I can promise you one thing- you won't catch me becoming a fully-fledged vegan until Korea joins back up again and Bolivia gets a coastline. That being said, it cannot be ignored that the gluttony of Christmas is going to catch up with us soon, and maybe something needs to be done before the gout sets in.
So, as ‘woke’ and cringe-worthy as it may seem, perhaps #Veganuary is not a bad idea. Maybe it will help you shave off a few pounds, or give you that boost you need on that ‘new year new me’ mantra or maybe it will change your life? Who knows… but it definitely worth having a go, if anything just for the satisfaction of lording it over your friends, if you still have any left come February.
As announced last week, Food Market Mecca Grub, situated at Fairfield social club behind Piccadilly Station is set to bring back their extraVEGANza this January. The event will take place over three days from 27th-29th January and will feature street food favourites such as Hip Hop Chip Shop, Mac Daddies, piles of mezze from The Ottomen, handmade dumplings from Oh Mei Dumpling plus French patisserie from Chou Choux and some jaw-dropping bakes from the legendary Bake-O-Rama.
Fairfield Social Club, Archway 6, Temperance St, M12 6HR.
On Monday 15th January, Cottonopolis will be hosting an evening of Vegan Food to get us back into the swing of things after a gluttonous Christmas. Dishes from the eight-course tasting menu include the likes of Grilled kabocha pumpkin with onion kimchee and kale, pulled teriyaki jackfruit bao, Seitan truffle mushroom gyoza and Beetroot and wasabi nori tacos. How great does that sound? Find out more about it here.
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen
When it is getting towards the end of the month, and all you can think about is how hard you want to smash your face into some ribs, Lotus is going to be your savour, trust me. Situated between Withington and Didsbury, this no-frills Chinese is entirely vegetarian and vegan. But don’t let that put you off, you can still tuck into all your favourites like salt and pepper ribs, sweet and sour chicken and aromatic crispy duck… all with no meat at all. Zlich. Zero. Nada. I don’t want to know what makes it vegan, but either way, it’s delicious and a great way to treat yourself on the final push.
Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen, 536 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 4BY
For starters, look to their scrummy Falafels, Marsala Mirch and Hummus which can be served up with veggies for dipping which also makes an excellent choice for those of us on a health kick this January. Vegan mains include vegetable dish Mili Juli Sabzi, or their spicy Bhindi which is a sumptuous mixture of okra, onion, chilli, garlic and ginger just to name a couple. Their Palak Aloo is an all-year favourite of mine, and luckily is entirely vegan so order one of those too.
Zouk Tea Bar, Unit 5 The Quadrangle Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS
If you haven’t been to Bundobust yet, you must have been living underneath a rock for the past two years. Anyone who knows us will know that we all have a special place in our hearts for Bundobust here in the Finest office, and it’s good news for us this Veganuary. Bundobust is 100% vegetarian, but approximately 50% of it is accidentally vegan- so we can continue chowing down on Bhel Puri and Biryani Bhaji balls as we did before.
Bundobust,61 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2AG
Evelyn’s Cafe & Bar
This gorgeous little Northern Quarter hang-out is a complete lesson in how casual, neighbourhood dining should be done and if you can’t think of somewhere to take your girlfriends you can never go wrong with Evelyns. There aren’t tonnes of Vegan options, but it is important to understand that it is relative to the size of the menu. Dishes include crispy tofu with courgette, lentils and spinach and the quinoa burger with bulgur wheat, whipped tofu topped with beetroot and kale. Dishes change regularly so be sure to keep an eye out for new dishes too.
Evelyn’s Café and Bar, G18 — Smithfield Building, Tib Street, Manchester M4 1NB
Lovechild of celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, Greens in West Disbury is a vegetarian haven. 65% of the menu is vegan already and offers a vast variety of dishes with influences from all over the world. Their vegan desserts are top notch too, and you can be tucking into raw chocolate brownies, vegan ice cream and spiced apple and date compote with ginger biscuit crumble before anyone can convince you otherwise.
Greens, 41-43 Lapwing Ln, Manchester M20 2NT
V-V-V-Rev Vegan Diner
Being vegan for a month (or more) isn’t always about being healthy. Just because you aren’t eating animal products doesn’t mean that you can’t consume your body weight in deep-fried, fatty goodness from time to time. V-Rev is a Northern Quarter revolution in vegan junk food. Everything is made from seitan and soy and so bring you some pretty convincing classics like buttermilk fried chkn, beefy burgers, mac and cheese sticks, and loaded fries. I went in as a sceptic, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised- but after all – anything hot, salty and highly calorific is fine by me.
20-26 Edge Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1HN