Study in regards to the plant-based choices in Edinburgh eating places, in addition to the highest vacationer websites on this stunning Scottish city. 

Ask a Scot for suggestions on the place to start out your meals or sightseeing tour, and also you’ll doubtless be pointed to Edinburgh. Scots take their meals severely, and so do I! Earlier this yr I had the chance to go to Scotland for {a partially} sponsored diet convention, and I took full benefit of my time there testing among the greatest plant-based eats and sights on this beautiful Scottish city. Wish to study extra about the place to remain in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh climate (how dangerous is it?), and taking within the high must-see experiences? I’ve acquired your lined on this journey information specializing in plant-based eats and nice sights. 

Views of Edinburgh fortress from my lodge room on the Waldorf Astoria. I counsel doing the Edinburgh Citadel Tour throughout your keep. 

Planning A Journey to Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is now essentially the most visited metropolis in Scotland, and the second-most visited within the U.Ok. When you set foot in Edinburgh, it’s not exhausting to see why; few cities can boast such stunning structure, plentiful greenery, and a wealthy and storied historical past. “Auld Reekie”, because the locals name it, is Scots for “Previous Smoky”. Although the case is comparable for a lot of settlements that lived by way of each the Medieval and Industrial eras, you’d by no means suppose that this beautiful metropolis was as soon as crowded, polluted, and harmful! Fashionable Edinburgh is a far cry from these less-than-savory eras; in the present day, it’s Scotland’s capital, a scenic and cosmopolitan gathering place, and a very good cease for plant-based meals lovers. Right here’s a number of Edinburgh journey fundamentals:

  • The place to remain in Edinburgh? There are many beautiful places. I stayed on the stunning and centrally positioned Waldorf Astoria
  • What in regards to the climate in Edinburgh? As you possibly can see in my photographs, I used to be bundled up throughout my January go to. But, the skies have been miraculously clear, and it wasn’t overly chilly with adequate clothes layers to maintain me from strolling in all places. Examine the climate earlier than your journey to be ready for winds and rain throughout the colder months. Basically, climate is gentle in Edinburgh, the place it doesn’t get extraordinarily chilly, nor extraordinarily scorching. 
Strolling on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Storied Historical past

Folks have been residing within the territory that may turn into Edinburgh since time immemorial. The stays of an Iron Age Hillfort will be discovered atop Arthur’s Seat, which is now Holyrood Park—a must-visit spot for any nature lover! Edinburgh’s Medieval historical past started within the 11th century, centered round Citadel Rock, the place Edinburgh Citadel is perched now. As its inhabitants rose and commerce took off within the centuries following, it was clear that Edinburgh was in determined want of renewal. The New City revitalization within the late 1700s, spearheaded by architect James Craig, laid the muse for the fashionable Edinburgh we all know in the present day. 

Stained glass window in St. Gile’s Cathedral

Edinburgh—A Walker’s Paradise!

Sure, it’s true—In Edinburgh, you possibly can stroll to just about each main web site you’d prefer to see! Be certain that to commit loads of time to your Edinburgh walkabout. Whether or not it’s nature you search, or an city architectural tour, strolling is the best way to go in Edinburgh. It’s so refreshing to not have to fret about automobiles as you discover the town’s many streets and winding alleyways. Maintain the elevation adjustments in thoughts! Although the inclines can show a bit tough, they supply a terrific alternative to understand Edinburgh’s most well-known websites.

View from the Edinburgh Citadel

A lot of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks date again to 2 eras. Whether or not one is appreciating the medieval structure of the Previous City, or the Georgian and Neoclassical landmarks of the New City, structure is usually thought-about the principle draw of Edinburgh. 

Fairly retailers abound on the Royal Mile, well-known for his or her textiles and plaids. 

Personally, I’d suggest starting your tour of Edinburgh on the Royal Mile—a bustling thoroughfare between Citadel Rock and the Palace of Holyrood Home. Take a look at fashionable pubs and stylish storefronts in your method to Edinburgh’s most vital historic websites.

Take time to take heed to some bagpipes too!

Edinburgh Citadel, the town’s most iconic landmark, cuts a picturesque silhouette overlooking the town. It sits on high of Citadel Rock, the stays of an extinct volcano. This iconic advanced attracts comparisons to a Greek acropolis—incomes Edinburgh the nickname of “Athens North”. Climate allowing, you will get a beautiful view of the town and its surrounding environs from atop Citadel Rock.

It’s also possible to use the Hop on Hop Off bus as a method to get the lay out of the land and study extra in regards to the historical past of Edinburgh. 

When you’ve completed exploring the Previous City, head to Dean Village. Cobblestone paths will take you previous charming conventional homes and supply a pleasant change of tempo. When you’ve completed admiring Edinburgh’s architectural landmarks, it’s time to see the greener a part of the town. Pure areas are plentiful in Edinburgh, even throughout the metropolis bounds: the town has 112 parks!

Attractive structure in Edinburgh! 

On the opposite facet of the Royal Mile is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the summer time residence of the British monarch. Be certain that to take a look at the close by Holyrood Park to see why Edinburgh is taken into account such a haven for greenery lovers, particularly on days with good climate. Benefit from the highland topography on considered one of Holyrood Park’s quite a few mountain climbing trails. Holyrood Park’s many pure points of interest embrace the dramatic cliff-faces of the Salisbury crags, the man-made lake of St. Margaret’s Loch, and Samson’s Ribs in Arthur’s seat—a captivating collection of jagged basalt columns.

Make time to take a look at the farmers market whereas visiting. 
Vegan Haggis at Howie’s in Edinburgh 

Frequent Plant-Primarily based Meals in Scotland

Ask anybody in the event that they know any Scottish meals, and there’s one dish that involves thoughts. Haggis—a a standard dish made from sheep or calf offal blended with suet, oats, and seasoning that’s boiled in an animal abdomen—is some extent of pleasure for Scots. However do you know there’s no scarcity of vegan and vegetarian haggis choices in Edinburgh? I had quite a few samplings of scrumptious haggis full of pulses, grains, veggies and seasonings. 

In the event you’re fortunate sufficient to go to Scotland in January, be sure you have a good time Burns Night time on the 25th. The day is devoted in honor of the beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns. The normal Burns Supper consists of haggis, neeps (rutabagas, or “swedes”), and tatties (mashed potatoes). However it doesn’t must be Burns Night time to take pleasure in a standard Burns Supper! Why not attempt a plant-based model?

You’ll discover a wide range of root greens, together with neeps and tatties, in Scottish dishes. This scrumptious roasted vegetable dish was featured at the Spence.
I dressed up in tartan for my particular occasion on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Listed here are some widespread plant-based eats in Scotland: 

  • Haggis. You’ll find restaurant and store-bought vegan haggis in lots of eating places.
  • Neeps. Rutabagas or “swedes”, these root greens are sometimes ready in a wide range of vegan preparations. 
  • Tatties. Typically paired with neeps—mashed potatoes, Scottish model! Search for vegan dishes. 
  • Cullen Skink. Initially a haddock-based chowder, search for plant-based variations. 
Vegan Scottish pie served on the Royal Yacht Britannia. 
  • Scotch Pie. You’ll discover plant-based variations of this basic savory pie. 
  • Scottish Porridge. A wholesome method to begin your day, this oatmeal-based morning porridge is a basic begin to your day. 
  • Scottish Shortbread. Historically made with butter, search for these with vegan substitutes—consuming with tea is the best way to go.
  • Tea. Strive Scottish Mix Black Tea. (That’s a model, by the best way.)

  • Whisky. No journey is full with out sampling legendary native whisky. 
On the stunning Rhubarb restaurant, which is positioned in a stunning method home proper out of a interval film.

Plant-Primarily based Edinburgh Eating places

Even among the many distinctive customary set by Western Europe, Edinburgh is forward of the curve in relation to plant-based meals. In an effort to assist curb carbon emissions, the Metropolis of Edinburgh Council formally endorsed the Plant-Primarily based Treaty Motion Plan, to develop and promote entry to plant-based consuming. This makes Edinburgh the primary Scottish metropolis and European capital to take action, setting a terrific instance. Do you know that inside the UK, Edinburgh is second solely to London in its ratio of eating places to individuals? The competitors is fierce, however that simply means the choices are plentiful, particularly in its vegan and vegetarian scene!

Whereas I used to be in Edinburgh, I had the possibility to pattern some superb plant-based eats. Nearly each restaurant had plant-based choices, and sometimes offered me with a whole vegan menu! Perform a little homework and test with the eating places earlier than you intend your journey. 

The Witchery is a gorgeous restaurant off the Royal Mile that options a number of plant-based choices, reminiscent of this stunning dish of squash pies with pesto. 

Whereas Cannonball Restaurant & Bar is understood for Scottish seafood, I loved a menu of scrumptious plant-based choices, together with gnocchi with sage and poached pear with sorbet. 

Be certain that to take pleasure in English breakfast—beans, veggie sausage, potatoes, and veggies with English muffin—at most lodges. Right here’s my breakfast at Waldorf Astoria

I loved a gorgeous utterly vegan menu, which included this beautiful vegetable starter dish, on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

I celebrated a whole plant-based menu at Kora by Tom Kitchin, which focuses on nature. On the menu was roasted cauliflower steak, chickpea fritters, fregola pasta with fennel, curry and coconut, and stir fry with 5 spice tofu. 

On the stunning Rhubarb restaurant, I loved a whole vegan menu, which included confit onion, squash and bulgur wheat, BBQ cabbage and mushrooms, and apple crumble with blackberry sorbet. 

On the Spence, I loved a complete menu of scrumptious plant-based dishes, together with roasted root greens, and gnocchi with sage.

Vegan Edinburgh Eating places

Here’s a full checklist of vegan Edinburgh eating places. I didn’t get a change to attempt all of them, however dig in and let me know what you suppose! 


Vegan haggis is the spotlight on this menu.

The Auld Hoose

In the event you’re in search of vegan pub grub, and are keen on steel and punk music, the just lately reopened Auld Hoose is a superb choice. Highlighting a plethora of vegan and vegetarian choices; vegan breakfast, and their well-known Hoose nachos. There’s a ten% low cost for scholar—and so they’re dog-friendly! Famously giant parts (not precisely well being meals)

Seeds for the Soul

A preferred, 100% vegan restaurant. Strive the Full Vegan Scottish breakfast—supplied all day!

Black Rabbit

A neighborhood vegan deli dedicated to sustainability, with compostable packaging over plastic. Strive their haggis and cheese sandwich, or different vegan fillings.


A vegan pizzeria, run by a Roman household. Not simply pizza—they serve a plethora of authentically Roman dishes, made vegan.

Sora Lella

A vegan Italian restaurant, additionally Roman, and nice opinions. 

Sabzi Road Meals

Award-winning, scrumptious Punjabi avenue meals, with vegetarian and vegan choices clearly marked.

Soul Vegan

Malaysian vegan restaurant, cozy and down-to-earth.

Fortunate Pig Soul Meals on the Paradise Palms

An inclusive and stylish reside music venue with a cocktail bar and an award-winning vegetarian and vegan Americana-inspired kitchen.

Pulse Plant-Primarily based Dwelling Cooking

Completely plant-based, and so they take pleasure on being wholesome (low oil and sugar), with locally-grown elements.


Vegan donuts, chocolate, and ice cream—plant-based, however undoubtedly extra on the indulgent facet.

Simon Howie Model Vegetarian Haggis (Vegan)

Fashionable for store-bought vegan Haggis.


Meals Recs:

Scottish recipes to take inspiration from:

Take a look at different plant-based journey guides right here: 


Written by Sharon Palmer and John Caldas 


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