NOVEMBER is Vegan Month and if you are in Scotland, that means Edinburgh is the place to be.
The Capital now has the largest number of vegan eateries in the country, all delighting diners with their meat and dairy free cuisine.
For the uninitiated, the Vegan Society describes veganism as a way of living which ‘seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.’
That doesn’t mean meal times have to be boring either, as visitors to the Edinburgh Vegan Festival 2017, which takes place on Sunday 19 November at The Principal Hotel (previously the Roxburghe Hotel), on Charlotte Square, will discover.
With free samples, food tasting, vegan food stalls, including chocolate, cheese, cakes, takeaways and much more, it culd prove an eye-opener for many.
There will also be talks and demos. Admission is £3 (£1 children/under 5s free).
In the meantime, however, if you would like to explore a plant-based diet avoiding animals and fowl, as well as fish, shellfish, insects, dairy, eggs and honey, here are 8 of the many restaurants in the Capital happy to oblige.
1 HOLY COW
34, Elder Street, Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-6pm Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A stones throw from the Waverley Station, this vegan cafe has been getting rave reviews from their diners.
Dishes such as the smoky pulled-jackfruit burger getting particularly glowing reports.
Other popular favourites include the Portobello mushroom burger with Violife mozzarella style vegan cheese on organic homemade bun with mayo and hand cut chips.
60, Henderson Street, Leith, Sun-Tue noon-11pm, Wed /Fri & Sat noon-1am, Thur noon-midnight, 0131-555 3160
THIS vegan bar and kitchen is the Capital’s latest fully-vegan eatery.
The completely animal produce free menu includes the signature Harmonium Quarter Pounder, a homemade seitan (wheat gluten) patty with classic burger sauce, diced white onion, beef tomato and crispy lettuce.
3 DAVID BANN
56-58, St Mary’s Street, Mon-Thur noon-10pm, Fri noon-10.20pm, Sat 11am-10.30pm, Sun 11am-10pm 0131-556 5888
PERHAPS the city’s most famous vegetarian restaurant David Bann’s boasts a number of Vegan options on its menu including Stir fried vegetables with udon noodles and smoked tofu, or Vegetables and Udon wheat noodles cooked in Thai spices with sesame tomato sauce and topped with home smoked tofu.
Other dishes can be vegan on request.
4 FOREST CAFE
141 Lauriston Place, Mon-Sun 10am-11pm, 0131-229 4922
THIS collectively owned, volunteer-run community arts space and café serves vegan, vegetarian and locally produced organic food, the Forest Cafe menu consists of salads, wraps, chili, burritos, falafel based dishes and soups.
5 NOVAPIZZA VEGETARIAN KITCHEN
42, Howe Street, Wed-Mon 12.30pm-9.30pm, Tue Closed, 0131-237 5695
‘MEAT free is the way to be’ declares Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen’s website, where you will also find a dedicated vegan menu featuring vegan pasta, pizza, white pizza and clazone.
6 JUICE WARRIOR
15, East Market Street, Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 7 Sun 9am-5pm, juicewarrior.co.uk
100% vegan smoothies are Juice Warriors speciality. Choose for a selection of organics mixtures with names like Blossom, Castaway and Heart of Gold.
Oh, and don’t miss the chance to try one of their popular FoNuts - vegan donuts.
7 GRASSROOTS CAFE
20 Lochrin Buildings, Gilmore Place, Mon-Tue/Thur-Fri 10am-6pm, Wed Closed, Sat & Sunday 9am-7pm, 0131-281 8628
THIS 100% plant based coffee bar and lifestyle store boasts a menu that changes on a regular basis with daily specials and Raw Vegan and gluten free options.
8 HENDERSON’S VEGAN BISTRO
25c, Thistle Street, Sun-Thur 9am-9pm, Fri & Sat 9am-10pm, 0131-225 2605
THE Capital’s longest serving Vegetarian eatery, established in 1968, their bistro went 100% Vegan in 2015.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus include pancakes, Tamari rice salad and Haggis & Root Mash as well as Lasagne and deserts.