If it’s your first trip to Edinburgh, it’s very likely that you will go to the Royal Mile. With Edinburgh Castle at one end, Holyrood Palace at the other and a whole host of unmissable attractions in between, the Royal Mile is the place to be if you want to tick off a few things on your Edinburgh bucket list.
But where to eat?! Thankfully, as a vegan, you have plenty of choices either on or just a couple of minute’s walk from the Royal Mile, so you never have to stray too far from your sightseeing. Whether you’re after breakfast, lunch or dinner, here are a few of my favourites:
Good for: A casual pizza for dinner
A firm favourite with locals, Civerinos is a lively pizza bar found just off the Royal Mile at Hunters Square. Their menu offers meat and veggie options, but their vegan ‘Meat is Murder’ pizza really is something else. It’s the only cheeseless pizza I have ever truly enjoyed. Well worth a try, and perfect if you have onmivores in your party.
Hula Juice Bar
Good for: A healthy breakfast or lunch
This cute little health café is located on West Bow at the bottom of Victoria Street, just off the Royal Mile at the junction of Bank Street / George IV Bridge. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch, Hula Juice Bar specialises in a menu that tastes good and feels good. Expect smoothie bowls, nourishing porridge, tasty sandwiches and healthy salads.
Mimi’s Little Bakehouse
Good for: Cake!
Mimi’s Little Bakehouse is the wee sister of Mimi’s Bakehouse, which is also found in Leith and Corstorphine. Their small premises on the Canongate means that they have a smaller range than their other bakeries, but there are normally at least one or two vegan sweet treats to choose from. The offering changes daily, so pop in and find out what tempting sweet bakes are fresh out of the oven…
Baked Potato Shop
Good for: A cheap yet filling lunch
The Baked Potato Shop can be found at the top of Cockburn Street, just off the High Street of the Royal Mile. As the name suggests, they offer baked potatoes with a huge range of vegan-friendly fillings, including chilli, beans, and veggie haggis. It’s a great place to fill up on a cheap lunch. But be prepared to take your food to go, because seating in this small place is very limited.
Good for: consistently good Italian food
Bella Italia is a UK chain of restaurants that specialises in Italian food. It’s not the most adventurous of choices, but if you are looking for somewhere safe and consistent, this is a pretty good bet. They have a separate vegan menu with pasta, pizza and salads. You can find them just opposite the Tron at the South Bridge end of the High Street.
Good for: Excellent baked goods for a quick lunch
The Piemaker is a two-minute walk from the Royal Mile up South Bridge. Head here for lunch – they have a great selection of vegan bakes and pies that are warm, comforting and great value for money. Fillings include spinach vergas, potato and mushroom vergas. Delicious!
Good for: Filling noodles and rice
Just beside The Piemaker you’ll find Yokoco. With a restaurant setting and lots of seating, Yokoco is a slightly more formal affair, but not by much. It still offers great food at excellent value for money, just let the server know of your requirements before you order. They have a few noodle, rice and vegetable dishes that can be made safe for vegans.
Good for: More pizza!
Yes, it’s another chain! I’m sorry, but Pizza Express is worth mentioning as they have three restaurants within spitting distance of the Royal Mile at George IV Bridge, North Bridge and Holyrood Road. You can get their pizzas with vegan cheese and they also do a good vegan special or two. Just like Bella Italia – it’s safe, it’s consistent and it certainly isn’t to be sniffed at when you are hungry!
Good for: Something special
One of Edinburgh’s most established vegetarian restaurants can be found just off the Royal Mile on St Marys Street. If you want to go somewhere a wee bit more upmarket for dinner, then David Bann is the place. Vegan dishes include broccoli and tofu fritters, aubergine, chickpea and cashew koftas, and spicy quinoa and chickpea pancakes.