Edinburgh’s very first Vegan Festival takes place this Saturday (read more about it in our August foodie events guide) with talks, tastings and treats galore taking place for vegans.
But what about the other 364 days of the year? Sadly Edinburgh doesn’t yet have even one vegan only restaurant, but there are a fair few cafés and restaurants rooting for vegans and serving up some tasty, completely animal-free meals.
If you’re a vegan who feels like you’re missing out on the good stuff, this one’s for you – five of our favourite local places for everything from totally animal-free cooked breakfasts to vegan pies.
The Auld Hoose
Looks can be deceiving, and while The Auld Hoose may look like your typical old man pub both inside and out, it’s actually a foodie haven for vegans. Home to what may be the only full vegan cooked breakfast in all of Edinburgh, this friendly Newington bar also has everything from vegan-friendly nachos to falafel burgers on their menu. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – anywhere that serves chips and vegan cheese definitely isn’t stuck in the past.
23-25 St Leonard’s Street, EH8 9QN – more info
The Baked Potato Shop
The Baked Potato Shop in Edinburgh! Yes that's vegan haggis. pic.twitter.com/ZnAP99kV
— quarrygirl (@quarrygirl) December 28, 2012
You might not imagine you’d be spoiled for choice at a café named ‘The Baked Potato Shop’, but this little gem on Cockburn Street has many a vegan delicacy tucked into its pinny. As well as a huge list of vegan fillings for your jacket potato (curried rice, spicy hummus and fruity coleslaw, to name just a few) there are hot samosas, pakoras and sausage rolls on offer. You can even get your hands on homemade vegan cake and tiffin here, so it’s definitely not all just about the tatties (although they are the stars of the show).
56 Cockburn Street, EH1 1PB – more info
Bread Street Brasserie
— vegans.uk Ⓥ (@VegansUK) May 9, 2015
Many restaurants struggle to accommodate vegans without boring them to death, and anyone who has been left to pick through yet another garden salad while surrounded by fantastic non-vegan dishes knows exactly what we’re talking about. Bread Street Brasserie have embraced the challenge to provide something different, and the result is a respectable number of interesting vegan-friendly dishes, interspersed with options for our meat, egg and cheese-eating friends. They also host a monthly vegan evening, putting on a reasonably priced three-course meal just for vegans, which in a city without a vegan restaurant is really the next best thing.
34 Bread Street, EH3 9AF – more info
If you’re a yoga fan you might already have stumbled upon Meadowlark Café, attached to Meadowlark yoga studio. The good news is that you don’t have to be a yogi to pop in for breakfast or lunch, and even the most inflexible of individuals are welcome any time. As well as the nourishing fruit juices and smoothies that you would expect to find in a café attached to a yoga studio, Meadowlark also serve up vegan-friendly superfood muesli, soups and salads, savoury tarts and sweet treats. Our favourite added bonus is that everything here is healthy and pretty darn good for you, even the cakes.
39 Argyle Place, EH9 1JT – more info
From the epitome of healthy eating to the sublimely unhealthy, lunch at The Piemaker isn’t usually a low calorie affair. We aren’t too cut up about it though because the pies here are famously delicious, and there are both sweet and savoury options available for vegans. Get heated with a balti curry pie, then cool things down with old school classic cherry – all vegan-friendly.
38 South Bridge, EH1 1LL / 61 Great Junction Street, EH6 5HX – more info
Main image: Hungry Dudes / Flickr / CC