As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m a vegetarian/pescatarian. Some members of my family are vegetarian but also lactose intolerant. Since they can’t eat chocolate, cheese, and various other types of food anymore, I’ve enjoyed trying to find places where they can eat more than one meal and don’t have to completely alter menu options to suit. It’s strangely exciting when we do find a restaurant/café/ice cream parlour where they can eat so I thought I’d write about a city that I’m familiar with – Inverness, Scotland – and some of the vegetarian/vegan friendly places it has to offer!
1. Blend, Tea and Coffee Merchants
Blend is a great little place for veggies and non veggies alike. The lunch options are split into two pages, for either vegetarian or non-vegetarian, so you don’t have to go searching for that little ‘V’ sign for food that you can eat. With these 10 or so options (I know, so many!), you can choose to have them in a wrap or a bagel. There’s also a clear distinction on the veggie options of which ones are vegan-friendly – ‘Vg’ – and which ones they can offer a vegan alternative on – ‘Vgo’ – which I think is pretty great. The fillings vary from ‘mushroom satay’ to falafel and hummus, veggie sausages, veggie haggis and the like.
And just in case you didn’t think this was awesome enough, they also offer baked goods which are friendly for vegans and people with other dietary intolerances. Although the café is small and tends to be packed out pretty regularly, it has a lovely atmosphere and I really like it there. It’s hidden away off of the main High Street but it’s a gem worth checking out.
Find out more info here!
Address: 9 Drummond Street, Inverness, IV1 1QD
2. Nourish, Organic Vegetarian Food
I’ve only just recently come across Nourish. It is a dedicated vegetarian café, again with vegan options available. This is a café where ‘V’ means vegan rather than vegetarian so I don’t have to worry about what I can and can’t eat and it’s really refreshing to have that experience! They also make some of their food gluten and dairy free.
Similarly to Blend, Nourish offers food such as soups, wraps, sandwiches, and larger meals such as chilli that focuses on wellbeing. In addition, they have different home-made cakes on offer – I’m a sucker for the chocolate ones. They even have meditations and other therapies being offered on the floor above the café! Again, like Blend, it is quite a small space but has a nice feel to it and the staff are really friendly. It’s slightly further away from the ‘main shopping centre’ of Inverness but still pretty close by, with a cool church turned bookshop called Leakey’s just down the road from it!
More info at Nourish’s website.
Address: 105-107 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EY
Aspendos is my family’s go to restaurant, they absolutely love it. It’s a Mediterranean and Turkish restaurant which, of course, has a lot of meat dishes to offer. However, it also has a lot of vegetarian options and they’re really easy going about making adjustments to dishes as you want, even offering suggestions to help you out. My sister enjoys the falafel but she absolutely adores their hummus. I’m not kidding, my mum bought her a takeaway dish for her birthday one year and she was delighted. I really like their garlic mushrooms and the Muska Boregi which is filo pastry filled with feta and spinach.
The great thing about Aspendos is the fact that they do meze, similar to Spanish tapas, in that you can order multiple small dishes to enjoy. There are 7 main vegetarian dishes which is pretty good and there are more than enough meze starter dishes to choose from (hot or cold). They also have a few set menus that are great for a bigger group or if you’re just really hungry.
Have a look at their website.
Address: 26 Queensgate, Inverness, IV1 1DJ
I’m sure most of you are familiar with this chain restaurant but did you know that Zizzi has a variety of menus for different dietary requirements (vegan, non-dairy, non-gluten)? As a vegetarian, Italian food is my go to as I can always guarantee I’ll find something nice to eat that’s suitable and that I’ll enjoy.
They have a great dairy-free pizza which, I have to say, looks better than margharita pizzas with real cheese! The cheese on the dairy-free one just seems to melt better and you actually get a decent amount on each slice in comparison to the mozzarella on their pizzas which, I find, tends to disappear. They also have a delicious bruschetta and other pasta dishes which might just take your fancy! The restaurant looks out over the River Ness so you get great food and a great view!
Check out Zizzi’s menus!
Address: 20 Bank Street, Inverness, IV1 1QU
5. Bella Italia
Another chain restaurant which is also great is Bella Italia. I had a delicious spinach and ricotta lasagne from there earlier this year and I really enjoyed it. There are slightly less vegan/dairy free options available with only the pomodoro pasta, a lentil and mushroom ragu and sides suitable, but I’ve heard that the ragu is great. If mushrooms aren’t your thing then Bella Italia may not be the place for you but I really enjoy the options they have to offer.
Bella Italia’s menus are available here.
Address: 1 Bridge Street, Inverness, IV1 1HG
Not a restaurant or café, but a nice little treat for after a lunch or dinner (or just on its own)! Miele’s has a brilliant range of quirky and tasty gelato, including Kinder Bueno, Irn Bru, Jammy Dodgers and more! For the dairy-free diets, they do have a dairy-free chocolate ice cream which is amazing and, in my opinion, better than ordinary chocolate ice cream! If you’re not big on that though, they also have sorbet – lemon and orange.
Although it’s a little on the expensive side, it’s still delicious and worth a visit! It can get pretty busy when the weather is nice so be prepared for a bit of a wait in the queue. While you wait, you can enjoy a video of how they make some of the ice cream and the hand-made cakes you can order. It’s also really close to Nourish so you can check them both out at the same time!
Check out Miele’s Facebook page here.
Address: 92 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EP
So those are some of the places I like to visit in Inverness to enjoy a good meal! 🙂 Hopefully they come in handy to you if you’re visiting as well or if you live in Inverness and are looking for new places where you can dine!