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David Bann Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 78 reviews )
Contact 0131-5565888

56-58 St. Mary Street (at Royal Mile & Cowgate), Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1SX

Serves meals with influence from around the world. Menu includes vegetarian haggis and 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 (78)

First Review by Stevie

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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quality food - 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.
a goo quality setting, 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.
still offering fantastic food, still fabby service, still needs to change the menu once every year or so.

Pros: food, staff, feels upmarket

Cons: menu rarely changes

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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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I was really impressed - Edit

I've lived in Edinburgh for some time and hadn't got round to trying this restaurant until now. I had been a bit skeptical that they might not adequately cater for vegans, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were were a good number of vegan options that sounded good, and the food that I did have was really tasty too. I'd definitely recommend to someone who wanted to make a nice meal out in the evening in a pleasant atmosphere. Reasonably priced for what you get.

Pros: Good vegan options, Good quality food

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I just love it! - Edit

Fantastic food, good athmosphere, good service. A chic restaurant but still very good prices! Perfect for a date och just to hang out with friends who enjoy vegeterian fine dining.
The owner is very helpful and helped me to send giftcards for a friend in sweden.
Just perfect: I loved Everything!

Pros: Food, Athmosphere, Prices

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Nice Atmosphere, Great Food - Edit

It makes a nice change to go to a "posh" veggie restaraunt with a nice interior and well presented plates. There aren't enough vegan options and it is a bit pricey, but worth it for a special occasion. The food is really great, service is friendly and efficient, but you don't feel rushed. I took my very much non-veggie dad here for dinner, and he loved it!

Pros: Great Food, Nice Atmosphere, Friendly Service

Cons: Bit Pricey, Not Enough Vegan Choices

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Fine veg' cuisine - Edit

David Bann Restaurant is a very nice place to eat vegan or vegetarian in Edinburgh. Even if it could be a little expensive and they could offer more vegan choices, I enjoyed my vegan three course meal. Every dish offered interesting flavours and was really yummy. They also served me water perfumed with fruits such as strawberry. The atmosphere of the restaurant is pleasant with this simple style and the presence of wood from bottom to top.
Try it if you have time and want a pleasant dinner with friends.

Pros: fine cuisine, vegan(izable) choices including desserts, nice atmosphere

Cons: could have more vegan choices

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Posh, fast, pricey - Edit

I enjoyed my visit here: it was very classy and good for a special occasion. However, I was a tad disappointed at the limited choice for vegans and it was pricey for the food.
They quality of food was good, but it wasn't the best I had, especially when considering the price. However, it the service was very very quick and the atmosphere was good.

Pros: Classy, Fast, Fully Vegetarian

Cons: Limited vegan choice, Pricey

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Where uppity/posh veggies complain about vegans - Edit

If you want to go somewhere and listen to a bunch of annoying, posh vegetarians talk about how much they hate vegans, this is a great place for you.

Otherwise, I'd go somewhere else.

The only vegan dessert: scoops of chocolate ice cream.
The amount of vegan entrees: 1. Others can be "made vegan."

I've eaten more food, better food, and cheaper food elsewhere.

You should do that, too.

Pros: All-veg

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disappointing - Edit

If you're visiting Edinburgh this restaurant offers a very pleasant, classy experience.

If you're a vegan and live in Edinburgh it's disappointing - it becomes old quite quickly. The last time I was in, just over a week ago, there was only one set vegan option on the main course. There was a dish that had egg and cheese that could be "made vegan". When I asked about this, it turned out that making it vegan simply involved taking out the egg and cheese, without apparently adding any alternatives.

Most restaurants in Edinburgh offer vegetarian options, few offer set vegan options. It's a pity when a vegetarian restaurant can't do a better job of catering to vegans.

Pros: Ambiance - esp. in evening, The food is pretty good

Cons: Few good options for vegans

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A very good, solid experience - Edit

David Bann is a vegetarian restaurant that has some vegan options, but I would have liked to see more vegan options and the menu marked better. There are lots of items on the menu that indicate they can be veganized, but not everything that can be is marked. When I said after a second visit that it would have been nice if the risotto could have been vegan, the server said it could have been. But, it wasn't marked on the menu as being vegan-izable! We went for dinner on our first visit, and the server was very new, and it showed, but the food was good. We didn't have dessert because I think their only vegan option was sorbet - not exactly ideal for a rainy day in Edinburgh. Why - oh why - are vegetarian restaurants clueless about vegan baking?? Nothing blew me out of the water, but it was a very good, solid experience. Nice ambience, the service and number of vegan options could improve, but overall, it was a good experience.

Pros: nice ambiance, good food

Cons: needs more vegan options, menu could be marked better, vegan desserts could improve

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Gourmet veg at decent price - Edit

Foodie delight! Gorgeous atmosphere, slightly formal. Unlike some veg restaurants, we found no pretense or apology, no "meatless BBQ" or "To-furky" here. Instead we received hearty vegetable dishes that delighted the palate and tummy. The flavors were well balanced, meal was filling, overall quite yummy. Definitely a good value for the price.

Pros: Excellent food, Warm, welcoming, Very responsive service

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Wonerful - Edit

We nearly didn't revisit this restaurant after reading reviews about the price and paucity of food (the latter wouldn't suit my teenage daughter!). However, having thoroughly enjoyed a meal here a few years ago, we decided to risk it. We stayed in Edinburgh for 4 nights and didn't eat here until our last night. It was by far the best meal we had (all were at vegetarian restaurants). I really don't understand comments about it being pricey. No it's not cheap but we eat out regularly, as we travel a lot, and in comparison to other places and taking into account the quality of the food, I think it is very reasonably priced. As to quantity, my daughter couldn't manage a pudding which is unheard of! I cannot believe anyone with a normal, healthy appetite could find the portions small. The food was imaginative, with lots of choice (very difficult to decide what we should have), well presented and absolutely delicious. The staff were exceedingly friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Our only regret is that we hadn't eaten here on our first night in Edinburgh so that we could have returned on the other 3 nights and tried many more dishes from the menu!

Pros: Imaginative menu, very tasty food, excellent staff

Cons: Busy so may need to book

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Beautiful - Edit

The place is very posh and elegant, the service excellent. Food - well presented. Not many vegan options but the ones vailable are superb, in particular jasmine rice with tofu which I could eat every day and I will probably never find out how to make it! They also have great tofu chocolate icecreams.

Pros: elegant, great food

Cons: not enough vegan options

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Very good upscale restaurant - Edit

David Bann certainly isn't one of those alternative veggie places where you get a mediocre meal for a few bucks. Instead, it's an upscale restaurant with inventive food, obviously cooked by professionals, and nicely arranged on your plate.

It was my first evening in Scotland and, like one reviewer before me, I found that the food could do with more seasoning. Later I was no longer surprised about this because I found that the Scots use far less salt (at least in their vegetarian dishes) in general than we do in Germany. Apart from this, I really liked the taste of the food and also the atmosphere. Service was very nice as well.

Pros: excellent food, friendly service, elegant but comfortable

Cons: upscale prices

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More vegan choices please! - Edit

Really tasty food and plenty of it! Just my usual bugbear of not having more vegan choices.... Especially, as the reviewer before me said, in the desserts. There are so many exciting things they could make. Why don't they bite the bullet and go that extra mile?

There are also a lot more vegan wines available than they have on their list. It just seems a shame that they don't stock them. More choice is all I'm asking for.

The tastiness of the dishes we had was out of this world. I can't fault them on that. The service was also swift, friendly and knowledgeable.

I have been going here ever since they first opened about 20 years ago, up in Tron Square, and will continue to do so as the food is so tasty :)

Pros: Tasty

Cons: Not enough vegan choices

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More vegan desserts please? But I still love you. - Edit

As a (newish) vegan who goes here A LOT, I can tell you: DAVID BANN'S IS HEAVEN.

Firstly, the service. In my experience the wait-staff are super awesome -- obviously there's some rigorous staff training because they all have *impeccable* manners. It's above and beyond, really great. I mean, they always make sure you have a replenished water jug on the table, you're never sat for too long with empty plates cluttered in front of you, and if you have questions about what's vegan, what contains nuts or anything else dietary, they *never* have to say 'oh wait, let me check' -- they are extremely knowledgeable about every single dish, all the wines... I genuinely have no idea how anyone can fault the service.

For vegans the choice is AMAZING. Seriously -- it's not just pasta with olive oil or a baked potato like we're used to. There are actually starters and desserts that vegans can eat! And wines that vegans can drink! The dishes are all creative and original and delicious. In other restaurants I'm sometimes a bit apprehensive about trying new things, but at Bann's I will try anything they put on the menu with total confidence, because I know it is guaranteed to be delicious.

My only faults with this place are: 1) that they could change the menu a bit more often. But then... my veggie partner was DISTRAUGHT when they took the chocolate souffle off the menu for a while, so maybe the old favourites stick around due to popular demand! And 2) there is only one vegan dessert, and though it's nice it's very sugary-sweet. It would be nice to have even one more on the menu so I could alternate. But otherwise...

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE -- if you haven't yet, go there now!

Pros: So much vegan choice, Such amazing staff, Great atmosphere

Cons: Only one vegan dessert

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Not priceworth - Edit

Fancy restaurant with friendly staff sure, but I'm very dissapointed at the food. The food was expensive and underseasoned and the portions were too small. We (two people) payed £30 for the main dish with small water+small beer and we didn't even still our hunger..! Sorry, but this place isn't as good as they say. Probably I could have cooked the food better myself, and that's not right.

Pros: Fancy interior, Friendly staff

Cons: Expensive, Underseasoned, Small portions

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Most Amazing Restaurant Ever - Edit

I have to say this is the most amazing restaurant ever. The staff are very friendly and it has wonderful decor. The menu was wonderful it was so lovely having choice of ever thing on it! The starters we had were tartlet of blue cheese and slow dried tomato and Smoked mushroom and basil ravioli with tomato and basil soup. Both were a taste sensation. For mains we had Rice pancakes with spicy potato, cauliflower, chickpea and cashew & chilli filo tart with mash and parsnip sauce. Both were delicious. For desert we had Dark chocolate souffle and filo basket of warm orange caramel fruit with coconut rum sorbet. Wonderful from start to finish would truly recommend it!

Pros: Excellent food, Fantastic choice, Welcoming environment

Cons: nothing

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A gastronomic experience - Edit

One of my favourite restaurants in Europe, David Bann is a true gourmet experience. Belonging to the Slow Food circuit, it offers inventive dishes with the freshest ingredients. Always crowded, it's better to reserve in advance. The cuisine varies from Indian to Japanese flavours, from Mediterranean to Thai dishes, without forgetting traditional British and Scottish food revisited in a vegetarian and vegan way.
The only minor flaw, if I have to find any, is the vegan dessert choice, not so large. Nevertheless, the vegan chocolate ice cream I had was scrumptious.
Updated from previous review on Sunday January 29, 2012

Pros: fresh ingredients carefully balanced, friendly staff

Cons: not a large choice of vegan desserts

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Nice, stylish, more upper class restaurant - Edit

Nice atmosphere with friendly staff. Good food, but more decorated and arranged in the plate. Kinda stylish interior and serving. Suited for more upper class people that like such style.

For me, I would like a more down to earth restaurant.

But everything else was ok. More expensive prices.

This just shows that vegetarian restaurants come in all styles; for the rich also. You don't need to go to a french restaurant... you can choose a vegetarian one :)

Pros: nice decoration, nice staff, good food

Cons: expensive, stylish

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What shall I choose? - Edit

We had a good meal at David Bann's; it is a lovely restaurant which is designed to be a dining experience. Beautiful decor and welcoming staff. The menu is quite large and the choices feature local produce and a range of vegetarian and vegan options.. it is so nice to look at a menu and go "what shall I choose" rather than "what can I eat". Can highly recommend the dessert platter to share. Melt in the mouth.

Pros: sharing desserts, style of restaurant

Cons: busy

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Best Meal at any restaurant in my life. - Edit

I think I can say this was the best meal I had eaten at any restaurant. The restaurant was also very nice. Every part of the meal tasted outstanding. Particularly the Main course which had lentils, mashed potatoes aubergine and tofu.

Pros: Food, Taste, Portions

Cons: ., ., .

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Enjoyable visit. - Edit

Popped in for lunch after a really upsetting experience around the corner at Black Bo's the night before.
Luckily, David Bann's proved that there IS good vegan food to be had in Edinburgh. We had simple tasty chunky chips and broccoli fritters with home made dips. Dessert was a light and delicious filo basket with caramelised fruit and ice cream.
The staff were friendly and attentive. There are comparable places in Glasgow, but this was the best place we ate in Edinburgh.

Pros: Good food., excellent service.

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Wow!!! - Edit

My mother and I visited this restaurant tonight and it was amazing! I am uploading photos to show the food. We each had a glass of Organic Vegan wine, then we shared the Thai fritter of spiced broccoli and smoked tofu for the starter- fantastic flavors fit together so well. For our main courses I had the Udon Organic Udon noodles with ginger red pepper sauce and home smoked tofu- this was so amazing I stuffed myself even though I was full after the first half. The chef is genius. My mother loved her Chilli crepe with griddled potato and chocolate sauce- although she said she didn't know what to put the chocolate on. On the menu the food choices were clearly marked V for vegan and (V) if the item could be made vegan. The wait staff were friendly and helpful. I felt the price was very reasonable for the quality of the food and the environment. The price was no more than what we had paid the night before for Thai food. I did not find the cost excessive. I hope anyone with a 4 Star taste and a 3 Star budget will support David Bann in his restaurant. Congrats to the chefs! Oh- and did I mention the fresh crunchy rolls they brought out as an appetizer?

Pros: Excellent Food, Good service , Value for the QUALITY

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Consistently excellent - Edit

We have visited David Bann many times and have always been pleased with the choice of vegan food on offer, the professionalism of the staff, and the imagination of the food presented to customers. For example, we had a christmas meal here in 2009 - not only was there a good vegan dessert (chocolate cake), but there were dishes which had ingredients combined together which seemed to work surprisingly and unexpectedly well together.

Pros: Imaginative food, Good vegan choice, Great customer service

Cons: Can be quite pricey

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Sophisticated and tasty - Edit

My second evening meal in Edinburgh and the best! Loved the low lighting and sophisticated ambiance. Staff all very attentive and friendly. Food was great - really good choice for vegans with interesting and unusual dishes or twists on usual ones. The flavours were all lovely and the portion sizes good. Would definitely recommend if you feel like treating yourself. More expensive than other places, but worth it.
Updated from previous review on Saturday May 28, 2011

Pros: Vegan choice, Taste, Atmosphere

Cons: More expensive than others

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Delight in Edinburgh - Edit

While on vacation in Edinburgh, my aunt and I tried David Bann. I had the Grilled courgette, puy lentil with mash and gravy. She had Chilli with sweet potato and chocolate sauce.

The presentation was quite elegant and my aunt said her dish was the best she had the whole trip. The combination of food on my plate was very good and I was thoroughly impressed.

I also recommend ordering the homemade hummus. I am a hummus fiend and this stuff is amazing. So if you're in Edinburgh hunting for a veg restaurant, this is the place to go. It's near the Royal Mile so when you're tired from shopping stop in here for a nice meal!

Pros: tasty food, nice presentation

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David Bann - Edit

Food:- good quality
Atmosphere and surroundings:- plush
Service:- 'professional' - but maybe a tad too slow due to the number of diners
Overall:- I like this place - it almost makes me feel guilty eating here as it feels somehow like it should be a meat eaters restaurant.
Rating:- 9/10

Pros: quality dining

Cons: hard to find parking

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disappointing experience at David Bann - Edit

We sat in David Bann restaurant for about 30 minutes waiting to be noticed. It was Wednesday, August 25, 2010. We were shown to our seats and as the minutes ticked by the staff were wandering around and ignoring us. No drink orders were taken. We watched as others around us were also waiting, obviously for a long time. We got up and left. No one said anything about that either as we passed by 3 staff who watched us leave with blank looks on their faces.
What a waste of time!
The prices are inflated and the experience was brutal.
Gives vegetarianism a bad name.
Why can't we give this restaurant zero cows?
Updated from previous review on Saturday September 18, 2010
For a nice, friendly experience, go to Le Cafe Royale on Canongait. They have Veg options at half the price. The staff are friendly and the service was great.

Cons: lousy service, lousy atmosphere, lousy prices

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Fantastic Food in a Dignified Atmosphere - Edit

I made a point of stopping at David Bann's while traveling through Scotland because of the reviews on Happy Cow. It was my one night in the phenomenal city of Edinburgh and with so many must-check-out restaurants in town I had to pace myself. With that in mind:

The service here is exceptional. Waitresses were all very friendly (seemingly a trend when I dine alone) and the decor was modern and tasteful with pretty star-like lighting panels above and candles upon every table. Certainly among the fancier-looking veggie places I've been to but things are kept relatively casual.

I explained that I could only order a couple of starters which was no problem. Given gr8vegan's review below I ordered the chips (made vegan) with the truly outstanding apple-tomato ketchup and another underestimated dip which I cannot recall. I also ordered the smoked and fried tofu appetizer (ordered non-fried, as gr8vegan suggested) and it was completely out of this world!!! Never have has tofu tasted so good!!!

The meal was light but, being two appetizers, surprisingly filling. Food was ready quite soon after I ordered which, considering my hurry was nice. Even the couple across from me who each had entrees got their food in short time.

I will have to update my review upon my eventual return to Edinburgh when I can try more of the menu. As it is, I hold it in very high regard.

Pros: Smoked tofu starter!!!, Decor, Service and speed of chef

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How vegetarian restraunts should be - Edit

I've been to David Bann a few times now and if I was rich and living in Edinburgh I'd probably go there every week.
The food is fantastic. I've had a couple of dubious options there but the last time I went I had what they humbly called a curry which was probably the tastiest thing I've ever eaten. Presented very well and amazing flavours.
The desserts are amazing and even the drink options (vegetarian wine and incredible cocktails) are out of this world.
The decor is understated and smart and the staff are always friendly.

Pros: Tatsy/stylish Food, Drink selection, staff

Cons: Not based in other cities

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Poor vegan choice - Edit

Soup marked as vegan option but not available two of three times this month. Almost no vegan deserts. Disappointing choice compared to similar and cheaper restaurants. No longer on our regular Edinburgh list

Pros: good main course

Cons: Poor vegan choice, Pricy for lack of choice

2 Responses

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animalgazuk However it is deceitful to mark soup as VEGAN UPON REQUEST when 2 out of 3 occassions this last week, it has not been requestable. I would not describe a good vegan choice being accurate either as you only have to compare with even cafe type vegetarian establishments like Jack Spratts in Newcastle to see 7 to 8 vegan desserts out of 10, always a vegan soup and many other vegan starters and more than 5 main courses. At your prices, the choice for vegans should be like this or Terre a Terre in Brighton - it feels like you are falling behind as many ex veggies like me turn vegan (2 years now) and realise which of the veggie restaurants make an effort and which do not. After this week, I would put David Bann in the latter as it does look like a token occasional effort, not a genuine welcome for vegans. Vegans in Edinburgh are better served by the 2 excellent veggie Indian restaurants alas and, after 10 years as a 6-10 times a year customer of David Bann, I am sorry to say without a noticable improvement of vegan options and proper marking of the menu, I will not be returning

Flagship Dining - Edit

A great place, slightly pretentious perhaps but nevertheless they take things seriously and vegetarian food is king here. Typical gourmet food prices, plush interior and efficient staff. Wine prices are steep but the selection is excellent and they are all organic. Food is served professionally with attention to detail as you would expect in a gourmet establishment. A must in Edinburgh if you want a special evening or want to impress friends

Pros: professional, food

Cons: prices

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vegans beware - Edit

david bann is (sorry was) my fav place to eat however after a recent visit i feel that I can't possible eat there again which really makes me sad.
As it is quite an expensive restaurant I would go there for special times. Went for my birthday and everything was going well as usual until dessert time. The first mouthfull i tasted immediately wrang alarm bells. HONEY!!!!!! straight away I took it back directly to the chef's hatch and ws later told that the chef had ran out of golden syrup so she used honey instead. As a strict vegan who makes a real effort every day to avoid animal ingredients I thought I could depend on somewhere as professional as David Bann to get it right. Now I just cant trust them. After all , what else could have been slipped in without my knowing....milk, egg, etc. I dont like to complain but the head waiter knew i wasnt at all happy . An appology was given but no refund or offer of a free pudding which in my opinion would have been the decent thing to do. Vegans need to feel that they can trust the chef in these places. I would suggest you feel a lot safer at a little place called the engine shed who cater for vegetarians and vegans and are totally on the ball.

Pros: excellent servicde, good food choice, clean

Cons: not trustworthy on vegan menu, no kind gesture refunds for errors

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The Best Vegan Restaurant in the Country - Edit

[Note: Contrary to the HappyCow description, this restaurant does NOT serve vegetarian haggis. The staff says that they never have served anything along those lines.]

This is a top-flight vegan experience. Every course on the menu included multiple vegan options. The theme was, for lack of a better term, "fusion." The staff was very friendly, and the atmosphere was comfortable. Food was served quickly (but not too quickly). I would eat here seven days a week, if I lived in Edinburgh. Absolutely fantastic restaurant. Make a reservation in advance.

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Exceptional ambience and the food ain't bad either - Edit

I was overjoyed to find this place, opposite the Travelodge where I was staying. It is the kind of place you might have a celebration at, I wish I lived in Edinburgh just to go here! In terms of the attention to decor and customer service in a vegie restaurant, this is a step above the rest. The menu was varied and interesting and the meal was just delightful. I come Melbourne, which is one of the most Vegan friendly cities in the world I am told, we could certainly do with one of these in our town.

Pros: ambience, food, service

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Great food - Edit

I am just visiting Edinburgh, and I have been looking for vegetarian places to eat. What a great choice of vegetarian places Edinburgh has to offer! I began at David Bann's, and I was not disappointed. The dishes were exciting, and the ones that I and my friends got were delicious.

Pros: Exciting dishes, OK price

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How a top Veg restaurant should be! - Edit

I'm usually very apprehensive at going to a top chef vegetarian restaurant as a healthy vegan, usually I get sent on my way since there is nothing that isn't deep fried they want to alter for me, but David Bann was totally different! From the waiter to the chef everyone was amazingly accommodating, polite, helpful and just all around wonderful! The dishes were extremely creative in so many ways! For a starter we had the baby potatoes and instead of the honey dressed we asked for the Apple Tomato Ketchup they made for the chips, it was so GOOD! Who would have ever though of apples and tomatoes? Seriously, you are seriously missing out if you miss the Apple Ketchup. They did the potatoes perfectly as well! They were amazing, we even ordered another batch. For our main we had the Udon, but asked that nothing be fried, ie the smoked tofu just put on plain and they put it together and heated it up w/o using the oil and it was AMAZING! The smoked tofu had so much flavor, I wanted to order a side of bread just to soak up the last bites of the tangy sauce that accompanied it as well. Great selections of wines and beers in a large modern setting. Again, our waiter was awesome!

Pros: will accommodate healthy vegans, apple ketchup, top notch service!

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Away from the World's End - Edit

Stranded in Edinburgh and surfing the net in a nearby hostel when I came across David Bann. It was 5 minutes around the corner where I was staying and I was staying next to the World's End pub. I dragged a friend there for brunch and the guy is the biggest carnivore I know and even he found the place amazing. It's classy, it has delious food and a great selection of wine. You didn't wait too long or too soon and they served up the best desert. The staff were exceptionally lovely and very considerate to the vegan needs. David Bann was certainly a great find and I'm craving that ice cream they served up.

Pros: Great food, friendly staff, Good value

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Possibly the best veg restaurant in the world! - Edit

I swear to God, this is probably the best vegetarian restaurant in the whole world. 5 stars! The food there is proper haute-cuisine, inventive and just dead tasty. Food does not get any better than this..! A+++++++++++++++++

Pros: excellent dishes, interior, healthy

Cons: none

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beautiful restaurant - Edit

Very nice ambience, very upscale and trendy looking. Pretty big in size. Went in without reservations and the hostess seemed quite annoyed with us, though there were plenty of tables, and it never filled up once while we were there. Wished she had been more friendly which would have made our experience better. Food was excellent. Had the olives appetizer (best olives I've had), and a beet souffle dish which was excellent. Good vegan drinks too.

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Delicious and affordable - Edit

Beautiful and upscale but very affordable. I had the mushroom risotto, which was delicious. Very good selection and very vegan-friendly. It's a wonderful place to stop in after a day of sightseeing, but it gets quite busy on the weekends. We managed to squeeze in early (around 6pm) without reservations, but if you're going to be much later than that I would recommend calling ahead.

Pros: Excellent service, Great ambience, Delicious food

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Delicious and cozy - Edit

On a cold windy night we went into this nice candlelit restaurant and got very good meals. My husband rated it as "Quite good", whereas I got the best vegetarian meal I have ever gotten in a restaurant that night. Good service, too.

Pros: Delicious, Good service, Nice decor

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Fantastic - Edit

We found out about this place through a non-veggie friend who highly recommended we visit here. I am very glad that we did follow his advice! We had a three course meal consisting of thai fritters (yum), chilli & chocolate tortilla with sweet potato mash (excellent!) and a strawberry pancotta (melted in my mouth). My boyfriend's food looked just as good. There was a good selection of wine on the menu and the merlot we went for was really drinkable. Staff were very friendly and helpful. The restaurant itself was nicely decorated and had a good atmosphere. I thought that it was all reasonably priced and our three course meal with some hummous to share, wine and a coffee and a baileys plus service came to £70 which I thought was really good considering how much we had eaten. If I am ever back in Edinburgh I shall go again as there were lots of other things on the menu that I liked the sound of...

Pros: Excellent food, Good wine list, Staff

Cons: none

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Fantastic - highly recommended - Edit

Booked a table for Thursday evening then we phoned up to change the time, unfortunately they hadn't got our original booking so we had to eat there later than we wanted. However, the restaurant manager phoned me up to apologise before we'd arrived and they also deducted 10% off the final bill for the inconvenience! This is top quality dining service and what you'd expect at fine dining restaurants in London so it's fab that a veggie restaurant sets such a high standard. The place was full, gorgeous modern surroundings, fantastic wine and a massive choice of veggie and vegan options. They even brought out vegan "butter" as well as usual butter to go with the bread rolls! I took three meat eaters with me and they were highly impressed and took ages to choose as the menu was more varied than they're used to! We had three courses and all were fantastic, can't recommend it highly enough!! Check out the menus on their website but i'd recommend the vegan choc ice cream as a must! Lots of vegan options in May 08.

Pros: Gorgeous food, varied choice, high quality service

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Bann-tastic - Edit

I've been to a few up-market vegetarian restaurants. Sometimes I find they are too much style and not enough food on the plate. But David Bann has got it just right on all counts.
It's in a great location, the decor is modern and stylish with seductive lighting, the food is excellent, the staff are friendly and there's a decent choice for vegans (apart from the desserts).
It's not cheap, but it's not overly expensive - I think the quality of the food easily justifies the prices.
Book early because it can get very busy.

Pros: Just about everything

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I visited this restaurant twice in January 2008 and loved it each time. The food was excellent and the staff very friendly. A little overpriced but aside from that I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. I will certainly go back there when I visit Edinburgh again.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff

Cons: a little overpriced

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I had the Thai fritters and spiced udon noodles and home smoked tofu. So delicious. I was the only vegan and everyone loved it. Great location, posh atmosphere. Great for a nice, upscale experience.

Pros: Excellent Food, Nice atmosphere, Friendly-staff

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Fantastic High quality Restaurant! - Edit

Hi, we visited this place end Sept 07. We'd visited without booking and were suprised that it was so full at 7pm on a Weds - luckily there was one table free! Food and service absolutely impeccable and at a very reasonable price. They had local bottled beers to savour and an excellent pudding for two(approx £8) which had a selection of puddings on it, to try - highly recommended and I would have no hesitation eating here again

Pros: Food gorgeous, efficient, very reasonably priced

Cons: Background music would have been great

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truly scrumptious - Edit

I have only been here once, but if ever i find myself back in edinburgh i will definitely be going back. This is far and away the best vegetarian restaurant I have been to - swanky decor (much better than it looks from outside), "posh" food, lots of choice, friendly service and all at a reasonable cost. It took me forever to decide what to eat. A relative had been before and given me some recommendations, but they were no longer on the menu so i can only assume the menu the menu is changed fairly frequently. I enjoyed every last mouthful!

Pros: choice, excellent food, nice decor

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Good Food - Edit

I usually eat at Banns if I am in Edinburgh, through lack of other options. Banns has little variety for vegans, and the menu has hardly changed (and not improved) in years. The portions are city size (that is on the small size). But the food always tastes good.

Pros: Tasty Vegan Food, Dessert, Soya Milk

Cons: Small Portions, Poor Choice for Vegans

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Incredible food! - Edit

I realize the Castle is quite impressive however equally surprizing is David Bann's excellent restaruant. What a wonderful treat to find such exqisite food and lovely decor. The tart alone is worth a trip to Edinburgh. Richard

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4 Stars - Edit

We had an excellent meal on Saturday 22nd Jan 2007. The restaurant was full, but even so we had fast and attentive service. The shimmering moon display is stylin' and I would have liked more artwork like this. The food was supurb - the Beetroot salad was my favourite - and the portions were a good size. The price-tag was a bit on the heavy side, but you get what you pay for.

Pros: Delicious Food, Good Service, Style

Cons: Expensive

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A bad night or a trend? - Edit

Having dined at Bann's earlier this year I was extremely disappointed with the meal last Saturday night. Of the first course "Warm beetroot, radish and apricot salad" both the beetroot and the radish were insipid and flavourless. The "chunky chips" served with the main course Galette were oozing with oil. The vegan dessert options pathetic. On the plus side the service was good, but that can never make up for the poor quality of the food. Overall it felt like there was no passion for the food coming from the kitchen.

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David Bann, Edinburgh - Edit

Contemporary food in a pretty stylish sort of restaurant. No probs for me as a vegan at all. Centrally located in Edinburgh's old town.

Pros: Vegan options, Central location, Nice surrounds

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