As climate change and other socially-conscious issues become more important than ever, so vegan food has become both more popular and appealing. Hence the wealth of vegan restaurants popping up in Manchester, alongside plenty of established restaurants offering a solid range of plant-based dishes. Looking for the best? You’ve come to the right place.
Year on year, it’s clear that plant-based eating is on the rise, as vegan cooking becomes more mainstream. As ever, the restaurant scene is one step ahead, and even meat-eaters will be aware of the increasing number of vegan dishes available at their favourite restaurant.
In 2023, non-meat food doesn’t only taste just as good – if not better – than meat-based food but it’s likely to give you a significant energy boost, along with the knowledge that you’re eating ethically and helping the environment in some small way.
Vegetarians are well served around Manchester, but it’s time to focus on the restaurants with the tastiest vegan meals. So whether you’re a proud vegan or merely curious, let us guide you towards some of the best food choices for vegans in Manchester. Also check our guides to vegetarian food in Manchester, gluten-free food in Manchester and vegan food in Leeds and Liverpool.
Here are our picks
GRUB Manchester, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M4 4HF - Visit now
If you haven’t been to GRUB yet, put it at the top of your list. It’s one of our favourites spots in Manchester, not least because of the excellent street food vendors (many of them vegan) but also the regular plant-based food events they host.
Bundobust Manchester, 61 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2AG - Visit now
Since opening their restaurant on the edge of Piccadilly, the team behind Bundobust have built one hell of a buzz around Manchester. For the unaware, this underground restaurant serves up tapas-style small plates of vegan (and some vegetarian) Indian food, along with an exhaustive – and somewhat exhausting – list of beers and craft ales. You can’t eat in at the moment, obviously, but you can order for collection or delivery.
Bundobust Brewery, St James's Bldg, Bundobust Brewery, 61-69 Oxford St, Manchester, M1 6EQ - Visit now
So good we included them twice. Bundobust is storming ahead in the non-meat stakes and this new venue on Oxford Road is perfect for those of you who like an environmentally-friendly bite to eat alongside the freshest beer possible.
The Allotment Vegan Restaurant, Lloyd’s house, 18-22 Lloyd St, Manchester, M2 5WA - Visit now
The Allotment Vegan Restaurant is an award-winning vegan restaurant, formerly based in Stockport and now in heart of Manchester’s city centre. Stockport’s loss is very much Manchester’s grain. However, it’s closed until mind-January so make a note in your diary for late-month visit.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ground Floor, Warehouse, Ducie St,, Manchester, M1 2TP - Visit now
Ducie Street Warehouse impress every time we visit, and the substantial plant-based section of the menu gets bigger and more mouth-watering each and every time. Pop in for a bite, stay for the music and drinks.
The Refuge, Oxford Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 7HA - Visit now
Of course there are plenty of meaty things on this off-kilter small plates menu, but The Refuge have a quality selection of cruelty-free choices too. From curried sweet potato to beetroot pakora via a delicious assortment of wonderfully crafted vegetable dishes.
Idle Hands, 35 Dale St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2HF - Visit now
A dairy alternative is no new thing to the coffee shops of Manchester, that said, so many of them are bloody useless at getting it right. Not here, Idle Hands can whip up a mean Oatly flat-white and they’ve plenty of vegan cakes and pies to enjoy on the side.
Ice Shack, 1c, 160-164 Wellington Rd, Manchester, M20 3FU - Visit now
The vegan community has always been close, but even we were surprised by the outpouring of love for Didsbury’s Ice Shack from our readers and local word of mouth. Offering so much more than all-vegan desserts, this homely little place provides a safe friendly space for everyone with a nice, loving attitude.
Greens, 41-43 Lapwing Lane, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M20 2NT - Visit now
Arguably the most highly regarded vegetarian restaurant in Manchester, Simon Rimmer’s much-loved Didsbury restaurant has been gradually adding more and more vegan dishes to the menu over the years. A fantastic stepping stone for those veggies who are thinking of taking that final step into veganism.
World Peace Cafe, 76 High Lane, Manchester, M21 9XF - Visit now
The World Peace Cafe is part of the Kadampa Meditation Centre in Chorlton, which is itself part of a worldwide network of Buddhist centres founded by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Staffed entirely by volunteers, it ‘runs on kindness’, and offers a relaxed, positive and friendly atmosphere. So, vegetarian and vegan food is a part of it, but it’s not just about food: what’s on offer is a bigger, holistic experience.
Eighth Day, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 7DU - Visit now
Eighth Day is a veggie and vegan superstore that’s less of a shop-cum-cafe and more of a Manchester institution. Not only a great place to pick up your hemp milk and agave syrup, but also a deliciously hearty, fairly priced vegetarian/vegan lunch in the laid-back downstairs café.
The Beagle, 456-458 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M21 0BQ - Visit now
Good beers and a great menu with some superb vegan options – it’s essentially Common in Chorlton. We highly recommend the frijoles on toast for breakfast, just remember to tell them you’re vegan.