Veganuary, the popular initiative to eat animal-free, is back again for 2017. It’s 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.
V Rev Vegan Diner
Recently relocated to an even bigger site on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter, here you can tuck into junk food favourites which are completely vegan. This includes piled high burgers, a vegan version of fried ‘chicken’ (particularly good on their satay-style burger) loaded fries, milkshakes and cocktails. There’s a vegan bakery inside too, serving up plenty of sweet stuff.
With two sites in Manchester, Piccadilly Place and on Deansgate, here you can pick up a customised pita or salad box with vegan-friendly falafel or just load it full of veggies for the ultimate health boost.
Sidney Street Café
This hidden gem inside the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre just off Oxford Road has a relaxed atmosphere and offers excellent value. Curries, soups, chilli and more are served every day and vegan friendly choices are available so you can be sure of a bowl of something warming. Great cakes too.
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 comfy drinking and dining venue in The Corn Exchange has its own vegan menu including a full vegan breakfast, avocado brunch, a selection of sandwiches, tapas (particularly good falafel), Thai veggie burger and an orange, mango and blackcurrant sorbet for dessert.
This stylish Thai restaurant on Chapel Walks serves up fresh, flavour-packed dishes – and if you’re vegan you can be sure of star treatment. Simply ask your server to advise you on what menu options are free from animal products – you can even go through it on one of their ipads. It’s a place known for tasty tempura, vibrant salads and has received recognition for its vegetarian selection (including the title of best veggie restaurant in the UK by The Times) – so vegans are likely to be well catered for, too.
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.
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.
The date marks the year The Vegetarian Society formed and provides classic cuisine with a modern twist plus a number of vegan options. The menu changes seasonally but has included small plates such as caramelised aubergine with root veg crisp, with mains including pressed potato with red pepper mousse finished off with excellent apple rice donuts. Great gluten-free choices, too.
A very handy allergens menu on their website tells you exactly which dishes are suitable for vegans. These include Pad Thai and aromatic vegetable curry.
This popular Northern Quarter bar, club and canteen-style kitchen serves more than just soup (though it is great). Salads, jacket potatoes and sandwiches are available vegan-friendly and the fresh soups are often vegan too.
This co-op on Oxford Road is a grocery, shop and eatery with many vegan options. A bustling basement cafe serves a range of stews, soups and changing specials all completely free from animal-products and the deli counter upstairs is difficult to resist with to-die-for vegan cakes served by the slab. Options include blueberry flapjack topped with caramel and fresh baked brownies. You can pick up some great vegan groceries including crisps, chocolate and milk substitutes, too.
This Northern Quarter restaurant and kitchen serves speciality pizzas – and their menu includes a number of options which can be adapted to be vegan. This includes their classic margherita and wild mushroom pizzas, as well as the rustica with sunblushed tomatoes, veggie special and falafel. There’s also a pizzetti lunch menu for lighter dining.
Nexus Art Café
This cosy basement café in the Northern Quarter is a great place for relaxing with a cup of tea and a cake, with many vegan options. There is a particularly good chocolate and peanut slice, with mains including jacket potatoes, sandwiches and salads which are free from animal-products. Generous with the soya milk, too, so you can enjoy plenty of hot drinks.
Fig and Sparrow
A sweet design shop and coffee-house in the Northern Quarter which serves a surprisingly substantial range of vegan-friendly cakes and bakes.
Mod’s Café at The Thirsty Scholar
The Thirsty Scholar is a trusty boozer on Oxford Road just beneath the station where notable DJ Martin the Mod (also a fully qualified vegan chef) serves proper pub grub that’s completely vegan. Try one of the full English breakfasts. They are huge.
Great for when you want fast food with a heath kick – and sure to fill you up too. With a number of sites in Manchester – and a new place on Deansgate – long opening hours mean that you can grab one of their loaded-as-you-like falafel wraps packed with salad, pickles and sauce when it suits you. Very good value to eat on-the-go.
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.
One of Manchester’s hidden treasures – this all-vegan eatery in Hulme Park looks like a time capsule – part old chapel, part portakabin. Enjoy delicious vegan coffees, ice cream, cake and a full menu. Great for lunch and dinner.
You may associate sushi with raw fish but up to a quarter of the dishes here are vegetarian, some of which can be adapted to be vegan. Options for vegans include miso soup, tofu katzu curry with rice and yasai tempura. Because it is a system where you help yourself from a conveyor, it is best to inform a member of staff beforehand so they can advise you.
There is a branch of this popular restaurant and grill in The Printworks with a few options suitable for vegans. Put together a cooked breakfast of flat mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns and beans, whilst the sweet potato and red onion skewer is vegan too. For main course, the skinny veggie burger is also vegan and don’t forget the trusty salad bar.
This Italian restaurant has a number of vegan options with starters including bruschetta, mixed olives and garlic bread. The Green Goddess Broccoli salad is just one main course option– with lentil ragu, pizza with vegan cheese and pasta pomodoro also available. If you have room for a pudding, the dessert calzone which is free from animal products, and so are select ice creams and gelato.
Handmade Burger Co
There are seven vegan burgers to pick from including Sweet Potato and Bean and Thai Vegetable, two house salads and a number of sides – including fresh cut chips. Delicious.
This Italian restaurant has a separate vegan menu with starters such as mushroom soup and a special veggie antipasti without mozzarella. There is a tomato-based spaghetti main course and desserts include fruit sorbet, dark chocolate truffles and a soya latte available upon request.
Vegan food may not be the first thing that springs to mind with this popular pub chain, but they have a new vegetarian and vegan menu to suit a range of tastes. There are breakfast options, and their sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry (requested without naan) makes a filling main. There’s even a side-order of avocado available for those who like it, plus an apple crumble dessert
This Spanish tapas bar and kitchen on Deansgate has lots of vegan options. Starters include mixed olives and ‘pan tamaca’, whilst choose from four main tapas – pimentos de padron (fiery padron peppers), paella verduras, superfood salad and esparragos. A range of sorbets ae available for dessert.
Pret a Manger
The number of vegan options always seem to be increasing at Pret. They aren’t available at every branch so make sure to keep your eyes out. Start out with the Acai Breakfast Bowl or a dairy-free bircher, whilst main options include the chana chaat flat bread, mushroom and avo sushi salad, select soups of the day and one of the newest menu additions- red tapenade and avo superbowl. Yum.
Vegan starters include the focaccia and ciabatta breads, Tuscan bean soup and bruschetta. Main course pizzas contain vegan bases and can be ordered without cheese and select veggie toppings, plus there are two vegan-friendly pastas.
You can still indulge in vegan-friendly coffee cravings, as a number of coffee options are available using soya milk instead of dairy which makes vegan cappuccinos and lattes possible. Food options are vegan too including the breakfast Perfect Porridge (when choosing soya milk and the very berry compote), Moreish Mezze Salad for lunch and a range of snacks including the fruit salads, dark chocolate bar and roasted almonds.
Slug and Lettuce
You can be sure of vegan options at this popular chain. Beans on toast is a boring but safe breakfast option whilst starters and salads include the ciabatta and wheatbran wrap with olives, superfood salad and noodle salad. The South Asian-influenced khichdi (lentil dish) makes an interesting main, and there are vegan sides such as onion rings and spicy rice.
This restaurant has a separate vegan and vegetarian menu. The starters certainly have personality – check out the vegan-friendly Taco Sharing Tray and Holy Guacamole. Sides such as tortillas, refried beans and tortillas mean you can make a really satisfying wrap. Main courses include mushroom fajita, three different ensaladas and veggie chilli. There are also three vegan desserts.
There is a fairly new branch of this restaurant in Piccadilly Gardens with a number of vegan options. Select bread and olives make a suitable starter (check with your server) whilst there are two main pasta options. The pizza bases are vegan so can be topped to be vegan-friendly on request.
The pizza bases and tomato sauce at this popular chain are completely free of animal and dairy products. This means that pizzas can be served vegan and although they don’t stock vegan cheese, you are welcome to bring your own (in a sealed and labelled pack) and the kitchen chefs can add it for you. There is a vegan-friendly special pizza, the Pianta, which combines chestnut mushrooms, spinach, pine kernels and artichokes. There are also a number of other vegan options including the marinated olives, dough balls, Leggera superfood salad (when served without mozzarella) and raspberry sorbet dessert.
Vegan deli bagel options are the falafel and hummus and the Mediterranean veggie club (when excluding cheese and pesto). Additional vegan toppings include falafel, dill pickle, peanut butter and a number of vegetables– just ask your server. Hot drinks are also available with soya milk rather than dairy.
Enjoy a selection of vegan drinks and snacks throughout the day. The breakfast porridge is available with soya milk plus berry compote or syrup, whilst lunches include two different vegan wraps. The hot drinks can be ordered with soya milk.
You can be sure of some good vegan options at this Spinningfields eaterie. Start with olives and edamame, before mains such as tofu and squash laska and there’s a falafel option (available without tzatziki). Sides include steamed vegetables, skin-on fries, and chunky wedges as is the fruit sorbet dessert.
Many of the popular Asian inspired dishes can be modified by asking for no egg or meat. These include the warm tofu chili salad, yasai gyoza, edamame, wok fried greens – all great when washed down with a glass of their super green juice.
All the coffees here can be requested with soya milk, making them suitable for vegans – except those which include chocolate powder (hot chocolate, mocha). Food options include toast, a number of bagged crisps and popcorn, autumn fruit salad and the tropical fruit medley.
This city-wide chain offers a selection of tasty vegan options. For breakfast you can enjoy avocado sourdough toast or mango and coconut chai, whilst at lunch, soups include spicy tomato and basil. There are three vegan-friendly broth pots (chilli non-arne, sesame shiitake, and Thai butternut squash), two salads and a range of snacks. Hot drinks with soya milk are available.