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The first-timer's survival guide to Veganuary

The first-timer's survival guide to Veganuary

Time to chow down on some vegan burgers / Picture: Veganuary

Find out what to eat and where with our handy vegan guide for Glasgow and Edinburgh

Deck the halls with kale and soy beans because Veganuary, the month-long period of atonement for carnivores and flexitarians everywhere after a festive season of flesh-consuming decadence, has reared its PETA-loving head once again.

For some, Veganuary is a close bedfellow of Dry January, providing the chance to focus on a healthier lifestyle after gorging on meat and sweet treats throughout December. For others, it's a way to explore a more ethical form of consumerism, trading in the evil of industrial farming for climate-friendly leafy greens.

But one full month is a long time to commit to a drastic change in your diet, so we've assembled this handy guide to help you find delicious plant-based meals, dine out in sumptuous vegan eateries across Glasgow and Edinburgh, and enjoy this soy-filled time of year in style.

The first-timer's survival guide to Veganuary

The 13th Note has helped forge Glasgow's reputation as a vegan nirvana

Try the best vegan restaurants and cafés in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Glasgow is home to a veritable avalanche of vegan eateries. First up there's The Hug & Pint (171 Great Western Road), a vegan bar and gig space with its award-winning kitchen changing the menu daily. On the other side of Glasgow, there's The 13th Note (50–60 King Street), a long-standing vegan restaurant with an all-day menu that includes classic breakfasts, creamy gyros and a stomach-filling mac and cheese. Directly opposite The 13th Note is our final recommendation Mono (12 Kings Court), a restaurant/record store hybrid with vegan pizzas, ramen, arancini and more, all free from animal produce. This is merely the tip of a vegan iceberg in Glasgow: explore the city and you'll find plenty more.

Edinburgh is also teeming with the kind of vegan restaurants that could make even a staunch carnivore salivate. For plant-based versions of Italian classics, Novapizza (42 Howe Street) should be your first port of call, offering everything from stonebaked pizzas to traditional tasty carbonara. Next up on the comfort food agenda is Holy Cow (34 Elder Street), which provides dirty burgers alongside invigorating smoothies in a warm café setting while Naked Bakery (24a Hill Street) is ideal if you fancy picking up some luxurious vegan treats.

The first-timer's survival guide to Veganuary

The all-new Babybel has been a massive hit this Veganuary

Eat these new vegan products released this month

Supermarkets and major brands generally rise to the occasion during Veganuary. Magnum are leading the way with new Magnum Vegan Mini Classic and Almond multipacks, an extension of their wildly successful and wholly delicious plant-based range. Ben & Jerry's, who already have a wide range of dairy-free ice creams on their roster, have launched Berry Revolutionary ice cream as part of their sundaes range, while Babybel have released their first ever vegan cheeses. You certainly won't be short of snacks this month.

On the takeaway front, Domino's have unveiled their PepperoNay Pizza (ignore the wince-inducing pun, it's very tasty), McDonald's have teamed up with Beyond Meat to create their McPlant burger and Yo Sushi have added a Broccoli Nourish Bowl to their menu for a limited time. Proof if ever it was needed that vegans can still enjoy the simple pleasures that Deliveroo brings.

The first-timer's survival guide to Veganuary

Some tempting treats courtesy of Edinburgh's Naked Bakery

Visit these supermarkets and indie health stores

A ballooning number of major chains are stocking plant-based oven-ready and microwave meals to cater for the tidal wave of those joining the vegan ranks. Tesco have the Wicked Kitchen range, Marks & Spencer's have superlative foods Plant Kitchen, Asda offer Plant Based, and Sainsbury's have launched the Love Your Veg! selection.

These are ideal foodstuffs for comfort eating, a must during a dark and dreary January, but they're not going to win prizes in the health stakes. If you want to dig into grub from more esoteric suppliers, then Edinburgh is brimming with indie health food stores, including capital staple Real Foods (37 Broughton Street) and the 100% plant-based Easter Greens (4 Easter Road).

In Glasgow, still fighting strong as veganism's reigning champ in Scotland, there's Guava Health (164 Great Western Road), Veggie Delights (356 Allison Street) and the exemplary Natural Balance (635 Great Western Road) which offers a huge variety of supplements and foodstuffs for the discerning shopper. If you still fancy tucking into a steak after these tips, then frankly there's no helping you and your wild insatiable bloodlust.

Find out more about Veganuary on the official Veganuary website.