David Bann Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 82 reviews )
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0131-5565888
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56-58 St. Mary Street (at Royal Mile & Cowgate), Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1SX

Serves meals with influence from around the world. Menu includes Jerusalem artichoke bake. Modern, stylish restaurant with deep aubergine walls accented in silver and dark, minimalist seating send a strictly "nouvelle" message. Open Mon-Thu 12:00pm-10:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-10:30pm, Sat 11:00am-10:30pm, Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.

Category: Lacto, Ovo, International, Beer/Wine

Reviews (82)

First Review by Stevie

Fancy Dinner - Edit

Was quite excited to come to David Bann as heard great things about it and does seem very 'well known' even to non-veg's. I was disappointed that there wasn't many vegan options.
The hummus with bread was really nice, and mum and dad liked their starters too. I found the udon noodle stir fry a bit too 'saucy' and flavoursome but that's probably just me, mum and dad loved their main courses. The portions weren't actually that small - I was expecting them to be tiny because most 'fine dining' places do that.

Pros: Nice food, Nice atmosphere, Good sized portions

Cons: Not enough vegan options, Didn't like my main

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Pretty good - Edit

My experiences with David Bann over the years have been pretty consistently mediocre, but it's still on my list of places to consider to go out, especially for a fancy meal or eating out with non-veg*ns. I agree with the multiple other revews that they lack good options for vegan desserts. However, they still do decent food and I would certainly consider going back, although with the rise in the number of great vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city making a real effort to offer good vegan choices it is no longer near the top of my list.

Pros: All vegetarian, Fancy

Cons: Don't make much effort for vegans, Pricey

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No Haggis - Edit

We only went there because we read here they would have vegetarian haggis, which was unfortunately not the case. It is quite posh and expensive. The food was good, but nothing special.

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quality - Edit

like many veggie restaurants bann's cuisine is a menu of geographical areas. in the past i have been to many establishments of a similar nature and have found them to offer lots of choice, but never master any cuisine and are disappointing. here is where banns differ. not only is there a good variety, but the food is very high end for vegetarian food. Staff are attentive and if you mention your eating preference, they are generally very aware of your requirements.
Bann's has a relaxed atmosphere, i have taken many people of varying needs, and no one has been unhappy. good wine selection. my only issue is the lack of change to the menu, living in edinburgh i feel it doesn't change enough. However if you are a tourist youbwont notice this and will love the food.
still offering fantastic food, still fabby service, still needs to change the menu once every year or so.
If you are a tourist in Edinburgh, don't miss it.


Updated from previous review on 2015-10-07

Pros: Good food, not burgers, Great staff, feels upmarket

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Vegetarian Heaven - Edit

I've been wanting to try David Bann for a few years and eventually got a chance to make a reservation whilst holidaying in Edinburgh during November 2016. I visited with a party of four and we pre-booked our table, which I would recommend as this is a very busy restaurant.

It's decorated in dark, rich wood and shades of aubergine, however bright lighting and a large open plan dining room ensure the overall atmosphere is relaxed and informal. On arrival we were seated and offered complimentary bread rolls. There's so much selection on the menus, David Bann really is Vegetarian Heaven so it took us ages to decide what to order.

Our starters consisted of one hummus with chutney and bread, one goats cheese, caramelised onion and sun blush tomato tartlet and two Thai fritters of smoked tofu, broccoli, ginger, chilli, lemongrass, sesame and coriander served with fresh banana chutney and plum sauce. Everything was sublime, unique, delicious and flavourful.

For my main I choose a parsnip, apple and blue cheese pudding served with roast vegetables and puy lentil stew. It was fantastic. My three dinning companions, even the carnivores, loved their mains as well. They all opted for the aubergine, chick pea and cashew koftas served with roasted sweet potato in a spicy coconut sauce plus green beans and sweet papaya side salad.

Service from our waiter was impeccable and although we initially planned to have three courses we were so full after two we just couldn't manage dessert. Nonetheless we've resolved to return and try the dessert menu when next in Edinburgh. David Bann is now one of my favourite restaurants and I would literally travel to Edinburgh just to dine here. I would highly recommended this restaurant, even those who aren't Vegetarian will enjoy the gorgeous food.

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classy vegetarian restaurant with vegan options - Edit

nice atmosphere, located in the Edinburgh city center, this restaurant offers vegetarian cuisine and has a bunch of vegan options on the menu as well

Pros: nice atmosphere, classy restaurant, vegan food options

Cons: a bit pricy though

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Top notch vegetarian - Edit

Very nice vegetarian restaurant where, they offer a huge variety of vegan dishes.
We were here for dinner and since it was rather late (22.00) we could only order a main dish and a dessert. That was too bad, but the food was great! I had some Asian noodles with home made tofu and sauce which were brilliant.
Prices are ok compared to the rest of the city and especially given that the restaurant is kind of "pretentious". We had one main, a dessert and a pint each: that made 20£ each.

Pros: Great food, Not so expensive at it looks like from outside

Cons: They don't have the kitchen open until very late

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Delicious, just a bit heavy - Edit

We loved the restaurant, great ambiance and outstanding service. The wine selection was ample and reasonably priced - we had an very good Spanish Chardonnay. Our food was quite tasty and well presented, we would have just preferred some lighter options (less cheese or egg). To be fair, many of the menu options can be made vegan and in retrospect we should have gone that way, for example on the risotto which although on the menu said that that it was made with cheddar cheese was way more cheesy that we had expected. We would definitely go back as it is a wonderful place for a special meal at what we thought were very reasonable prices for the quality.

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Good vegan food - Edit

We were excited to try this place after reading the rave reviews. We really enjoyed the food - the lentil soup starter was delicious and we both had the kofta which was very strong in flavour but tasty. Our waitress was really friendly however our food came so quickly, literally one course straight after the other we felt as though we were being rushed. It's a shame as the ambience was otherwise good and we would have liked to have been made to feel more welcome and enjoy being out for dinner. It felt very much as though the staff were dying to close for the evening instead of providing a good dining experience.

Pros: Gluten free options, Vegan food

Cons: Meal was rushed, Pricey

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Great Vegan Options - Edit

A trip to Edinburgh, had to include a visit to David Bann, a well known vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the city. We ordered the vegan version of the salad of fennel, beetroot, raspberry and a poached egg replaced with fried smoked tofu. The salad was delicious, with broccoli and broad beans amongst the leaves and a delicious dressing. Mains was aubergine and chickpeas koftas in a spicy coconut sauce, with sweet potato and toasted almonds and portobello mushroom with chilli and chocolate sauce. Both dishes were delicious and we left clean plates.

David Bann is not your everyday vegetarian restaurant, its fine dining, in a casual atmosphere, with service throughout was friendly and professional.

Pros: Vegan options, Vegan drinks clearly labelled

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Very nice atmosphere, not an extensive menu - Edit

This is an upscale vegetarian restaurant. If it were not for the fact that we came a bit early for dinner time, we would have needed a reservation (and we knew that, and took a chance getting a table because it was only 5:30PM. We were seated and told that they need the table at 7:30PM, but it shouldn't be a problem. The atmosphere and service are quite nice, and you definitely feel like you are "dining out", rather than the experience in most vegetarian restaurants, which are quite casual, or even fast-food, lunch bars, and the like. However, the menu, though creative, is not extensive. There are vegan options, but if you also are looking to limit your carbohydrates (as I do, not for some fad diet, but for health reasons), then it is quite restrictive. I think the online menu has changed. The food is served very nicely - attractive on the plate, again, like an upscale restaurant. So, if you are vegetarian and want to dine someplace that is not going to serve the typical vegetable stew with grain, or veggie burgers, etc, then go for it. When I think of the cities I've been to and those that even have a vegetarian restaurant of this level of class, there are not so many such cities. Paris, the last time I was there (this past February) has nothing of any class for vegetarians or vegans.

Pros: Lovely atmosphere and presentation of food, Excellent service, Food is tasty

Cons: Not extensive menu

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Super! - Edit

Super tasty vegan food (with options!), three courses, great presentation, fantastic service. I wondered in without a reservation and they still managed to accommodate me - with extra speedy service! Would recommend booking. My first night in Edinburgh and I fancied something a little bit more adventurous and exciting and this was exactly what I needed! Would definitely recommend and will definitely be returning.

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Good but expensive - Edit

David Banns is a great place for a fine dining experience that has veggie and vegan food however the menu especially for vegans is small and the food is expensive so great for a celebration but otherwise there are better places in Edinburgh.

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Nice spot for a special meal - Edit

I was in Edinburgh for work so we booked a table (although the place was fairly quiet that night). Friendly staff, nice food, portions weren't huge but food was well prepared and tasty. My udon noodles were nice and my colleague (who's very much a canirvore) raved about her chickpea koftas. Most of the puddings weren't vegan, but my trio of homemade chocolate ice cream and fruit sorbets were lovely. The place has a welcoming atmosphere and the food was good, rather than mind blowingly amazing, but I very much enjoyed my dinner. Would return if I was back in Edinburgh.

Pros: Friendly staff , Nice atmosphere , Good choice of mains

Cons: Not a huge choice of vegan puds

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High-end if ever there was one - Edit

David Bann is for a special occasion definitely a great choice! For an everyday visit it would be to expensive and to sophisticated - at least for me.
I had a great dinner there, it wasn't even too crowded. Everything is clean - this goes without saying - and service was very good.
For main and dessert I payed even less than 20 Pounds. No huge servings though - goes without saying as well.

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Good for a fancy night out - Edit

It has an nice and upscale atmosphere so it’s great for a night out. Vegan options are labeled on the menu. We had the chilli pancake with grilled sweet potato, courgette and chocolate sauce and it was kind of bland unless it was dipped into the sauces. The stir fried vegetables with udon noodles and smoked tofu was my favorite - it had many delicate flavors. But I wasn’t a huge fan of the smoked tofu, which overpowered the starter, the Thai fritter of broccoli and marinated tofu, and seemed to be overused in many of their dishes. The raspberry jelly with pineapple and rum sorbet was good: I particularly liked the raspberry sorbet and Amaratto sauce. While there were many interesting things on the menu, some of the dishes were repetitive. It seems like a restaurant based on a fancy idea that doesn't follow through in terms of the food.

Pros: Beautiful atmosphere, Nice mix of flavors, Vegan options labeled

Cons: Limited scope, Not amazing

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Memorable food and service - Edit

My husband and I live in the states, but got married in Edinburgh. We had our rehearsal dinner at David Bann, and couldn't have been more pleased. Our guests (many of whom were meat eaters), said the food was some of the best they have ever eaten. We loved the meal as well - appetizer, entree, dessert, and wine list - everything was well above our expectations. The folks at David Bann were also so easy to work with as we planned a meal for a rather large party (most of whom were traveling from abroad).

Pros: Great wine selection, Kind servers, Soooo tasty!

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Excellent - Edit

I don't really understand the previous reviewers calling this place expensive. We decided the starters looked a bit more appealing than the mains so we opted for 5 starters shared between two people. With a craft beer each the total came to about 37 GBP before tips. In our hometown that barely gets you a burger and a lager.

On to the food, the ravioli with artichoke and the onion tarte was my two favourites but everything was well prepared and the dishes seemed to have been thought through. We booked a table for this weekend when we left.

Highly recommended!

Pros: Food, Staff, Beers

Cons: Might feel a tad stiff/upscale

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I keep coming back... - Edit

I've eaten at Bann's many times and I've always had a pleasant dining experience. There have always been plenty of vegan choices to tempt and the food and service have always been of a high standard.

Pros: Gluten free menu on request. , Friendly professional staff. , Large dining area.

Cons: Amount of vegan dishes varies.

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A real treat - Edit

I ate here for the first time last October and thought it a great experience - it's a nice, fancy restaurant with great vegan options and delicious food. It also marks vegan alcohol on the menu, which is definite bonus.
I had some delicious tofu and broccoli fritters to start, followed by a Mexican pancake stuffed with spicy beans, drizzled with chocolate and served with griddled veg. The dessert wasn't quite to my taste, it had a bit too much going on: rum and coconut sorbet atop mint and raspberry jelly, on a slice of caramelised pineapple, surrounded by Amaretto-soaked figs. Still, it was part of a lovely evening and I applaud any restaurant that serves fancy vegan food.

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High End Veg Dining - Edit

This place is proof that vegetarian restaurants are hitting the mainstream. This is a very good restaurant, period, not just a very good vegetarian restaurant. The service, presentation, and atmosphere were top notch. We got in without a reservation, but I would recommend you get one, because it was packed well into the evening.

Pros: Haute Cuisine, Service, Presentation

Cons: Cost, Popularity

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Classy but expensive - Edit

We are a vegan and a vegetarian and were visiting Edinburgh for the festival. This restaurant is centrally located and classy in its atmosphere. Filly vegetarian with many vegan options. The service was inviting and the menu quite exciting with plenty of vegan options. Wine and non alcoholics service. We did, however, find it quite expensive.

Pros: Fully vegetarian, Location, Effort to provide range of choices

Cons: Price

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lovely veggie restaurant - Edit

We were in Edinburgh for the Fringe and found the restaurant through HappyCow, but it's also highly recommended by many guidebooks. Went there once, went back again a day later!! Fast and friendly service, quick food- important when you have Fringe or Tattoo tickets- and splendid food. Try the chips or hummus for starters, absolutely fabulous!

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My favourite place in Edinburgh - Edit

I cannot stay in Edinburgh without eating at David Bann. I have been there quite a few times in the past years and have never been disappointed.

From my point of view, the vegan options are absolute sufficient with more than half of the starters and mains on the menu being vegan or vegan on request. Only the dessert choices are a bit limited but I don't care for desserts anyway.

Last time (this June) I had the Thai fritter of broccoli and marinated tofu as a starter and the stir fried vegetables with Udon noodles and smoked tofu as main. Both were as delicious as expected.

Pros: extraordinary food, nice atmosphere, friendly staff

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Food OK but not quite up to the image - Edit

Despite a bit of ambivalence about the menu and the prices as we checked it out in advance on line, my friend and I decided to throw caution to the wind and book a table here. We turned up early and were seated immediately in the window, allowing us a little more light than we would have otherwise had in the dimly lit dining area. I had decided earlier to order the bean and cashew pie, but realised I also needed some tofu and so also chose the Thai fritter as a starter. I had been concerned about the fruity, sweet sauce accompanying this, as I'm not a big fan of sweet elements in mains, but when I discovered how (overly) salty the fritters were I wondered if this was intended to balance/counteract it. My friend had ordered the tomato and lentil soup, which I tried and it was a nice hearty soup but nothing out of the ordinary. The pie was a little bit squishy with it's shell of potato mash, but the bean filling was not too overwhelmingly 'beany'. (The menu appears not to have changed in years, so you can check the ingredients in detail on the website.) My friend's stirfry with udon noodles tasted something like I'd expect a Thai dish to taste (I sampled one small bite) but not hugely tasty and my friend reported it was salty. We shared the vegan chocolate ice cream for dessert and I found this delicious but the scoops were set on little sugary wafer bases, which were a bit overly sweet. There were only about two mains that appealed to me on the menu and I tried them both tonight. I wouldn't make a point of coming here given the prices (mains around £11) although the service was friendly.

Pros: Attempt at fine dining/creative cuisine

Cons: On the expensive side, Quality not as high as image indicates

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Definitely going back! - Edit

Very nice restaurant, a place you'd take omnivore friends who are convinced your lifestyle is only for hippies ;-) Great atmosphere, great food, vegan options and options that can be made vegan are clearly marked and service is good. Our taxi driver casually mentioned this restaurant as we drove past it, described it as "A nice vegetarian restaurant, I've been there once with my family", and he didn't even know that we were vegan/vegetarian - so that's a good sign I gues! Definitely going back next time we're in Edinburgh.

Pros: Great food, Friendly staff, Good atmosphere

Cons: Needs more vegan desserts!

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Lovely restaurant - Edit

Really love this restaurant and the service, some of the food combinations are a bit odd, but there were good vegan options, and the marinated tofu is really good

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