As a vegetarian and a wannabe-vegan-who-can’t-resist-cheese, I can honestly say I have never struggled to eat out in Manchester with so many amazing independent plant-based restaurants and larger chains coming out with meat alternative options.
This list is not in order of ranking but is roughly ordered by the proximity of the restaurant to the main university buildings.
Falafil Express – Oxford Road (Vegetarian/Vegan)
Falafil Express has the best falafel in Manchester PERIOD. Anyone who says its Go Falafel is the best is a dirty rotten liar who should not be trusted. With an entirely vegan menu, a mere two-minute walk from university buildings offering wraps, salad boxes, smoothies and coffee all around the price of an average meal deal or less. It is an unmissable spot for a lunch break for all falafel fans veggie or otherwise. My recommendation is a medium wrap with everything for a whooping £3, you can customise your wraps and salad boxes for picky eaters but I personally believe it all goes together so well you may as well get all the toppings and sauces you can.
The Eighth Day Café – Oxford Road (Vegetarian/Vegan)
The Eighth Day Café has it ALL, a huge health food store that boosts of having the largest selection of vegetarian/ vegan options in the North- West, a deli counter with a massive range of on the go lunch options as well as the cafe/ restaurant located on the bottom floor. The health food store offers cruelty free and vegan skincare, a range of local and vegan alcohol as well as organic groceries and meat/ dairy free products. The deli counter on the first floor offers a delicious range of veggie/ vegan sweet treats such as brownies and cupcakes as well as savoury burritos, wraps and pastries. From the deli I would recommend a chocolate lotus biscuit cupcake and a chorizo and bean burrito (both vegan). The award-winning café downstairs offers a daily menu of delicious vegan breakfasts, stews, soups and curries as well as vegan hot puddings such as crumbles.
Drools. V Rev Diner’s supports spreading information on vegan and living as cruelty free as possible with information available on their website of where you can learn more with links to popular blogs and books on the subject. This little diner has a huge choice of classic fast food comforts available including every burger you can imagine some even named after vines such as the ‘fre sha voca do’ (chicken and avocado) burger, sandwiches and hotdogs named after music artists ‘the notorious DOG’ (huge hotdog with jalapenos) a personal favourite. The restaurant also offers macaroni and not cheese dishes as well as lots of desserts and sundaes. A MUST VISIT.
Earth Café, is located in the basement of the Buddhist centre and has a menu of ethical and organic produce that changes daily depending on what’s on the market – all cooked from scratch. Offering a mixed platter of four items for £7 pounds you are literally spoiled for choice. Popular dishes include a range of curries and stews, raw desserts and cakes. With its huge range of smoothies, shakes and juices, the earth café offers the most nutrional food on the list in a cozy setting.
OH YES A VEGETARIAN/ VEGAN CHINESE BUFFET! By last but by no means least, Lotus makes the list providing dishes made with mock meats and vegetables to encourage healthier options of our favourite Chinese takeaway foods. A cause I am sure we all can get behind. Bring your Mum, bring your friends, bring your flatmate ITS CHINESE!
Yes I am excited but all with good reason, I remember recently after turning vegetarian we went to our usual birthday spot a nice Chinese restaurant but unfortunately vegetables in sauce didn’t quite take the edge off my craving. Sometimes I wake up at night dreaming about prawn toast and now finally that dream can become a reality without having to eat an actual prawn. The restaurant is another Buddhist owned restaurant recently trying to add as many vegan dishes as possible to have options available to all, by request you can have the vegetarian mock meats in most dishes changed to a vegan off menu substitute (if not already offered). DID I MENTION AVAILABLE AS A TAKEAWAY!!