Nova Pizza in Edinburgh is one of my favourite restaurants. Although it’s not fully vegan, it is all vegetarian and the choice for vegans is vast. I think that’s what I love about it. Normally in an Italian (or any other) restaurant, I’ve located the one or two vegan options on the menu and made my decision by the time my companions have taken their jackets off. In Nova Pizza however, I can do that thing that people do of perusing the options and saying things like ‘oooh, that looks good’ and feel, dare I say it, normal for a change. I have the mad luxury of being indecisive.
This wondrous restaurant is situated in Edinburgh’s Newtown. It’s far enough away from the pulsing centre of the city to be calm, but near enough to be within easy walking distance. The establishment itself is small, and with the largest tables only seating four (maybe five at a push) it feels pretty homely. There are fewer than ten tables, so do book in advance to be sure of getting a spot, especially at the weekends. They’re open every day apart from Tuesday. The decor feels Italian and village-like as does the hustle and bustle. The aromas that greet you as you wander in are just heavenly.
One thing I’ve missed since going vegan is creamy mushroom pasta. I need miss it no more! The penne 4 cheese & mushroom that I had on this occasion was to die for. Made with soy cream, it tastes just like the stuff I remember from my pre-vegan days.
There is so much to choose from of course, that you don’t have to stick with pasta, although it’s tricky to resist being able to order lasagne, spaghetti alla carbonara or penne al salmone from a restaurant. My companion had a vegan calzone, of which there are many to choose from. Again, this is such a novelty that it almost feels a bit naughty.
It goes without saying that the pizza selection is fabulous and I can personally recommend the Parmigiana, with it’s roasted aubergines and genuine parmesan taste. If you miss meat on pizza (or in pasta for that matter) there are vegan versions of ham, pepperoni, chicken and even salmon to tempt your taste buds. They use smoked mheat (wheat meat) and seitan to give further variety to the menu, so there really is something for everyone.
All this of course, is to say nothing of the desserts. They do vegan crème brulee, vegan dolche pizza (which is pizza base covered in chocolate spread and icing sugar – yum!) and be warned, their vegan cheesecakes are massive and really filling, so only order them if you’re sure you have room left!
This is somewhere I’d be proud to take my meat-loving friends, my veggie friends and my vegan ones. Nova Pizza Vegetarian Kitchen is proof that you can have the indulgent, filling food you had before you were vegan. It’s flavoursome, satisfying and above all, guilt free. Head along there if you can.