Hello from a beautiful but slightly rainy Scotland! We're in Glasgow, a city well known for its thick accented yet friendly people, whiskey, football, and the statue of the man riding the horse with a traffic cone perpetually on his head! This is a good spirited place with a fascinating history, and so much to see and do. But while we're getting stuck into the culture and traditions of Glasgow, there is one dish that we are determined to try... the very traditional and most famous of all Scottish dishes: haggis! Read on, then watch the video at the bottom of this page, to learn about our quest to find vegan haggis in Glasgow!
But wait, what exactly is haggis?
Haggis, the most world-famous aspect of Scottish cuisine, is usually a little unsavoury for vegetarians and vegans. Traditionally, this savoury pudding is meaty and is the main part of a meal. Most famously, haggis is served with neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes) but it can also be found in a sandwich, on a breakfast, and as a topping to various meals up in Scotland.
Made of the internal organs of an animal (usually the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep) mixed with oatmeal, suet, spices, stock, salt, and onion, this combination is then stuffed in the stomach of an animal and boiled to make a savoury pudding. Honestly, this is one of the things we've tried that I fancied the least - even though we were trying a vegan version, the association of what haggis is in its traditional form made me feel a little squeamish and uneasy!
The great news though is that vegetarian and vegan haggis is rife in the country: it can be found in almost every large supermarket, as well as in plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes. In fact, nowadays veggie and vegan haggis makes up somewhere between 30-40% of haggis sales in Scotland! This is great news for us, since it has been designed around the traditional taste and texture of haggis, but made from entirely plant-based ingredients! The oatmeal, salt and onions are still there, but all the meaty bits have been replaced by beans, nuts, mushrooms, and other vegetables, to make a haggis that is truly Scottish but also entirely cruelty-free!
Where did we try vegan haggis in Glasgow?
We checked a lot of places in Glasgow, but many of the eateries that serve haggis in the traditional way (with neeps and tatties alongside it) are vegetarian, not vegan. We had planned to visit Stravagin, where staff told us they could take the milk and butter out of the neeps and tatties on request - but instead we decided to go somewhere where the haggis meals were vegan by default, to make ordering what we had as simple as possible for anyone visiting Glasgow! If you're veggie though, or don't mind asking for dairy-free neeps and tatties, Stravagin is a great place to head for some authentic plant-based haggis!
Instead, we caught sight of Mono while we were researching, and were very intrigued by this venue and their incredible-sounding plant-based menu! Mono is based in an old monorail station and - like many vegan eateries in Glasgow - also doubles up as a venue for live music. It even has a vinyl store inside! We really liked the sound of this place too because they are very inclusive, as well as offering a menu that had plenty of haggis options... and they sounded fancy too!
So come on - tell us all about the haggis! How did it taste?
When we settled at our table, we perused the menu and decided to order haggis in two forms. First, we went for the haggis and potato hash, since it was the closest thing to the traditional haggis meal. However, this hash came with a truly delicious twist. The soft yet crispy roasted potatoes were layered with rocket, peppercorn sauce, and chunks of pear. I would never have expected these ingredients to go well together, but oh my goodness - the flavours were absolutely delicious, the slight sweetness of the pears offsetting the mostly savoury dish, and the peppery kick of the sauce bringing everything together. Wow! But most importantly, the haggis. With vegan haggis topping and layered through the dish, you couldn't escape it - and you wouldn't want to! The haggis tasted meaty and had plenty of bite, with a chewy texture and absolutely packed with flavour. The haggis and potato hash was honestly exceptional.
The second dish we ordered was the margherita pizza, opting to add vegan haggis as a topping. First of all, we should say that this vegan margherita pizza was amazing. The dough was simple but effective with a nicely firm base and crust, and the marinara sauce was packed with tomatoey flavour. But the cheese - oh, the cheese! This vegan cheese was melty and tasty, without being too sticky. They were generous with the cheese, and the haggis topping, which really made this pizza something special. The meaty flavour and the chewy texture of the vegan haggis went so well with the simple margherita, making a dish that was yummy on its own into something warming and hearty, and so, so flavoursome. Both dishes were a massive hit with us!
How much did the haggis dishes cost - and were they worth it?
We found the prices at Mono to be reasonable, on the cheap to standard scale for vegan food in the UK. Classed as a starter, the haggis and potato hash cost £7 (approx. €8.19 or $8.78). Honestly, I would have eaten this myself as a lunch dish and been perfectly satisfied - and for all the ingredients and innovative flavours in this dish, we felt the price was good. The margherita pizza itself cost £9.75, and the haggis topping was an extra £2.50, making this dish come to £12.25 (approx. €14.33 or $15.37). Again, this is pretty reasonable for a vegan pizza in the UK - especially one with such a niche and speciality topping!
We loved our visit to Mono and were so impressed with the creative and fancy food on offer in this unique venue. The restaurant itself very friendly and welcoming, with a super inclusive vibe. If we had had more time in Glasgow we definitely would have visited again - both to have some more of their vegan haggis, and to try some other things on their menu (I really fancied the vegan fish and chips!) We would have loved to have been there for a gig too! While you're in Glasgow we absolutely recommend checking this place out - its a great shout for vegan haggis, but for general high-quality and delicious plant-based food too.
Have you tried vegan haggis in Scotland? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what did you think of them? Let us know in the comments below.
This section contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via one of our links, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Where should I stay?
As one of the most popular cities in Scotland, accommodation in Glasgow can be a little expensive if you don't know where to look. But if you're looking for a clean and comfortable guesthouse for a reasonable price, look no further than Hampton Court Guesthouse. Here the rooms offer either private or shared bathroom facilities, and you can add breakfast onto your stay at their 24-hour reception desk too. Or if you're looking for a more social experience, Glasgow Youth Hostel is really highly reviewed, with a cool and convenient location and a choice between private en suite and dorm rooms.
Tours & Experiences
Once you've checked out all the bridges, food, music venues, and incredible architecture in Glasgow there's still loads more to do. Many people use the city as a convenient hub for exploring Scotland more widely: this Scottish Highlands day tour also includes a trip to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which you might recognise from the Harry Potter films! Or if that's not for you, why not check out Viator's most popular Glasgow trips and tours on the left!
Please note that the tours displayed on the left are automatically selected for their popularity by Viator, not chosen or recommended by us. Please check whether any food or drink based tours are suitable for your dietary requirements, and any animal-based experiences are ethical, before booking!