Regarded as more sustainable and easier on the planet, vegan food is becoming more popular, but with so many restaurants and cafés offering plant-based options on the menu these days, it’s not easy picking favourites. However, here for your delectation and delight is a list of seven vegan-friendly eateries from each of our seven cities.
Mono has become somewhat of an institution in Glasgow and has been feeding eager vegans since 2002. Its relaxed, open and creative atmosphere makes it appealing to many students, young people and groups looking for a cool place to spend some hours. The vegan café is located in Glasgow’s Merchant city and has developed a reputation for quality beer, vegan food, and live gigs.
During the day, Mono shares its roof with Monorail Music – an in-house independent record store boasting a range of contemporary CDs, vinyl records from home and abroad, second-hand stock and re-issues of rare lost classics. Mono owner Craig Tannock, who also runs vegan cafés Stereo, the 78 and the Flying Duck (all in Glasgow), is helping to keep the vegan scene in the city thriving.
Erpingham House is a fully vegan restaurant that can be found in Bonnie and Wild Scottish Marketplace in the new St James Quarter. With two successful restaurants already established in Brighton and Norwich, Erpingham House showcases plant-based dishes ranging from mac & cheese, a superfood Buddha bowl, “FSH” & chips, to plant-based burgers, chimichuri tacos and a hummus plate. All meals are carefully arranged on the plate to be visually inviting and tasteful.
Managing Director, Loui Blake, is on a quest to help people eat more sustainably, without having to sacrifice flavour or experience, and to normalise a plant-based lifestyle.
This Mexican cantina and bar offers 100% vegan food. Dundee’s Loco Rita’s, found on Old Hawkhill, is one of the new venues adopting a fully vegan menu. Popular dishes include crispy cauliflower wings with buffalo sauce, cheeseburger tacos, nachos, and homemade empanadas.
Despite its fully vegan menu, Loco Rita’s is popular with all foodie enthusiasts keen to try good Mexican food. Great care has gone into outfitting the interior of the cantina, with neon signs, plenty of foliage, and soothing colours. And with a vibrant, quirky mural painted on the exterior of the building, it’s a hard one to miss.
At Loco Rita’s the drinks attract just as much interest as the food, with Corona on draught, frozen margaritas, and plenty of the classic favourites such as espresso martinis.
Velocity Café is a social enterprise that has been based in Inverness since 2012. The venue incorporates three realms: a vegan/vegetarian café, a bicycle workshop and a community space which supports a range of projects with a particular focus on health, wellbeing and sustainability.
If popping in for something to eat, visitors can indulge in some wholesome vegan/ vegetarian food, or delicious cake and coffee.
Seasonal and local produce is used whenever possible, with a plentiful selection of meat-free treats as well as gluten/ allergen free alternatives.
Velocity Café was announced as the Winner of Scotland’s Cyclist Cafe of the Year 2018 and 2020.
269 Vegan, located on South Methven Street, officially opened in 2018 and has proved popular for its visually pleasing brunches, cakes, and hot/cold drink options.
At the dog-friendly café you can choose from a variety of coffees with dairy replacements, teas, fizzy drinks, speciality lattes and smoothies. The breakfast and brunch menu ranges from filling options like Tofu Florentine, bagels, vegan pho, mashed avocado with hemp, black sesame seeds and chilli flakes on sourdough toast, vegan waffles, to healthy salads or lighter snacks.
Owner Judit Bartok says: “Our bagels with Sgaia’s Vegan Meat are the best sellers and are a quick and easy lunch that can easily be made to take away.
“The menu changes seasonally so the decisions involved are ongoing as we prefer to have hot comfort food in the winter and lighter salads in the warmer months.”
269 Vegan recently launched another branch in Dunfermline this summer.
A successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 led to the launch of Foodstory – a vegan-friendly café, takeaway, and events space in Aberdeen.
Found on Thistle Street, Foodstory founders Sandy McKinnon and Laura Bishop dreamed of creating a venue to bring people together through a love of great food, coffee and regular events.
Visitors can expect a menu that caters to vegans/vegetarians, exposed brick walls, fairy lights, and a collection of furniture that was donated or built from salvaged parts – giving the place a shabby chic feel. Popular with lots of Aberdonians, no matter their dietary lifestyle, Foodstory offers a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
The venue’s upstairs space aims to bring the community together by hosting everything from DJs and small-scale gigs to yoga sessions and life drawing classes. The plant-based buns, which can range from cinnamon, dark chocolate, sea salt date caramel, and cardamon and spiced chai, are a particular favourite with locals.
With a separate vegan menu, Toast in Forthside Way (close to Stirling train station), is an intimate café with hearty, filling brunch options. Vegan flatbread with hummus, vegetables and sweet chili sauce, bagels, cakes and sweet treats are among the favourites on the menu.
The café has been furnished to invoke a relaxing, homely tone where customers can enjoy a lazy brunch with quality coffee and substantial meals.
Top Scottish vegan INSTAGRAM accounts to follow…
For a no-nonsense guide to finding easy vegan treats, from supermarket finds to Scottish vegan producers, to home cooked meals, Carla Brown (aka the little Glasgow Vegan), has got you covered. Her page makes it seem easier than ever to incorporate more vegan foods into your weekly food shop.
This new bakery, based in Nairn, proves that vegan desserts are just as flavoursome as any. Showcasing some impresasive baking skills, Pure Bakery Highland was launched in December 2020 after owner Amy recognised few local options for those with a plant-based lifestyle living in the Highlands.
With regular inspiration, from meals out, including takeaways, to advice on beauty products, Stirling-based Becca has attracted a healthy following. With colourful updates, she celebrates not just the vegan diet but the appeal of a vegan lifestyle.
A simple yet effective approach, the Scottish Vegan shares what’s on her plate with her followers. Making wholesome hearty meals, and sweet treats are all showcased in a pleasing way to offer simple tips and advice to ensuring your vegan meals are kept exciting and new.
Blogger Cheryl Risk celebrates a vegan lifestyle in stylish and accessible ways. Her page captures the simple joys of embracing a plant-based diet and how easy it is in today’s society, with plenty of options from mainstream brands as well as independent retailers.