Vegan Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is Scotland's second most populated city. There is a good number of vegan places to eat in Edinburgh. The city is probably best known for Edinburgh Castle and for the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Why You Should Go: Scotland is a great place to visit for the scenery, the history and the great people there. The Scots have a great sense of humour. The city of Edinburgh looks like no other with it's medieval architecture in the Old Town and the Georgian period architecture of New Town There is lots of parks, monuments, a big hill called Arthur's Seat with a view and aside from all that there is a massive Castle at the top of the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is the main street in Old Town. Edinburgh Castle is one of the coolest looking castles you will see.

Getting to Edinburgh: If you are already in the UK you can get a train. If you book at the right time you can find good deals. Book ahead. You can take a coach bus as well but, depending on how far away you are, it will take forever. You can fly to Edinburgh. You could either fly to Edinburgh Airport or you could fly to Glasgow Airport and get the train to Edinburgh.

How vegan-friendly is it? We found that Edinburgh had quite a few places to choose from for vegan food. We didn't get to try all of the places with vegan food but we did try a handful. A few places we have tried are Pumpkin Brown, Henderson's, NovaPizza, and The Auld Hoose. All of them were great. We kept going back to The Auld Hoose for their gigantic vegan nachos.

An Example of Vegan Food Available: 

Harmonium: This is a pub in Leith that serves nothing but vegan food. They have such an exciting menu that offers lots of tasty things to try that you won't find just anywhere such as Heart of Palm Calamari. The food is very high quality, not your typical pub food but they still have burgers and pizza if you're not looking for anything too adventurous. 

 Holy Cow: Another great vegan 100% vegan place to eat in Edinburgh. They have burgers and sandwiches but we went for some coffee and cake. Their cakes are absolutely delicious. The portion sizes are possibly a little bit too generous, not that we're complaining too much. They also have a cool outdoor patio area for when it's nice outside.

Henderson's: They have 4 locations. One is a deli and the others are restaurants. One of the restaurants is fully vegan and the other two are vegetarian. We haven't been to them all but have heard nothing but great things. We got some excellent stuff to eat from the deli including salads and fixings to make burgers for a BBQ.

The Auld Hoose: This pub has the most ridiculously huge nachos. They will warn you about how big they are because they don't want them to go to waste. They are not a vegan pub but they offer vegan nachos, vegan breakfast and other vegan stuff like vegan hotdogs. If you like guacamole then you will be very happy with the nachos. The pub is full of students and they play punk/metal/alternative music. They have a jukebox for your enjoyment.

Pumpkin Brown: The is a little cafe in Grassmarket with raw and health-focused food. Everything we tried tasted great. On our visit there we had salad boxes, fresh juice as well as a piece of raw cake.

NovoPizza: This is a vegetarian pizza place located in New Town. They offer vegan cheese. They make Italian thin crust type pizza and it is as good as pizza gets. They have vegan pepperoni and ham as well. They even have vegan desserts if you are still hungry after pigging out on pizza.

For more vegan options in Edinburgh check out Happy Cow which has a comprehensive list of vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly places to eat. Happy Cow states that Edinburgh has 9 fully vegan places. 

Sight-Seeing There are a lot of sights that make a trip to Edinburgh well worth it. You have to see Edinburgh Castle, walk on the Royal Mile, Climb Arthur's Seat for a view, have a picnic in the Meadows, go on a ghost tour or tour the underground parts of the city. We've heard great things about the Real Mary King's Close Tour. We went on the City of the Dead tour and it was great.  Ghost Bus Tours even has a tour in Edinburgh. We tried the one in London and had a lot of fun.

Where to stay: We stayed with friends last time we went to Edinburgh but that might not be an option for you. Trying Airbnb might be a good option. Back in 2011, we stayed in an area called Leith at the Holiday Inn Express and it was quite reasonable at the time. It was easy to bus from there to the Old Town. Our friends have stayed in cheap hostels in Edinburgh so it appears there are lots of choices to fit every need.

Check out Edinburgh's city guide for more information on their tourism.

Have you been to Edinburgh before? What is your favourite thing to see? Have you ever been on a ghost tour?