Though better known for carnivore-friendly dishes, Scotland’s restauranteurs are increasingly embracing vegetarianism as a way of showcasing the country’s natural bounty. Nowhere is this more apparent, perhaps, than in the north-eastern port city of Aberdeen
, where the vegetarian scene is growing from strength to strength. So, if you’ve got a keen palate for locally sourced, seasonal and eco-friendly ingredients, read on to discover Aberdeen’s best vegetarian and vegan eateries.
Restaurant, British, Vegan, $$$
After enjoying runaway success as a pop-up vegan café, Bonobo became a full-fledged Aberdeen institution this past June. Bonobo
is a worker’s co-operative run by friendly employees committed to ethical food and labour practices. They also make a mac and “cheese” so scrumptious that sceptics will swear there’s no way it’s dairy-free. Another vegan miracle is the homemade scones, accompanied with jam and an absolutely dreamy coconut cream.
Courtesy of Bonobo Cafe
Newton Dee Cafe
Cafe, Healthy, Vegetarian, $$$
This bright and airy vegetarian eatery can be found in Newton Dee, a community for people living with disabilities and special needs. Serving up delicious vegan soups, sandwiches and pastries, the Newton Dee Cafe
is dedicated to organic and locally-sourced ingredients, as well as fresh homemade bread. Though the menu might be limited, their hearts are anything but.
Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian, $$$
Although Lebanese cuisine may not have a reputation for being very vegetarian-friendly, the proprietors at Kamoon Kitchen
are single-handedly proving the naysayers wrong. The cold meze menu is entirely veggie, from the refreshing bulgur pilaf salad drizzled with mint and pomegranate molasses, to the grilled aubergine served with tahini, yoghurt and lemon. Their vegetarian skewers are similarly divine, loaded with spiced onions, bell peppers, sweet cherry tomatoes and courgettes, and served with a side of mint yoghurt. Kamoon? More like swoon.
Cafe, Restaurant, Tea Room, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Tea , Soup, $$$
Built mostly from recycled and salvaged materials, this Kickstarter-funded restaurant
has lived up to its promise to bring communities together with simple, wholesome food. Having recently won Best Vegetarian Restaurant at the Scotsman Food & Drink Awards
, this relaxed diner caters to all dietary requirements, has a strong eco-friendly mandate and uses only local, organic ingredients. Their vegan cashew cheese lasagne is an utter revelation, as are the tofu cheesecake berry brownies. Feeling good and eating well has never been easier.
The Sanddollar Cafe and Bistro
Restaurant, British, Vegetarian, $$$
This chic restaurant along the Aberdeenshire coast
specialises in conjuring up delicious, hearty meals with local, in-season produce. Although The Sanddollar
serves meat and seafood, their seasonal menus include an excellent spread of vegetarian options. The spicy lentil burger served with sharp mature cheddar and a sweet chilli sauce is a firm favourite, whereas the nut loaf welly, wrapped in a puff pastry and drenched in spiced pumpkin puree is sure to win over even the most devoted of carnivores.
The Braided Fig
Restaurant, British, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
An upscale restaurant serving modern British cuisine, The Braided Fig
recently unveiled a specialty vegan menu that showcases the best of the Scottish harvest every season. Always surprising and unfailingly tasty, their autumn menu currently features a symphonic stir-fry of apples, radishes and peppers paired with red chili pepper and herb rice. If you’re looking for true comfort food, the sun-blush tomato, vegetable and chickpea stew with black olive mash is the perfect cure-all for Scotland’s cold winter evenings.