Welcome to the very first review of Vegan In Scotland, the blog series in which I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants, cafés and shops in Scotland. Ever since I moved here, I noticed it is noticeably harder to eat out and stick to a plant-based diet in Scotland than it was when I lived in London. After several months of frustration, I am making it my mission to suss out vegan/vegetarian places to eat all over Scotland — if it takes me all the way out to the Hebrides! (But hopefully not.)
Can you look past the dilapidated building, the canteen furniture and the fairly slow waiting staff? If you can tolerate the grungy interior design long enough for your food to arrive, you will be richly rewarded, I promise. I ate the best food of my life here. A bold statement, and here’s why:
We strolled in on a cold, dreary day in early January after having trudged through a good bit of Glasgow. I was ravenous and not at all inclined to look far for a big plateful of honest, good grub. In a little side street in central Glasgow, Stereo, an inconspicuous but surprisingly large and totally vegan restaurant, held my salvation.
Admittedly, the staff, though welcoming and polite, were a bit slow to act. I got up and fetched my own menu. We had plenty of time to salivate over the menu before we got to place our order.
But when the food came, I knew we’d hit jackpot. The vegan cheese quesadillas, oozing and hot from the pan, served on a generous plate with a lovely crisp, fresh, peppery rocket salad, was heavenly. I also had a humungous bowl of steaming chunky tomato and chickpea soup, just the right level of spicy, with homemade bread on the side. All the bread is made fresh daily; it is soft and pillowy on the inside, with a crunchy crust.
My table companion, the Cookie Monster, warily ordered the burger. He said it was beautiful, but he’s a man of few words; I say it was unlike any burger I’ve ever eaten: filling but not heavy, with nutty undertones, warm spices and that same fresh salad on the side (so different from the usually bland ‘side salad’ most restaurants serve). My only wish was that the bun had been wholegrain, but I’ll forgive them that.
Rotund as I was after scarfing it all down, I seriously considered ordering the dessert of the day (an obscene square of dark chocolate brownie with ginger and ice cream on top), but in the end reason prevailed. I guess I’ll have to go back and try it some other time…
The prices were quite affordable, mid-range shall we say. The burger was £7.00, my soup and soup £4.00 and the quesadillas of heaven (which also come as a gluten-free option) cost £7.50. We drank only water. Total bill: £18.50 for two people.
The verdict: 4 out of 5 stars.
Just to prove that we ate it all…
Now it’s your turn — have you got any recommendations for vegan or vegan-friendly places to eat, drink or shop in Scotland? This does not merely relate to food — fashion, home and gardening are of interest to me, too.
P.S.: Have you entered my giveaway for a FREE box of vegan products from The Vegan Kind? If not, you really should!