November 1st is World Vegan Day. And that’s not all. For the following 30 days it’s World Vegan Month too, so why not check out the huge variety of animal-free eats in town.
The Vegan Society was formed in 1944 as an offshoot of The Vegetarian Society which had its first full meeting in Manchester in 1848. Vegans don’t eat any products from animals. So no meat, no fish, no dairy and no honey.
But if you think that vegan eating is just skimpy salads and sad sandwiches, think again.
You’ll find burgers bigger than your face, curries which will give your usual tikka masala something to contend with, mac ‘n’ cheese that melts in your mouth and piled-high ‘steak’ sandwiches. And they’re all vegan.
Manchester’s arts and culture venue HOME, just off First Street, not only serves up some of the best film and theatre in the country, but an array of vegan delights in the popular first floor restaurant. Check out the North African Buddha Bowl which brings together spiced chickpeas, multi-coloured courgette, spinach, kale, pomegranate, citrus and fresh herbs, all topped with a maple dressing. A health kick in a bowl. If you fancy more carbs, the Artichoke & Wild Mushroom vegan pizza is highly-recommended.
Ice Shack is the first all-vegan dessert parlour in the north. It’s just a short journey from the city centre and it’s well worth it, not just for the whole rainbow of vegan ice cream, but fully vegan chocolates, truffles, cakes, slices and a whole range of bakes. We’re digging their raspberry crumble ice cream in particular. There are games nights and curry nights and if you get involved in the weekly Sunday 8km run, you get free ice cream.
The Deaf Institute
This three-floor music venue, kitchen and bar is housed in a historic building dating from 1878 and most of its menu is marvellously vegan. Check out this special – a philly steak sandwich served with fries. No animal products in sight, just lots of seitan seared with red onion, a rich gravy and mushrooms and topped with sweet potato cheese on a massive butty. Lush. As well as set menu items that are vegan – with plenty of flatbreads, burgers and hotdogs (with vegan mac ‘n’ cheese) – they also have regular changing specials. They even dedicate the whole of Sunday to vegan food and, from 3pm, it’s the Vegan Hangover. And be sure to check out their vegan fine dining event on 5th November. It’s £30 a head for a luxurious 3 course plant-based meal.
Check out this work of art from 1847, Manchester’s pioneers in vegan and vegetarian food. And yes, it is edible. Named after the year the Vegetarian Society was founded, 1847 is a fine-dining restaurant serving a seasonal meat-free menu from their new premises on Chapel Walks, with many of the dishes suitable for vegans. This plateful is an array of dessert combining pressed apple, damson, blackberry, cobnut cream, cobnut crumble and blackcurrant sorbet. What’s a cobnut? Why not go and find out?
This independent Italian pastificio is a little gem of a place to eat, with fresh pasta made on site daily. And if you think that vegan pasta is just limited to simple tomato sauces, this place will make you think again. Check out this all-vegan, all-authentic triangoli di funghi in salsa al tartufo – handmade triangular ravioli filled with mushrooms, garlic, parsley and cashew, complete with a black truffle and porcini sauce. And that’s not all that’s vegan on the menu. There’s a massive all-vegan antipasti board, some brilliant pastas and even chocolate ravioli dessert with no animal products in sight. They also make their own vegan parmesan which you can buy at Unicorn grocery in Chorlton. A fully vegan Christmas menu is also available.
Home Sweet Home
Get along to the ultimate American-style eatery Home Sweet Home for a vegan meal which is US-style in size and taste. Pictured is the Vegan Rancho Cucamonga salad, showing that getting those greens in doesn’t have to be boring. It brings together avocado, seared bell pepper, red onion, artichoke and sun-dried tomato with fried tortilla, pomegranate, radish, dressed leaves and hummus, and a kind of fried bread that feels healthy. Venues in The Great Northern Warehouse and the Northern Quarter.
This Vietnamese eatery combines freshness with flavour and food that not only tastes good, but does you good. Here to prove that vegan curry isn’t just a load of vegetables boiled down in a tomato sauce, check out the Cà-ri, a rich, fragrant Vietnamese curry with tofu, veggies and mushrooms, topped with nuts and served with broken rice. It’s just one of the options from the extensive vegan menu which includes the signature noodle soups, salads and rice rolls. Viet nom.
This bar, kitchen and live music venue a couple of minutes way from Shudehill coach station is where you can ‘trof’ away on a menu with many vegan delights. This place also addresses one of the questions vegans are often asked – ‘surely you miss a fried breakfast?’. Trof NQ serves up a vegan full English breakfast to die for, complete with vegan black pudding and avocado. And they go far beyond the usual mushroom and tomato combo, combining it all with sweet potato and spinach hash. Yum.
A handcrafted artisan doughnut stall which serves up sweet and sticky delights at GRUB Manchester, the street-food event where all the traders serve completely vegan food on Plant Powered Sundays. Yes Doughnuts have at least 3 vegan flavours regularly and are in the process of developing a completely vegan menu for the occasion, and this is one of them – a peanut butter and jelly special crammed with jam and topped with creamy peanut butter glaze, crunchy peanuts and freeze-dried strawberries.
This vibrant restaurant in the Corn Exchange combines Indian cuisine with tapas-style service so that means you get to try more food. The menu is inspired by authentic Indian home cooking and much is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. You can even treat yourself to a whole towerful of vegan delights in the form of the vegan Tiffin Box – four tiers of curry and carb delights chosen according to what is seasonal and best. This one is packed with the Temple Dahl, the ultimate red lentil comfort food, Tea Steeped Chickpeas simmered in a rich Darjeeling spiced tomato and spinach sauce, and the much-loved Picnic Potato. They also do a mean Bombay Chip Butty.
This award-winning Indian and Pakistani restaurant off Oxford Road serves up an array of vegan delights. Don’t assume most vegetable curries are vegan. Ghee, which is widely used in south Asian cuisine, is a kind of butter. At Zouk there is a selection of curries and dishes available that are both meat and ghee-free. Choose from falafels, Marsala Mirch or humous for starters and, for mains, Mili Juli Sabzi, a vegan vegetable masala, the best-selling Vegetable Tikka, or comfort food classic Palak Aloo, traditionally cooked with potatoes and spinach.