Posted in Vegan Travel

Vegan in Edinburgh

Vegan in Edinburgh Posted on 21/06/20179 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

Anyone who’s paid attention to any of my recent bleatings will know that life has been something of a challenge. It was therefore much appreciated when I took off for a weekend in Edinburgh a few days ago. My wonderful beirdo was due to cycle overnight from Carlisle to Edinburgh, and so I toddled on ahead to the final destination with some luggage and settled in for a weekend of beautiful weather, boozings, and much delicious food.

I’d not visited Edinburgh since around 1998 when I was scouting for a University location, and rather took advantage of my Ma paying train fare to wherever I fancied making a visit. This time I was lucky to enjoy the hospitality of a couple of lovely local folks, and absolutely stuffed my fat face with very tasty grub. Like so…

First stop was The Auld Hoose with my dear pal Emil and his partner, Logan.

A sandwich board outside "The Auld Hoose" advertising "Home of the Biggest Nachos in Edinburgh".

A huge pile of vegan nachos with jalapenos, chilli, cheeze and guacamole. A cold pint of lager in the background.

Bless the staff for bringing me three plates and three forks. I gave it a bloody valiant effort and only stopped when I got down to dry nachos at the bottom. I’d pretty much fasted the whole day in preparation and thank goodness. Top marks for being a filler-upper though obviously not too full for gelato from Affogato.

A sandwich board outside Affogato in Edinburgh advertising homemade gelato with vegan options.

A small sign advertising vegan waffles.

A huge ice cream cone with many scoops and a small plastic spoon.

Tragically the waffles were sold out by the time we arrived early evening, but I enjoyed this chocolate sorbet and maple/pecan cone quite a bit.

The next morning, my beau arrived around 5.30am and (understandably) headed straight for bed. I’d been raving about my delicious nachos on Twitter, and former PPKer Rachel, resident in Edinburgh, noticed I was in the city and kindly offered to accompany me to brunch later that morning. We went to South African cafe and bakery The Caffeine Drip (sadly now closed) where I enjoyed a very satisfying kale smoothie, and a breakfast featuring the best vegan rashers I’ve ever tasted from Sgaia foods. Not pictured is Rachel’s fronch toast with rashers and maple syrup, which she assured me were excellent!

A menu from The Caffeine Drip in Ediburgh showing vegan breakfast options.

A vegan breakfast with avocado, mushrooms, haggis, tofu scramble, rashers, toast, margarine and chutney.

After a tasty brunch, Rachel took me down to Stockbridge Market where vegan chocolatier Consider It was in residence with donuts. At 4 for £9, it seemed rude not to. I also bought a delicious salted caramel bar that was the closest thing to a Cadbury’s Caramel I’ve eaten in nearly 10 years. Would recommend!

Delicious giant vegan donuts: plain, chocolate oreo and maple pecan.

That evening I was dining with omnivores, hungry after a 100+ mile overnight bike ride, and so Bread Meats Bread was suggested to me as a possible venue for our dinner. I was super impressed with the range of vegan burgers and went for the chick’n/cheeze/bacon with skin-on chips. More of those tasty rashers!

Menu from Bread Meats Bread showing vegan burger options.

A delicious vegan burger with skin-on chips.

As Monday rolled around, I started to wonder if I could cram any more foods in, so I enjoyed a light breakfast of toast (and donuts) and we set off for Edinburgh castle on a tremendously hot morning.

A looming view of Edinburgh Castle.

Some very old graffiti carved into a wall at Edinburgh castle beginning "1790...".

Another looming view of Edinburgh castle.

A seagull on a stone wall at Edinburgh castle.

After fighting our way through throngs (and throngs) of tourists, we felt that we deserved a nice lunch. We consulted Happy Cow and decided to try out a branch of local posh veggie chain Henderson’s, where we enjoyed some rather fancy haggis with root mash, spinach and whiskey gravy.

A sign that reads "Henderson's Restaurant"

Two portions of fancy looking haggis with mash and spinach.

A closeup shot of the fancy haggis dish.

Not content to let the face-stuffing end there, and with only hours to go until our train departed for home, we wandered over to Italian vegetarian eaterie Novapizza, whose desserts had been recommended to me by Caroline. With four vegan flavours to choose from, I had a very tasty slice of the peanut butter cheesecake. The vegan pasta menu looked mightily impressive and I’d love to pop back one day and try it out.

The cover of Novapizza's menu.

The vegan pasta menu at Novapizza showing lots of tasty vegan options.

A slice of vegan peanut butter cheesecake.

All in all, a wonderful weekend, and a devastating return to real life. Getting away was quite a tonic, and has me tremendously excited for our planned trip to Copenhagen in October.

What up, o readers, can you recommend anywhere else in Edinburgh that I MUST try next time?

Check out these other travel posts:

🇫🇷 Vegan in Paris

🇳🇴 Vegan in Oslo

🇩🇰 Vegan in Copenhagen

🇩🇪 Vegan in Hamburg

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  1. OH MAN. Everything looks amazing! I’m dying of envy! I haven’t had a doughnut in years. Glad you had a luscious weekend, even if life is still rough.

    Happy Cow is so, so important. They should become a travel agency and send us directly to wherever the best vegan options are.

  2. I love Edinburgh! There’s so much great food there – I loved the sandwich I tried from The Caffeine Drip and that breakfast looks great. I’m excited that you got to hang out with Rachel too, so fun!

  3. Tonic is a great way of describing how travel can fortify and lift us up <3 I loooove Copenhagen!! It was 14 years ago I was there so I'm sure the vegan scene has grown exponentially and I was dirt poor so I ate out of my backpack rather than exploring V restaurants as I do when I travel now. I've always wanted to go to Edinburgh and your pics of the donuts and haggis will convince my partner to push it higher on the list of cities to visit next 😉 Day by day I'm wishing you recovery and strength from the challenges (and damn you have had it rough!) you've been living through <3 <3

  4. You have to try Harmonium next time you’re in Edinburgh. Easily the best vegan meal I’ve had in a restaurant x

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