Our pick of some of the best places in the capital to enjoy vegetarian and vegan cuisine.

With the growing popularity of vegetarianism, veganism, flexitarianism and pescetarianism, there’s never been a better time to meat-free (at least for one or two days a week).

Expanding your culinary horizons and considering a vegetarian restaurant for the next time you eat out, doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour, in fact the capital’s green eateries are more than capable of going head to head with the city’s best.

So for anyone keen to reduce their meat consumption, and those who already adhere to a vegetarian diet, here are five of the best meat-free options in Edinburgh.

Henderson’s

(94 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DR)

 

Edinburgh vegetarian

Picture: Henderson’s

An Edinburgh institution, Henderson’s has been flying the veggie flag since 1962, when going meat-free was still considered a strange and unorthodox lifestyle choice by all but the most enlightened of Edinburgh hippies, but still isn’t resting on its laurels.

Its pioneering empire has recently both diversified and expanded, adding an entirely vegan eatery to its culinary collection, replacing Henderson’s Bistro on Thistle Street beside the original Henderson’s restaurant and upstairs deli on Hanover Street, as well as a new outpost at Holyrood Road.

On the menu, which changes daily according to the availability of local, seasonal produce, you’ll find such virtuous veggie delights as apricot and lentil soup; cauliflower and chickpea curry with coconut, chilli and coriander and spicy bean enchiladas with all the fixings.

David Bann

(56-58 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX)

Unique in Edinburgh as a high-end, luxury dining experience that is entirely vegetarian, stalwart of the city’s cuisine scene David Bann boasts a menu along the nouvelle cuisine lines.

Creative and eclectic, with global influences, dishes such as chilli pancake with grilled sweet potato, courgette and chocolate sauce; beetroot, Bramley apple and Dunsyre Blue cheese mousse and ravioli parcels with hazelnut, red cabbage, celeriac and thyme are about as far from a lentil bake as one can imagine.

Kalpna

(2-3 St Patrick Square, EH8 9EZ)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveler

Most Indian restaurants are a good bet for meat-free meals, but the much-loved Kalpna, on the scene for more than 25 years, is a particularly safe choice given that the whole menu is vegetarian, so there’s no danger of the veggie options being an afterthought.

Specialising in Punjabi, Gujarati and South Indian cuisine and drawing on traditional roadside fare too, dishes include deep-fried sweet and sour potatoes with coriander, mustard seed, ginger and green chilli; red-hot spied aubergine curry; an array of dosas and signature dish Dam Aloo Kashmeri; potato barrels stuffed with nuts, vegetable and paneer cheese with sauces of tomato, honey and ginger and almond and saffron.

Nova Pizza Vegetarian Kitchen

(42 Howe St, EH3 6TH)

Vegan pizza rustica. Picture: Novapizza Facebook

Authentic and inventive Nova Pizza Vegetarian Kitchen is a cosy little family-run Italian eatery in the New Town with an entirely meat-free menu and plenty of vegan options too.

While Italian food has always been a good bet for veggies, with its staple ingredients of tomatoes, mozzarella, pasta and gnocchi, the lack of meat here sees vegetable-based pasta dishes made with a creativity not always seen elsewhere, while vegan and veggie cheese and meat dupes (even pepperoni) mean any variety of pizza is no problem.

All the staples are still on offer, with a twist – think blue cheese or butternut squash and potato pizza, soya mince lasagne and blue cheese pasta.

Pumpkin Brown

(16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU)

Pumpkin Brown are passionate about great, fresh, organic food which can be enjoyed by everyone. All of their dishes are gluten-free, dairy-free and free from refined sugar, making them naturally healthy without compromising on flavour.

Pumpkin Brown has an unbeatable selection of inventive salads which use fresh produce and superfood ingredients. For a healthy yet filling superfood salad, opt for the wild rice salad with goji berries, garlic, spring onions and cannellini beans.

They also offer some truly delightful hot dishes of the Day including veggie chilli, Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry and Lentil dhal, yum!

Six of the best healthy eating spots in Edinburgh

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