When you’re picking a travel destination, one of the many considerations that you make is the local dining scene. This is especially true for travelers adhering to a plant-based lifestyle who want to make sure that they get ample options on where to eat. Luckily for visitors of Edinburgh, there is no shortage of vegan dining spots to choose from!
Despite its reputation for Angus beef and steak pies, the Scottish capital is actually an excellent destination for vegan foodies. In fact, it was named the second-most vegan-friendly city in the United Kingdom. From cafés and restaurants to markets and food stalls, you won’t run out of options here. With that said, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 vegan restaurants in Edinburgh found below.
Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in Edinburgh
The city of Edinburgh is packed with dining options for vegetarian and vegan customers, whether it’s fully-vegan joints or restaurants with vegan-friendly selections. This list, however, is focused on exclusively-vegan restaurants and cafés in the Scottish capital. Don’t forget to utilize an Edinburgh luggage locker for a more seamless and hassle-free dining experience.
- Holy Cow
One of Edinburgh’s most famous vegan spots is this tiny and unassuming café with a range of vegan dishes on the menu. Holy Cow, located a few blocks away from the Edinburgh Bus Station, boasts an all-vegan and organic menu that changes seasonally, depending on the local ingredients and produce available. Their specialty item is the “Muu burger”, which come in different varieties such as Portobello mushrooms, Thai carrot, and pulled jackfruit. The restaurant also offers vegan desserts, including their famous red velvet cake.
- Black Rabbit
Located in Tollcross, this vegan deli and café has plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and even dessert. Some of their bestsellers include their vegan version of a salmon cream cheese bagel and vegan breakfast rolls or you can create your own sandwich at the deli counter. Looking for something sweet? Try their beloved “cruffin,” which is a cross between a croissant and a muffin with an icing filling. Black Rabbit is also known for their eco-friendly stance; the restaurant runs on 100% green electricity, gives a 10% discount to customers with reusable coffee cups, and uses biodegradable food packaging.
- Novapizza Vegan Kitchen
An Edinburgh favorite, Novapizza is an Italian restaurant that offers up an all-vegan menu. The restaurant opened in 2015 as a vegetarian eatery but eventually converted to a completely vegan dining spot some years later. Looking every bit like a traditional trattoria, Novapizza serves a range of plant-based versions of Italian classic dishes, such as pizza, pasta, calzone, and bruschetta. They use non-dairy cheeses and faux meats for their ingredients and everything is freshly made and organic.
- Beetroot Sauvage
Found in the Grange in south Edinburgh is Beetroot Sauvage, a vegan café that doubles as a community space. True to the health and wellness lifestyle, the upstairs area serves as a yoga studio where patrons can get their daily flow and meditation before heading to the downstairs café for a hearty vegan meal.
Beetroot Sauvage serves all-day breakfast as well as vegan smoothies, including bestsellers such as tofu scramble croissant, vegan macaroni and cheese, Buddha bowls, and their signature “power porridge”. On Sundays, the space becomes a venue for live music, poetry slams, cooking classes, and other wellbeing events.
One of Edinburgh’s most prominent vegan spots is Harmonium, which is the brainchild of the same people behind other well-known plant-based establishments such as The Flying Duck and Stereo in Glasgow. With a dedication to making vegan food accessible to all, Harmonium serves incredible vegan comfort food that doesn’t take away from the texture and flavors. Specialty dishes include the “no fish n’ chips”, vegan Banh Mi, mushroom “scallops” and their plant-based variation of “seitan steak”.
- Pumpkin Brown
Located in the famous Grassmarket in Old Town Edinburgh, Pumpkin Brown is a vegan café that serves all-organic, gluten-free, and plant-based dishes. Founded in 2016, the spot is particularly popular for breakfast, including dishes such as acai bowls and breakfast porridge. You can also order hot dishes, salads, vegan juices, cakes, and coffee.
- Seeds for the Soul
On a mission to prove that vegan food is just as good as any, Seeds for the Soul serves both healthy and indulgent plant-based meals. Located in Bruntsfield, this charming vegan restaurant creates out-of-this-world dishes that look and feel good. Some of the must-try meals include their “unicorn” pancakes, which are made with colorful superfoods, soul food salads, vegan hummus, “wholesome wraps”, vegan poutine, and their famous Beyond Burgers. Rates at Seeds for the Soul are also fair, with most dishes priced at no more than £10.
- Naked Bakery
Hidden in an alley behind George Steet, this vegan bakery and café is the go-to place for vegans that are looking for a sweet treat. The pastries offered here are every bit as good as they look – from the unicorn-style candy floss cupcakes, marbled vegan donuts, rainbow-colored macarons, vegan chocolate brioche knots, and the blue dairy-free latte. While they started as a bakery, the café also now serves savory dishes such as pink hummus on toast and vegan mac n’ cheese for those looking for a proper meal.
- Chapter One Coffee Shop
Located not too far from the Haymarket Station is this independent coffee shop that opened in 2015 and recently converted into an exclusively-vegan dining establishment. Chapter One features a plant-based breakfast and lunch menu and prides themselves in using ethically-sourced ingredients for their dishes. The spot is also known for its quality coffee; if you like milk, they have plenty of non-dairy options such as oat, coconut, almond, and soya milk.
- Sora Lella
While Sora Lella may be considered a newcomer in the Edinburgh vegan scene, having just opened in 2019, it has already received a lot of hype, and rightfully so. Located in Tollcross, this completely-vegan Italian restaurant has a vast array of Roman staples – from pasta dishes such as lasagna, all’arrabbiata and carbonara to pizzas and more! Every week, Sora Lella offers a different selection of dishes based on the seasonal ingredients available. But one thing is for sure – the meals here are so good that even non-vegans forget that they’re all plant-based.