As we dust ourselves off from another indulgent festive season and look forward to the new year, many people start to think about re-energising and replenishing their bodies with wholesome and healthy food. And with Veganuary (the annual campaign where thousands make a pledge to go without animal products for the month of January) expected to be bigger than ever in 2020, even more people will be on the lookout for delicious vegan options.
Thankfully in Edinburgh, you don’t have to choose between living vegan or your health. There’s a wealth of places in Scotland’s capital that serve up a rainbow of wholesome eats, without relying on meat or dairy. From tempting raw cakes to colourful salads and comforting porridge, you can enjoy a healthy vegan diet in Edinburgh without compromising on taste. Here are just a few of our favourites – and you can find even more healthy vegan inspiration at veganedinburgh.com/healthy.
13 Forest Road, Edinburgh EH1 2QH
Bowls is a fairly recent addition to Edinburgh’s foodie scene, serving up wholesome salads to hungry lunchtime punters on Forest Road from Monday to Saturday. They already have a cult celebrity following, with Emma Thompson recently popping in to try the colourful offering from this new salad bar.
There are two options: a regular bowl for £4.50; or large for £6.50. Most should find the regular bowl sufficient, but the large bowl is guaranteed to conquer even the largest of appetites! You can fill your bowl with up to four varieties of salad, all of which are vegetarian and mostly also vegan. Choose from the likes of chickpeas, quinoa, sweet potato, green beans, vegan feta and much more. There are plenty of gluten-free options here too. The selection changes on a daily basis, so no two bowls will ever be quite the same.
18 William Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NH
Roots are passionate about sustainability, community and wellbeing – and this really shines through in their colourful selection of soups, salads and sandwiches that they serve daily in the city’s West End. Their wholesome offering is made from locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients, so their menu changes throughout the year. The colourful salad bar is the star of the show, where the owner Cat experiments with fresh ingredients and flavours to make some truly delicious and nutritious creations. It’s safe to say that both vegans are well catered for, and you’ll find plenty of gluten-free options too.
Want to really treat yourself? Keep an eye out for their next vegan supper club, which happens once every month or so. Pay a fixed price for a three or four course meal, and get ready to discover a wealth of delicious dishes made with sustainable and vegan ingredients, all served in an intimate and cosy setting.
24 Marchmont Crescent, Edinburgh EH9 1HG
You can’t get a more wholesome start to the day than a warming bowl of porridge, and you can’t get a more delicious bowl of porridge than at Brochan in Marchmont. This cosy wee café serves up piping hot bowls of wholesome oats, as well as smoothies, granola bowls and toast. At Brochan, you can find healthy twists on indulgent treats such as banoffee pie, black forest gateau and lemon meringue pie – in the form of porridge!
This is the perfect place if you want a slow, cosy start to your morning in one of Edinburgh’s most charming neighbourhoods. There are a handful of tables decorated with fresh flowers and a small selection of books on hygge for you to get lost in. When the nights get longer and the days get colder, a steaming bowl of porridge from Brochan is just the ticket to help you get through Edinburgh’s harsh winter months.
16 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5JZ
Raw cake never looked so good. Grams started in 2015 selling raw vegan cakes in local markets, and now have their own premises just across from Haymarket Station. They still sell the cakes that made them famous, and occasionally make an appearance at Stockbridge Market, but their new café space has allowed them to expand with a full on-site menu and meal prep service. During the weekends they serve all-day brunch, when you can enjoy healthy yet indulgent specials like avocado on toast with a nutty “bacon” crumble.
Grams philosophy is “Eat Better, Not Less”, so the focus here is very much on health and wellness. Grams use only whole natural foods and completely avoid refined sugar products in all of their dishes. But don’t worry – their cakes still taste every bit as good as they look!