These days there’s plenty of vegan food in Manchester to choose from, and about time too.
It’s clear that ethical eating is on the rise, with vegan cooking becoming more mainstream month by month (or, maybe just Veganuary, for those still testing the waters). 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.
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.
Here are our picks
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.
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.
Common Bar, 39-47 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now
If you like your vegan food with a thick slice of hipster on the side – and of course you do – then head to Common. For breakfast you can choose from their Vegan Fry (a vegan fry-up, duh!), Jumpin’ Jack Flash (hash browns with mushrooms and avocado) and for the rest of the day there’s No Clucks Given (a crispy fried vegan seitan burger) and the Beyond Fake News burger.
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.
Teacup Kitchen, 55 Thomas Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1NA - Visit now
Teacup has an amazing choice of vegan breakfasts and bunches; from superfood porridge to the full vegan breakfast via mushrooms, falafel and avocado. As you’d expect, there’s loads of tea to pick from as well as soya and coconut milk alternatives and even vegan cake. That’s right, cake. Sadly, there isn’t a single vegan choice on the non-breakfast menu, but breakfast is served all day, and as Leslie Knope once said, “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?”.
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. Expect games, huge smiles, delicious desserts and a place you’ll want to return to again and again and again. It’s just celebrated its two year anniversary – expect many many more to come.
The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 7HE - Visit now
One of the Deaf Institute’s more celebrated offerings is the Sunday lunch. This isn’t the bog standard English breakfast or Sunday roast, this is the Vegan Hangover, which unsurprisingly features an all-vegan menu. The menu is lovingly-prepared by head chef Charlie, and varies from week to week. You’ll find quesadillas, nut roasts, mac and cheese and curries, all brimming with flavour and texture. Rest assured, this is some of the most inspiring food in Manchester, vegan or not.
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.
1847, Chapel Walks, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 1HN - Visit now
1847 specialises in that rare species of cooking: vegetarian and vegan fine dining. It’s on Chapel Walks, a few minutes from the city centre and boasts an award-winning menu and elegant decor. The food ranges from a beetroot puff pastry stack into more traditional territory (trio of cauliflower, anyone?), but the amount of choice available is enough to make the option-starved vegan dizzy.
Vapiano Manchester, Unit 13, The Corn Exchange, Manchester, M4 3TR - Visit now
Vapiano is a pizza and pasta bar that takes up a hefty slice of the Corn Exchange food court. The name comes from an Italian saying about having a relaxed, healthy approach to life and the restaurant has a decent range of vegan choices for those looking for a light, fresh, meat-free meal. If you enjoy a tipple, you’ll even find vegan wine on the menu.
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.
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.
Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.