It’s no exaggeration to say that Henderson’s is an Edinburgh institution. The UK’s longest running vegetarian restaurant, it’s been serving customers in Edinburgh since 1962. It has a few restaurants in the city now, but the original salad table, located under their deli shop on the city’s Hanover Street was where I chose to meet a friend the other day.
I have fond memories of this place. As an adolescent vegetarian it was invaluable and I spent many a happy hour in here chatting to my Mum or gossiping with friends. The layout has changed little and it still has a casual, welcoming atmosphere. There’s a section slightly further downstairs that has live music most nights and is available for hire, but we ate in the main part.
The place has an informal, friendly feel and you simply choose what you’d like from the chalk board, the staff hands it over, then you pop it on a tray and pay – easy.
The restaurant is fully vegetarian and the vegan options are clearly marked with a ‘V’. They also indicate whether dishes contain nuts or are gluten free, so ‘special’ diets are catered for in abundance.
We both ended up choosing the vegan pizza with salad, which was lovely. The large array of salads is tempting, and the staff more than happy to confirm which ones are vegan friendly.
I had a gorgeous bean sprout, tofu and ginger salad with mine and polished it all off with ease! To wash it down, I had a Black Isle lager, which I’d checked was vegan friendly.
It’s a great place to hang out as there are lots of tables, so we chatted away for quite a while longer, not feeling rushed or ‘in the way’, as you can in some places. After a while we both decided to indulge in a dessert.
There was a good choice for vegans, so I went for the chocolate cake with coconut cream on the side (soya cream was also available.) It was incredibly rich and very enjoyable. They have a great variety of soft drinks too, so I had an elderflower flavoured one, which was just the thing.
So, if you’re after a chilled out place to meet with friends or just pop in to take a break from shopping or sightseeing, this is a great bet. Henderson’s also do outside catering too, so if you’re planning a party, give them a call. I hope you find the time to relax at the salad table soon.