171 Bruntsfield Place
+44(0)131 623 6885
Overall score: ★★★★☆
Another day, yet another vegan-friendly haunt opens up in Edinburgh! Thrive Café:Bar is the newest addition to the city’s veggie scene, and just two doors down from established vegan favourite Seeds for the Soul, they are in good company.
Thrive’s menu has more of an evening dining vibe than Seeds, but they also have a brunch menu which I am very excited about trying in the not-too-distant future. From wholesome and healthy bowls to decadent seitan burgers, there’s a huge range of vegan food to get your choppers around here!
The vegan options at Thrive Café:Bar
Everything at Thrive is at least vegetarian, but I would say around three quarters of the menu is suitable for vegans. A wee bit confusingly, the options that are vegetarian only are marked, as opposed to the other way round – so if you are vegan you should avoid any dishes labelled with a V. Everything else is free from animal products (including the wine list – hip hip hooray!).
There are also lots of gluten-free options, which are also clearly marked on the menu.
- Migas tacos Scrambled tofu, spinach, salsa and guacamole (gluten-free available)
- Shroom tartine Toasted shrooms, roast vine tomatoes, toasted bloomer (gluten-free available)
- Avocado toast Smashed avocado, sauteed spinach, toasted bloomer (gluten-free available)
- Porridge Maple syrup, toasted nuts and berries (gluten-free)
- Buddha bowl Blueberry yoghurt, mixed fruits, quinoa granola and berry compote (gluten-free)
- Soup of the day with warm bread (gluten-free available)
- Scallops King oyster shrooms, baba ghanoush, pickled cauliflower (gluten-free)
- Wings Tempura battered cauliflower, hot sauce, crisp salad
- Antipasti plate Roasted peppers, mixed olives, oils, tapanade, toasted breads (gluten-free available)
- Caponata Roast aubergines, tomatoes, olives, capers, rocket, shaved vegan parmesan, pesto (gluten-free)
- Ceviche Lemon-marinated tofu, cherry tomatoes, mango, avocado, samphire, grapefruit vinegarette (gluten-free)
- Raw Spinach, kale, vine tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, radishes, pesto (gluten-free)
- Quinoa Rocket, broccoli, squash, roasted chickpeas, beetroot hot sauce (gluten-free)
- Rainbow Roasted sweet tatties, avocado, braised red cabbage, salsa, wild rice (gluten-free)
- Middle East Falafel, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, cucumber, mint yoghurt dressing
- Ramen Ginger and soy broth, noodles, pak choi, bean sprouts, pepper, coriander
- Mac & Peas Cashew and cauli cheeze sauce, macaroni, chickpeas, spinach, BBQ beets sauce
All served on a soft bun with burger salad and pickles.
- Black bean and quinoa House salsa
- Aloo tikka Spice pattie, mint yoghurt dressing
- Sloppy joe Shredded jackfruit, BBQ beets sauce, red slaw (gluten-free available)
- Tofush Beer-battered tofu, pea purée, tartar sauce
- Seitan Thrive seitan pattie, house guacamole
Add vegan cheddar or any of the following homemade sauces for an extra £1.50: Mayo (gluten-free), BBQ beets (gluten-free), Hot sauce (gluten-free), Guacamole (gluten-free), Salsa (gluten-free), Cheeze sauce, Mint yoghurt, Baba ganoush, Basil Pesto
- Mixed olives (gluten-free)
- Fried greens (gluten-free)
- Red cabbage slaw (gluten-free)
- Steamed wild rice (gluten-free)
- Mixed salad (gluten-free)
- Breads and oils (gluten-free available)
- Plain fries
- Dirty fries Cheeze sauce, hot sauce, scallons, jalapeños
- Posh fries Parmasan and pesto
- Thrive fries Shredded jackfruit, BBQ sauce, vegan cheeze
- Creme brûlée Coconut cream, caramelized top, mixed berries (gluten-free)
- Chocolate mousse Avocado chocolate, hazelnut praline, whipped coconut cream (gluten-free)
- Buddha bowl Blueberry yoghurt, mango, melon, toasted nuts, pumpkin seeds, toffee sauce (gluten-free)
- Thrive sundae Vanilla ice cream, toasted pecans, chocolate sauce
- Selection of vegan ice creams / sorbets Ask your server for today’s selection!
Mr B and I were lucky enough to get a table at one of their preview nights, a couple of days before their official opening. For that reason we kept a pretty open mind about the food and the service, assuming that the people at Thrive may still need to hit their stride, but in all honesty the offering is pretty tight already.
We started with deep fried cauliflower ‘wings’, which seem to be on offer in every vegan-friendly restaurant nowadays, but you won’t catch me complaining. These were lovely and crispy, with a generous helping of hot sauce on the side.
For mains I had the mac ‘n’ peas, while Mr B had the pulled jackfruit slider. The mac ‘n’ peas was a very generous portion, and the sauce was flavoursome and creamy. It’s not the most cheesy vegan mac and cheese I’ve had, but it was still very tasty and super comforting. Mr B felt the bun on his slider was a little plain (EDIT – rumour has it that Thrive has improved the bun already!), but the jackfruit filling itself was really good.
I decided to end my meal on a wholesome note with the fruity buddha bowl. As you can see from the pictures above, it was like eating a rainbow! The blueberry yoghurt was lovely and sweet, and there was a lot of fruit giving a nice satisfying ending to my meal.
Mr B, on the other hand, decided to go a bit more decadent and ordered the Thrive Sundae. He really enjoyed it, although the vanilla ice cream has quite a strong coconut flavour so something to bear in mind when you are ordering.
I am really excited for what the future holds for Thrive. It is a great addition to this area, which is slowly turning into a vegan/vegetarian hub. If you want to try something new, then Thrive is definitely worth a go.
Menu info: ★★★★☆
Value for money: ★★★★☆
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