V Revolution, 20-26 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN – Visit Now
‘V’ – not for vodka, Victor or vengeance, but V for v-v-v-v…ready for a dirty word? Vegan. Veganism is many a carnivore’s (or even herbivore’s) favourite culinary whipping boy, but Manchester café V Revolution is on a mission to provide meat-eaters something else to sink their teeth into. Its fun, vegan junk food concept features towering burgers, sauce-slathered hot dogs and inventive sandwiches – but you won’t be offered Slutty Ketchup or Ho’s Mayo here.
For although it is American diner in style, this place bucks the lazily sexist “dinner with tits” trend so popular in “edgy” eateries of late. No, the sauce here is of a different sort: V Revolution manages to be racy by challenging how we demean veganism as dogmatic, limited and boring. Take a seat in the café’s colourful surrounds and you’ll be served not with double entendres or ethical epilogues, but rather plates of food that make animal-free eating actually taste sexy.
Absolutely everything on the menu in V Revolution is vegan. The whole place rebels against the idea that this way of eating entails nutrient-drained faces and the inhalation of large quantities of quinoa. But this would just be veganism’s teen movie-style makeover, if it wasn’t for the food that gives the café its wicked soul. When we visited, we were treated to a fried ‘chkn’ burger, stuffed with ‘cheez’, guacamole, chipotle mayo, salsa and lettuce – otherwise known as the ‘Guac to the Future’ from the gloriously pun-y menu. It was a proper, messy, relish-on-the-chin affair – and a tough pick from the wide range of ‘Beefy’ burgers, hot dogs, sarnies and salads, with loaded fries and other delightful sides as accompaniments. In fact, if you’re a regular herbivore, you may be overwhelmed by the choice.
So, how do you ever go about changing someone’s mind? V Revolution’s approach is to stage a small uprising against veganism’s current reputation, one fantastically trashy bap at a time. Owner Dom Moss has created a café that foodsters of all persuasions would be proud to eat at. It seems that, to bring about a real shift in perceptions, you have to alter how someone would put themselves in the picture – and when veganism looks and tastes as enticing as this, who wouldn’t want to get involved?