13-15 Thistle Street, Aberdeen
Foodstory is a laid-back delight, with a mellow soundtrack, genuinely lovely staff and really, really tasty food. There’s a shop and yoga space upstairs, a veg box scheme and even a new zero waste branch at the University of Aberdeen. Foodstory is as much a community as a café.
We popped in for dinner, though the café is also popular for breakfasts, lunches or a quick coffee and cake.
My carnivorous beloved announced that his generous bowlful of chunky veg chilli, brown rice, nachos, vegan tzatziki, vegan nacho cheese, salad and rocket was so good that we should start eating vegan a couple of times a week!
I opted for a soothing lentil and spinach curry, which came with shards of poppadum, naan bread, salad, chutney and rocket. Perfectly balanced spicing and the fresh rocket brought an extra vitality to the dish.
This was followed, purely in the interests of research, by possibly the best chocolate brownie in Aberdeen; a slab of smooshy-gooey chocolate heaven. My beloved approved of both his vegan ice cream and a wonderful carrot cake. Great food, great atmosphere and great value.
73-75 Skene Street, Aberdeen
Bonobo Café is Aberdeen’s first all-vegan restaurant, located on Skene Street and open every day of the week. With its city centre location, Bonobo offers takeaway or dine-in, with seating upstairs in either the cosy indoor dining area or the charming rooftop garden.
We enjoyed lunch at a bustling Bonobo on a weekday, and I must admit this was my first time dining in a strictly vegan restaurant.
In the interests of variety, I opted for both the soup and salad of the day. The soup was a silky smoked tomato and lentil, and the salad was a flavourful mix of greens, spiced quinoa, roasted winter vegetables and currants. My son went for the Bonobo Mac, a pasta dish with a creamy squash and Sheese sauce, and a side of tattie scones. The food was truly delicious, the kind of meal that you know someone has put a lot of thought and energy into, and the kind that leaves you wanting to make more effort when cooking at home.
Amazingly, the prices are comparable to Bonobo’s non-vegan equivalents, so there really is no excuse for not eating this well every day.
21-23 Bon-Accord Terrace, Aberdeen
Café Harmony is the perfect hideaway from the elements in the city centre. Cosy and welcoming, with a good-sized menu, this restaurant feels like a real find. There is a focus on fresh, local food and the vegetarian/vegan dishes definitely get equal billing with the meat and fish, both in variety and flavour.
We shared a vegan Harmony Earth platter to start with additional concasse tomato bruschetta – every single morsel on the board eliciting praise from the whole table. Main plant-based options included vegetable tagine, homemade lasagne and mushroom risotto, whilst grilled squid stuffed with king prawn couscous and Harmony monkfish were enjoyed by the fish eaters.
Beers are from Six Degrees North and Brew Toon in Peterhead, alongside gins from local producers.