6 Top Tips for Veganuary in Edinburgh

10 January 2022

Nova Pizza(Image Credit: Vegan Edinburgh)

After the over indulgences of the festive season, many of us look to January as the month to get fitter and healthier. For many, that might look like joining a gym, taking up jogging or going on a diet.

For many others, January is a chance to reset their healthy habits by eating in a more ethical and sustainable way by taking part in the month long Veganuary initiative.

Read on to find out more about Veganuary, how to get involved and how to start your vegan adventures in Edinburgh.

Background of Veganuary

Unless you live in a shack in the woods with no WIFI, you will have heard of Veganuary. If not, then this is a great place to start.

The initiative was started by Jane Land and Matthew Glover as a way to promote the health and environmental benefits of a plant based diet. It’s been going since 2014 and has seen millions of people worldwide pledge to go vegan for the full 31 days of January and beyond.

Participants are made up from over 209 countries worldwide and the non-profit organisation has been monumental in shifting attitudes toward vegans and veganism.

How to get involved 

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Of course, you can do Veganuary without going down the formal route of registering, but if you like feeling part of a movement then pledging your Veganuary intention means you’re strengthening the data and statistics Veganuary relies on for its activism and reach around the world.

Simply sign up on the Veganuary website and you’ll receive regular emails of support in the shape of encouragement, useful information, recipes and meal planning.

Going vegan in Edinburgh

It’s never been easier to be a Vegan in Edinburgh with a fantastic range of places to eat in and shop from. To help you on your Veganuary adventure, we’ve compiled some top tips to get you started…...

Tip 1:  Missing your favourite chippy?

There’s nothing quite like a fish supper, which isn’t very useful when you’re going vegan. You’ll find lots of ‘fish’ options in the vegan restaurants around the city, but not many in a good old chippy. Fear not as there are not several chippies, which as well as offering the usual fare, are turning their hand to vegan options.

Located on Victoria Street, Bertie’s Fish & Chips’ vegan fish supper is thick slabs of aubergine, wrapped in seaweed and deep fried in batter. Served with chips and mushy peas, it’s absolute heaven.

Eat Fish Edinburgh opened its first shop in Marchmont in 2020, closely followed a year later with a second shop in Haymarket. With options such as vegan haggis fritters, tofish and vegan calamari on the menu, deciding what to have could take some time.

All three also offer home delivery throughout the city so if’s a dreich January night, you don’t even need to leave the house!

Tip 2: What about the cheese?

Many people wouldn’t consider going vegan because they love cheese so much. If that’s been a concern of yours, then take a look at Edinburgh-based Earthy Vegan Cheese. 

Their mission is to create delicious vegan cheeses that taste, look and feel better than dairy cheese. You can get your hands on some at the Beetroot Police box in the Meadows, order online or find a list of local stockists on their website.

Tip 3: Where to eat out?

Where to start! Edinburgh has so many amazing vegan restaurants, cafes, delis and bars, you certainly won’t struggle for choice.

Start the day as you mean to go on – whether it’s a belly-busting vegan fry-up or a plate of warming porridge, there’s no shortage of places to indulge in the most important meal of the deal. Try The Black Rabbit for a vegan twist on the classic salmon & cream cheese bagel; or how about a stack of the fluffiest pancakes at Seeds for the Soul. On a cold January morning, there’s nothing better than a warming bowl of porridge – find a bowl of the good stuff at both Gogo Beets or Beetroot Sauvage.

Looking for a tasty spot of lunch? Fuel up on a bowl of delicious soup from Union of Genius – they offer six different flavours each day, three of which are usually vegan friendly. For a range of wholesome vegan and vegetarian food made with fresh, organic, local and sustainable produce, you can’t go wrong with Hendersons.

Hendersons Risotto Vegan

For those days when nothing but a slice of mouth-watering pizza will do, Dough on both Rose Street and South Clerk Street have a selection of vegan pizzas on their menu, including vegan parmigiana and pepperoni. Or for a true taste of Italy, be sure to pay a visit to Sora Lella, whose entire menu is vegan. Dishes change weekly according to seasonal ingredients, so whenever you go, you’ll be guaranteed something fresh, unique and utterly delicious.

If the delights of afternoon tea are something you relish, the good news is that several Edinburgh eateries have turned their hand to creating plant-based versions of this traditional pastime. Served in the splendid surroundings of The Georgian Tea Room, The Dome’s afternoon tea features a trio of finger sandwiches, scones and a moreish selection of dainty cakes. Or marvel at the grandiose marble staircase and stained-glass windows as you sip and sup on the delectable offering at The Scotsman Hotel.

For more hints and tips on eating out in Edinburgh, the Vegan Edinburgh Facebook Group and Vegan Edinburgh, run by Edinburgh vegan food blogger Emma Bathgate are both invaluable sources of information.

Tip 4: Where can I buy ingredients?

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While eating out is lovely, most of us can’t do this every night of the week, so cooking at home is required.  Most supermarkets now stock a large range of plant-based foods and ingredients, but you can also support your local area by buying from local shops and stockists.

Established in 1975, Real Foods has been the go-to shop for natural, organic and vegetarian food in Edinburgh for over 40 years. With two shops in the city, and an on-line shop, their ever expanding range now includes more than 10,000 natural, organic, health and wholefood products. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Their helpful staff will help you find or order whatever you need.

Scotland's only 100% vegan grocery store, Easter Greens opened its first shop on Easter Road in 2019, closely followed by a second on Morningside Road. Freshly baked bread & pastries, dry food refills, toiletries, fruit & veg, you’ll find it all, and much more, here.

On a mission to create a Plastic Free Edinburgh, The Eco Larder is Edinburgh’s only zero waste local supermarket. Not only that, but they also an extensive range of vegan food and household products.

One of Edinburgh's oldest independent businesses, Hanover HealthFoods is primarily a stockist of supplements and skincare, however they also sell a range of health foods and vegan friendly products.

Held at Dock Place, Leith Market has become a firm favourite with locals looking to stock up on fresh baked goods, farm produce and more. ​On the first Saturday of the month, it plays host to the Vegan Quarter as well as usual traders – a great place to shop and buy direct from the suppliers.

Tip 5: Improve your vegan cookery skills.

If one of your New Year resolutions is to improve your skills in the kitchen, a vegan cooking course with Edinburgh New Town Cookery School could be just the thing to unleash your culinary talents.

Suitable for both beginners to vegan cookery and those need a little help with planning exciting and nutritious meals, this one-day course includes a demonstration and a practical cooking session.

Tip 6: Attend a vegan festival.

Vegan Festival

Join Edinburgh Vegan Festival for a day of vegan food, drinks & clothing along with info, talks & workshops on veganism

A family-run multi-award winning vegan festival that promotes veganism throughout the UK, Vegan Festivals offer a great place to meet like-minded people, learn more about vegan products and buy products direct from suppliers.

With a large number of stalls featuring cruelty free foods, drinks and clothing along with information, talks and workshops on veganism, it’s a fun, informative and sociable day out for both vegans and those interested in taking the next step to veganism or looking for a lifestyle that promotes health, the environment and a more ethical way of living.

2022 dates TBC.

 

Looking for more vegan-inspired adventures in Edinburgh? Head to our blog Top Vegan Eats in Edinburgh by local vegan blogger Emma Bathgate >