Top Vegan Eats in Edinburgh

25 October 2021

Kalpna Thali

Ahead of World Vegan Day on 1 November, local vegan blogger Emma Bathgate shares with us her favourite vegan eats in the city...

Emma has been running Vegan Edinburgh since 2016. During that time, she has visited around 150 cafés and restaurants in Edinburgh, documenting all her favourite vegan-friendly finds along the way. She also shares her mouth-watering food pictures on Twitter and Instagram and is a moderator of the thriving Vegan Edinburgh Facebook group.

When I turned vegan, I'll be honest, I was a little nervous. Eating out in Edinburgh is one of my favourite things to do, and I knew that my new diet would throw a spanner in the works. I knew of a few vegetarian haunts but many restaurant menus at first glance appeared to be full of meat, cream, cheese and eggs. Would I be able to eat out in Edinburgh ever again? 

After a lot of experimenting and asking around, I have found out that yes, I absolutely would!

Even at restaurants with no obvious vegan options on the menu, I've found that all you have to do is phone ahead or ask your server, and the chef is perfectly happy to rustle something delicious up in the kitchen.

Being vegan in Edinburgh is surprisingly easy, with lots of meat and dairy free dishes waiting to be discovered. Here are just a few of my favourites...

Sweetcorn cakes and thai green curry at Chaophraya

Chaophraya Vegan

Hands down one of the best vegan starters in the city - words cannot describe how delicious these sweetcorn cakes from Chaophraya are. Sweet and spicy, they come with a really moreish sauce that even my meat-eating husband could not get enough of. 

The Thai green vegetable curry is another winner. Satisfying and creamy, it's perfect when served with their sticky rice. With plenty of vegan options on their menu (ask your server to chat through them), and a breathtaking view of the city skyline, this is the perfect place to go for a romantic meal out. 

4th Floor, 33 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3DN (0131 226 7614)

Vegan nachos at The Auld Hoose

Auld Hoose Nachos

Have you ever wanted a plate of nachos bigger than your head? Well, you're in luck - The Auld Hoose in Edinburgh is a firm favourite among vegan locals for their super-sized portions of cruelty-free comfort food. The vegan nachos come with vegan chilli, a beautiful melty vegan cheese and salsa, topped off with a generous dollop of delicious guacamole. If you've got a big appetite - this is the dish for you! 

23-25 St. Leonard's St, Edinburgh EH8 9QN (0131 668 2934)

Indian tapas at Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk Vegan

Like sharing food with friends? Indian street food favourite, Tuk Tuk have lots of vibrant vegan dishes to choose from. Simply ask your server and they'll tell you which options on the menu are meat and dairy free.

I absolutely love the pakora - deep fried veggies, what's not to like?! 

1 Leven Street, Edinburgh EH3 9NB (0131 228 3322)

Vegan thali at Kalpna

Kalpna Thali

While we're on the subject of Indian food... I absolutely adore the menu at Kalpna. With a completely meat-free menu, this is a firm favourite with vegetarians and vegans alike. 

If you have never been to Kalpna before, I highly recommend you try the vegan thaali. Based on the traditional Indian dish - this has your starter, mains and pudding all on one plate. The actual food changes depending on what is seasonally available, but I haven't been disappointed with a meal here yet, and I certainly haven't left hungry. Make sure you turn up wearing some kind of elasticated waistband, you're going to need it. 

2-3 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh EH8 9EZ (0131 667 9890)

 

Of course, these are just a handful of vegan dishes that I have tried, and I can't wait to eat my way around many more. I've heard wonderful things about the likes of BBL, Hula Juice Bar & Eatery and Grams, and it's only a matter of time before I try them for myself. My vegan journey around Edinburgh is far from over! 

Follow Emma's quest to find the best vegan food in Edinburgh over at veganedinburgh.com. You can also follow her on Instagram: @vegan_edi.