Argyll is renowned for its incredible seafood, meat and game. But did you know you can find great vegan food here too? There aren’t many fully vegan places to eat, but there are plenty of places offering up great vegan food on their menus. Cafés, hotels, restaurants and B&Bs across Argyll are adding vegan food to their offering, and they’re often sourcing great local produce to do it.
Today is World Vegan Day, kicking off World Vegan Month, so we thought we’d pull together some of the best places to find vegan food in Argyll.
Eating out vegan
Oban is a good place to start if you’re looking for great vegan sustenance. This fishing port is full of life, with ferries to the Hebrides coming and going, cafés galore and streets packed with shops. It’s known as ‘Scotland’s Seafood Capital’ but is also home to the Little Potting Shed, a cute vegetarian café that serves lots of vegan dishes. Located up a side alley off Oban's main street, it’s a lovely spot and you’ll get an excellent choice of vegan savoury and sweet dishes. Tuck into the vegan breakfast or enjoy a non-dairy ice-cream on a summer’s day.
Another option for vegan food in Oban is Food From Argyll at The Pier. This great café located at the Oban Ferry Terminal aims to serve up as much Argyll produce as possible, including locally roasted coffee, cheeses and meat. It also does a good line in vegan food, including vegan tarts, cakes, soups and more.
Dunoon is another Argyll town where you can find excellent vegan options on the menu. The recently-renovated Dunoon Burgh Hall has a cosy café where you can enjoy delicious home cooking and baking, including vegan choices for soup, sandwiches and daily specials. Pop across the road to Swallow Café where you can enjoy specialty coffee roasted just down the road by Argyll Coffee Roasters and tuck into some great vegan food, including vegan burritos and vegan jackfruit curry. Look out for the vegan traybakes – how does walnut and cashew brownie sound? Further up the road, just out of town, is Benmore Café where you can treat yourself to more vegan delights. The café offers dishes such as soup, lentil Bolognese plus various vegan cakes and scones. They also serve locally roasted coffee.
On the ‘bonnie banks of Loch Lomond’ you’ll find options for vegan dining. Colquhoun’s Restaurant at the Lodge on Loch Lomond has a full vegan menu featuring seasonal dishes such as charred aubergine carpaccio. The Inn on Loch Lomond also has vegan options.
If you love cake, Muneroy’s Tearoom in Southend on Kintyre should be on your list. The cakes are sensational and there are vegan options. Glenbarr Stores & Cafe also has tasty vegan options. The Ben Cruachan Inn on Loch Awe serves vegans well too, with a number of great seasonal vegan options on the menu. The autumn offering includes vegan chestnut and mushroom pie. The Smiddy Bistro in Lochgilphead is another Argyll eatery that always has interesting vegan options.
Out on the islands you’ll find plenty of places to eat vegan food. On beautiful Bute, head to Musicker, a fabulous vegetarian café and music shop located right next to Rothesay Castle. They serve sandwiches, paninis and cakes, some of which are vegan. CaleDonia Coffee House & Bistro in Port Bannatyne on Bute also has a vegan menu and serves up excellent vegan breakfasts. Out on the island of Islay, try 18 at The Machrie. There’s a vegan chef on the team and the vegan options on the menu are fabulous. Another option is Peatzeria in Bowmore. Ask for vegan cheese and vegetable toppings. A further choice on Islay is the Old Kiln Café at Ardbeg. Located in the old peat kiln of the distillery, the café is something of an institution on Islay. You’ll find vegan options on the menu.
On the island of Coll, The Coll Hotel has some tasty vegan dishes to sample, including ‘Tofish’, tofu wrapped in nori then battered, fried and served with peas and chips!
And finally look out for Catch A Carrot when you’re out and about in Argyll. This all-vegan pop-up mobile café offers sensational vegan food including tarts, cupcakes, salads and more.
B&Bs and hotels
Most B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels will happily cater for vegan guests. However, there are a few options that are set up specifically to cater for vegans.
Kings Reach is a vegan B&B with two self-catering cottages in Kilmichael Glassary on the edge of the historic Kilmartin Glen. It’s a stunning spot and the vegan breakfast is delicious. The ‘Kings Reach Special Breakfast’ will fuel you up for a day’s exploring, with a vegan rasher, vegan sausage, hash browns, baked beans, tofu scramble and mushrooms. Or how about a vegan pancake stack – a pile of pancakes served with blueberries, sliced banana and chopped pecans, drizzled with maple syrup. Another vegan friendly B&B option is Arle Lodge on the island of Mull. The lodge has 10 bedrooms, and there are two self-catering holidays homes too. Tuck into a self-service, plant-based continental breakfast.
Garragh Mhor is a vegetarian B&B on Easdale near Oban. It’s situated at edge of the village of Ellenabeich with its own private walled garden and spectacular views across the old quarry pool. The breakfast has some excellent vegan options, including buckwheat pancakes stacked with fruit and drizzled with coconut nectar. Econature Holidays in Glendaruel on the Cowal Peninsula also offers vegan-friendly self-catering accommodation.
If you’re self-catering and looking to buy vegan produce, there are a number of good health food stores in Argyll that stock vegan food. Eco Health Store on Dunoon’s Hillfoot Street is a fabulous place to pick up vegan products, from vegan cheese to vegan snacks. Millstone Wholefoods in Oban is another gem of an independent shop where you can pick up vegan products.
And did you know that Sheese, an award-winning range of vegan cheeses is made on the island of Bute? Now sold around the world, this cheese has been made on Bute for over 30 years.
Top tips for travelling vegan in Argyll
Most B&Bs and hotels will be able to accommodate vegan guests. Talk to your hosts before arriving about your dietary requirements. If you’re going to eat somewhere call ahead to check about vegan options. And don’t be afraid to ask! Argyll folk are renowned for their hospitality, and most likely they’ll want to help you out.
Check out Kathi Kamleitner’s travel blog. A vegan travel blogger, Kathi has spent a lot of time travelling in Argyll and writing about her experiences. You’ll find lots of good tips for travelling vegan in Scotland, including the fact that Irn Bru and single malt whisky are both vegan!
This is only a handful of the places offering vegan food in Argyll. Look out for our vegan trail coming soon.
All photos by Kathi Kamleitner.