Vegetarian restaurants are no longer strictly for the ethically concerned - but for their foodie dates too

The age-old conundrum of how to tackle dating/socialising when you may be ethically troubled by a visit to a meaty burger shop.

Veggie restaurants used to be a minimal selection of sad-looking carrots, or a collection of miscellaneous shrubbery that had been steamrolled into resembling a fish finger. Gone are those dark days and most good eateries are now aware of the importance of their meat-free menu in attracting dedicated meat-eaters too.

Here’s to the end of segregated food spots and the celebration of good restaurants with vegetarian dishes for everyone.

David Bann

(56-58 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX)

It’s tough to move away from the idea that David Bann is the mecca for veggie-eating in the city. Always contemporary, stylishly-delivered dishes are the restaurant’s meat and potatoes (if you’ll excuse the pun) and has helped build its reputation as a veggie stalwart.

The menu is an inventive approach to green eating, the chilli pancake with chocolate being a particular highlight and there is enough variety to have even the staunchest carnivore putting their pangs for meat dishes to one side.

Kalpna Restaurant

(2-3 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9EZ)

Indian dishes lend themselves extremely well to vegetarian eating and the Kalpna only does great Indian dishes. This unassuming restaurant on Newington’s St. Patrick Square has been dealing in strictly vegetarian cuisine for over 25 years. Staff are attentive and it’s clear the chefs know their menu strengths inside and out.

Prices are extremely reasonable, or, in other words, practically a steal when you’re talking about one of the best Indian restaurants in the Capital – veggie or otherwise.

Henderson’s of Edinburgh

(94 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DR)

When you’ve reached the 50 year mark as a vegetarian restaurant, you know you must be doing something right. Henderson’s of Edinburgh began as the upstairs deli back in ’62 – with a basement restaurant being established not long after. It has since become more of a cultural establishment than just a eatery – with regular live music and general community hum that surrounds that corner of Hanover Street.

If you’re looking for no-fuss hearty vegetarian cuisine that leaves you with content full feeling, then Hendo’s is the first point of call.

Union Of Genius

(8 Forrest Road, Edinburgh EH1 2QN)

Not everyone has the time for sit-down dinner plans and finding good veggie options in a hurry still remains a largely untapped necessity. This is where Union Of Genius comes in. The no-frill stop off point boasts a selection of some of the best home-made soups in the city, with vegan options and meat-based alternatives to ease those cross-culture lunch breaks.

Soups can be a hard-sell in words, due the connotations of – well – soup. But ‘U of G’ specialises in this, their combinations are imaginative, the ingredients are fresh and mostly importantly – it’s extremely filling.

Urban Angel

(121 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DJ)

On those rare occasions when a free morning leads to a brunch gap in your day – Urban Angel offers a great selection of vegetarian grub alongside non-veggie dishes.

The basement cafe at the bottom of Hanover Street takes brunch seriously – with Eggs Benedict served on toasted muffins, topped with Hollandaise sauce and a choice of spinach, haddock, salmon or bacon being a mouth-watering option for a variety of diners. If you’re salivating at the menu options, but don’t have time to stop, Urban Angel offers all their menu options in take-out boxes for 10% off.

Like this? See also:

• 5 OF THE BEST COOK BOOKS FOR VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS

• WHY SCOTLAND IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A VEGETARIAN TO LIVE 

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