Veganuary, the popular initiative to eat animal-free, is a concept which is growing in popularity, encouraging people to go vegan for the whole of January and try a lifestyle completely free from animal products.
Apparently, it’s good for your health – research suggests benefits include lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels – good for the environment, and good for the animals which would otherwise end up on your plate.
Giving up dairy, eggs, even honey, may sound difficult, but you may well be surprised by the number of options out there. Whether you prefer eating out at independents, need something to grab on the go or are wondering what you can get at those popular chains, here’s our guide to going vegan in Manchester.
According to research, 91% of the nation are now adopting a flexitarian approach to eating, and there are so many ways you can do it in Manchester.
Whether you want a vegan meal packed with health benefits or fancy a full-on feast, there are animal-free options across the city.
Vegan pizza! Yes, it’s a staple on the menu at Manchester’s massive arts and culture venue HOME on First Street. Simply head inside to the first floor Restaurant where they serve up an impressive roast vegetable pizza. And it doesn’t stop there. In fact, this place has an array of vegan options including cauliflower buffalo wings with spiced ginger beer batter, a brilliant portobello mushroom and bhaji burger and even vegan cheese toasties for the ultimate comfort food fix. For a healthy boost you can try the Buddha bowls – with the Asian and North African options vegan too.
The Pasta Factory
Pink pasta and chocolate ravioli are just two examples of the vegan options available at Manchester’s independent pastifico The Pasta Factory. They make their own fresh pasta, have created their own vegan cheese – it’s delicious – and feature a number of vegan options as part of a regularly changing menu. Starters include Panelle Siciliane, whilst for main the mushroom and truffle ravioli is recommended. The pink pasta is a great pick too. It’s actually called Beetroot Pipe, a pipe-shaped pasta served with pine nuts, mint and vegan cheese. Finish off with the silky and delightful chocolate ravioli. 100% delicious. 100% vegan.
Manchester Vegan Centre
No-nonsense satisfying vegan grub for as little as £3.50 at the Manchester Vegan Centre in the Three Minute Theatre on the ground floor of Afflecks. Start with one of the fantastic vegan full English breakfasts. And forget overpriced high street vegan options at lunchtime – this is great place to come and unwind during the day. No fuss. Enjoy vegan sandwiches, burgers, brownies and plenty more.
The 100% vegan street food event GRUB ExtraVEGANza is returning for January 2018. It takes place on Friday 27th January 5pm – 10pm, Saturday 28th January 12pm – 10pm and Sunday 12pm – 8pm at Fairfield Social Club at Mayfield, not far from Piccadilly. Feast your eyes on the range of traders including Hip Hop Chip Shop with their freshly fried vegan fish and chips, gooey mac ‘n cheese form Mac Daddies, handmade dumplings from Oh Mei Dumpling plus French patisserie from Chou Choux. And check out the array of mezze (pictured) from The Ottomen, who pride themselves on serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired eats. Fresh, healthy and seasonal too. ‘Plant Powered Sundays’ with 100% vegan street food traders every Sunday returns on 4th February 2018.
Sam’s Chop House
Sam’s Chop House cater for all dietary requirements and believe non-meat eaters shouldn’t be faced with the same old boring options. The vegan and vegetarian options here are good enough to tempt the most devoted carnivore. But it’s not just people on meat-free diets who suffer from dull alternatives. On a dairy-free diet? No problem. Gluten-free? No problem.
The Deaf Institute
Most of the food served at this historic gig venue is vegan – from flatbread to nachos, curries to burgers – and it doesn’t miss a beat. A diabolical delight is the Holy Seitan burger – a double seitan patty, topped with aubergine bacon, burger sauce, tomato, pickles and fries. And don’t forget the sweet potato cheese. That’s right, that’s how they make the vegan cheese here. It’s lovely, especially on the vegan mac n’ cheese dog, complete with vegan bacon. Even better, there’s 50% off food throughout January Monday-Friday when you book in advance. Seems only right to have a dessert, too. After all, the chocolate brownie bowl is vegan too.
The next instalment of Cottonopolis’ monthly kitchen takeovers is dedicated to veganism. Head to this Japanese-inspired Northern Quarter restaurant on 15th January for an evening of vegan food with a unique Cottonopolis twist. Chef Joe Grant has created an impressive eight course tasting menu proving just how innovative high quality meat and dairy-free food can be. Dishes include beetroot and wasabi tacos, pulled teriyaki jackfruit bao and delicious mochi and raspberry donuts with chocolate sauce. The menu is priced at £30 per person with a minimum of two people per booking. To book your table, email.
There are vegan options across the menu at this Vietnamese restaurant in the Corn Exchange, from starters to desserts. These includes veggie summer rolls, veggie spring rolls, salads, pho noodle soups (like tofu & mushroom, or three mushroom in homemade veggie broth), select bun noodle dishes, wok-fried noodles (tofu and mushroom), and the fragrant Vietnamese curry (when served with tofu).
A number of options at this East Asian-inspired restaurant in Spinningfields are marked ‘v’ on the menu with many of them vegan as well as vegetarian. Ask your waiter for more information. The phai tai, which can be requested vegan, is particularly good.
Mowgli Corn Exchange
This charming Indian-inspired eatery in the Corn Exchange is conjuring up creative delights and has a whole menu dedicated to vegans sure to make your Veganuary all the more enjoyable. The menu is mouth wateringly good, with treacle tamarind fries (so wrong but so right), the famous Mowgli chip butty, tea steeped chickpeas, homemade ice cones with watermelon sorbet and a special vegan tiffin box – a delicious meat-free food roulette. And it isn’t just a case of standard platefuls. The tapas-style presentation of dishes makes it all the better for sharing – and means you can try even more too.
Vapiano celebrates Veganuary with new vegan-friendly pasta, pizza, and risotto dishes on offer until the end of February. Funghi Bolognese is a delicious ragout made of mushrooms, carrots and celery in its very own homemade tomato sauce, with onions marinated with soy sauce and fresh herbs. Zuaa Caramellata features creamy risotto rice with a homemade sauce of Hokkaido pumpkin, orange juice and coconut milk, with a hint of vegan white wine, ginger, sesame and lime. Con Cipolle Balsamico is the vegan pizza featuring home made tomato sauce, fruity balsamic shallots, courgette, aubergine, fresh basil and rosemary.
Think basement bar meets the best ever curry house, and then some. It’s earned the praise of food critic Jay Rayner who thought it was special. Nearly all the menu is vegan, with plenty of small plates you can pick and choose from. The Okra Fries are the Pringles of the street food world, utterly addictive – coated in chickpea batter and seasoned with black salt and mango powder. Bhel Puri is like a beefed-up Bombay Mix featuring samosa pastry, puffed rice, turmeric noodles, red onion and chutney. And the Biryani Bhaji Balls have to be tried to be believed.
Vegan options are clearly marked on the menu and include classic noodle dishes like Pad Thai, yaki udon as well as curries and soups. Plus Tampopo Supper Club is going vegetarian in January, offering nine of their meat-free favourites over five courses across their four Manchester restaurants for just £22.
This all-vegan diner in The Northern Quarter serves up massive, dirty dishes you’ll just want to get your teeth into. Whether you are craving a burger or just want a big bowl of mac n’ cheese, this place will give you the vegan version. It actually goes the extra mile – making the usual meat-based dishes other places serve seem measly in comparison. How about the ‘Donut have a cow, man!’ burger – two ‘beefy’ patties, two lots of ‘cheez’, plenty of ‘baecon’, crispy fried onions and BBQ sauce sandwiched inside a donut bun. There are also ‘Chkn’ burgers, whopping sandwiches with names like the Manc-inspired ‘Soy Division’ and don’t forget the frickles – fried pickles. Naughty. And nice.
Cheery basement café beneath the Buddhist Centre in the Northern Quarter offering a range of vegan options served canteen-style plus salads and juices. You can be sure of a massive plateful of vegan goodness (stews, curries and stir-fries a-plenty) and they also do particularly good cakes and a great vegan hot chocolate.