It has been awhile, I know! Today, a special post about Vegan Edinburgh!
My husband and I wanted to visit Scotland for a very long time [yes yes, we love Braveheart!], it was always on our list but never happened, and so, I decided to surprise him for his 40th birthday at the beginning of December with a long weekend at Edinburgh!
He had no clue until the last minute, and was shocked and happy. We spent 5 wonderful days there, had a lovely two rooms apartment at The Knight Residence that was very clean and comfortable with our toddler, location wise it was perfect, we could have walked everywhere. Weather wise we were kinda lucky, OK OK, Edinburgh in December, but we had our share of blue sky and sun and also some heavy rain and crazy wind. The best thing about Edinburgh, besides being beautiful and historically interesting [there is an ancient castle! in the middle of the city!], is her people. I was happy to find out that it was indeed true and the Scots are REALLY REALLY nice! (minus a mean bus driver on the only bus ride we took). The Scots were welcoming, pleasant, happy to help, calm, and above all, kids’ friendly.
Of course that I did a research regarding vegan places before going there, so already before arriving I knew that Edinburgh had its share of vegan options. Funnily, the first Scottish VeganFest took place in Glasgow while we were in Edinburgh and although it was tempting we decided to skip it.
So, what did we eat and where? Here is my food photo diary!
Upon our arrival it rained cats and dogs. We were tired and it was getting late so I asked the nice guy at the reception about a nice takeout in the area. He recommended and Chinese restaurant that was 2 minute walk from the apartment. While writing this I realized that I had no clue what it was called, the restaurant. It had a sigh in Chinese and once I got in I was transferred into an ancient memory in which I am 10 years old, travelling Asia with my parents. It was super authentic inside and the food was relatively good (because I am comparing it with the Chinese that I can have here in Hamburg). The guy at the restaurant advised the vegan dishes and I ended up taking simple spring rolls, vegetables fried rice, and veggies in satay sauce. Lennon immediately grabbed a spring roll and dipped it in the sauce. [Star Sea, Lady Lawson St.]
On our first day of walking and sightseeing we stopped for lunch at Pret a Manger, a chain that we were familiar with from London. Their vegan selection was bigger than I remembered: I took an avocado sandwich with kale chips and diet coke. Exactly what I needed!
It was my husband’s birthday on the first evening and since he is a big fan of pizza, we went to Pizza Express [23 North Bridge] – a part of a chain, super kids’ friendly and with one vegan pizza that was delicious.
On the next day we paid a visit to Henderson’s [94 Hanover St.] – a pioneer vegetarian restaurants that offers vegan Haggis. I will not describe what’s in a real Haggis, Scotland’s national dish, but here is how the vegan one looked like:
I was so not impressed when it was served that I actually asked what was the return policy. It looked horrible! Something brown with lentils, with Clapshot [mashed swede turnips and potatoes], and then gravy! Oh no.
The husband volunteered to switch with me but I took a bite. And then another. And then another. And then realized that although ugly, the dish as really tasty!
Here is the vegan paella of the husband who was not doing a good job as an IG Husband and took a bite before I could take a photo:
We had a really good lunch with an outstanding service at David Bann [56-58 St Mary’s St]. We started with some hummus which felt VERY wrong to me: an Israeli ordering Hummus, in Scotland! But we needed something the toddler could munch on and it was the perfect choice, she loved it.
We also took some homemade fries because we saw someone else eating them and they looked yummy!
The husband took the Risotto (he has a thing with risotto, I don’t!)
I took the Thai style noodles with veggies, was very aromatic dish, lots of flavors and overall delicious!
On our last day we went to Loudons Café and Bakery [94B Fountainbridge]- I took the veggie breakfast without the egg and got this:
Was pretty shocking not to see any veggies minus 1.5 cherry tomatoes 🙂
Here is the description of my vegan Scottish breakfast:
Veggie sausages, sautéed spinach, homemade gluten free tattie scone, homemade baked beans, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, toasted homemade bread.
I never had spinach, mushrooms, and beans for breakfast but oh well, I gave it a try. I wanna note again that the service was exceptional! It makes such a difference on dinning experience and as a former waitress I can really appreciate a good service.
Our apartment was located next to a Sainsbury’s supermarket, I was happy to discover more than a few on the go fresh vegan options, here are a few examples:
There was soy milk in every place that we had coffee, from Starbucks to an old English cafe that is open since 1926:
I did have more places on my list but when traveling with a toddler, the most important thing is not to stick to your plans and go with the flow!
Before I say goodbye, here are a few more photos from the lovely Edinburgh:
Until next time, goodbye!