EDINBURGH // Hendersons Vegan Bistro

16.11.15

Hendersons Vegan Edinburgh

One of the things I love most about visiting Glasgow or Edinburgh is the huge range of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops they have to offer. (Because, yes, I am always thinking about food.) More specifically than that, I love the range of vegetarian and vegan options they offer up.

Aberdeen has some really great dining options these days with some tasty veggie food on offer, but - to my knowledge - FoodStory is the only place in the city where plant-based food dominates the menu. Glasgow, by contrast, is something of a veggie paradise (even being named Britain's Most Vegan-Friendly City by PETA in 2013), while Edinburgh has a solid number of vegetarian options of its own.

Gemma is a fellow vegetarian, so what better excuse to sample a meat-free menu than a post-abseil celebration while staying with her the other week?!

After a little bit of research and menu-browsing online (while watching that devastating rugby moment - argh!), we decided to head into the city centre and booked a table at Henderson's vegan bistro on Thistle Street. 

Lemonade and latte - hendersons vegan Edinburgh


Henderson's are a well-established name on Edinburgh's veggie scene with a reputation for serving fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices. First opened in 1962 (!!), Henderson's was one of the earliest vegetarian restaurants in the UK, serving up produce directly from East Lothian Farm. These days their proud little empire sits on the corner of Thistle and Hanover Street and houses their vegetarian restaurant,  deli, shop and bakery; an art gallery; and Edinburgh's first vegan bistro. 

Newly refurbished this summer, the bistro has a cosy, casual feel and we were settled at a snug little table by the window ready to browse the menu's offerings. The menu actually reads a little less "bistro" and a bit more "pub grub" - think simple starters, nachos, salads, burgers and haggis - but it's a sheer joy to have more than two or three options to choose from and to be confident that its preparation will be truly vegetarian. 

We skipped starters and headed straight for main courses with the intention of saving plenty room for pudding. Gemma opted for the day's special of a vegetable biryani, while I was almost swayed by the idea of an egg and gluten-free chickpea pancake, before finally opting for cashew fritters with rice and satay sauce. It was definitely a good choice: I'm a big fan of satay sauce and this one was well-made and pleasingly peanutty, while the cashew fritters - with their coconut and chunks of smoked tofu - were unusual and really yummy. 

Hendersons Vegan Edinburgh - vegetable biryana cashew fritters

Dessert was even more of a winner, with Gemma tucking into a beautiful slice of cherry pie with dairy-free ice-cream, while I enjoyed my first ever taste of pumpkin pie - warmly spiced, comforting and gluten-free - with some whipped coconut cream, all washed down with a pot of tea and an almond milk latte. YUM!

Hendersons Vegan Edinburgh - Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

I really enjoyed my visit here and would definitely return. The 'bistro' was more informal and relaxed than I'd imagined (not a bad thing in my book) and this was reflected in both the menu and its reasonable pricing. The food was wholesome and good quality and I couldn't fault the friendly banter and service from the staff who dealt with us. 

Dessert - Cherry Pie - Hendersons Vegan Edinburgh


I can't quite believe this was my first encounter with the Henderson's brand, but it definitely made a good first impression. 

25c Thistle Street
Edinburgh, EH2 1DX
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xo 

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