Earlier this month we took a trip to Edinburgh for a relaxing long weekend. Mark’s family lived in Edinburgh for a while when he was growing up, but I had never been so it was about time I went! We went with Mark’s sister, Claire, who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, and a couple of her friends, one of whom is vegetarian. We found some great places to eat and so I thought I’d share the highlights here!
For breakfast: Caffeine Drip
First things first – plan to get there early as it’s really popular, especially at weekends. The coffee at Caffeine Drip is delicious and they have an extensive and varied menu catering for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike. And they don’t just have one dish for vegans – they have a whole section of their menu!
The highlight for me (aside from the divine coffee) was the vegan French toast with maple-marinated bananas. The doorstop wedges of toast were sweet and crispy but gooey in the middle just like regular French toast and I devoured the lot!
Caffeine Drip also do a range of cakes to take away and loads of them are vegan too. My favourite was the Oreo slice, a vegan tiffin with Oreo pieces and other biscuity, chocolatey bits. Claire’s choice was the vegan pistachio and fruit loaf which was lovely and moist with a surprising hint of warmth from the spices.
For lunch: Hendersons
This is a really well known veggie/vegan restaurant with a couple of locations around Edinburgh. We struggled to get a table in the evening when they have table service, so we went for lunch instead. Lunch is counter service so you grab a tray, choose your food and pay at the end. I ordered a hot vegetarian lentil lasagne and a slice of the vegan chocolate and nut cake. The hot food was served really quickly over the counter, but the queue was quite slow because people were ordering hot drinks at the end of the queue where you pay causing a bit of a hold up. I was a bit worried my hot lasagne was going to start getting cold, but in the end it was tasty if lacking in a little creaminess from a bechemel sauce.
The chocolate cake on the other hand was delicious! It had that hint of dry crumbliness that you can’t really avoid with vegan cakes, but that very soon melted in your mouth with the generous layers of creamy chocolate in the middle.
For dinner: La Favorita
I was so excited for our dinner at La Favorita. We had learned from our first night restaurant booking woes (we rang so many restaurants before we could get a table anywhere!) and made sure we had a reservation for what was rumoured to be some of the best pizza in Edinburgh – and they do vegan cheese! Claire ordered her pizza with vegan cheese, artichokes, aubergines and mushrooms and was a very happy customer.
La Favorita do a huge range of pizzas so we were all catered for and we all left the restaurant absolutely stuffed! I am a firm believer that a pizza is only a great pizza if you can enjoy eating the base on its own and this is absolutely the case with La Favorita, so if you’re vegan and not a fan of vegan cheese, you can probably give that topping a miss and still have incredible pizza…just saying.
I hope this post is helpful for anyone planning a trip to Edinburgh and looking for restaurants for veggies/vegans!