Vegan Food in Unexpected Places

Veganism has taken over the world but did you think you'd find vegan options in some of these Manchester restaurants...

The Turkish restaurant down on Deansgate brings a sophisticated spin on Turkish food, including Pide, kebabs and plenty of mixed grill options. With the humble donner kebab coming from Turkey, a vegan dish is a pretty unlikely appearance at KAI. At least so you’d think. 

In actual fact, there are plenty of vegan mezze dishes, including Baba Ghanoush; coal cooked aubergine with olive oil and rose petal dukkah. There’s also Hummus, Olives, a classic Turkish Ezme Salad with spicy mashed tomato relish, tabbouleh a salad comprised of finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, mint, onion and seasoning, Eastern couscous, and plenty of rice options. 

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Cane & Grain
As Manchester’s premier rib joint you’d think there’d be absolutely NOTHING at all on the menu for a vegan; perhaps just a cup of tap water and the paper the menu is actually printed on. Well – you’d be wrong. DEAD wrong. It’s not on the menu (I’m not sure why) but they offer a fantastic Vegan Burger made by the gang over at Beyond Meat and it’s almost as good as the real thing. If you have enough lagers – you probably wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference.

Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA


The Refuge
Tucked away in The Principal Hotel, The Refuge by Volta serves up plenty of small plates inspired by travels including chickpea daal with coconut milk, smoked almond, apricot and dates. There’s also, chargrilled cauliflower with carraway and pomegranate and beetroot pakora with tamarind ketchup.

And if you can’t decide, The Refuge have a full menu dedicated, Vegan Introduction (£40). Filled with some of their favourite dishes from the menu including portobello mushrooms, daal makhani and even a carafe of vegan wine. 

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Chinese inspired restaurant known for dramatic cocktails, luxury food and amazing customer service is also home to plenty of vegan dishes on the menu. The 3-course lunch menu includes (£28); wild mushroom spring rolls; chilli crusted tofu; salt and pepper aubergine with garlic and cherry hoisin.

The selection of mains includes; vegetarian chick and black bean with asparagus and bean sprouts and a szechuan tofu hot pot with aubergines, edamame and sweet basil. There’s even a coconut and mango smoothie bowl for dessert. 

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Black Dog
Black Dog boasts an entire vegan brunch menu and they’ve made it bottomless for just 25 quid. The food menu includes veggs benny, smashed avocado, a full Vegan English breakfast and even Chkn waffles served with vegan bacon and lashings of maple syrup.

There’s a whole host of drinks to pick from for your bottomless boozer including Prosecco, Bloody Marys, Mimosa, Red or White Wine, Cans of Lager or Pale Ale or Hot and Cold Drinks.  

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New to the menu, Zouk’s Lunch Tiffin offering, with a different meal each day even includes a vegan option. In the box, there is a Veggie Tikka and Bindi & Mili Juli Sabzi served with rice and naan. The tiffin lunch is available 12-4pm Monday – Friday, the perfect lunchtime treat for just £7.95!

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Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
A full ice cream emporium that has some delicious and hella popular vegan ice creams. Serving up some of the wackiest flavour combos you’ll find in the whole city on the first floor of Afflecks Palace. That includes the pretty damn famous, Chorlton Crack’ a salted caramel and peanut butter VEGAN ice cream. Yes, please. 

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One of Manchester’s newest bars that is way too trendy for me is actually home to Pepperoni Playboy and Firebird Hope which have plenty of vegan options on the menus. Including the Psycho Kaler pizza with kale, shrooms, pesto and VG mozzarella (£3.20/slice); Aubergine Genie pizza with aubergine, olive, pine nuts and chermoula (£3.20/slice) and the Triple-6 vegan Burger with homemade seitan, koji mayo, house slaw, pickles served in a sourdough bun (£6.95). 

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The Deaf Institute 
I dunno if I’m actually just stupid but I had no idea Deaf even did food let alone a menu that is 80% vegan. Someone should probably fire me. Some even better news I found from some research was Wednesdays = BOGOFF meals. Yup. It’ll take me a while to go through the whole menu, so here are some of the vegan dishes; loaded nachos (£6.50); red pepper hummus (£4); siracha and lime cauli wings (£4), ch*ck*n waffles (£7.50) and mac n cheeze (£7).

There’s even chocolate lotus cheezecake (£5), brownie bowls (£5) and a completely vegan ice cream parlour (£1.50/scoop). 

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Pie and Ale
In some sort of Blue Peter magic, Pie and Ale even offer THREE vegan pies; Tamarind Chickpea wit fennel, turmeric, chilli and garlic (£9.95); Carribean Cauliflour red pepper, sweet potato and a mild jerk and coconut sauce (£9.95) and finally the Mushroom and Almond with onion, leek, celery and almond milk (£9.95). 

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Almost Famous 
Did you know that one of Manchester’s most famous dirty burger joints with loaded fries, freak shakes and plenty more actually serves up a vegan burger? The Portlandia (£11) is a loaded vegan cheeseburger served with wonder-dusted waffle fries, shoestring onions, red chillies, pickles, redneck bbq, vegan bacon mayo and ketchup. 

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Don Giovanni
Now, if I were to tell you that you can get vegan Italian food, would you believe me? Probably not. But that’s where you would be wrong and for once in my life, I would be right. So much more than an afterthought, the vegan menu is extensive and it includes plenty of pasta dishes. From Fettuccine Al Limone e Prezzemolo (£12.75) to Spaghetti Ross Alla Barbarietola (a beetroot pesto linguini) (£14) and Pizza Vegana (£12.75) to Pana Cotta with berry compote (£5.25).

Vegans are so much more than catered for a Don Giovanni, and what’s more, they even have 50% OFF throughout August.

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