Vegan food is no longer reserved for those who lead an animal-product free lifestyle. In fact, it’s become so accessible, it’s become more of a cuisine in itself. From pizzas that lose literally no flavour for their lack of cheese, to burgers that could mistake even the biggest meat-eaters among us, we’ve rounded up the very best vegan spots in Manchester to try this Veganuary.
Opening off the back of huge success down in London, Biff’s is a takeaway restaurant on Oxford Road serving their much-loved jackfruit takes on chicken wings and stacked burgers. Its been credited for tasting just as good as the real thing, and with rave reviews like this one from our Editor-in-Chief, Georgie, you know you’re in for a beautiful feast. The award-winning ‘plant-based delivery joint’ is available via Deliveroo now, and those living within the Oxford Road catchment area can order daily. Biff’s, 144 Oxford Rd, M139GP.
2. The Allotment
Tucked away behind Exchange Square, The Allotment, which reopens on January 5th, offers vegan food with a difference. Serving up fresh dishes using the best of the season’s harvest and local, sustainable growers wherever possible, not only does the food taste good but it also does good for the planet too. The menu features small plates like cauliflower wings, miso maple mushrooms and satay skewers as well as larger dishes taking influences from across the globe like tofu laksa, jackfruit tacos and sundried tomato risotto all brimming with fresh, seasonal produce. The Allotment, 1-3 Cathedral Gates, M3 1SW
3. Vegan Shack
Starting life as a result of two new vegans looking to make meat-free grub as tasty as possible, Vegan Shack has been going since 2019 – and it’s been a bit of a gamechanger for Mancs looking for plant-based fast food. Putting their own spin on naughty takeaways such as kebabs and burgers – the takeaway uses plant-based ingredients, namely soya and seitan, to capture the flavours both current and former meat-eaters already know and love. Vegan Shack, One Piccadilly Gardens, M1 1RG.
4. What The Pitta
Opening up in 2021 in the Northern Quarter, What The Pitta is quite an exciting addition to the Manchester food scene – thanks to its award-winning kebabs that just so happen to be 100% vegan, too. Made with care using an old family recipe which was inspired by the flavours of Berlin, the restaurant won ‘Best Takeaway in London’ at the British Kebab Awards 2021 – and now, Mancs can enjoy them, too, at their Northern Quarter spot and newly-opened stall at Hatch. Try out their classic vegan doners, tuck into a gyro, or opt for a tasty falafel wrap. What The Pitta, 42 Back Turner St, M4 1FR | Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, M1 7ED.
5. Wholesome Junkies
Taking fast food and making it completely vegan, Wholesome Junkies has opened its very own spot near Manchester Victoria station. What they’ve achieved is absolutely delicious, and if you’re new to vegan grub (or just been craving a bit of naughtiness that usually consists of meat) then you’re in for a treat. The menu consists of familiar comfort food (but is 100% plant-based), including fried ‘chicken’ burgers, tacos, tater tots and so much more. Wholesome Junkies, Unit 4, Mirabel Street, M3 1PJ.
Becoming an instant hit just a few months into taking over the former Dough site in the Northern Quarter, Purezza serves up an all-vegan menu, with tons of tasty creations to enjoy. Designed in their very own kitchen lab, Purezza has created an array of ‘meaty’ vegan toppings for their pizzas, including plant-based N’duja, pulled pork and so much more. Purezza, 75-77 High St, M4 1FS.
Starting out with a pop-up at Hatch then expanding to Withington, Herbivorous makes exciting, modern vegan comfort food that’s better for you and better for the planet. The vegan restaurant in Manchester has developed its own unique recipes over the years after being inspired by the vegan food scene whilst on a road trip in the USA. From Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches and loaded fries to buffalo wings and creole crab fritters (all amazingly vegan), Herbivorous offers a feast for the eyes and stomach. Herbivorous, Hatch, Oxford Road, M1 7ED | 445 Wilmslow Road, Withington, M20 4AN.
8. Desert Island Dumplings
Known for their unconventional dumplings made with a plant-based twist, Desert Island Dumplings has created some seriously delicious fusion flavours, ranging from ‘Cheezburger’, Smokey ‘Cheez’ Pizza, Hoisin Mock Duck, Salt and Pepper ‘Chikn’ and Lobster. The tasty treats are served alongside an array of sides, including chips with ‘cheez’ and gravy, salt and pepper hashbrowns and ‘drunk’ Teriyaki noodles, as well as delicious dessert dumplings stuffed with lemon drizzle and Lotus banoffee. Desert Island Dumplings, 99 Manchester Rd, Chorlton, M21 9GA.
Love pasta? Love plant-based food? Then Pastan is the place to be. The vegan pasta brand took over the former site of vegan eatery, Vertigo, nestled in the heart of Manchester’s Royal Exchange, in November 2022 bringing with it an indulgent menu of 100% plant-based pasta. The menu features favourites such as a vegan carbonara with a homemade creamy sauce and lardons; a pea and shallot ravioli dressed in a salsa verde; Roman classic cacio e pepe; and Catalonian-inspired black cavatelli pasta made in a rich tomato sauce, spiced with apricot harissa and rosemary; plus sides of Loaded Gnocchi. Pastan, 18 Cross Street, The Royal Exchange, M2 7AE.
Terrifying carnivores since 1990, Greens is an institution when it comes to vegan and vegetarian food in the Greater Manchester area. Located in West Didsbury and co-owned by Sunday Brunch‘s Simon Rimmer as well as a newly opened branch at Sale’s Stanley Square, Greens serves up imaginative dishes packed full of flavour but minus the meat. Tuck into a range of small and large plates to suit how hungry you are which vary from tempura cauliflower with gochujang to truffled mushroom Wellington. Greens even offer veggie black pudding for those who might be slightly missing the real deal. Greens, 41-43 Lapwing Ln, West Didsbury, M20 2NT | Unit 14-16 Stanley Square, Sale, M33 7WZ.
11. The Gherkin
Serving hearty breakfasts by day and big bites at night, The Gherkin in Levenshulme is there to feed you for every meal of the day. The Manchester spot takes some of your favourite classics with meat and animal products and makes them vegan creating dishes like VLT bagel with smoked tofu bacon, chick-fill-a with breaded oyster mushrooms, chickpea omelettes and tofish with all the classic chip shop sides. The Gherkin even has dedicated nights to certain cuisines such as Chippy Tuesday, Curry Club Wednesday and a Sunday Roast with plenty of incredible vegan dishes on the menu to enjoy, with vegan cocktails and mocktails to wash it all down with. The Gherkin, 312 Slade Lane, Levenshulme, M19 2BY.