… you won’t want to live anywhere else!

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, with plenty of history and tradition in its old streets. It’s a fantastic place to wander around, with stunning architecture, great art and culture, a cracking music scene and nightlife, and also a brilliant selection of restaurants and cafés serving up vegan food. Here, we run down some of the finest vegan restaurants in Edinburgh.

1. Holy Cow (Elder Street)

Located right by the main bus station in Edinburgh you might at first miss Holy Cow, but it is well worth stopping to look, just down the steps of a stone tenement building. It is an unassuming café that has gained in popularity over the years and despite being located close to a busy junction, in an always busy part of the city centre, it is a little oasis. This quiet spot has a simple aesthetic and is welcoming to all who enter. The speciality of Holy Cow is the selection of Muu Burgers, such as Vietnamese tofu, as well as having an amazing selection of vegan desserts.

2. Naked Bakery (Hill Street)

A vegan café that is hidden away in one of the cobbled alleyways that you can find behind George Street. It is a trendy little café that has to be seen to be believed, a gem of a place to sit and have a dairy-free latte for a morning break, or to sit and have a portion of mac and cheese (vegan of course) as a lunch break. Some of the cupcakes on offer are completely divine, packed full of flavour, with a chickpea syrup used for the meringue decoration (why should being vegan stop you from loving a cupcake?). Whatever you do, make sure you visit the bathroom during your visit, for the sensory overload that is the pink and gold designed bathroom!

3. Beetroot Sauvage (Ratcliffe Terrace)

Have you ever thought about having some vegan food right after you’ve done some yoga? Thought not, but it might not be such a wild idea after all. Beetroot Sauvage is one of those places that likes to do things completely different to anywhere else, and as a result has become a favourite home to many a self-confessed health-nut in a city where there is a big proportion of the population on a health-kick. This is a collective space and a wellness centre, where you can have a stretch during yoga, and then enjoy a vegan breakfast, a plant-based smoothie, or other meat-free dish at the family-friendly café on site.

4. Pumpkin Brown (Grassmarket)

The Grassmarket is always busy, and to succeed there says something about the quality of ingredients and service that Pumpkin Brown has been serving up to customers. It is proud to offer up a menu of organic vegan food that is gluten-free, constantly developing ideas to improve the menu. You can see this in the breakfast options, where health is the priority. Expect one of their tasty signature acai bowls and porridge to be topped with delicious, healthy items. It isn’t the most cost-effective spot for breakfast or lunch, but what you can guarantee at Pumpkin Brown is absolute quality in every single ingredient used, helping you to power up for the day ahead.

5. Thrive Bar & Kitchen (Bruntsfield Place)

In the trendy Bruntsfield area of the city, Thrive has built a home alongside the many other independent boutiques, cafés, and restaurants, and is right at home. It is a stylish venue that has been designed with calm greens and fabrics that have a natural feel, making it a really relaxing place to relax with friends. The brunch menu here has a choice of either veggie or vegan, with the nachos made with ‘cheeze’ and the burgers made from seitan. The quality is amazing, and the textures and taste are up there with any vegan food you’ve had before, meaning that if you’ve recently turned vegan, or want to try out plant-based alternatives to meat dishes, you’ll hardly know the difference.

6. Novapizza (Howe Street)

A small trattoria near Stockbridge, this family-run establishment provides such a cosy and intimate surrounding that straight away you’ll feel at home and never want to leave. Pizza is such a firm favourite the world over, and when it comes to vegan alternatives to pizza the quality can vary drastically. No worries with that at Novapizza, sit down and order the pepperoni and mozzarella pizza and you’ll be served up something as close to the original that you can imagine, with that same joyous feeling that you get from tearing into a pizza, but with the knowledge that everything in front of you is vegan!.

7. Paradise Palms (Lothian Street)

With inspiration coming from traditional American diners, Paradise Palms is designed with soft toys covering the ceiling, fake palm trees in the corners and velvet curtains. It’s kitsch, and the playlist is full of upbeat electronica and hip-hop, with an expectant young and trendy clientele. The vegan ‘lucky pig’ menu serves up jackfruit nachos and dirty fries, whilst the white Russians you’re drinking are almost certainly 100% vegan, but as tasty as the original. A small record store on site is cool as too, selling vinyl and other merchandise from local artists.

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