mixed salami and melted vegan mozzarella (good for 2 people)
- Garlic focaccia Italian focaccia topped with garlic, fresh parsley and mozzarella (serves 4)
- Focaccia dracula Italian focaccia topped with tomato sauce, garlic, fresh parsley and extra virgin olive oil (serves 4)
- Spaghetti puttanesca Sauteed cherry tomatoes, black olives, capers, garlic with a sprinkling of black pepper, parsley, oregano and chilli flakes. Topped with vegan parmesan.
- Spaghetti all’amatriciana Classic Roman pasta served with tomato sauce, smoked seitan, black pepper and onions. Topped with vegan parmesan.
- Spaghetti tricolore Fresh cherry tomatoes cooked with garlic, fresh basil and served with vegan parmesan.
- Spaghetti alla carbonara Classic Roman pasta cooked with cream, turmeric, onions, black pepper and smoked seitan, topped with fresh parsley and parmesan
- Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino Classic Roman pasta make with Italian chilli flakesfresh parsley, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Topped with vegan parmesan.
- Organic tagliatelle seggiano cacio e pepe, e tartufo Vegan parmesan and black pepper sauce, parsley and Italian truffle oil
- Organic tagliatelle seggiano bolognese Slow cooked bolognese sauce with soy mince, onions and basil topped with vegan parmesan
- Penne alla vodka Sauteed smoked seitan and red onions with a shot of vodka, slow cooked tomato sauce, a touch of vegan cream, topped with vegan parmesan and fresh parsley
- Penne alla norma Slow cooked tomato and basil sauce, roasted aubergines, garlic and ricotta cheese. Topped with vegan parmesan
- Penne all’arrabbiata Slow cooked tomato sauce with garlic, basil, and Italian chilli flakes. Topped with vegan parmesan
- Penne or gnocchi 4 cheese and mushrooms Served with vegan parmesan, marscapone, blue cheese, cream and pan fried mushrooms. Topped with fresh parsley
- Gnocchi alla sorrentina Classic Italian potato dumplings served with tomato sauce, vegan mozzarella, a touch of vegan cream, topped with parmesan and basil
- Ravioli spinach and leek Served with tomato sauce, black pepper and vegan parmesan
- Vegetarian lasagne Oven baked lasagne with bolognaise sauce béchamel and vegan mozzarella. Topped with vegan parmesan
- Margherita Tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil
- Bolognese Soy bolognese sauce, parmesan, fresh basil and mozzarella
- 4 Stagioni Tomato sauce, artichokes, vegan ham, vegan pepperoni, mushrooms and mozzarella
- Capricciosa Tomato sauce, vegan ham, black olives, artichokes, mushrooms and mozzarella
- Pepperoni Tomato sauce, vegan pepperoni and mozzarella
- Messicana Tomato sauce, vegan chicken, fresh chilli, roasted mixed peppers, chilli powder and mozzarella
- ParmiGiana Tomato sauce, roasted aubergines, fresh basil, parmesan and mozzarella
- Vegetarian Tomato sauce, sweetcorn, mushrooms, courgettes, roasted aubergines, roasted mixed peppers and mozzarella
- Rustica Cold pizza with tomato sauce, fresh rocket, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, black olives, vegan mayonnaise and parmesan
- Amatriciana Tomato sauce, smoked seitan, black pepper, onions, mozzarella and parmesan
- Cacciatora Tomato sauce, black olives, capers, homemade seitan, rosemary, potatoes, black pepper and mozzarella
- Mediterrranea Tomato sauce, black olives, capers, artichokes, garlic, mixed peppers, black pepper, mozzarella and fresh chilli
- Carbonara Vegan cream, turmeric, black pepper, onions, smoked seitan, mozzarella and parmesan
- Boscaiolia Mushrooms, vegan ham, black olives and mozzarella
- 4 cheese and mushrooms Mushrooms, mascapone, blue cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, fresh parsley
- Focaccia al salmone Vegan cream, fresh rocket, black olives, mayonnaise, lemon, vegan salmon and parmesan
Served with a side salad
- Boscaiolia Mushrooms, vegan ham, black olives and mozzarella
- Pizzioloa Tomato sauce, oregano and mozzarella
- Vegan Courgettes, sweetcorn, mixed peppers, onions, chilli, tomato sauce and mozzarella
- Piadina Romana Roman crispy calzone filled with mozzarella, rocket salad, black olives and vegan ham
- Scaloppina al limone Seitan served in a creamy lemon sauce, sauteed mushrooms, spinach and flakes of parmesan
- Seitan alla pizzaiola Homemade seitan cooked with tomato sauce, olives and oregano
- Seitan steak Served with lettuce, lemon, mayonnaise and roasted potatoes
- Seitan al vino rosso Seitan steak served with roasted vegetables and red wine sauce
- Roasted potatoes Roasted with olive oil, rosemary and salt
- Mixed salad Fresh rocket, fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, black olives and sweetcorn
- Rocket salad Fresh rocket, parmesan shavings and balsamic glaze
- Roased mixed vegetables Roasted potatoes, roasted peppers, roasted aubergines and fresh parsley
- Homemade vegan tiramisu
- Homemade vegan cake served with vanilla ice cream scoop
- Vegan creme brulee Served with homemade biscuit
- Vegan cheesecakes
- Peanut butter and jam
- Vegan ice cream Vanilla ice cream topped with homemade biscuit, soy whipped cream and chocolate sauce
- Vegan pizza dolce Topped with organic chocolate and soy cream
- Calzone dolce Filled with organic chocolate and soy cream
- Affogato al caffe Vanilla ice cream served with a shot of espresso
How much does it cost?
Single serve starters, like the salmon bruschetta pictured above, cost around £6.00 – £6.50. Pasta dishes range from £13.00 to £17.00, and pizzas range from £10.00 for a margerhita to £16.00 for the more complex toppings. The seitan steak costs £18.00 at the time of writing.
Is it any good?
I’m quite happy to admit that Novapizza is my favourite vegan-friendly pizza place in Edinburgh. This small cosy independent restaurant is quite unlike anything you’ll find in the usual Italian chains.
They make their own seitan in-house for using in steaks and pizza and pasta toppings. That way, they have complete control over the seasoning and taste, making for delicious results.
Their bruschetta is lovely and crispy, and I would definitely recommend trying their vegan salmon topping if you fancy something different from the usual tomato and basil combo.
Their pizza is delicious, with a rich sweet tomato sauce and a special vegan mozzarella cheese. If you have a craving for the old American-style pizzas, I would definitely recommend the pepperoni topping, which has a nice flavourful kick. If you find the whole pizza a bit much (which, shamefully, I did) then the friendly staff will be happy to box up your leftovers for you.
Mr B gave the seitan steak a try. Personally, I find seitan a bit hit-or-miss, but I tried a little mouthful of his and I really enjoyed it. It was seasoned well and had the taste of a nice flavourful steak. I’m not sure I would have manage a whole one, but Mr B scoffed his down quite happily.
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.
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: ★★★★☆
Novapizza Opening Hours
These opening hours are correct at the time of writing. For the most accurate times, check Novapizza website (linked above).
Monday 4.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Wednesday 4.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Thursday 12.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Friday 12.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Saturday 12.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Sunday 12.30 pm – 9.30 pm
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