During our week travelling around Scotland, we enjoyed some fantastic plant-based food. Typically, Scottish cuisine is very meat, game and dairy heavy, so I did struggle at times, especially in the rural areas. However the bigger cities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, had some amazing plant-based offerings. Here are my mini-reviews of some of the places we went to.
David Bann is a small, dimly-lit vegetarian restaurant with a worldly menu. It’s also one of the only formal eateries serving exclusively plant-based dishes in Edinburgh. We went for dinner at David Bann and the food was hearty and packed with flavour. If you eat a plant-based diet, or simply just enjoy eating vegetarian/vegan sometimes, then a trip to David Bann whilst in Edinburgh is a must. I had the best bread and hummus on my life there – if you try it, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
DINE Edinburgh has a beautiful restaurant space, with its nicely designed interior and gorgeous indoor tree centrepiece. Just as gorgeous is the presentation of its dishes. However, that’s about as far as my praise extends.
We went for dinner and I opted for gnocchi (which came with all of 4-5 pieces) and he opted for a fish dish. Our consensus was that the portions were far too small, moreover lacklustre, to justify the price. In terms of flavour, I wouldn’t say it was notably better than bistro food, just better presented. I regret to be negative, but as soon as we got back to our apartment, we cooked up a second dinner, as we were left underwhelmed and unsatisfied.
Grassroots Cafe is a 100% plant-based eatery that we went for lunch. I’m not going to lie, what compelled me to visit was the fact that it serves vegan doughnuts. I can’t recommend Grassroots enough – the doughnuts were divine and we also had delicious ‘pulled pork’ jackfruit sandwiches that were made fresh for us. The staff were very friendly and the food was very reasonably priced.
Herdersons comprises of both a vegan restaurant and shop & deli. We headed over for a spot of brunch at its deli, which is described as an “original farm shop serving freshly grown organic produce from Janet Henderson’s East Lothian farm”. The first thing we noticed was now wonderfully vegan-friendly it is. It’s one of those rare places that serves up a wide array of vegan pastries, including scones, croissants and cakes. We opted for some smashed avocado bagels, which were lovely. I’d highly recommend Hendersons and I’ll definitely be visiting again next time I’m in Edinburgh.
Rose and Grants serves up a full vegan Scottish breakfast, complete with tattie scones and square sausage. It’s a great place to eat the vegan version of one of Scotland’s most famous dishes. They source their ingredients from local vendors and the cafe has a casual, laid-back vibe to it.
I found out about the Ubiquitous Chip when I was flicking through some Scotland guidebooks at one of the apartments we were staying at. Known by the locals as ‘The Chip’, it has a wonderful airy feel, with natural light pouring in and foliage all around. Much to our delight, they serve vegetarian haggis with neeps and tatties, which I was eager to try whilst in Scotland. I’d say that a trip to the Ubiquitous Chip is a must when in Glasgow.
I can never go too long without eating some Oriental food, as it’s my favourite. Serving Dim Sum and Oriental-fusion dishes, Opium is right up my street. Its restaurant space is dimly lit and slick – it’s a perfect date night venue. They serve some delicious homemade tofu, which we adored as much as the clay pot mixed mushrooms that we had for main.
I thought I’d throw in a couple of decent cocktail recommendations for good measure. The Salon cocktail bar at the Blythswood Square Hotel is a smart and leisurely place to enjoy and tipple or two. The cocktail menu consists of inventive options and some classics.
I loved the atmosphere at the 158 Club Lounge. The deep forest green velvet booths, candlelit dark wood and marble interior all work together to create the perfect setting for cocktails. Also, we were chuffed when we found out that cocktails are just £5 from Sunday-Friday! Cheers to that!
The Mono is an ultra-casual vegan eatery with a real hipster vibe to it. There’s plenty to choose from on its menu, which is one of the things that I love about dedicated vegan restaurants, the variety. The smoked tofu banh mi was my favourite, as I’d never had one before, and it was just as good as I’d hoped.
Located on Elder St, Holy Cow is a cosy, independent plant-based cafe that serves up a hearty selection of vegan dishes. Its menu includes vegan burgers, sandwiches, salads and smoothies, making it a perfect place to grab a spot of lunch. What’s more, there’s an incredible array of vegan cakes!
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