Every year, thousands of people sign up to take the pledge to go vegan in January for Veganuary. Rumour has it that 2019 is already bigger than ever, with 100,000 participants from 172 countries (and counting).
If you are one of them – Hello! Welcome.
I have some fantastic news for you: you have picked the BEST TIME to try vegan. It’s true. Never before in the history of veganism has there been so much delicious vegan alternative food to choose from. In Veganuary 2019 you will find being vegan is not only incredibly easy, it’s an absolute joy.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. There are plenty of places in Edinburgh to eat vegan, and you can find quite a few of them browsing my wee site here, but I thought I would hand-pick a few of my favourites to get you started. I hope you’re feeling hungry…
I originally wrote this post for Veganuary 2018, but these places are still going strong. There’s also a few new faces that have popped up in the last 12 months, so head to the end of the article for some of the top newbies!
34 Elder Street, Edinburgh EH1 3DX
Even though it has a completely vegan menu, Holy Cow has a menu that will delight vegans and omnivores alike. They have a fantastic selection of mouthwatering burgers made from juicy portobello mushrooms, pulled jackfruit, tofu and much more, all served with a generous side helping of their legendary homemade chips.
Make sure you leave room for pudding, as you won’t be able to leave without devouring one of their delicious cakes and bakes. Vegan red velvet cake, anyone?!
Lucky Pig @ Paradise Palms
41 Lothian Street, Edinburgh EH1 1HB
Taking up residence in one of Edinburgh’s coolest bars, the vegetarian foodies behind Lucky Pig have lots of delicious options for vegans. Here you’ll find lots of comfort food favourites, from their Lucky Sunday Roast (pictured above) to dirty vegan hotdogs and fries. Perfect for those chilly Veganuary days!
Bread Street Brasserie
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh EH3 9AF
Every month, Bread Street Brasserie at the Hilton DoubleTree hosts a mouthwatering vegan night that proves a hit with vegans all over Edinburgh. If you want to get an idea of how varied and imaginative vegan food can be, I would highly recommend giving their completely vegan three-course menu a try.
Each month the menu completely changes, so no two meals here will ever be the same. The next vegan night will be on the 9th January 2019, and you can enjoy three courses for £17.50 a head.
42 London Street, Edinburgh EH3 6LX
Do you sometimes like to indulge in a spot of afternoon tea? Don’t worry – you won’t have to give any of it up for Veganuary. There are actually lots of places across the city that offer a vegan afternoon tea option, but my personal favourite is Casa Angelina, a cosy café that is hidden below street level on London Street.
With delicious cakes, seasonal savoury treats and of course, big fluffy scones, you’ll definitely not leave hungry from this place!
44-45 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh EH8 9ET
Mexican food is a staple of the vegan diet. With burritos bursting with rice, beans, veggie chilli and guacamole, I challenge you to find a vegan who doesn’t love a bit of Tex-Mex. One of my favourite places in the city is Illegal Jacks, where over half of the menu is vegan-friendly.
You absolutely have to try the pulled jackfruit quesadilla, which is the first of its kind in Scotland. Smothered with beautiful melted vegan cheese, this is one dish that proves that anything you can ever want, there is bound to be a vegan alternative that is even more delicious.
Charlotte Lane, Edinburgh EH2 4QZ
Talking of food that you won’t have to give up – don’t think for one second that you will need to go without pizza for Veganuary. Lots of pizza chains are waking up to the fact that people want to eat dairy-free, so there are lots of options available.
My personal favourite at the moment is @Pizza, a fast pizza joint in Edinburgh’s West End. They offer vegan cheese at no extra cost, and you can build your perfect pizza from their wide range of vegan-friendly toppings.
38 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1LL
And let’s just bust another myth while we’re at it – vegan food does NOT have to be expensive. On South Bridge you’ll find Piemaker – a great place for cheap yet comforting vegan eats. They have a great wee selection of vegan pies and bakes, both sweet and savoury. Perfect for grabbing something tasty that won’t break the bank.
65 Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9JQ
The Herbivore Kitchen has established itself as a firm favourite in the city’s veggie scene. Most of the items on the menu are completely vegan, including delicious sandwiches, pancakes and tempting cakes and bakes. At the moment, the café is only open on weekends so the team can focus on their immense vegan brownie operation. Make sure you don’t complete Veganuary without trying one!
They also do a regular supper club, where head chef Alison fills the café for an evening and does a magical vegan set menu for dinner.
24 Marchmont Crescent, Edinburgh EH9 1HG
If you like porridge, Brochan is the place to go. This cosy little café in Marchmont is the very definition of hygge and is the ideal place to snuggle up on a cold January morning.
The menu is full of delicious breakfast treats, including warming porridge that is made with non-dairy milk, making it safe for vegans. The spiced apple chai porridge (pictured above) in particular is a bowl of warm comforting yumminess.
bbl (Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch)
65 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9RU
If you prefer your breakfast on the naughtier side, however, look no further than bbl. This greasy spoon café on the Pleasance specialises in guilty pleasures, and their full vegan breakfast does not disappoint.
Their vegan link and lorne sausages are made fresh on the premises, so you won’t taste anything else like it in the city. If you find you are missing the taste of meat during the first few days of Veganuary (don’t worry, it will pass), then this is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings.
3-5 Sciennes, Edinburgh EH9 1NJ
Talking of guilty pleasures, I hope you like doughnuts. Considerit has recently opened up a new premises on Sciennes, but they had previously been doing the rounds with vegan fairs and supplying other local cafés with their sweet treats.
These are the best doughnuts you will ever taste – and they are completely vegan too.
20 Lochrin Buildings, Gilmore Place, Edinburgh EH3 9NB
Grassroots Health is a vegan café / shop run by Dean and Joanne, with lots of great vegan food to try. Joanne makes a lot of the food fresh on site, such as seitan sandwiches, Portuguese custard tarts and delicious soups and salads. They also get regular deliveries of Considerit doughnuts, Cool Jerk Vegan Pies and raw treats from Blitz Patisserie.
60 Henderson Street, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6BS
I couldn’t write a post about vegan places in Edinburgh without giving mention to Harmonium. Chances are you know about this place already – from the folk who brought you Mono, Stereo and The Flying Duck in Glasgow, this vegan bar / restaurant in Leith is a must-visit during Veganuary.
All of your old favourites can be found here, including creamy mac and cheese, delicious juicy burgers, tasty pizza and yummy sweet desserts -all vegan of course. Make sure you turn up hungry!
New for 2019
2018 has been a fantastic year for vegan eats in Edinburgh, with lots of new places popping up in the last 12 months. Here are just a couple of my favourites, but there are still lots of other places to explore.
Check out all my newest listings at veganedinburgh.com/latest-entries.
24a Hill Street, Edinburgh EH2 3JZ
While these guys have been around for quite a while, it wasn’t until December 2018 that they finally opened up their very own premises on Hill Street. Naked Bakery specialise in beautiful cakes, macaroons and doughnuts that are all completely vegan. And yes – they taste as good as they look.
32 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9PR
Another late entry opening in November 2018, Karma Kebab is an entirely vegan kebab shop in Newington. This is a perfect place for a dirty vegan snack, which replaces the traditional lamb meat (ick!) for falafel or seitan (yum!). If you’re feeling particularly hungry, make a meal of it with a side of their delicious chunky chips.
33-41 Ratcliffe Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1SX
Missing cheese during Veganuary? Don’t feel bad about it – cheese is actually chemically addictive, according to science. The addiction to cheese can be broken, but if you are hankering for a decent alternative in the meantime then check out Beetroot Sauvage. This new café and wellness centre has a wide range of vegan goodies, but it is most famous for its vegan “cheese”. Order the cheese platter (pictured above) to discover how delicious and varied vegan cheese can be!
Seeds for the Soul
167 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4DG
Seeds for the Soul has been open for less than 12 months, but it is very hard to believe because it is now such a huge part of Edinburgh’s vegan community. This café is a good all-rounder: they have great savoury dishes, fantastic belly-busting breakfasts and incredible cakes. Plus, everything is completely plant-based.
7-8 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh EH2 4PA
Eat well and pay it forward at Vesta. This fine restaurant on Queensferry Street has a menu that is around 50% vegan, and they make their own seitan in-house. It is also a social enterprise business, partnering up with Social Bite so you can pay for a meal for someone less fortunate. They close their doors on a Monday afternoon so they can serve up food to the homeless, and additional donations are distributed through Social Bite.
18 William Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NH
This cosy café in Edinburgh’s West End is the perfect place for a spot of lunch. They have an epic salad bar (which is almost always completely vegan) and they have lots of little sweet treats to enjoy. Their focus is on sustainable, healthy food, so it’s only natural that they would have a lot of vegan options available. Curl up at one of their tables with a warming bowl of soup and just watch the world go by.
The Well Café, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh EH8 9BX
Of course, you don’t have to stick to ‘healthy’ food to be vegan. Every Friday and Saturday night Lazy Lettuce takes over The Well Café and serves up quick, dirty vegan burgers. If you are craving a McDonalds or something similar, this is the perfect antidote. Choose from their classic “beef” burger and the “honey-mustard chicken” burger, and if you’re feeling particularly frisky, try one of their gorgeous creamy milkshakes!
171 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4DG
This new veggie restaurant in Bruntsfield has lots of lovely vegan options to try, from bountiful salads and vegan burgers to delicious soups and stews. They also do a great vegan breakfast. Be sure to try their beautiful sweet buddha bowl – this colourful treat is like eating a rainbow!
Rose Theatre Café
204 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AZ
Hidden in plain sight in the Rose Theatre, this warm and welcoming café has lots of lovely vegan options for you to choose from, including a full vegan breakfast (pictured) as well as lots of delicious soup and sandwiches. For a real treat, spoil yourself to one of their famous vegan cinnamon rolls. You’ll need to be quick though – those bad boys sell out fast!
Hopefully, the list above shows that there’s absolutely lots of vegan choices in Edinburgh – and this just scratches the surface! Check out all 140+ of my suggestions at veganedinburgh.com/latest-entries.
Don’t forget, you can sign up to the Veganuary pledge at veganuary.com/register. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below. Good luck!