But what if I’m vegan? Eating out in Edinburgh

We recently received an email about where to eat in Edinburgh if you were vegan from a couple who were coming over from Dubai for a long weekend. I’ve posted on vegetarian restaurants before, but had to have another look at my records to come with good vegan suggestions. As it turns out, there’s a near perfect overlap between the two. Below, is my response. With a picture.

Edinburgh’s great for vegetarian and can accommodate vegan too. The vegetarian/vegan restaurant market is relatively static. We lost L’Artichaut last year – a victim of its parent restaurant’s great success – but on the other hand the Market Café at Earthy grew. Here’s some of the best established restaurants for vegan fare.

Eating out

On the fancier end of dining, there’s David Bann’s. It’s a vegetarian restaurant where half or more of the dishes are vegan or can be adjusted to be vegan. It’s a nice restaurant and great for a celebration.

Jerusalem artichoke pie with roast vegetables and beans. Lovely!

Jerusalem artichoke pie with roast vegetables and beans @ David Bann

On an aside, we took Cs vegetarian niece to David Bann’s for dinner one weekend only to find out that she’s a pescatarian. Labels are tricky when you’re eight. Saying that, she still enjoys veggie food and had fun selecting a meal from things she didn’t know what they were. We got to exercise our powers of description. Smoked tofu. You have 60 seconds. Go! She had a vat of soup, noodles (although we ate the smoked tofu) and could just fit in dessert. We had a great evening.

On the cheaper end, there’s Henderson’s Restaurant (canteen style eating) and Henderson’s Bistro. They are both vegetarian but have vegan dishes too. The bistro’s vegan mezze are lovely. Henderson’s also have a deli for lunches on the go.

Black Bo’s is intimate and relaxed and offer interesting dishes, often with a fruity twist. Again, a vegetarian restaurant but they have many vegan optins and are happy to accommodate any special needs.

You’ll find reviews for Henderson’s and Black Bo’s in my Veggie Heaven post.

Cruelty-free Edinburgh

A number of the Indian resrtaurants are vegan friendly: I love Kalpna and Ann Purna. These two and a number of other restaurants are listed on the Cruelty Free Edinburgh website. Of the ones on the list I’m a fan of the Filmhouse for historical reasons and their chickpea curry is very tasty indeed. The Forest Cafe – also on the Cruelty Free list – is closed or about to close.


Real Foods and Earthy are good for shopping (vegan and otherwise). Real Foods in particular has many dairy alternatives as well as vegan and vegetarian snacks, wines and cosmetics. There are two Real Foods locations but only one Earthy.

Ann Purna

Update 2014: Anna Purna has closed.
44-45 St Patrick’s Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9ET
Tel: +44 (0)131 662 1807

Black Bo’s Restaurant

Update 2012: Black Bo’s has closed.
57 – 61 Blackfriars Street
Tel: 0131 557 6136

David Bann’

56-58 St Mary’s Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1SX
Tel: 0131 556 5888


33-41 Ratcliffe Terrace
Edinburgh, Midlothian EH9 1SX
Tel: 0131 667 296

1-6 Canonmills Bridge
0131 556 9696


88 Lothian Road
Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
0131 228 2688


Update 2016: Henderson’s now also has a  street food restaurant, Henderson’s Holyrood, on Holyrood Road.

94 Hanover Street
Edinburgh, EH2 1DR
Tel: 0131 225 2131


2-3 St Patrick Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9EZ
Tel: 0131 667 9890

Real Foods

37 Broughton St
Edinburgh, EH1 3JU
Tel: 0131 557 1911

8 Brougham Street
Edinburgh, EH3 9JH
Tel: 0131 228 1201

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.


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