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El Piano - York

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 55 reviews )
Contact 440-1904-610676

15-17 Grape Lane, The Quarter, York, England,

El Piano provides 100% vegan and gluten-free meals and has two other outlets (in Granada and Malaga). Mains are served in biodegradable pine boats--choose what you'd like with each portion. Wrapido (window service) is also available. The floor above the restaurant is divided into 3 private rooms that are available for guest overnight stays. Mon-Sat 12:00pm-10:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-9:00pm Serves until an hour before closing.

Category: Vegan, Western, Mediterranean, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Catering, Spanish

Reviews (55)

First Review by smartheidi

excellent food and service - Edit

I am very pleased with the service we received at El Piano. The place has an old school vibe and the staff are very nice and friendly. My husband and I had lunch with our toddler and loved it. They gave us a giant basket of toys to entertain our LO while waiting for the food to arrive and the baby's food was for free. The food arrived in less than 15 minutes although the restaurant was quite full. The food was delicious and the portions were very generous. I definitely recommend EL Piano.

Updated from previous review on 2016-09-04

Pros: delicious food, baby friendly, big portions

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Piano forte - Edit

A delightful restaurant, set right in the heart of York. The food was delicious: I ate the paella and chorizo with Tinas (Bolivian-style carrot patties) and the Marco salad (grated fresh courgette with a garlic & olive oil dressing). I finished off with Kirsch parfait (light cherry brandy soaked sponge, layered with fresh fruit and coconut).

The staff were friendly and helpful and the decor was lovely (if the weather is warm - as it was when we went - you can sit in the restaurant's back garden which is cool and pleasant).

Pros: Very tasty food, Friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Convenient for sightseeing but set apart and quiet

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Yey for vegan.. Boo for poor and slow service - Edit

Great to find a vegan place, but not great when they haven't mastered how to check in with customers - if everything's OK, pre-warn if the food takes longer than half an hour, etc. Respond properly to customer concerns rather than be defensive.

Should work on prepping the food area, ingredients etc, in advance, or just learn to cook it within a reasonable time - 45 minute wait when it's not very busy... Should be pre-warned.

Such a great location and a service to offer (completely vegan) but improvements needed on customer service.

Pros: All vegan, Choice

Cons: Slow service, Small portions for price, "M"

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Completely vegan - Edit

It is always fantastic when you find a completely vegan restaurant. This is a lovely place and the staff are very friendly. The food was good but not completely to my own personal taste. Unfortunately they did forget to bring our starter and overcharged us for items we hadn't had. However they did rectify this when we pointed it out. Definitely worth a visit.

Pros: Completely vegan, Friendly staff, Nice atmosphere

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my go-to - Edit

I've been to El Piano for every celebratory occasion ever since I turned vegan. One of my first experiences of vegan food and such a cute vibe. Staff are always lovely and food is always great especially the fritters.

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I love this place . VEGAN Tapas - Edit

One of the first vegan places i ever went to and still love it . The food is great and staff are cool .
Still the only fully vegan place in York and this place always has a great vibe .
Thank you El piano :)


Pros: Fully Vegan , out side terrace with lots of sun , prices are fair

Cons: Needs more raw options

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Vegan Heaven For Me - Edit

I have been wanting to visit El Piano for ages, so a visit to York, to meet up with friends was the perfect excuse. El Piano a totally vegan establishment, has great kerb appeal, inviting and bright and is equally so inside, quirky and eclectic, with plenty of seating and delicious smells as you walked through the door. There is also a small courtyard at the back, so you can sit out on sunny days. I was in vegan heaven, so wonderful to be able to order anything, either food or drinks wise off the extensive lunchtime menu, which I believe changes from time to time.

We kicked off with a delicious and light Vinho Verde Portuguese wine and ordered a selection of dishes, houmous and falafel salad, lentil dhal with Bolivian carrot patties, seaweed paella with housemade chorizo sausage, baby burger and fries

I so enjoyed the food, all freshly prepared and delicious, I demolished my falafel salad, one of my favourites. My friends said they really enjoyed it too, I think they were expecting just some vegetables or lettuce leaves on a plate, not the hot and satisfying dishes served here.

The staff were very friendly and although some may deem the service slow, why would you want to rush, the food is made to order and the place is totally relaxing, I loved it. I would return to El Piano in a flash and probably next time, visit for dinner and leave some room for one of the rather awesome sounding puddings.

Pros: Vegan Throughout, Friendly service, Outside seating

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Great Food Options! - Edit

Food was very tasty, staff was very friendly and helpful. absolutely only improvement would be having to walk past the trash and having our seat near some boxes of slightly overripe veggies and fruit. Still, there was no bad smell, and the food was so good!

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Delicious food with a lovely patio for dining - Edit

I recently visited York with a couple friends and absolutely LOVED the food at El Piano. The three of us shared the tasting tray for our lunch (Dhal, paella with veg sausages, tempeh skewers, onion bhajis, green salad, corn fritters, and spicy potatoes), and everything was delicious. It was the perfect amount of food for three people. My friends are York locals and aren't vegetarian, and they love eating here.

We sat outside on the patio, which was nice and sunny, and I spent some time with two sweet cats who live right near the restaurant. The service was a bit slow, but our waitress did mention that she was new to working there, so we were understanding.

Overall we had a great experience dining here, and it was so nice to find an amazing vegan restaurant in a place with traditionally very non-veg friendly food.

Pros: excellent food, sunny patio, cats!

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delicious! - Edit

Had the Dhal, rice and chocolate cake. Absolutely delicious!! I would highly recommend a visit if you are in York. Friendly people. Green tea was nice too. Lovely ambience. I went for lunch and although it's not for when you are in a rush, absolutely worth the wait!

Pros: delicious

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Go vegan in York - Edit

Much needed this place is totally vegan. It's tapas style with a large range of items. Perhaps better in a group then you can sample heaps of dishes as there's a great deal of variety here. Good pudding too. There's books and rugs and stuff to purchase too. It's in the Angel Quarter, well located in the centre of town but peacefully tucked away too.

Pros: Variety of dishes , Lovely atmosphere, The daal

Cons: Can be pricey but hey!

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Good food, but not overly creative dishes - Edit

We enjoyed an overall good evening here, everything was ok, but not outstanding. We had the Taster Tray, which was huge for two, we didn't manage to eat everything on the tray, which was a pity and I really hate the idea of food getting thrown away. As we were already stuffed, we didn't order any dessert.

Staff was friendly and our food arrived quite quickly. We had the upstairs room to ourselves, which was refreshing, as we don't like crowded and noisy places.

The design of the menu is a bit confusing.

Pros: friendly staff

Cons: portions too large

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great place for vegan AND gluten intolerant - Edit

i really liked the place - nice interior friendly environment and a big choice of food - all vegan and gluten free. i took a chocolate cake delicious! my friends had different plates all very tasty.
its right in the centre easy to find and good for staying longer enjoying the outdoor space on the back.

Pros: tasty food , friendly staff, good value

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Must visit York's only 100% vegan restaurant - Edit

We enjoyed a lovely dinner here, York's only 100% vegan restaurant which has been here for 17+ years now. The food was very good, although could have been spicier for my tastes. There was a bit too much emphasis on fried foods. But overall a very enjoyable meal. Loved the atmosphere of the place and the service was good and friendly. Plenty of seating spaces.

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Great tasting vegan food - Edit

So glad we chose this lovely place to eat (I'd looked on Happy Cow before our visit to York). The choice of food had plenty of variety for veggie/vegans. Really like the idea of 'building your own plate' with lots of lovely spicy choices full of variety of grains & pulses. Everything colourfully presented and all the dishes were absolutely delicious. Loved the Spanish/South American feel and flavours. The 'mathematical chips' was a nice pun! Friendly service and relaxed laid back atmosphere meant we had a memorable meal. The litre jug of apple and elderflower to share was a brilliant idea and very welcome on a hot day. Even a chance to have vegan puddings and cakes which were unusual and tasty.
Came away with the cookbook to try out some recipes ourselves. Thanks - you helped to make our day out very special!

Pros: friendly service, great food, relaxed atmosphere

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My happy place - Edit

When I visit my hometown in Lincolnshire I regularly visit York just so I can come to El Piano! I love the spirit of the place, the cute decor, the lovely people, the sunny garden (in season ahem) and the ever changing menu of yummy scrummy vegan loveliness. I am addicted to their bread and they make the best soup. It's all about comfort food with a twist, often Mediterranean but also with lots of Asian inspiration. My parents love the chips and the powerful coffee, my mum always has the baby burger and I try to choose a different dish every time. Feels like home! Portions are generous and prices are very reasonable, making this even more accessible! Their tagline is food for everyone and they live up to that not only by being vegan, glutenless and nut free but by having loads of soya free options, three kinds of mylk and ground floor seating with no steps etc

Pros: comida para todos! Accessible , lots of mylk options, atmosphere

Cons: service can be slow when busy, they use sugar and fry some dishes

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disappointing - Edit

I was really looking forward to a meal here as lots of people had said how good it was. I thought that having the name El Piano that it would have been spanish food. Unfortunately not. Not much choice on the menu. Everything mostly too spicy for me. I ordered victoris sponge for dessert but that was made using gluten free flour. It was very heavy and the icing was over sweet. Not planning on going back. On the positive side, my dining companions all liked there meal, so maybe it was just not to my taste

Pros: friendly staff, has an oudoor area at the back, sells lots of unusual spanish items to b

Cons: not enough variety of food, should have more spanish dishes, the chai tea was ridiculously sweet

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Nice little place to grab a bite - Edit

I stopped in here to grab some food before I took my train up north. A welcome surprise. Very cool friendly staff, nice atmosphere, and very nice food. I was in a bit of a rush so didn't get time to take the place in a bit more but if I ever make it back to York I'll certainly head back here. I also like the menus which indicate the percentage of food in a dish that comes from within 30miles. I'd love to see this more on menus.

Pros: Great and tasty food, Menus indicating locally sourced food, A beautiful cat sat on my lap

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Relaxed venue, plenty vegan & gluten free food - Edit

We've visited El Piano over Easter, at first I thought it might be closed but no. While we had planned to do some shopping after a leisurely lunch here, we relaxed in one of the upstairs room and spend over two hours here for mains followed by coffee and cake. We chose a couple of the mains (South American and (Maroccan) and a small burger. The green salsa on the Mexican base dish was amazing and we liked both the carrot and spinach fritters also. I didn't try the burger but was told it was a little on the dry side.
There's a drink and cake deal where you get both under £7 (just cake was around £5.50). We ordered carrot, chocolate mousse and sticky toffee pudding. The sticky toffee pudding was the clear favourite. You can even get the recipe from the sample recipe book on the table!
I'm sure we'll come here again when we are in the area again some time.

Pros: Whole, unprocessed foods, Relaxed atmosphere, good location, Friendly staff

Cons: Service was a bit slow at times

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Nice staff and ambient decor, disappointing food - Edit

This is my second trip to El Piano, I wasn't particularly impressed the first time so I thought I would give it another try. Unfortunately, my view hasn't changed. I desperately want to like this place, its vegan, the staff are lovely, the decor is relaxed and unpretentious, however the food is really bland with no definable texture or flavour. Maybe Spanish cuisine isn't for me but with descriptions on the menu like 'spice' and 'fiery' I would expect some heat or flavour in a dish. Frustrating

Pros: Good service, All vegan menu

Cons: Food was bland, Not great value

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Vegan/GF from heaven! - Edit

El Piano is a cozy restaurant in the very heart of York, 5 minutes away from Yorkminster, open all day and with an incredible friendly atmosphere.
They have a huge menu where you can find everything you want from starters to desserts, good beers, ciders and wines... and everything is vegan AND gluten free! It's like a blessing from heaven: for one time you don't need to pay attention to hidden ingredients, just sit back, relax and enjoy the food! (...and being in the UK, I have to say a place like this it's pretty amazing..)
They also have a couple of big "taste-everything-we-got" plates for 2-3 people that are simply awesome, a small shop (where we bought the most delicious Dahl mix ever made!), books and weekly vegan/GF classes where you can learn everything, from how to make tofu to "junk"-vegan/GF for adolescents... what more can we ask for?
Just go!

Pros: Everything vegan and gluten free, cleanliness, friendly

Cons: Service just a little slow

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Wonderful - Edit

The food is absolutely astonishing. Some of the best vegan food I've ever eaten. They do the most delicious vegan sushi, fried with ginger and some other sauce. It's all very reasonably priced as well, for a tenner you get a hot dish, a side dish, as well as a salad. They have a wide range of styles like Japanese, Indian, and Spanish. Lovely mix of things. One of the things I enjoyed most is that they don't pretend to be serving meat-based meals: they make no apology for it and the food is frankly delicious. I think it's the first time in my life I've ever enjoyed mushrooms!

The staff I spoke to were very friendly and accommodating, and the restaurant itself has a lovely ambience and feel to it. They have some very tasty deserts and freshly-made milkshakes as well which I enjoyed. I look forward to returning to it many times, I'm going to try a few new items on their menu next time as I'm sure I'll enjoy it whatever it is. All of it is vegan-friendly and if I recall correctly it's also dairy- and lactose-free.

Pros: Lovely food, Great value for money, Nice ambiance

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Good old-fashioned vegan restaurant - Edit

Cheery red and yellow interior, perhaps a bit dated (pine tongue and groove etc). Toilets are outside across a rainy courtyard, but in historical buildings in York this may be inevitable, and I suppose it's an adventure! The tapas platters are good for three (or two greedy) people. Recently we had the Eclectic platter in which everything was scrumptious apart from a pie filled with something exactly like glue. The Exotic platter was virtually all great, especially the fritter things. The chocolate dessert they offered us was absolutely first-class, everything a dessert should be, and the sticky toffee pudding's not half bad either! There's not much space to move in here sometimes but the food makes it worth it.

Pros: Tasty food, lots of choice, welcoming staff

Cons: A bit cramped

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Something a bit different - Edit

This is a bit of a strange one. As much as I enjoyed the concept of the place (it's completely vegan and gluten free, Spanish style cooking) the food itself was a bit of a disappointment. It a bit hard to know what you're gonna get: I've been there twice and each time my bf got a dish that was really nice, yet my won dishes were nowhere near as impressive. So it is a bit of a hit and miss.

I can def recommend their massive veggie burger and banana and potato frittata (served as a side dish). Corn balls in chocolate sauce were really good too. I personally didn't like the meatballs, as they tasted very fennely, their mousaka was really potatoy and not to my taste either (even though I normally adore mousaka).

Overall, it is worth giving this place a try.
Updated from previous review on Saturday October 11, 2014

Pros: Friendly staff, Gluten free, Good value for money

Cons: Menu seems a bit confusing

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Meh - Edit

I'm not a huge fan of El Piano, and much prefer the nearby Goji. I find the menu vast and confusing, and it's difficult to know how much food you're going to get. The food I've had there has been too heavy, variable in quality, and occasionally cold. Of course it's great to have a vegan place in town so I go once in a while just to support them, but it's never my first choice. The staff are always very nice and it has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Pros: friendly staff, nice atmosphere, great location

Cons: confusing menu, mediocre food , bit expensive

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Delicious!! - Edit

El Piano is a small, friendly cafe with a very relaxed atmosphere and fun decor. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

The menu has a huge range of all vegan meals, with influences from all over the world.

My friend and I had a meal that consists of a choice of hot dish, fritters and salad for £10 each.
I chose moussaka, carrot and spring onion fritters and Mexican slaw. All of the them were delicious, and you get a good mix of food having one item from each section.
My friend had dhal (which was amazingly rich and creamy!), spinach and tomato fritters and hummus.
I also had a chocolate milkshake that was SO tasty-better than any dairy milkshake you could get :)

Next time I go to York I will definitely be going back!!

Pros: Good value for money, Delicious and varied menu, Friendly and relaxed

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Fabulous - exceeded expectations - Edit

So many of my vegan (and non-vegan) friends have raved about this place and I have been wanting to try it for ages and finally managed it.
Up in York for Le Tour de France, I booked for Friday, found the restaurant easily and was warmly greeted.
Just looking at the menu made my mouth water, it's all vegan and gluten-free and the wine-list had Sam Smith's vegan friendly beers on.
I chose the Mole, Tinas and Hannes Homage and boy did it taste great and the portions were just right. Also opted for a side order of Mathematical chips.
I didn't really need a dessert, but had one anyway, going for the Citrus cheesecake - again it was excellent.

I was so impressed I bought one of their recipe books!

In fact, it was that good that I returned on the Sunday night.

The prices are reasonable, the food is ace and the staff are lovely.

The only downside is that I live over 150 miles away...

Pros: Great food, Good portions, Lovely staff

Cons: It's too far from where I live!

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Wonderful place - Edit

Great food, not too expensive, friendly staff, unfortunately had run out of a few of their options when we were there. Worth negotiating the crowds of tourists in York to get to this haven.

Pros: Great food, Unusual food, Food mile conscious

Cons: In York

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Brilliant Place - Edit

I went here with my mum on birthday, it was wonderful, one of the best restaurant experiences i have had.

The place is nice, and we got seated upstairs in a cosy little room. The staff were great, and helped us patiently while we pored over the menu.

We went for the 'Hispanic Platter' (£29.99) which was plenty of food for 2, maybe even enough for 3, and was absolutely delicious, a lovely selection of fritters, salads and savory dishes. The food was very fresh tasting and interesting. I was stuffed afterwards, but felt surprisingly good, which i attributed to the absence of gluten.

Afterwards I had a cheesecake and a coffee, and all of that plus 2 glasses of wine and a fizzy water came to £50.

It was a great lunch, I would recommend it to anybody visiting york, and would even say it's worth a trip from further afield.

Pros: Great Food, Friendly Staff, Lovely Location

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Love this place! - Edit

Came here for dinner on my Birthday, we ordered a platter and when it arrived it had a couple of candles in which was so nice!

I was so impressed because they put the food in front of us and my meat eating hubby actually looked excited to eat. Normally I have to drag him to places and he politely eats but I really think he enjoyed it! It was the first time we have ever got to share anything too! (BIG bonus!) Oh and he has never enjoyed cabbage before but he was happily eating the mexislaw!

The staff were all really nice and the food was good. The bonus for me is that it is gluten free and as I am not so good with gluten I could happily eat everything including puddings without worrying.

We ate there the next night and also bought one of their beautiful rugs which are so soft under your feet by the way.
Thanks El Piano for a lovely couple of evenings, you made my week!

Pros: Gluten Free, Nice atmosphere, Even meat eaters will like it

Cons: None

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Magdalena, owner What a lovely review you have posted for us. Thank you!

Lovely to hear that you BOTH enjoyed the food...The EL PIANO YORK cooks are really great...many years of experience between them and AMAZINGLY they still love to go to work each day and DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN...

As for the carpets, they are made in Spain by friends of ours, recycled fibres and machine washable I still have three which I bought nearly 20 years ago. The trick is to not let them get too dirty and wash them regularly.

Lovely restaurant in York town, Hot dishes! - Edit

Good vegan hot dishes.

The soup was great, there are 2 soup of the day which changed everyday,
bread is gluten free, side salad was fresh and chill.

You can choose to have set meal or just any course you would like.

Anyway, the place is quite small, smell from the kitchen is all around, so be prepared to get some food smell on you clothes and hair!

However, overall, I like it here. :)

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Magdalena, owner Only yesterday I bumped into a friend of ours who has the Pizzeria down the road just past EL PIANO in Granada. Kisses on both cheeks being the custom I remarked how GOOD he smelled - all fresh and not a trace of pizza, whereas I had been in the kitchen all morning and found myself commenting that the Eau de Curry was my perfume for the day...so yes, an open kitchen, although having the advantage of EVERYTHING being on display, important we think as we cater for so many vulnerable diners with food allergies and intolerances, can, at times, NONETHELESS make it impossible to disguise where you have just eaten...

Thanks for your review and being so positive about your experience of EL PIANO.

Changed my opinion - Edit

I went here a few years ago and didn't have the best experience, but was persuaded to try it again. We booked as a large group which meant we had to order what they described as party food, so it was basically a buffet for £12.50 a head. Not having a choice about this was quite frustrating, but there was plenty of food and it was all very tasty. I especially loved the Dahl, it was nice and garlicky (that's a word right?). Being gluten free and vegan the food is never going to look particularly fancy, but I enjoyed it.

Pros: tasty

Cons: Lack of choice for a large group, Slightly pricey

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Magdalena, owner Bravo for giving us another go! Thank you.

Depending on the size of your group you will get everything on the menu anyway when you book a party at EL PIANO, so honestly, you aren't missing anything!

It was interesting to read that you found EL PIANO YORK pricey. Most people reckon it's a great deal to have a party in a private Medieval dining space where you can sing, dance, chat, move around, all within sight of York Minster, for as long as you want it AND the chance of 10% off ALL pre-ordered drinks. I don't think there is anywhere else in York to compare...


I must admit we were very tempted to cancel. We were told we had to pay £15 to use the room that we didn't request to use and we had to share it with other people. Seemed a bit odd to me, I did call up about this again as I didn't think it was right but was assured this was the case, eventually we didn't have to pay, I'm not sure why. I often don't know how many drinks I want with my meal or what I would like to drink in advance, saving 40p didn't appeal to me as much as having something I wanted on the night, I felt that was a bit of an odd offer, you're right, I'm not sure anywhere else in York can compare to that. There were also a few of us on a budget who would have preferred a smaller meal, I'm not arguing against the value we got, just that we were forced into paying £12.50.

I did enjoy the food though and had a nice evening, so I can put it behind me and go back again for some more grub, maybe as a smaller group though.

Play it again Sam - Edit

A truly exceptional place tucked away in a wonderful part of the city. This is a uniquely different establishment with friendly staff, novel ideas and a hugely welcoming atmosphere. It's colourful and vibrant with plenty of seating up and down. A great place for breakfast, a snack, a cake and coffee or a romantic evening meal with wine. The mezzes are out of this world, a bit pricey perhaps but top quality. No cheap humous, pitta bread and olives here just a superbly inventive combination of delights served with style and providing another angle to the usual mezze that you can get at most vegetarian establishments. Along with Goji Cafe this is a must go eating place in York.

Pros: food, atmosphere, staff

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el piano - Edit

No real entrees, just a collection of side dishes cobbled together to form a 'meal (also out of what could have been decent menu items at 5pm?). All microwaved, my sons 'bread' and polenta-like dish were microwaved until rock hard. Hapless, inexperienced staff. Bizarre menu items, a dish that claimed to taste 'just like an omelette' was some dry, layered potatoes. Worst coffee imaginable. Cannot imagine how it's stayed in business this long. Also, much more expensive than 3 other excellent meals we had in York at Goji and Ambiente. I'm sure the owner will try to defend the restaurant but I would advise you to ignore the rebuttal.

Cons: food not fresh or tasty, slow service, way overpriced

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Magdalena, owner We are glad you enjoyed our neighbours. York is a great destination with lots to offer. It's a shame you didn't find anything you liked about EL PIANO. Fifteen years of 'food for all' has brought us success and a real sense of fulfilment in providing quality fresh food at a good price and we like all our customers to feel a part of that success.
Certainly much of what we serve is different from what you may be used to, drawing as we do, on recipes from all over the world. It enables us to offer a whole range of flavours that are BOTH vegan AND gluten free. Vaquero style coffee, for example, is for the coffee lover and not everyone's 'cup of tea' forgive the humour...
You are right. There is the option to order every dish separately (as well as many combo plates which you did not mention). This is for a couple of reasons. One is so that people can choose absolutely everything individually. Another is so that there is no blending of foods, one dish 'bleeding' into another. This is an important consideration for many of our more vulnerable diners who have restricted diets.
Microwaves are in ALL restaurants ALMOST without exception. The big difference in EL PIANO is that ours are not hidden.
HAPPY COW, as a website, and EL PIANO, as an eating venue, both depend on people’s integrity when offering their opinions. This means that what is written is circumspect, truthful and not motivated by a wish to do harm. Happily HAPPY COW readers are discerning.

Scrumptious! - Edit

Gorgeous food! Such a great choice and totally nut free - I could eat everything on the menu. AMAZING!
Updated from previous review on Tuesday July 10, 2012

Pros: vegan, Nut free, gluten free

Cons: Too far from where I live :(

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Great place - Edit

My boyfriend and I ate here for three nights in one week whilst on holiday in York, and every meal was great. The variety of dishes means you can sample lots of different flavours. All the food is vegan which is a huge bonus. We particularly liked the dahl, corn fritters, sweet potato pate, 'meat' balls, chick pea curry, and the chocolate cake. Menu features international dishes. Be warned though - don't over-order the tapas dishes - we ordered so much the first night we could hardly sleep because of our full tummys! But we couldn't waste such lovely food. Staff very friendly. Worth booking a table if you're going when it's a busy time of day or during a holiday period. Only one negative thing- the cheesecake was way too cheesy and little other flavour.

Pros: vegan, tasty, friendly

Cons: small-ish place

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Friendly cafe with fantastic food! - Edit

After being warmly welcomed and comfortably seated the staff gave us time to settle before taking our order. After considering the wide range of options we settled for the Hispanic tray - a mixed platter including a yummy chilli, refried beans and corn chips, and - my favourite - tiny carrot and onion patties. The red lead dip should be bottled to take away for later as it was incredible. We were too full for dessert (the platter says it's for 2-3 people; it left two of us nicely full).
We went to do a York ghost walk (highly recommended too - but dress warmly!) and returned to the cafe to be greeted as old friends. We plumped for a warming jug of hot chocolate each (2 1/2 cups per jug), cheesecake and scrummy toffee pudding.
We'll definitely be back when next in the area!

Pros: Wide range of tasty food , Lots of vegan options, Friendly service

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Absolutely incredible!! - Edit

I don't usually write reviews, but I had to get on here and tell everyone how incredible 'El Piano' really is. It is not only the best vegan restaurant I have ever been to, but also the best of any restaurant I have ever been to. The food is fresh, varied and there are so many unique flavors. Everything is homemade including the breads for burgers and the sauces! It was so incredible I was worried we might have a bit of a shock when the bill came... but to my surprise it was well under £50 for two people which included a few drinks, deserts, starters and a main course so packed full of different dishes I couldn't finish it! There were a huge number of options for main courses, I was really spoiled for choice. I cannot wait to get back to York just to pay 'El Piano' another visit!
Updated from previous review on Friday December 28, 2012

Pros: varied & delicious, friendly staff, great atmosphere

Cons: Restaurant is a little small

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Just perfect! - Edit

We spend a wonderful lunch in the backyard (inside it's pretty dim). The spanish-oriental dishes all tasted great and particularly the cheesecake. It's unbelievable that all this food is vegan and glutenfree. Even my picky daughter ate so much.

When we go back to the North we will choose a hotel in York (not in Leeds, like this time), just for being able to eat there more often. I'm not kidding!

Pros: delicious food, nice staff, childfriendly

Cons: inside very dimly, not in my neighbourhood ;-)

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Fabulous! - Edit

Went to El Piano with the family, including 3 (can be fairly picky) kids, aged 5-8. 2 adults had the "square meal" with 3 options, the dahl was to die for! Even hubby (long distance runner, ALWAYS hungry) was groaning at the end because he was so full up. 2 kids had veggie burgers, and couldn't finish the whole dinner. They were all served different salads, but most of them were really very spicy. Not so suitable for most small children, I'd have said. 3rd kid had mini-square meal, with falafels. All (smaller) meals were served with corn chips.

Price was very reasonable, dinners were filling, and it was all incredibly tasty. Would certainly go back again.

Pros: Tasty, Filling, Inexpensive

Cons: Salads very spicy

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Out of this world - Edit

Words cannot do enough justice to how pleased I was I went to El Piano for dinner on my trip to York. It was easily the best meal I've ever had in a vegan restaurant.

I had the sweetcorn and pepper soup for starters. It was really flavourful and the use of Japanese rice crackers for croutons was a great touch. The little gluten free roll was super tasty as well.

For the main course I had the meal for one with Corn Fritters, Chilli Sin Carne, and a Spanish Omelette. The three tapas dishes came with an amazing rice dish that was just great. The corn fritters came with a mango and raisin chutney which complimented the flavours perfectly.

The service was great, the waitress was super friendly and I couldn't recommend this restaurant more if I tried. I even bought one of their cookbooks to try and recreate some of the dishes once I got home.

Oh... Bring your hunger... You're going to need it :-)

Pros: Amazing food, Great Service, Good value

Cons: Not enough room in my belly

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One of my favourite places to eat in england, the VAT buster makes you feel like you're going to die from a combination of gut over-expansion and mouth-orgasms. I love the little banana-leaf boats and the gorgeous silver teapots. The staff are always friendly and attentive. The cheesecake is NOM. Was a bit sad the sweet potato mousse was off the menu recently though, as this was my favourite bit on my last visit. But you're still awesome El Piano please continue to feed me until I am obese


Cons: S/p/m where you go? :{

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Enjoyable - Edit

Visited recently with omnivore husband. Good selection of dishes. Chose tapas style as this was a one off visit whilst travelling up country. Food was very nice, even compliments on spanish tortilla from omnivore! Very filling which was upsetting as desserts looked excellent, however, these were offered as take out... very nice they were too. Nice packaging. Staff very friendly and helpful. Only downside was very small table in corner felt a little cramped.

Pros: Tasty food, Friendly staff, Take out option

Cons: A little on expensive side, Table a little cramped

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Enjoyable - Edit

Very warm and welcoming decor and staff. My mother needs non-spicy gluten-free and I like vegan so suited us both. Food great but could do with serving a tasty sauce (perhaps a selection) in a gravyboat for those of us who wish more flavour or to spice it up a bit.

Pros: healthy food, good choice, friendly staff

Cons: flavour lacking in some dishes

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Magdalena, owner Thanks for your review. Glad our combination vegan AND gluten-free suited you both. I wish we have known about the need for sauce...we have a number of sauces and salsas that we make ourselves (to ensure there are no hidden ingredients.) A stack of three is served with trays and with certain other dishes... Anytime, in ANY restaurant, do ask... You are paying for the privilege of eating out and we are there to make it as good as we can... Next time you come just tell us you want the sauce stack...

Hit all the right notes :D - Edit

Lovely all Vegan cafe-restaurant nestling among York's lovely medieval shopping streets is El Piano, had the VAT Buster for £19.95...save lots of room! Had a rich and warming tomato soup garnished with chilli rice crackers and served with warm, home-made (gluten-free) bread, followed by brown rice, spanish potato omelette, corn patties and tabbouleh...followed by scrummy rasperry cheesecake. Included in the deal was a juice and a drink, I washed down my dishes with Jasmine tea which arrived in a gorgeous exotic silver tea-pot...great, friendly service and truly imaginitivew and delicious food! Will definitely be returning!!! :)

Pros: Wide menu, All gluten free, Sublime soup!

Cons: None?!?!

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One of my favourite places! - Edit

I really love this little restaurant! The menu is seasonal and very varied, I would say there is something to suit everyone! (even my meatloving cousin is happy to eat there!) The staff are really friendly and always happy to help.
I would say however, because there is so much to choose from its very easy to get carried away and order too much, which can get a bit pricey!
I highly reccommend the carrot cake, the brownie and the hot chocolate! Devine!!

Pros: fresh seasonal menu, friendly staff, amazing vegan cakes

Cons: can be slow service during busier times

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Great food to go... - Edit

Friendly staff, take out order took a while but as it wasn't too busy they let us sit at one of the tables to wait. Environmentally conscious packaging was a nice touch. Desserts recommended!
Updated from previous review on Friday July 01, 2011

Pros: great food, environmentally conscious packaging, dessert

Cons: on the slower side, a bit disorganised :) , small

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... - Edit

Like an Episode from Fawlty Towers... We went here on 27th April 2011. It was a nice day and we sat out back, it was a pleasant day and they appeared to be a barbecue going on at the back of the yard. The staff were drinking and entertaining their friends there. Our order was taken and then the list of mist started.
1. We were served the wrong drinks and sent them back.
2. When we had the right drinks, they doubled up and tried to serve us the same drinks again.
3. It took ages for our order to arrive.
4. Only my food arrived, we waited for the my partners food to arrive, but it did not.
5. I ate my food, it was cold and very bland, expecting my partners to turn up anytime.
6. After 45 minutes we finally collared a waitress and asked where the rest of our order was. She looked shocked and ran off to find out.
7. The waiter that took our order came back and apologised. And tried to sort out what had happened. We had to be somewhere else and had to leave.
It was very disappointing. Not only poor quality food, but the staff were too focussed on enjoying their private event at the back than providing the service they were being paid for.

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my favourite Yorkshire restaurant! - Edit

El Piano is such a lovely, homey place... every time I go back I love it. Being vegan the menu is so easy, I can order anything! The tapas fleet is the way to go, 6 tapas choices for £20, including the starters. I love the corn basket and the hummus, the dhal is AMAZING and you can't go wrong with any of the vegetable dishes. The pots of tea are really nice, their coffee is served "cowboy style" with a strainer and their desserts are really exceptional. I had the best carrot cake of my life at El Piano. If you're in York, you can't go wrong. I live in Leeds but any excuse I can find to make the trip, I will use it. The staff are super friendly and they really, truly have their hearts in the right place. Go to their website and read about their employment practices and environmental policies. Warms your heart. Love El Piano!!

Pros: healthy food, excellent service

Cons: not the cheapest out there

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funky little place in York - Edit

This place is vegan so well worth a visit if you're in York. The cuisine is tapas but with dishes from all over. There is plenty of choice. We were a party of 3 so started with a soup each (which was really tasty) followed by a 'fleet'. A 'fleet' is a selection of 6 of the tapas dishes. This worked out really well for us as there was plenty of choice but we weren't over-faced. The soup cost £4.50 each and the float was £19.50. The service was good to say they were so very busy. And the staff are informative, helpful and friendly. Unfortunately, as they are so popular, they do have to turn people away. But please don't let that put you off. York isn't so big that you can't shop a bit longer in the area and try again....

Pros: all vegan, great selection, whole food

Cons: can be busy

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Quaint, cosy, delightful - Edit

Went here with two omnivorous friends and we all loved this place. We went for the larger meals, rather than the tapas style, though we all tasted each others. Everything was vegan and really tasty and came in little bamboo 'boats' instead of ordinary plates/bowls. The portions were a little on the small side, though that suited my very filling paella! Rather than being a downside though, that left room for the others to choose from the great range on the desserts menu. The decor helped give a cosy, friendly feeling. It can seem a little cramped but, again, that adds to the friendly feel of the place. Great prices - 3 main dishes, 2 desserts and 4 soft drinks (tea+coffee) = £33 (£11 each).
Definitely going here again next time I'm in York.

Pros: great range of dishes, lovely atmosphere, really nice staff

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Fab food! - Edit

We went here for lunch on Sat 24 May 08 after reading the reviews. It was so good we went back for dinner in the evening and my boyfriend had a piece of cake to take away in the afternoon! Fully vegan and gluten-free, also sells alcohol and soft drinks and some take away food. For lunch we had a selection of 6 main meal tapas dishes (as recommended on the menu) and that was plenty for two without starters. Particularly gorgeous was the sweet potato mousse and the Aztec tofu. Great range of vegan desserts including carrot cake, choc brownie and sticky toffee pudding. I asked for rice custard with mine and it was brought at no extra charge so we left a good tip. Highly recommended.

Pros: staff, excellent food, great value

Cons: tiny tables as it's a small place

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El Piano - Edit

We went to this restaurant on a Friday evening. The ambience is very nice and staff are lovely, but the food was average. You buy portions of various dishes (which i usually love) but nothing really stood out as being very tasty. They were all quite palatable but many dishes were dry and lacking in flavour. To get a good variety it works out quite expensive.

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