Welcome to the Vegan Punks guide to eating vegan in Manchester – we took on the challenge of eating our way around the top vegan hot spots in our favourite Northern city, so you don’t have to! Here’s what we found…
Pie & Ale
A popular bar in the Northern Quarter, Pie & Ale offer an extensive menu of homemade pies inspired by global cuisines. They even offer a roast dinner pie on Sundays! We tried the Mushroom Stroganoff and Moussaka pies and would definitely eat again, along with their creamy mash (which is vegan as standard). They also offer an extensive list of ales – and most are vegan. Just ask their staff for which other drinks are vegan, they’re very helpful.
Perfect for: quick eats, beers, great vegan options and hearty food.
V-Rev need no introduction – from what we can tell, they’re Manchester vegan royalty. If you’re looking for a quick bite or a junk food hit, this is the place to go. Set in the heart of the Northern Quarter, their junk food menu stacks up – literally. Try the ‘Donut have a cow, man’ for a burger set between two donuts or the ‘Barbecute without the “e”’ to get a hit of their vegan ‘beef’, and not to forget their ‘chik’n’ – it’s perfectly spiced and would give London’s Temple of Seitan a run for their money! We’ve gone back here each time we’ve been in Manchester and would go again. Just don’t expect to feel healthy afterwards. You can go on a detox after MPF, right?
Perfect for: vegan junk food, quick eats, best named dishes
We first visited Bundobust during Manchester Punk Festival 2018, and we loved it. They offer up vibrant veggie and vegan Indian street food served with craft beer from local and international breweries in a friendly communal space. Located in a basement on Piccadilly, Bundobust is a stone’s throw from the city’s independent Northern Quarter. We’d highly recommend the tarka dal, masala dosa and the idli sambar. Order a couple of dishes each and share, tapas-style! That’s what we do anyway.
Perfect for: curry fiends, vegan and vegetarian options, craft beer lovers
The Pasta Factory might be the friendliest restaurant in Manchester. Upon arrival you’ll be greeted by their lovely staff and they ask everyone if they have allergies or dietary requirements before ordering. They’ve created hearty and authentic Italian dishes that you can tell they’re proud of. We’d recommend the Panelle to start – it’s light and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and served with a delicious salsa. They make their own range of vegan cheese and even bring you vegan parmesan so you’re not left out! All drinks are vegan and staff are very knowledgeable.
Perfect for: carb loading, great vegan options, sit-down meal
Newly opened in January 2019, Vertigo are putting healthy and hearty plant-based food on the map. The cafe decor itself is very Instagrammable – think indoor plants, geometrics and a general relaxing vibe. Go here if you need to treat your body to something nourishing in between shows. We went for the full English breakfast and can confirm – it’s hangover busting. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, they offer sweet breakfasts, vegan sausage sandwiches and bowls too. Also open for lunch and dinner, and serve great coffee all day long, with a range of plant milks.
Perfect for: hangover busting breakfasts, caffeine hit, superfood boost, all vegan
Trof might me the trendiest eatery in Manchester – think exposed brick work and industrial lighting. Great for breakfast and cocktails, and breakfast cocktails. We had a hearty hangover curing full English here – they even offer vegan black pudding. We’ve never seen anywhere offering that down south! One of the best happy hours around – £5 cocktails, £3.50 G&Ts and £3.50 lagers, 4-8pm everyday. Exceptional espresso martinis and an extensive bourbon menu. Would recommend booking a table as their three floors of seating fill up quick.
Perfect for: brunch, cocktails, hangover breakfasts, happy hour, vegan options
The Deaf Institute
The Deaf Institute is Trof’s cooler, rough around the edges, younger Brother. 80% of their menu is vegan so there’s something for everyone’s taste, as well as offering daily plant-based specials. The menu is made up of a range of mostly American themed junk food, with a few healthier options thrown in, from loaded hot dogs and nachos, to mac & cheese, quinoa bowls, and even vegan ice cream for pudding! All set to a soundtrack of surf, garage, hiphop, underground and breaking bands. And don’t forget about The Vegan Hangover on Sundays, where their entire menu is dedicated to curing your hangover, vegan-style. You can get a burger and a beer for £10 with your MPF wristband.
Perfect for: fun times, cask ales, American junk food, lots of vegan options
The Eighth Day Cafe
Eighth Day Vegetarian Cafe and shop is one of the longest running worker co-operatives in the North West. It’s another top spot for breakfast but they also offer a full menu – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner inspired by foods from every continent, and is very affordable. If you get a chance, pop into their vegan and vegetarian grocery store – they have nutritionists, natural beauty experts, foodies and wine buffs on hand to share their knowledge. Don’t forget, you get 10% discount with your MPF wristband in their cafe (orders over £5)!
Perfect for: cheap eats, hearty comfort food, vegan full English
Manchester Vegan Cafe and Wellbeing Centre
Located on the ground floor of what might be the most famous alternative landmark in Manchester, Afflecks Palace, the centre is accessible to all. They make affordable plant-based grub that’s catered for all diets. Their breakfast menu starts from £3.70 for a Full English and is served until midday. Lunch features hearty mains like shepherd’s pie or bean burgers, through to lighter options like naked burritos or healthy Buddha bowls. We especially love their fresh juice – orange, ginger and carrot wins us over every time.
Perfect for: cheap eats, breakfast and lunch, chilling, all vegan menu, gluten free options.
Lucky Cat (inside Rockers)
We can’t visit Manchester without popping into Rockers and the Lucky Cat. The coolest alternative shop in central Manchester, just around the corner from Afflecks Palace. Grab a quick burrito or sos roll from the Lucky Cat counter, and check out the punk rock patches, pin-up outfits or 50’s style hair accessories on offer in the shop – all under one roof. If you need an afternoon pick-me up, check out their cake counter – all vegan and truly delicious. We can never resist. Treat yo’self.
Perfect for: quick and cheap eats, vegan cakes, 50s style clothes, punk rock patches
We’re yet to eat at Little Aladdin but every vegan group on Facebook gives it top marks so we had to include it here. Serving curries, burgers and falafel from 11:30am through to 9:30pm (Mon-Sat) it’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite, and very affordable too, with curries starting from £4.50. They even do vegan cheesy chips. There’s not much seating so you may need to grab a bite and head elsewhere to eat.
Perfect for: quick and cheap eats, curry fiends, all vegan menu
Lovely coffee shop with exposed brick walls, quirky lighting and a cool art space vibe, serving excellent coffee, pie and other eats. In their own words ‘Idle Hands is not just for those who enjoy drinking, tasting and making coffee, but those who enjoy discussing and researching it.’ Making artisan coffee with a variety of plant-based milks, vegan cakes and a few vegan options on their breakfast and lunch menu.10% off with your wristband.
Perfect for: coffee, chilled vibes, hipster punks, vegan options
GRUB has to be the coolest place for casual dining in Manchester, located just a stone’s throw away from Manchester Piccadilly train station. They pop up in the Fairfield Social Club every Friday-Sunday. On Fridays and Saturdays they offer all types of food and traders are strongly encouraged to offer a great vegan option, and every Sunday is entirely plant-powered! Their bar is 100% vegan and takes card payments only. It offers a super trendy vibe, especially in their ‘snug zone’ decorated with fairy lights, vintage sofas and lamp shades.
Perfect for: street food, vegan options, vegan Sundays, vegan booze, chilling
And not to forget the brilliant MPF venues, The Union offers an extensive vegan menu, Gorilla offer a big ol’ vegan breakfast and a couple of lunch and dinner options too. The Teatime Collective will be popping up at the Thirsty Scholar serving all-vegan fast food for the second year, Brickhouse Social offer vegan nachos and a couple of other junk food style options, and The Font do a vegan brekkie too.
We hope you enjoy all the good eats in this guide – tag us on Instagram when you visit them or hashtag #VeganPunksManchester! You can also check out our blog at www.veganpunks.co.uk – enjoy! Also – don’t forget that MPF2019 wristband holders get discount at a bunch of these places!