TOP RATED VEGAN FOOD SPOTS IN SCOTLAND
It’s become a growing trend over the last decade for people to make the move to vegan. Whether it’s making a change in diet for health reasons or they’re looking to reduce their carbon footprint for the good of the planet.
The restaurant industry has jumped on this trend with more offering a vegan menu and a strong increase in the number of fully vegan restaurants or cafes opening up. These cafes are run by vegans with a passion for food aiming to spread a positive message and help provide a place to go for those making a healthier choice. Some of these entries were provided by the Food Awards Scotland 2022.
SERENITY NOW (GLASGOW)
Founded in 2017 in Glasgow’s west end this plant based café puts a strong focus on fresh and healthy vegan cuisine and smoothies. Everything is prepared in house with care and attention free from any animal produce.
They provide top quality coffee courtesy of their friends at Dark Arts who help provides coffee in full recyclable packages all around the UK. This ensures that customers are satisfied and they cut down on their carbon footprint. It makes a great pit stop while you’re out with you fury four legged friend as dogs are almost encouraged at Serenity Now. They provide handmade dog treats in a variety of flavours including strawberry and mint and chia.
CAFÉ AINA (STIRLING)
Cafe Aina is a Greek restaurant owned and operated by a family originally from Cyprus. While they serve non vegan meals they specialise in plant based cuisine as many members of their family happen to be vegan.
The family had dreamed of cuisine that combined the flavours of Scottish & Greek food and three years ago they got to showcase this when the café opened for business. The name derives from the first names of the four sons, Anastasios, Iakovos, Nikos and Angelos.
They have been praised locally for their breakfast options including vegan breakfast roll, vegan omelette, vegan breakfast souvlaki, and toast and jam. For lunch, you can order the homemade falafel souvlaki, marinated tofu souvlaki, homemade beetroot souvlaki, vegan burgers, salads, loaded Greek fries, and many more side dishes. There’s a cake of the day that rotates, chocolate cake, a vegan brownie, and ice cream.
HOLY COW (EDINBURGH)
Holy cow was one for the first fully vegan cafés based in Edinburgh when their doors opened in 2016. They are famous mainly for their mouth watering homemade vegan burgers. As well as their impressive burgers they serve vegetable packed sandwiches and nutrias salads packed with flavour which has helped them develop a cult like following with vegans in the area.
The menu changes to incorporate seasonal produce but is full of fresh, organic, homemade options. The team at Holy Cow believe this ever changing menu means that regulars never find the food options becoming stagnant.
The chefs bake fresh, organic rolls and gluten free bread everyday to meet the regular’s high expectations. For those who have room for dessert pastry chefs Justina and Anatol have made a range of sweet treats served with their organic coffee blend. Holy Cow was named as a finalist for “The Best Edinburgh Restaurant Award 2019” in the category of Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant. They were also named as a finalist for Vegan Restaurant of the Year and Best Vegetarian Establishment at the Food Awards Scotland 2022.
THE FLAME TREE (DUNDEE)
This independent café opened in the city centre of Dundee in 2015 with the goal of providing quality coffee and food in a welcoming and friendly environment.
The name is taken from the Illawarra Flame Tree, a bright red flowering tree found along the east coast of Australia which is a favourite of Sydney native and café owner Jackie. Visitors will occasionally be welcomed with the sounds of the song “Flame Trees” by the Australian rock band Cold Chisel playing in the café.
They have a varied menu that includes options for breakfast, brunch and lunch options for vegans and non vegans alike ensuring that all dietary requirements are catered for. They are known for a great selection of home baking options with their most famous item being the rainbow bagels.
With their signature rainbow design, these bagels have taken social media by storm and can be topped with anything from tuna mayo to a BLT special. Vegans can enjoy them with sunflower spread, smashed avocado or chilli jam. There are only limited numbers of these each day so you need to get in early to get one of these popular bagels.
VELOCITY CAFÉ (INVERNESS)
Nestled in the heart of Inverness our cafe has been serving wonderful vegetarian andvegan food since its inception in 2012.
Velocity becomes a recognised local beacon for a greener, healthier future by connecting and empowering individuals and communities in Inverness and across the Highlands.
Their goals include demonstrating meaningful network connections with other local stakeholders around greener living, creating long-term sustainable fair employment and provide a space for community events promoting climate consciousness, repair and reuse, inclusivity and sustainability
Their kitchen may be small but it certainly packs a delicious punch and is led by head chef, Ruth Cole. They use localand seasonal produce wherever they can as well as offering a range of gluten or allergen free alternatives. Whether it’s for breakfast, brunch or lunch customers are covered with options to suit all requirements.
For those who still have room for dessert, Velocity has a huge selection of fresh baked vegan or gluten free cakes available every day. However these cakes are very popular so it’s best to get in early. They use Papercup Coffee Roasters from Glasgow to ensure customers have a top quality hot beverage to wash those cakes down. They have a zero wastepolicy and keep their plastic use to a minimum. Takeaway customers are encouraged to bring their own cups and containers with discounts available.
BEETROOT SAUVAGE (EDINBURGH)
The team at this outlet believe that every child, man and woman in the community deserves the right to a healthy and happy lifestyle: by eating nutritious food and preserving physical and mental health, everyone can create an inner landscape optimal for individual and collective happiness.
The kitchen is the root of it all serving a daily menu of breakfasts or lunches that equal parts healthy and indulgent. From daily stews, sandwiches, cakes and even macaroni and cheese Beetroot loves feeding people meals that will put a smile on their face as well as nourish the body.
As a social enterprise located in Edinburgh, Scotland, they do this by serving delicious plant-based and vegan foods and drinks, offering individual complementary therapies and group classes in yoga, tai chi and meditation in their sanctuary, and by running cookery and nutrition workshops for all ages and abilities. All of their profits help support people with mental health issues and chronic physical health conditions. They were named as a finalist for Vegan Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards Scotland 2022.
BONOBO CAFÉ (ABERDEEN)
This café has diverse menu that serves up a host of delicious options including breakfast tofu scramble, vegan macaroni and cheese, a special daily hot pot and lots of cakes. They’re always looking for new and creative ways to produce familiar dishes but in vegan form.
They regularly host events in the café as they feel a sense of community is important to leading a fulfilling life. These events include yoga sessions and group talks about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint.
Recently they became co operative giving employees the option of becoming joint owners of the business. They choose this model as they believe in empowering people, non exploitation and building strong communities. They were named as a finalist for Vegan Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards Scotland 2022.
SOUL FOOD KITCHEN (GLASGOW)
The aim of this restaurant was to make nutritionally balanced, delicious plant based-food more accessible to the people of Glasgow. Regular events and workshops are held in restaurant to increase overall wellbeing in the community and create a safe space for like minded souls.
They operate under the belief that you should feed the soul as well as the body.
They have strict rules when it comes to their food as it must come from the freshest and organic produce bought from local businesses. They also ensure they use only health oils in cold press form and their packaging is 100% compostable. They were named as a finalist for Vegan Restaurant of the Year and Best Vegetarian Establishment at the Food Awards Scotland 2022.
269 VEGAN CAFÉ (PERTH)
The team at the 269 have been together since August of 2018 when the doors opened for the first time. They are proud to be the first vegan eatery of Perth and Dunfermline with a simple ethos; your vibe attracts your tribe.
They started with forming their found family of those who had a passion for good food, ethically sourced ingredients, the support of local businesses and the best coffee vegan hands can make. They came together to make an adventurous menu of delicious food that changed with the seasons.
Opening eyes to new flavours and possibilities with every new recipe tried or new ingredient ventured. They want nothing more than to share their love of the vegan lifestyle to anyone that was interested. They have had visitors both near and far come to the cafe, become regulars or just pass through and all of them have become part of a community so much larger than themselves. It’s a source of great pride for the team to have inspired such friendship, loyalty and kindness.
SUISSI VEGAN ASIAN KITCHEN (GLASGOW)
Suissi Vegan Kitchen is a family restaurant opening in Partick in April 2019 looking to make eating vegan as dynamic and tasty as possible.
Originally from Malaysia, Mama Lim takes inspiration from her roots and natural curiosity of Asian food. She hopes to reflect her culture-rich heritage through her own home-style cooking. Since opening, she has attracted both the vegan and non-vegan community with her Asian-fusion plant-based creations which are all handmade with only the freshest ingredients, without MSG or any artificial enhancers.
Suissi Vegan Kitchen serves a sharing style menu where you have the flexibility and freedom to order as many plates as you like. All dishes are made with fresh and natural ingredients and free from MSG and artificial enhancers.