Vegan Advegtures: Manchester, UK

This post is sponsored by Visit Manchester.

Manchester? I’m mad for it!

Oasis, Coronation Street and two of the biggest football teams in the world… It’s no secret that Manchester is a city rich in culture. However, more recently, it’s also become quite the hub for vegan food.

I was lucky enough to be invited by Visit Manchester to explore this buzzing city and as always, to eat as much food as I could fit into my stomach over the course of two and a half days!

Firstly, I just want to say that if you’re thinking about visiting Manchester, do it! I absolutely loved the vibe here. It felt like a small city with a big heart. It’s similar to London in that there is lots to do and the food scene is strong but I would say that the people slightly edge us when it comes to being welcoming!

Here’s the list of places we visited in the order we visited them:

🌱 Pollen Bakery

🌱 V-Rev Vegan Diner

🌱 FoodWell

🌱 Vertigo

🌱 Hatch

🌱 YES

🌱 The Allotment

🌱 GRUB

Here’s a map showing the location of all of the restaurants:


So, down to the nitty gritty. Here’s what we ate and what we thought:

1. Pollen Bakery

Where is it?

Cotton Field Wharf, 8 New Union St, Manchester M4 6FQ

What’s it like?

This is a very hip, trendy cafe / restaurant giving off serious Melbourne vibes as it sits overlooking the canal. There’s outdoor seating for Summer and it was extremely busy when we visited. The atmosphere was great and the staff were lovely. The food was very reminiscent of a great Aussie brunch which is really hard to find in the UK! I did think that the vegan options were limited but I’d definitely return just to eat the ones we had again. They were fab! This is how breakfast should be done.

What did you eat?

  • Green Shakshuka with vegan creme fraiche – £9
  • Pan-fried wild mushrooms on toast with vegan creme fraiche – £9

What did you think of the food?

  • Green shakshuka – The flavours in this were incredible! The crunch of the hazelnuts was contrasted against the creamy sauce and there was a bit of everything in here – A bit nutty, spicy, sweet, creamy. An absolutely wonderful dish!
  • Pan-fried wild mushrooms – This whole dish worked so well. The shrooms were salty (almost like bacon), juicy and smoky and the creme fraiche was lovely too.

More information:

Check out their Instagram


2. V-Rev Vegan Diner

Where is it?

20-26 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN

What’s it like?

This is a huge vegan “junk” food diner in the heart of the Northern Quarter. The space itself is colourful and relaxed. It was fairly busy when we visited but not overwhelmingly so. It was easy to get a table and the staff were helpful and attentive. The menu is full of burgers, hot dogs, macaroni cheeses and deep fried goodness. This is definitely food for the soul!

What did you eat?

  • Jalapeno poppers – £5.50
  • Frickles (beer battered pickles) – £4.25
  • Chickn Tenders – £4.95
  • The Macatomi Plaza Burger w/ beyond meat patty, breaded deep fried Mac & cheese patty, smoked vegan gouda, double baecon, house sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomato – £15.95
  • Are You Alfredo The Dark – Macaroni in a béchamel sauce – £10.95

What did you think of the food?

  • Jalapeno poppers – These were so nice. I loved the dipping sauce and the coating was delicious too
  • Frickles – These were so good. They were really vinegary and had a good amount of batter. My first taste of frickles and definitely not my last!
  • Chickn Tenders – Really nice bourbon flavour and the seitan was nice and moist
  • The Macatomi Plaza Burger – I wasn’t as blown away by this as I thought I would be. If anything, I actually found it a little too big which made it quite tough to eat. The cheese melted really well and of course, the Beyond Meat patty had a lovely flavour. I did also like the breaded Mac & cheese patty but altogether it was a bit much for me.
  • Are You Alfredo The Dark – This could’ve used a bit more flavour but it was very creamy! The “chicken” was quite moist which was lovely but it was a tad chewy

More information:

Check out their Instagram


3. FoodWell

Where is it?

Suite 2, Ground Floor, One New Bailey, Stanley St, Salford M3 5JL

What’s it like?

This is a super trendy restaurant with the most beautiful interiors! It’s situated next to the water and it felt like the kind of place where people come to have dinner before they head out for the evening. FoodWell is a bit of a new kid on the block and it’s attracted the attention of quite a few celebrities! Despite being quite swish, it did have a relaxed feel to it although I can imagine as it grows in popularity, it will get busier and perhaps a little more formal. It’s absolutely huge inside and it’s clear that a lot of effort has been injected into the design. It’s not fully vegan but they do have a large range of vegan options.

What did you eat?

  • Lemon Courgette Scallops with celeriac spaghetti, lemon, samphire, smoked cashews & toasted almonds – £7
  • Aubergine Fillet with pineapple, smoked tofu, roasted pepper, Korean sweet & sour, coconut & crispy shallots – £6.50
  • Indian Mushroom Balti Burger with shiitake mushrooms, baby gem, pickled red cabbage, harissa cheese, Korean ketchup, smoked sumac salted chips – £12
  • Cauliflower Shawarma with coconut yoghurt, pine nuts, pomegranate, coriander, chilli & rose – £12.50
  • Balti Hasselback Potatoes – £4.50
  • Black Rice Pudding with coconut, molasses and roasted pineapple – £7.00

What did you think of the food?

  • Lemon Courgette Scallops – Firstly, I like how creative this dish is but I personally hink that mushrooms work better as scallops than celeriac. They tasted quite strongly of vinegar, were a bit too crunchy and needed to be a little softer. They had an almost cheesy/carbonara flavour to them which was unusual. I loved the flaked almonds. This wasn’t a bad dish but again, I would’ve preferred mushrooms. I think the sauce would work really well with a pasta dish!
  • Aubergine Fillet – This was cooked in the same way as a steak so it had the same kinds of flavours but was obviously juicier than a meat steak and the texture was very different. I loved the pineapple, the tofu was nice but a bit random. The spinach was cooked very well and the aniseed flavour was unusual and strong but I enjoyed it
  • Indian Mushroom Balti Burger – I loved how soft and squishy the burger bun was. The patty itself was full of flavour, the ketchup was spicy and the ratios were great. The mushrooms gave a nice moisture and it wasn’t dry at any point. The chips were great too. This was a really good dish!
  • Cauliflower Shawarma – I wasn’t a big fan of the flavours in this dish as they were too citrusy and bitter for me. I also thought that the cauliflower was a little undercooked. All of the flavour was on the outside which left it tasting a little bland inside
  • Balti Hasselback Potatoes – I absolutely loved these. They had a nice Jalfrezi flavour to them. The potatoes were also cooked perfectly
  • Black Rice Pudding – This was incredible. The caramelised banana was just insane. The rice pudding was nice and had a great texture. It would’ve been a bit bland on its own but it was lovely with all of the toppings! It was creamy, moreish and super comforting. Parts of it tasted like caramel popcorn

More information:

Check out their Instagram


4. Vertigo

Where is it?

18 Cross St, Manchester M2 7AE

What’s it like?

A fully vegan bakery / cafe serving up modern decor, cosy vibes and delicious breakfast food. The menu isn’t very extensive but the options they do have are tasty! The staff are lovely and helpful and the venue is centrally located which is handy.

What did you eat?

  • Cinnamon Waffle with biscoff drizzle, biscoff crumb & vanilla ice cream (they were out of ice cream so we had vanilla yoghurt instead) – £6.50
  • Full Breakfast with sausages, homemade beans, tofu, mushrooms, avocado & toast – £9

What did you think of the food?

  • Cinnamon Waffles – Sadly these guys were out of vanilla ice cream so we had to have ours with yoghurt instead which was nice but obviously not as creamy as ice cream. It did mean that the dish was a little dry in parts but I imagine with the ice cream, it’d be amazing. The crunchy pieces were lovely and the biscoff worked so well, as did the cinnamon
  • Full Breakfast – This was an alright breakfast but I think they could make it even better. The scrambled tofu would’ve been better if it had been a little creamier. I liked the chunky, sweet homemade beans and the mushrooms were well cooked but needed a bit more flavour (perhaps some garlic?). The guac was a little too smooth for my personal taste but it had a nice citrus flavour to it. The sausages were tasty!

More information:

Check out their Instagram


5. Hatch

Where is it?

Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7ED

What’s it like?

Hatch is a street market with a range of shops and food vendors. I absolutely loved the vibe – house music, street food trucks, sustainable shops and bars. I could have sat here all day (we almost did) and watched people walk by whilst munching on different types of food. There weren’t many vegan only stalls, but most of the stalls had at least one vegan option. This was dog friendly, family friendly but also the kind of place you could come in the day or the evening for drinks with a friend, or even a date. Very cool!

What did you eat?

  • Teriyaki Shroomi from Hanoi 75 – Oyster mushrooms & button cups, crispy beansprouts & sautéed bok choy – £7

What did you think of the food?

  • Teriyaki Shroomi – Sadly, I didn’t love this dish. I thought that it was quite salty and I didn’t love the flavour of the sauce.

More information:

Check out their Instagram


6. YES

Where is it?

38 Charles St, Manchester M1 7DB

What’s it like?

This is a four storey pub where each floor is used for a different purpose. We visited the ground floor, where you can grab drinks and food, and the rooftop where we basked in the sun for hours. In the afternoon, there weren’t too many people there but it started to get busier as it neared the evening. We also heard a rumour that there’s live music!

What did you eat?

  • Aubergine Genie Pizza from Pepperoni Playboy – £1.60 per slice

What did you think of the food?

  • Aubergine Genie – The flavours on this pizza were nice but it was very greasy which did put me off

More information:

Check out their Instagram


7. The Allotment

Where is it?

Lloyd’s house, 18-22 Lloyd St, Manchester M2 5WA

What’s it like?

The Allotment is where fine dining restaurant meets casual eatery. Decor wise, you feel very cosy and comfortable in a modern, rustic setting.  The service is great, and the wait staff were very knowledgeable about the food they were serving. This is the kind of place where you could meet for a casual drink or sit down for a ten course tasting menu like we did.

What did you eat?

  • 10 Course Menu – £65 per person
    • Amuse Bouche
    • Soup
    • King oyster ceviche, beetroot & quinoa
    • Confit carrot, popcorn, ras el honout, red cabbage
    • Beer battered banana blossom, minted peas, potato
    • Glazed daikon, peppers, vermicelli, soy, agave & lime
    • Coconut, rum, pineapple
    • Pistachio creme brûlée, strawberry, hazlenut
    • Chocolate fudge, mango, banana & chilli
    • Aoerol Granita, lavender & black pepper meringue

What did you think of the food?

  • I won’t take you through every dish as we’ll be here all day but this was a really interesting menu. It’s great to find a place which focuses on natural ingredients and also makes a real effort to experiment with combinations of textures and flavours. I don’t personally think that all of the dishes totally worked but some did, and others really intrigued me!  My favourite dishes were the soup, the confit carrot, the beer battered banana blossom, the coconut, rum & pineapple, the creme brûlée and the chocolate fudge. I’d definitely go back here and I have a lot of respect for the chefs who are really pushing the boundaries with vegan cooking.

More information:

Check out their Instagram


8. Grub

Where is it?

Mayfield Gatehouse, 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2AD

What’s it like?

The cutest outdoor food market – I absolutely loved it here! We visited on a Sunday where every vendor serves only vegan food and the range was amazing. The space itself is brilliant, perfect for a summer day out! Highly recommend.

What did you eat?

  • Vegan Chicken & Waffles – £9
  • Tofu Katsu from Sutikku – £7
  • Mac & Cheeze burger from Vegan Ray – £6
  • “Fish” tacos from Guerrilla Guerrilla – £5
  • Banoffee Waffles from Sugar Spun Sisters – £5
  • Biscoff Caramel brownie from Lekker – £3

What did you think of the food?

  • Vegan Chicken & Waffles – These didn’t do it for me. It was incredibly salty and the whilst the breaded texture was nice, it was lacking in flavour. The waffle was also a little dry
  • Tofu Katsu  – This was beautiful but needed more sauce. Loved the pickled veg and the sesame!
  • Mac & Cheeze burger  – This was BRILLIANT! The cheese didn’t get lost, which was appreciated. It even added a slight tang. The walnut pesto which went with it was absolutely beautiful, the patty held together well, the rocket added a nice peppery flavour. This is the first Mac & cheese burger I’ve had where they really thought hard about adding flavour and it paid off.
  • “Fish” tacos – These were absolutely amazing. The flavours were beautiful, especially the sweet mango. The banana blossom worked really well (sometimes I don’t love it but this worked a treat). I also loved the lime in the guacamole. GREAT dish!
  • Banoffee Waffles – I don’t even have the words for how good this was. It was incredible!!
  • Biscoff Caramel brownie – This was delicious, a really lovely texture – Very moist!

More information:

Check out their Instagram


 

I also want to mention that we tried our hardest to get to Bundobust on the first night but by the time our train arrived and we made our way to the restaurant, we were fifteen minutes too late to order food. We were gutted as we’d heard SO many great things about this venue but I’d suggest you put it on your list if you’re ever there! We’ll definitely head there next time we’re back!

 



 

I should also mention that we went on the most amazing street art focused walking tour of the Northern Tour with a lady called Hayley from Skyliner. It was brilliant and I highly recommend it as a creative and unique way to find out the history and culture of the city.



I hope that this blog post has helped you understand the vegan scene in Manchester a little better.

These are just some of the places we visited. Obviously there are lots of other places offering vegan options. We’d also have loved to visit Bundobust, Deaf Institute and Ice Shack if we’d had time.

If you want any tips or just want to have a chat about any of the places we visited, head over to my Instagram page: @thelittlelondonvegan.

TLLV

x

 

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