Both with a few days off work, Chris and I decided on and booked a very last minute and fairly spontaneous trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. Neither of us had been to Scotland and when we decided we wanted another get away (I mean- there’s only so much saving and working you can do before it starts impacting your mental health!) a trip within the UK seemed ideal. Also- another trip away means trying more new vegan food!
I always check Happy Cow and check #veganplacename on Instagram before travelling and always make a big list of vegan/vegan friendly places and their locations! I could already see plenty of options for us and had no doubt we’d struggle eating out. Even while we were there, we saw numerous of ‘vegan’ signs and options from omni places. We luckily managed to try all the places I definitely wanted to go too, but had there been more time, there were still plenty of places we could have gone too! Time to cut the rambling and post my brief overview of some of the amazing food we ate!
As we got here mid afternoon, we just had dinner out at Paradise Palms which is a venue, bar and record store. The kitchen is run by Lucky Pig who offer 100% meat free ‘Soul Food.’ I’d say about 80% of the menu was vegan and the rest vegetarian. You can check out Lucky Pig’s Instagram here and Paradise Palms here.
I always carry snacks around with me, so with just a protein bar to start the day, we managed to hold off eating a proper meal until lunch time. We went to Moon and Hare. They describe themselves as a local, independent, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan artisan eatery and deli. Their menu is completely vegan but they unfortunately do serve dairy milk so please specify for their plant milks when ordering. Some of their fresh baked treats are only vegetarian and not vegan as well- but everything is clearly labelled. I chose the nori wrap for my main which had a really lovely dressing. They are known for their sweet and savoury waffles (all gluten free) and so we just had to try!
For dinner we went to Hendersons. This is pretty well established eatery in Edinburgh and so I did book a table (it was pretty full when we got there, but did have a quick turnaround). They have a shop and deli on Henderson Street with a vegetarian restaurant underneath called ‘The Salad Table.’ At the back of the deli, on the adjacent road, they have a separate vegan restaurant called Vegan Hendersons. They also have another veggie restaurant in the Holyrood area of Edinburgh (it’s all a bit confusing!). Anyway, this was my favourite meal of our trip and I would love to go back. For a seemingly ‘simple’ dish, the flavours where so intense and really wonderful. I thoroughly recommend the desserts too.
We started the day off with a latte (turmeric for me) and an acai bowl each at Pumpkin Brown– an organic and raw plant based deli. Full of nutrients and goodness we were ready for another day of miles of walking and exploring.
After walking two famous hills/ areas, we were more than ready for food. We went to Holy Cow. Hunger called for burgers, which really were incredible- just as the reviews had said. Definitely in my top 5 burgers I’ve had! Both came with an amazing mayo, I wish they sold it in a jar! I’d also read great reviews on their cakes, so we took a couple back with us to have later.
As we had our burgers around 4, we didn’t really have a proper dinner. We had our takeaway cake from Holy Cow (which were just as amazing as the reviews had said) and some pastries from Real Foods (including a haggis roll!)- a health food shop, much like our local- Infinity Foods. We also bought some fruit and had all of this in the hotel.
As our flight was at 3:30, we wanted a big cooked brunch to see us through until we got back to Brighton. All the vegan delis seemed to do granola, muesli or oat type breakfasts and not the full cooked brekkie we were looking for! A couple places did offer cooked breakfasts (Organic Delicious a veggie/vegan place & Caffeine Drip an omni places but are well for their vegan options). However after looking at reviews and wanting to support meat free places, we decided to go to the Salad Table Hendersons. The cooked breakfast included vegan haggis, which was amazing. I think it was made from onion, kidney beans and lentils. I got a brownie and scone to take away from the deli upstairs which we had later on and at the airport.
Vegan Edinburgh was a delight and I would really like to go back to check out the other places we didn’t have time for! Thank you Edinburgh for your lovely hospitality, stunning views and wonderful vegan food.