Vegan Edinburgh

Travel and location information for vegans, restaurant, hotel, B&B etc reviews. If you want to meet people from some area, post here.

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Vegan Edinburgh

Postby alit » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:03 pm

It looks like I might be visiting Edinburgh, Ive got the cruelty free guide but where are the best places to eat currently?

Id like to try David Banns but am I thinking that would need booking? Expensive but worth a visit if reviews are to go by?

Is it still the baked potato shop and engine shed that are good for vegan food?

Anyone tried the Indian vegetarian restaurant? Kalpena?

Anywhere for a decent vegan breakfast in town? or a juice bar?

If i do get there I shall play tourist and visit the castle and the art /history museums, is Arthurs seat far from the city to walk to?

I know there are a few of you locals on this forum!

Thanks Alison :D
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Re: Vegan Edinburgh

Postby buzz » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:32 pm

alit wrote:It looks like I might be visiting Edinburgh, Ive got the cruelty free guide but where are the best places to eat currently?

Id like to try David Banns but am I thinking that would need booking? Expensive but worth a visit if reviews are to go by?

Is it still the baked potato shop and engine shed that are good for vegan food?

Anyone tried the Indian vegetarian restaurant? Kalpena?

Anywhere for a decent vegan breakfast in town? or a juice bar?

If i do get there I shall play tourist and visit the castle and the art /history museums, is Arthurs seat far from the city to walk to?

I know there are a few of you locals on this forum!

Thanks Alison :D


Eeek! So many questions :wink:

Best places to eat at the mo imo are Bo's and Forest Cafe. Bann's is solid option, but not quite as good as Bo's, but this could just be personal preference. Booking is probably wise if going to Bann's though aye. Baked Tattie shop still going strong and good option to grab stuff on the run. Pretty wide selection of fillings, and also few savoury things like haggis samosas, vegan sausage rolls etc. Filmhouse is about the best to the west of the city really, not brilliant, but decent selection of vegan stuff. Haven't ever been to Engine Shed, so I'm not sure about it. Best to check opening times etc before going. It's not super central as far as I can remember, but maybe quite close to Kalpna. Been to Kalpna a couple of times, good value if you go at lunchtime and get the buffet/all you can eat option. Food not mind blowing, but pretty good all the same. Word is Ana Purna (sp?) is better for evening meals though, and just across the road.

Can't think of anywhere doing vegan breakfasts at the mo, but I'm sure there are some places that just advertise as veggie, but would do vegan if asked. Used to be a pub that did them up until a year or two ago, but they stopped for some reason, and the chef hasn't set up elsewhere yet. Plenty juice bars, but can't recommend any specifically (I eat pizza for breakfast every day :)).

Arthur's seat/holyrood is really close to the city, basically just at the bottom of the Royal Mile, and well worth checking out and/or the climb depending on how windy it is and how keen you are :)

If you have a chance and want to meet up, we could try and arrange something. Fair few vf'ers here so would think at least one or two could make a meet.
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Re: Vegan Edinburgh

Postby Hiking Fox » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:14 pm

alit wrote:It looks like I might be visiting Edinburgh, Ive got the cruelty free guide but where are the best places to eat currently?


I'm going to be loyal to my former workplace and recommend 'Susie's Wholefood Diner', on West Nicholson St, off South Bridge. You pay per plate size, and choose from the counter. Everything is freshly made on the premises,around half the hot dishes and most of the salads are vegan, and they have cheap tea and beer. Plus there's aways a jug of water available so you don't have to ask for tap water. The bloke who runs it treats his staff really nicely, too. The only negative point is that they don't always have vegan desserts.

I also really recommend 'Anna Purna' on St Patrick's Square, almost opposite Kalpna, if you want vegan Indian food. That's if it's still there, of course. They do clearly-labelled vegan options on the menu, and they have brown rice as well as white. How rare is that in an Indian! I asked everyone I knew when I lived in Edinburgh where they'd go for a curry, and they all thought Anna Purna was better than Kalpna.

The Baked potato place is great, but the queues can be huge and there is only one table.

David Bann was a bit hit and miss last time I went, but that was two years ago. Hopefully it has got a lot better. The food was tasty, but what annoyed me about it was the extortionate price of really basic things, like orange juice from a carton. (I don't mind paying good money for freshly-made juice, but not stuff from concentrate).

Avoid 'Henderson's Salad Table'. The people who set it up all those years ago were veggie, but the people running it now aren't. Almost all of their food contains cheese. They say that there is 'often a vegan option'. This says it all!
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Postby alit » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:15 pm

Thanks for all the info :D really useful!

I might try Banns if i get there, but Im more into the more basic tasty vegan food - and of course cake :D the jacket potato place sounds good and Susies, and the Indian restaurants....I will find time to explore the city too!

Id like to visit the Engine Shed as I work with people with learning difficulties and am always interested in seeing positive sounding set ups like the Engine Shed,

It will be last min thing as my mums not well so is risky booking anything but if i get there would be good to say hello!
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Postby vCLaW » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:04 pm

I agree with most of the previous comments.
Both Kalpna and Ann Purna are very good for Indian food, though I'd agree that Ann Purna is a bit better. Ann Purna is definitely still there, though I've heard that its recently changed ownership so it might be changing a bit soon.

I agree that Susie's Diner is very good, and fairly cheap, though it can be busy.
I've been to Henderson's Salad Table a few times and quite like it, I think there's been a few vegan options each time I've been. Its not as good as Susie's Diner, but it can be handy if you're over that side of town.

I was in David Bann's recently and its rather good food and a nice restaurant, though it is expensive, and not the most generous portions. And they don't have many vegan desserts. I was in on a Monday night I think, and hadn't booked, but there was plenty space. Probably a good idea to book if going on a Friday / Saturday night though.

I agree that Forest and the Baked Potato shop do good, cheap food. And both have vegan cake.
For breakfast, you could try the Auld Hoose. Its a pub on St Leonards Street, and they label on the menu what's vegan. They also do vegan burgers, chill etc. Though they're not open till about midday, so it won't be a very early breakfast.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:24 pm

alit wrote:I might try Banns if i get there, but Im more into the more basic tasty vegan food - and of course cake :D the jacket potato place sounds good and Susies, and the Indian restaurants....I will find time to explore the city too!

Id like to visit the Engine Shed as I work with people with learning difficulties and am always interested in seeing positive sounding set ups like the Engine Shed,


Coupla extra points:

Old websites might list a restaurant called 'Bann UK', which was also known as 'Banns'. This was an offshoot of 'David Bann', but had no connection with it. It closed down years ago. Thought I'd better mention that in order to avoid confusion!

There's a restaurant (another posh one) called 'Black Bo's' which was cutting-edge gourmet vegetarian for a while, then turned into a meat restaurant and did loads of media articles about how they wanted to 'cater for everyone (grrr!), but as far as I know it's now veggie again. The service there is very variable.

'The Engine Shed' is a bit out of town, but well worth a visit. They make the best smoked tofu I have ever tasted. It's so good you can just slice it and eat it from the packet!

There's a take-away called 'The Piemaker' on South Bridge that has at least six clearly-labelled vegan options. They do an amazing pecan pastry plait.

I know of a good reason to give Kalpna a miss besides the food. As I don't like the though of discussing people and places in a negative light behind their backs, I'll PM you about it...
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Postby buzz » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:30 pm

Hiking Fox wrote:There's a restaurant (another posh one) called 'Black Bo's' which was cutting-edge gourmet vegetarian for a while, then turned into a meat restaurant and did loads of media articles about how they wanted to 'cater for everyone (grrr!), but as far as I know it's now veggie again. The service there is very variable.


It's now just called Bo's, and aye, as you said is fully veggie again, clearly lists vegan options and always has a good number of these (better percentage-wise than Bann's) Service has always been excellent there when I've been.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:16 pm

buzz wrote:It's now just called Bo's, and aye, as you said is fully veggie again, clearly lists vegan options and always has a good number of these (better percentage-wise than Bann's) Service has always been excellent there when I've been.


That's good to hear. I might check it out in May then, when I'm next up.

The first time I went, I liked the place (though they had no vegan desserts). The second time, the staff were really surly and rude, the food took ages and was rubbish, even though it was quiet, and two staff members had a blazing row right in front of my table, so I haven't been back since it went meat, then back to veggie.

It could well be under new ownership, places often change hands. Clearly listed vegan options sounds like a big step forward.
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Postby buzz » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:35 pm

Hiking Fox wrote:That's good to hear. I might check it out in May then, when I'm next up.

The first time I went, I liked the place (though they had no vegan desserts). The second time, the staff were really surly and rude, the food took ages and was rubbish, even though it was quiet, and two staff members had a blazing row right in front of my table, so I haven't been back since it went meat, then back to veggie.

It could well be under new ownership, places often change hands. Clearly listed vegan options sounds like a big step forward.


Aye, I think it may well have changed ownership at some point. Vegan desert option every time now (as well as sorbet), and really tasty. Sounds like a shitty experience you had the 2nd time, but worth another shot now for sure.
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