Is it possible to travel as a vegan in a country where haggis is such a popular meal? To answer that question we heading to Glasgow during our #VeganInScotland tour to discover just how vegan-friendly the city is – so imagine our delight at finding so many amazing vegan restaurants in Glasgow, all worth checking out, no matter which diet you follow.
We often hear people telling us that traveling as a vegan isn’t easy in certain countries and we tend to agree, but that only pushes us to challenge ourselves more instead of giving up visiting some countries altogether. It was the same with exploration of the food choices in Scotland.
What comes to your mind if you think of typical Scottish food?
For me it’s haggis, shortbread and fried mars bars – but it’s not all about these.
I myself made the mistake of associating Scottish cuisine only with less-than healthy food and the totally non-vegan cuisine, but I’m glad we had the chance to experience for ourselves the healthier and totally animal-free side of it.
Before going to Glasgow, we had no idea that only a couple of years ago it was named by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as the most vegan-friendly city in the UK, and having been there we totally understand why.
Either as a traveller or as a Glaswegian, eating out vegan isn’t quite the mission that some might consider it to be. You’ll be surprised by the amount of vegan restaurants in Glasgow that are available for you to choose – at least I was. I happily proved myself wrong and found it incredibly easy to come across vegan food and eateries in the city. In fact, Glasgow has as many choices as other high rated vegan-friendly cities in the UK and, like London and Brighton, makes for an exceptional destination for vegans.
It’s not weird at all to sit down somewhere in Glasgow and see on the menu the vegetarian version of a more traditional plate such as haggis with neeps and tatties – which we had the opportunity to try in Edinburgh already. Who would have thought that possible?
Even if time was quite short, we really enjoyed our visit to Glasgow and feel the need to return one day in the future to explore more of the city because it has a lot of the things we like and look for, starting from its vibrant art and music scene, the diverse architecture and culture, to an interesting and assorted choice of vegan dining options. What else could we possibly ask for?
Vegan Restaurants in Glasgow
Located in the bohemian and alternative West End of Glasgow, not that far from the university, the 78 is probably one of our favourite places to grab a vegan bite and enjoy a local beer. It has a very comfortable and cozy atmosphere that dangerously invites you to stay longer, especially to sit beside the lovely fireplace whilst outside it may be raining.
The food is incredibly delicious, the portions are very generous and fairly priced. What I really liked is that the food isn’t labeled as vegan, instead there is a little note at the end of the menu stating that the food and drinks are free from animal products, but that’s it. It looked like their aim is to provide some delicious food without becoming vegan exclusive, hence why the need to not broadcast that the menu is entirely vegan-friendly..
We enjoyed a three course meal of which we both had our personal favourites. I particularly loved the delicate combination of flavours of the mushrooms and tarragon soup as starter, whilst Dale found the coconut chili nachos being more his thing. As a main course we both loved the *78 Classic Burger*, but the alternative and creative falafel salad with hummus, lentil dip, chilli jam, and pita croutons was definitely the winner for us both.
Having a sweet tooth it was hard for me to pick a favourite dessert, but the dates and figs sticky pudding with warm caramel sauce was incredibly unique, and a flavour I’ve never tasted everywhere else. Dale instead loved the equally delicious hazelnut brownie with vanilla ice cream more. A tasty classic.
It was also nice to be able to try some craft apple ale that was not only 100% vegan, but also locally produced in a brewery in Glasgow.
Needless to say that we had way too much food, but it was hard not to be tempted to try a bit of everything from what was offered on the menu. If I was living in Glasgow I’d most likely become a regular of The 78 for its food and its laid back atmosphere. It’s the kind of place where you can easily end up staying for hours, if not for all day, working on your laptop or simply reading a book. We are incredibly grateful to People Make Glasgow for having recommended it to us.
It’s a shame we didn’t get to experience the live music performances at The 78, I’d happily would have stayed for the jazz night whilst enjoying a drink and a bite, but we weren’t there on the right day. The 78 is the first place we ate at it remains one of our favourite vegan restaurants in Glasgow.
The 78 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street, Glasgow G3 8NU
Not only a restaurant but also a place to enjoy some live music, Mono even has its own independent record shop and its well known for hosting various events; from gigs to art performances, workshops and exhibitions too. We enjoyed the pub-style food at Mono and our highlight was their incredibly delicious vegan cheesecake. Also the glass of ginger beer we downed in one go, plus the mango, lychee, and green tea lemonade that are both made in their in-house microbrewery are exceptional. We strongly recommend trying them.
Their menu is entirely suitable for vegans and, apart from burgers and sandwiches, they also have pizza with vegan cheese too, something that it’s not so common or ever easy to find.
Mono has a very community based feel with a very active music scene, something that we both miss since we started travelling and we could see ourselves easily being part of the crowd there. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to enjoy a gig there next time we are in Glasgow.
Mono 12 Kings Court, Glasgow G1 5RB
If you like Mexican style food like us two, this Californian-style burrito bar and taqueria is a must.
Taco Mazama offers vegetarians and vegan options which are incredibly filling and a great choice for a balanced take away fast food. The night we were leaving Glasgow and before we caught our bus to London, we had two vegan burritos from Taco Mazama, one with spicy shredded tofu and the other with vegetarian chili, which we both found the best out of the two -but that is all down to personal taste.
Apart from being a terrific budget-friendly option, it’s also incredibly convenient for its location within the train station – perfect if you are catching a train or just arriving in Glasgow. It’s great to know that there’s something vegan for us from the moment we arrive, the the time we depart from Glasgow
Taco Mazama Central Station, Glasgow G1 3SL
Other Vegan Restaurants in Glasgow
Unfortunately our stay in the Scottish city was too short for us to try all the well known vegan restaurants in Glasgow that we’ve heard many amazing things about via Glasgow’s highly active online community, but we’d love to return – especially to join one of the regular vegan meetups in Glasgow which would give us a perfect opportunity to interact more with locals, and to make new friends.
We’ll have to visit Glasgow again to meetup with more locals to understand the local culture more – as for us it’s best way to learn about a new place – but also to continue working our way through all of the tips and recommendations for must visit vegan restaurants in Glasgow. Below is a small selection of the recommendations from our friends on social media that we’d love to return to visit.
This vegetarian and vegan-friendly cafe bar is located in the CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts) that unfortunately had the exhibition closed when we tried to visit it. We had a quick glimpse of the place and loved the relaxed atmosphere. We heard that they are pretty famous for their vegan fritter version of the famous Scottish dish haggis, also their cakes and bread is homemade daily, so next time we’re in Glasgow we’ll be sure to sate our vegan bakery habit by grabbing a bite there.
Another good thing about Saramago Cafe is that it is one of the few vegan restaurants in Glasgow where the kitchen is open until 10pm, highly convenient if you fancy a late dinner or even a small bite of snack. Definitely something to keep in mind!
Saramago Cafe 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD
Very centered located and incredibly famous for its regular live gigs and dj sets, Stereo is also well known for its delicious vegan food. Its tapas selection is particularly popular and can vary from spring rolls to haggis kofta and stuffed vine leaves. Plus, they have plenty of gluten free options too. Apparently Stereo’s homemade gnocchi are a big hit as well and being Italian I wish I’d had the chance to try them myself.
The place itself looks very friendly and has a great atmosphere which we think stands as a great example the best of both Glasgow’s underground culture, and vegan food scene. It’s definitely a place to keep in mind if you are exploring the vegan restaurants in Glasgow, and want to rock out too.
Stereo 22-28 Renfield Lane Glasgow, Glasgow G2 6PH
Tchai-Ovna House of Tea
Our Couchsurfing hosts described Tchai-Ovna as a must-visit due to it being incredibly popular amongst locals and students, as well as being one of their favourite spots to enjoy a tea on the outside patio or on their comfy indoor sofas indoors on a rainy day.
This tea house is famous for the amount of teas they have from around the world, but also for their vegetarian food and vegan options too, such as their Middle-eastern platter of mezze which can be considered like a good tapas/starter portion, depending on your appetite.
This tea house is a good alternative to the classic vegan restaurants in Glasgow and according to our hosts, is a little local gem.
Tchai-Ovna House of Tea 42 Otago Lane Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8PB
Usha’s Indian Vegetarian
This restaurants is apparently the only totally vegetarian Indian restaurant in Glasgow that offers a lot of vegan and gluten free options too. When we were looking for tips about vegan restaurants in Glasgow, someone on twitter suggested we should go here, especially if we enjoy Indian food (which we both do) and also if we like the idea of having a lot of small size dishes to share and try, a concept which we both are a fan of and that we regularly do anyway.
We’ve also been told that Usha’s cuisine is authentic Indian and high quality too, unfortunately with only two days in Glasgow we didn’t get the chance to try it, but if we ever return it would be the first place we go to.
Usha’s Indian Vegetarian 2 Byres Road (Corner of Byres Road & Dumbarton Road), Glasgow G11 5JY
Hanoi Bike Shop
Famous for being Glasgow’s first Vietnamese restaurant, the Hanoi Bike Shop is a very cool place where both its food and interior design are inspired by a mixture of places that the owners and staff have been to.
We have been told that their own tofu made in-house is incredibly delicious and something not to miss if you ever decide to stop by. Their street food selection is quite inviting and if you like the classic Pho, the noodle broth that reigns in Vietnam, this is the place to try.
Bare in mind that the Hanoi Bike Shop isn’t exclusively a vegan restaurant, it also sells meat-based dishes, but vegetarian and vegan options are available too.
Hanoi Bike Shop 8 Ruthven Lane, Glasgow G12 9BG
The 13th Note
One thing we really enjoy about Glasgow is the amount of independent music venues scattered in the city. The 13th Note is one of them that also hosts art exhibitions, comedy and theatre performances. It also has a good range of vegetarian and vegan pub food like burgers and chunky chips.
One good thing about The 13th Note is that it also offers some locally brewed vegan beers – like the WEST Brewery – which gives an extra reason to visit it if you want to enjoy not only some vegan food, but a vegan drink too. This place was another recommendation amongst the vegan restaurants in Glasgow which we would love to go to on our next visit.
The 13th Note 50-60 King Street, Glasgow G1 5QT
Siempre Bicycle Cafe
This urban bicycle cafe not only is a place with healthy and organic food with vegan options on their menu, but also a bike shop where you can buy anything from clothing, accessories, or maybe to get your bicycle serviced. It looks to us like the perfect place to stop for whoever is biking their way around Scotland.
If you a are a coffee lover and addict like us, they serve the Dear Green Coffee, a local Glasganian coffee roaster with sustainable and good quality coffee beans which we had the luck to try and loved it. According to the online community their juices are all natural and delicious and worth trying too.
Siempre Bicycle Cafe 162 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow G11 6XE
There’s plenty of choice in Glasgow
We know that this is just the tip of the iceberg of vegan restaurants in Glasgow compared to the amount of places available, but we really wanted to share the food we enjoyed.
I was really surprised and happy to see all these options and I have been dying to share them to show that eating vegan in Glasgow isn’t a mission impossible, on the contrary, it’s a mission to choose where to go to.
It’s nice to see that more and more food alternatives are becoming available to make the city and the whole experience in Glasgow more enjoyable, no matter which diet you follow. Food is an important factor for us both to enjoy our stay in each place we visit and Glasgow didn’t disappoint our vegan expectations at all, it exceed them in fact!
It just goes to show that there’s more than just haggis in Glasgow
Do you know of other vegan restaurants in Glasgow worth visiting?