CLOSED: Black Bo's

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 10 reviews )



57-61 Blackfriars Street (at btwn Royal Mile and Cowgate), Edinburgh, Scotland

The menu is entirely adaptable - dishes can be made vegan, adapted for food allergies, made gluten free. All food is cooked to order. Child friendly. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Western, Beer/Wine, Scottish

10 Reviews

First Review by Stevie

Friendly, fun and delicious - Edit

We visited Edinburgh at the beginning of October and had a hearty meal at Bo's on a cool and windy Friday night. We were greeted by the waitress who told us we could sit anywhere we wanted to. She brought the menus over and ran through the daily specials and the soup, then left us to decide what we wanted. She was really friendly and chilled out, but still professional about serving us. The restaurant was reasonably busy, and the waitress was doing a good job of making sure everyone was served as well as taking time to chat with customers. She explained that all the food was cooked to order and so there would be a wait between ordering and eating. The food was amazing. I had the sweet potato and coriander pate with oatcakes to start: I could have eaten a bucketful of the pate, it was seasoned perfectly and worked well with the oatcakes; my husband had the spinach and chickpea crepe. For our mains we went for the aubergine stuffed with pasta, grapes and peanut cream which was very filling and rustic, and the potato, butterbean and leek roulade, with a side order of steamed vegetables and a mixed green salad. There was plenty of food, and the quality was well worth the price. Our waitress kindly left us for a few minutes after our main course, so that we could let our mains go down a bit before ordering dessert. I had a blackberry cheesecake, which was worth squeezing into my very full tummy, and my husband had a double chocolate tart. We've spent more on a three course meal in London and not eaten as well, or had as good service. Edinburgh is a capital city, so you have to expect high prices for good food. We will definitely eat there again, next time we are in Edinburgh.

Pros: Unusual but good flavour combinations, Hearty portions, Friendly staff

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Worst meal for some time. - Edit

We don't usually mind bad service that much (everyone has off days) but this was probably the worst I've ever experienced.
Bo's is cozy and has a nice atmosphere, but became clear really quickly though that our waitress was either very drunk or off her face on something.
We began with a parsnip soup (ok but a bit bland) and a smoked tofu nori roll drizzled in blue bolls, which was odd. Both starters were drizzled across the table as they were served :D
For mains, we both had an asparagus and nut burger. It came on a bagel with some salad, and was fine, but very expensive at £11 each.
The waitress had forgotten our drinks, and two tables who'd arrived just after us left as they still hadn't ordered, while others looked baffled as she slurred at them and dropped things everywhere.
We opted to have dessert somewhere else as others were still waiting to be served at all. Our meal (two beers, soup, nori, two burgers) should have come to £41.15, which we thought was expensive for what we'd had. When the bill came, it was really difficult to decipher. The waitress had worked out the total on the back, but on the front, had added an extra tenner to the total. We queried it, and she said it was the way they'd always done the service charge.
We said we'd give her a pound tip and no more. In hindsight I'm gutted we gave her anything at all; she was blitzed, the service was awful, then she tried to scam us.
We can't afford to eat in expensive places that often, so it's special when we do. This was a truly horrible way to chuck money away.

Pros: Vegan food, Cozy Athmosphere, Interesting floorshow.

Cons: Expensive, terrible service, Tried to scam us on bill

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Poor attitude towards vegans - Edit

We visited and were disappointed at the poor choice for vegans. The lack of vegan choices in a restaurant at this price point is not, we feel, acceptable (we both had to have the same main courses!). We later rang to complain about the attitude of the staff and the owner returned our call with a message that "you won't get better food anywhere else in Edinburgh" (not true, see our review of the nearby David Bann) and, more so, "if you don't like our food, then you won't be welcome in our restaurant any more". This attitude to me is totally unprofessional and I feel people need to be warned about the potential problems with this restaurant.

Pros: Vegan food available

Cons: Poor vegan food choice, Poor attitude towards vegans, Expensive

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Incredibly innovative and delicious - Edit

I don't know where to begin with Bo's. This is world class cuisine.

I entered not planning to order more than a starter or two but their extremely unique menu would not permit it. I had the intriguing banana stuffed with dark chocolate and chickpea chili soufflé with a side green salad that came with this particular main dish. The salad was nice - small, truly fresh, with especially wonderful touches of olives and sliced pear. The main course was immaculate. Presentation was lovely and it tasted great; light while at the same time rich and filling while maintaining various flavours that blended perfectly. One of the best, and possibly the best, non-raw meal I have ever tried. For dessert I had their browine, served with a nice scoop of ice cream. Like the food, it was seemingly impossible to top - a delictable brownie.

The ambience was excellent; a great place for a date or even a night among friends. Service was adequate - you may have to be more vocal and outgoing as a customer than you are used to.

I will have to return to Edinburgh with friends because Bo's is one of the greats.

Pros: Unique menu, Amazing food, Brownie

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good but missing something... - Edit

I visited a few weeks ago with a fellow vegan and an omnivore friend. All of us were impressed with the menu, it seemed very creative with items like a Stuffed Banana Soufflé with chocolate sauce and Pistachio and Spinach Roulade with cranberries, cassis and cinnamon. With the mains you also get a side of salad (green, mixed) or vegetables (roast, stirfried, steamed). Clearly alot of thought had gone in to making interesting dishes.

To start we ordered mushroom garlic bread, which was really just mushroom bruchetta, it was fine, nothing exciting. The mains were all good. I had the asparagus and tofu balls with pineapple chutney which were a little dry- some extra chutney or salsa would have helped with this. But it was still pretty tasty. The sauce on the spinach and puff pastry roulade was apparently overwhelmingly sweet as well. The banana soufflé was also apparently very nice. Each of the dishes were quite creative and whilst they were missing a few things, we were all very satisfied and enjoyed the meal.

All of us ordered the blueberry tart for dessert. The filling for it was delicious, but the base was too dry and overly sweet. It was also very plainly presented, a drizzle of blueberry sauce could have added to presentation and also to the overall dryness.

Service was average, we had to call staff over to take our orders rather than them returning to see if we were ok (and they weren't too full). Food took awhile to come out, but we were told about this before we ordered and all the food is cooked from scratch apparently, so it was to be expected. Don't pop in for a quick meal!

Also this is definately a vegetarian rather than vegan place. When we went there were only three vegan options for mains and only two for dessert (one sorbet flavour and a tart). They didn't have enough copies of menus stating what was and wasn't vegan (we were given only one copy which got taken away for another table whilst we were still deciding!). Also, disappointingly, there was no vegan wine on the extensive wine list.

I'd go back here, but it's not a place I'll be raving about.

Pros: creative menu

Cons: lack of vegan options

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A Vegan's Paradies - Edit

Excellent vegan choices, attentive and knowledgeable staff. If you're in Edinburgh, make sure one of your meals is at Black Bo's

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Black Bo'tiful - Edit

A top top place - used to serve meat in the adjoining pub now 100% veggie throughout and great news all round. This is a wonderful cosy place with a great night time dining atmosphere. Dishes contain novel ingredients that you would not necessarily find in savoury meals such as grapes, banana and strawberries. Good vegan choice and an excllent wine list and bar area. This is a perfect place to experience intimate vegetarian dining and much less formal than the excellent David Bann's round the corner

Pros: intimate, food, bar

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Blown away!!! Most impressive dishes we've had! - Edit

We hesitantly stopped in here since it was close to our hotel and we've eaten at every other veg place in town. One more to cross off our list... or so we thought! The service was impeccable. The waiter was very helpful in communicating our requests to the chef and helping us navigate the vegan options. btw they have a menu with V's next to everything letting you know what can be done vegan and its just about 80% of the menu. The items are masterfully done. Your eyes will widen as you watch plate after plate buzz by you everything looks delectable and the produce is amazingly fresh. I kept thinking "where does this chef go to eat?" I can't imagine anywhere that would live up to this standard of ingredients and preparation. We were impressed by David Bann, but this clearly tops it! The decor is a bit of a candle lit bar, but the food elegant and center stage.

Pros: Roulade, Sorbet, one of the best chefs on the planet

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highs and lows - Edit

Having read several reviews of black bo's (on other websites) I was very excited to be going. It was not at all what I was expecting, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The decor was relaxed and welcoming, the staff helpful and friendly. The menu was very exciting sounding, but in reality some things were amazing and some were a little disappointing.

I think my disappointment stems in part from expecting it to be a high-end restaurant, when in reality it is more a restaurant-cafe. The prices reflect this though, and unless things have changed considerably (I have only been once, about 9 months ago) I would not call it "expensive" (or 3 carrots as this site uses), compared with other restaurants I would have said 2 carrots!

Not bad, not great, a little hit and miss, I wouldn't rush back, but i wouldn't rule it out.

Pros: freindly, reasonable value, some great food

Cons: some disappointing food

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Black Bo's, Edinburgh - Edit

Black Bo's is almost completely vegetarian and clearly targets the vegetarian market. It does though offer 3 or 4 dishes for any omnivores who may be eating there. Tasty food, I would rate this place higher below if it was 100% vegetarian. Very centrally located in edinburgh's old town close to the High St and North Bridge.

Pros: Location

Cons: Not 100% vegetarian

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