Veggie heaven – a vegetarian’s guide to Edinburgh

26 Oct
Henderson's Restaurant

Henderson's Restaurant - steep stairs and good food

A couple of months ago, I wrote about L’Artichaut, a great little French vegetarian restaurant in Stockbridge. At the start, I listed several good vegetarian restaurant and it struck me that a quickie-guide, a longer article that gives a bit more detail, would be useful. Here is a review of three of them: Ann Purna, Black Bo’s and Henderson’s

Ann Purna

Vegetarian Indian cooking is deeply delicious. My most recent visit to Ann Purna was during the festival, when they were very busy but kindly found a last-minute table for four.  The restaurant is fairly small, cozy and modern in feel. The service is friendly and efficient. They have a wide range of interesting and lovely dishes, and an amazing pickle tray. They offer a banquet for one, a thali, that is a good option for anyone who can’t quite decide what they want or who are new to Indian food.

I have a weakness for a good daahl and Ann Purna offers several very good ones. Interestingly, there’s no naan on the menu but the stuffed paratha-like bread that I had was deeply delicious and would be a good dinner all on its own (maybe a bhatura? I was too busy eating to take notes. It’s a failing).

Reasonably priced both on dishes and wine (the thali is less that £15.00), Ann Purna is a great place to go for a mid-week indulgence.

Ann Purna
44-45 St Patrick’s Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9ET
Tel: +44 (0)131 662 1807

Black Bo’s Restaurant

Black Bo’s Restaurant and Bar sit quietly tucked away off the high-street, close to the Cowgate. The Bar has always been a favourite of mine, with its scuffed vinyl floor, cramped spaces and decent whisky list. I first discovered the restaurant some 15 years ago and found it refreshing but slightly odd. Every dish on the menu came with fruit: fruit coulis to enhance cheese-based dishes or a bunch of grapes to decorate a crepe.

When I went back for the first time in a long time last year, the decor had changed and the room was cozy and intimate (it is not a large space) but the menu still had a lot of fruit on it. The new menu offers more Mexican and Asian inspired dishes, hearty and tasty, and there will be a little fruit on every plate. The menu can be quite adventurous: I haven’t tried the stuffed banana main course, and I don’t think I will, but it’s not something I’ve seen anywhere else. This is real vegetarian cooking, doing interesting things with vegetables and beans, not trying to copy meat-and-two-veg cooking, offering crepes, roulades and tasty gratins.

I like Black Bo’s for an early dinner although sometimes it’s just too quiet.

Black Bo’s Restaurant
57 – 61 Blackfriars Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1NB
Tel: 0131 557 6136

Henderson’s Restaurant

Henderson’s is an institution. Ladies who lunch have gone here for years for a glass of something nice and a vegetarian slap-up meal or a generous cake. A self-service restaurant that offers healthy and hearty food, what it lacks in modern cooking it makes up for with the generosity of its servings. (I’m talking about the down-stairs restaurant – the upstairs Bistro is of a more recent date and offers slightly more formal dining.) Henderson’s is great for lunch, or a quick and cheap dinner. You’ll find a number of salads, enormous potato croquettes, veggie haggis, baked aubergine and similar traditional food with a Mediterranean or Scottish flavour. The restaurant is cozy and one section is now a small gallery with art of, as you’d expect, varying quality.

It might sound as if I’m not a fan, but I am. Henderson’s serves tasty salads and desserts, a good range of drinks and decent coffee and some very tasty mains. The decor isn’t me, but hey, I can live with that when I feel so comfortable here.

Henderson’s
94 Hanover Street
Edinburgh, EH2 1DR
Tel: 0131 225 2131

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One Response to “Veggie heaven – a vegetarian’s guide to Edinburgh”

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  1. Tweets that mention Veggie heaven – a vegetarian’s guide to Edinburgh « Edinburgh Foody -- Topsy.com - 2010/11/03

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by 5pm.co.uk, Edinburgh Foody. Edinburgh Foody said: Three delicious vegetarian restaurants for Edinburgh foodies to try http://wp.me/pVZSa-80 Blog post […]

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