Over 15 years ago, I visited Edinburgh while studying at the University College of London. I remember the haunting beauty of the medieval city and sweeping views from Arthurs Seat, but I don’t remember vegan food.
To be honest, I was just a vegetarian way back then, and as a college student, my diet consisted of noodles, peanut butter and jelly, and probably more noodles! But in all seriousness, I don’t remember much about vegan or vegetarian cuisine.
So, when I considered visiting Edinburgh again, I was hopeful and a little nervous to see how the veggie scene had changed. Luckily, the nerves were gone almost instantly with one quick Google search — you’re in for a treat!
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- Hotels: Booking.com— They highlight properties with sustainable practices!
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Is Edinburgh Vegan-Friendly?
Yes! Edinburgh is very vegan-friendly! Edinburgh has a growing vegan food scene — it even exceeded my expectations. You will find many vegan restaurants, a vegan market, sustainable clothing shops, and much more! So, get planning your vegan adventure with this Edinburgh vegan travel guide; it has absolutely everything you could need!
Don’t Miss This Fun Vegan Tour in Edinburgh
The Best Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Edinburgh
You’re in for a diverse assortment of vegan cuisine at any of these vegan restaurants and if you’re looking for awesome vegan breakfast spots in Edinburgh, I’ve got that covered too!
167 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DG
According to this Edinburgh hot spot, the future is vegan, and if the future comes with its colorful dishes, count me in! Their menu is a great mix of healthy dishes and junk food — it’s all about balance, right!? Enjoy burgers topped with onion rings or a veggie-packed bowl with house-made sauces. Another bonus — they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
34 Elder St, Edinburgh EH1 3DX (this location doesn’t serve breakfast)
1 Dundee St, Edinburgh EH3 9FP
If you’re interested in testing out some traditional Scottish fare (veganized, of course), you must come here for breakfast! Their breakfast menu features a full Scottish-inspired breakfast complete with veggie haggis (it’s delicious, I promise).
Aside from hearty plant-based breakfasts, their lunch and dinner menu features house-made burgers, sandwiches, soups, and salads. They also offer a delicious vegan and gluten-free afternoon tea service — but you need to book it at least two days in advance.
220 Easter Rd, Edinburgh EH6 8LE
If you loved the plant-based breakfast fare at Grams, then you’ll love its little sister, Plant Bae! This vegetarian café has a mouthwatering lineup for breakfast, lunch, and plenty of sweets. The rotating menu features giant toasted sandwiches, golden waffles, fudgy brownies, creative nachos, and much more.
13a Brougham St, Edinburgh EH4 9JS
Edinburgh’s first vegan Italian restaurant is absolute heaven! Dive into a bowl of fresh pasta with house-made sauces, bacon, cheese, and much more. And, if by some crazy chance you don’t love pasta, they also have a fantastic lineup of house-made pizza pies! If you’re vegan and gluten-free, no worries! There is a special menu for you.
41 Lothian St, Edinburgh EH1 1HB
This funky vegetarian spot features classic American diner and Soul Food favorites. Come here if you’re looking for a place to pig out! It will be hard to decide between a platter of sticky BBQ ribs with fried seitan and all the fixin’s or loaded Philly cheesesteak fries — maybe just get both! Everything is well marked for options that can be made vegan, but it’s not very gluten-free friendly.
18-24 Clerk St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9HX, United Kingdom
Craving crispy taquitos stuffed with veggie chorizo or sweet Mexican Elote covered in cream? Look no further than this authentic vegan Mexican spot inside the Dog House (they also have a prescence at the Omni Center).
56-58 St Mary’s St, Edinburgh EH1 1SX
This sophisticated veggie-forward vegetarian restaurant has a creative and healthy assortment of dishes. If you’re looking for something a little special, come here! Everything is well-marked for vegan and gluten-free options.
7-13 Barclay Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4HW
Hendersons has been delighting the Scottish community with its vegetarian cuisine since the 60s — can you believe it? But the original location closed during the pandemic, and this Hendersons is new and improved. Their menu features local and seasonal ingredients as much as possible and focuses on making guests fall in love with veggies. Everything is well-marked for vegan and gluten-free options.
27A Marchmont Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1HY
This small vegetarian café has a small area for guests to dine in or easily take away. The menu features classic favorites like enchiladas and burgers, and almost everything can be made vegan.
23a Brougham Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9JU
Bowls of hot Pho, stir-fried veggies, and Vietnamese classics are all on the menu at this vegan Asian restaurant! The menu hasn’t always been vegan! In April 2022, the restaurant made the change and is now the only vegan Vietnamese restaurant in Edinburgh!
16 Henderson St, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6BS
Veganizing traditional dishes from around the globe is the specialty at Sly Fox! Enjoy bowls of spicy goulash, veggie haggis with a special whiskey sauce, or faux foie gras.
33 Brougham St, Edinburgh EH3 9JT
This vegan deli and coffee shop is the perfect place to grab a bagel sandwich and latte for breakfast or a BLT with a special house-made Black Rabbit Bakon for lunch! They also have sweet and savory pastries and a rotating selection of yummy cakes.
366 Morningside Rd, Morningside, Edinburgh EH10 4QN
Middle Eastern food always has a great variety of vegan-friendly dishes, but at Hummus, everything is vegan! The Lebanese specialties range from sweet apple and almond tarts to a savory lentil bake — you’ll probably want one of everything.
42 Howe St, Edinburgh EH3 6TH
A second spot for a fully vegan Italian feast in Edinburgh, can you believe it? Enjoy oven-baked lasagna, hearty Bolognese with handmade pasta, or a chewy pizza topped with mushrooms, house-made meats, olives, and more.
37 Duke St, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 8HH
What started as one of Edinburgh’s first plant-based pop-ups has now grown into a full-service vegan sandwich-making dream machine! These sandwiches are epic — loaded mac-n-cheese, haggis melt with caramelized onions, or Hot Bacon will definitely catch your attention!
2-3 St Patrick Square, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9EZ
This vegetarian Indian restaurant has been serving the Edinburgh community since the 70s! Their menu focuses on local, fresh ingredients to showcase an array of Indian specialties, from favorite street food fare to South Indian dishes.
Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Edinburgh
98 Marchmont Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1HR
I was never a big fan of fish, but when I saw that this fish and chips shop had a full vegan menu that was also gluten-free friendly, I couldn’t resist! The menu features all sorts of fishy faves — Tofish, scampi, crab bonbons, along with chips, of course!
53 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2NN
This popular pancake spot has great vegan and gluten-free options! Go wild, load your fluffy pancakes with fresh fruit, granola, and syrup, or savory with falafel, BBQ jackfruit, and more. The options for breakfast and lunch are endless.
65 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TG
Just from their name, you can guess what’s on the menu here! Aside from vegan-friendly breakfast and lunch options, they also have a full vegan deli with a massive assortment of house-made meats.
8 W Maitland St, Edinburgh EH12 5DS
Sample authentic Nepalese cuisine at this vegan-friendly restaurant in Edinburgh’s Haymarket neighborhood. The menu is well-marked and features stuffed veggie dumplings, Daal, spiced potatoes, and more! Almost everything on their vegetarian menu is vegan, with many gluten-free options.
23-24 Sandport Pl, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6EW
This popular, award-winning café in Leith has a separate vegan menu for brunch and dinner. From house-made toast covered in savory mushrooms to Korean-inspired fried cauliflower, the options are anything but boring!
Vegan Bakeries in Edinburgh
3, 5A Sciennes, Newington, Edinburgh EH9 1NH
The only thing you might consider here is how many donuts you can eat in one day! This vegan bakery has a decadent assortment of house-made vegan donuts, ice cream, milkshakes, and chocolate. If you walk up and there is a long line, I promise it’s worth the wait!
34 Buccleuch St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9LP
The small storefront is easy to miss, but once you taste one of Missy’s light and fluffy cupcakes, you won’t forget it! Aside from the prized cupcakes, you’ll also find a rotating menu of other sweets — cakes, cookies, cheesecake, and more!
Vegan & Vegan-Friendly Markets in Edinburgh
4 Easter Rd, Edinburgh EH7 5RG
The only entirely plant-based grocery store in Scotland! This market is small but has a mighty selection of vegan staple products, chocolates, and locally made products from brands like The Shore, Planet Kuku, and Fellow Creatures.
Two locations in Edinburgh
These two vegetarian markets are perfect for stocking up on whatever you need, from baking ingredients to creamy vegan ice cream; they’ve got it! Aside from food, they also carry a selection of bath and body products, including locally-made items.
Vegan-Friendly & Sustainable Shops in Edinburgh
It’s not often that you find clothing stores with vegan and sustainable fashions! Luckily in Edinburgh, you will find both!
2-4 St Stephen Pl, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AJ
This conscious clothing store only works with vegan and sustainable brands to curate its chic men’s and women’s collections. You’ll find everything from warm socks to gorgeous handbags to take home.
29 Leven St, W Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9LH
You’ll find just about everything at this charming, sustainable, ethical shop. The store works with over 60 Fairtrade companies to source clothing, housewares, jewelry, and more.
33 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2HN
If you’re active and looking for sustainable activewear, check out this shop! The store is carbon-neutral and carries men’s and women’s clothing, including jackets, shorts, sweats, and more.
13 Raeburn Pl, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1HU
I am sneaking this one in here because I love the mission of this independent bookstore! All of the books at this welcoming shop are written by fabulous female authors — it’s their mission to celebrate and promote women’s writing. Their book collection ranges from best-selling fiction to essays from women around the globe.
Where to Stay in Edinburgh
Luckily Edinburgh isn’t a massive city, so just about anywhere you choose to stay will be relatively convenient (with the help of the bus or tram). If this is your first visit to Edinburgh, staying in or near Old Town may be easiest. Here are a couple of suggestions of places I think would be perfect to base yourself!
6 Hunter Square, Edinburgh EH1 1QW
Ibis Hotels are generally one of my go-to options when in Europe. The modern, budget hotels are always clean, generally vegan-friendly, and provide everything you need for a comfortable stay. The hotel chain also has multiple sustainability initiatives, from supporting the local community to sourcing as much of its food locally as possible.
12 – 26 St Giles’ St, Edinburgh EH1 1PT
Scotland certifies hotels and restaurants with Green Tourism Awards for their sustainability efforts, and Fraser Suites holds a silver certification. The hotel is powered 100% by renewable energy, has reduced the use of single-use plastics, sources locally, and offers vegan options at its dining partner, August 37. It’s also right around the corner from the Royal Mile!
What To Do & See in Edinburgh
In most of your searching, you will easily find the big things to check out — The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, and St. Giles Cathedral — but what else? Here are a few more things fun things to do and see!
#1 Hike Arthurs Seat
There are three large hills located in the beautiful Holyrood Park, which is actually an extinct volcano that erupted over 350 million years ago! Arthurs Seat is the most prominent peak of the three hills and offers a panoramic view of Edinburgh and the coast.
Getting to the top of Arthur’s Seat is a bit strenuous — most of it is uphill and rocky. If you’re not feeling like exerting that much effort, you can take an easier route up the Salisbury Craigs. Start near Holyrood Palace. As you enter the park, you can go left or right — take the trail on the left to ascent Arthur’s Seat or the trail on the right for the easier Salisbury Craig.
#2 Learn a little about Edinburgh on a walking tour
I always suggest taking a walking tour to understand a destination better and get insight into things you might want to check out. This is an excellent opportunity to chat with a local about their city and get the inside scoop on the best places to check out and what to skip — these aren’t things you can always easily find with a Google Search.
I took a tour through Old Town, which provided insight into Edinburgh’s history. It covered the hunt for witches in medieval times to the heartwarming story of a small terrier named Greyfriars Bobby, who will forever be a part of the haunting Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery (watch your step while you’re in the graveyard, heavy rains have been known to unearth the dead. If you don’t believe me, ask your guide!).
#3 Wander through Dean Village
This tranquil little village looks like it’s been plucked from a fairy tale. The cobblestone streets will take you next to the beautiful Water of Leith stream that flows through this little village and to the harbor. Don’t expect restaurants or prominent attractions; this area is just a gorgeous place for a stroll. It is also a residential area, so be respectful as you explore the narrow alleys.
#4 Have a coffee with a kitty
When you’re looking for a coffee break, there is really no better place than Scotland’s first cat café, Maison de Moggy. The café is home to 12 furry felines who are happy to have a chin scratch while you sip your oat milk latte and maybe enjoy a vegan cake — the café menu always includes vegan and gluten-free options.
There is a £10 entrance fee, and it is recommended that you make a reservation.
#5 Enjoy the views from Calton Hill
I am sure that at least one of the photos you’ve seen of Edinburgh was taken on Carlton Hill. This prominent spot is right in the heart of the city and offers a bird’s eye view of bustling Princes Street, the Royal Mile, all the way to Arthur’s Seat. There are also multiple important landmarks here — the National Monument, inspired by the Parthenon in Athens, and the Nelson Monument, which looks like an upside-down telescope.
#6 Take a day trip to the gorgeous Highlands
Although a day really isn’t enough to experience all of the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, at least you will get to sample a little of it! There are many tours that cover popular spots like Glencoe, Loch Ness, and Ben Nevis along with other tours that cover famous movie and TV sights like Harry Potter and Outlander.
If you have enough time, I really encourage you to consider getting out of town for at least one day; Scotland is a breathtaking country!
How to Get Around Edinburgh
Edinburgh has a good system of trams and buses that make getting around the city easy; for the most part, you’ll only need your own two feet! The city isn’t huge, making it most efficient to walk instead of relying on mass transit.
Before you go, download the Transport for Edinburgh and Scot Rail app. The Transport for Edinburgh app will allow you to purchase transport tickets for the bus or the tram and the Scot Rail app allows you to buy and view train tickets and times to other cities in Scotland.
If you are going to use the Edinburgh bus system, I highly suggest using contactless payment either with a credit card, Apple, or Google Pay. There is a program called TapTapCap, and as long as you use the same payment method on every bus, the bus system will charge you the cheapest fare for the day and also cap it at £4.40 (no matter how many times you use it).
One caveat is that if you plan to use the bus and tram frequently during the day, you should buy a pass that covers both (it is £4.50). The TapTapCap program doesn’t apply to trams.
How to Get to Edinburgh City Centre from The Airport
The easiest way to get into the city from Edinburgh Airport is by tram. The trams run every 15 minutes from 7 AM – 7 PM, and the ride is approximately 30 minutes. The tram stops at 14 spots throughout the city, including Princes Street and St. Andrews Square. You can find the tram outside the main airport terminal, and the one-way ticket to the city is €6.50.
Another option is to use the ride-sharing app Uber. The ride is approximately €30, depending on the time of day and your destination in the city.
More Vegan Travel Guides
If your travels don’t end in Edinburgh, be sure to check out these other vegan travel guides and articles to plan your adventure!
The Best Rome Vegan Travel Guide
The Best Vegan-Friendly Hotels in the UK
The Ultimate Vegan Travel Guide to Brighton, UK
The Best Spots for Vegan & Gluten-Free Food in Brighton
The Best Vegan Restaurants in Glasgow
The Best Vegan Travel Guide to London
The Ultimate Zurich Vegan Travel Guide
The Best Vegan Travel Guide to Budapest
12 Mouthwatering Spots for Vegan Breakfast or Brunch in London
The 10 Best Free Things To Do in London
The 30 Best Vegan Gifts to Give