Where to eat in Manchester for Veganuary

Vegan junk food, pizzas, kebabs, brunch and places to go to on special occasions.

By Manchester's Finest | 3 January 2024

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More and more of us are deciding to become vegan whether for health reasons, animal welfare, environmental factors or all three. According to The Vegan Society, more than 600,000 people in the UK were vegan in 2019, and restaurants and delivery services in Manchester have seen a huge increase in interest in vegan dishes.

January offers people the chance to have a go at being vegan for a month. ‘Veganuary’ involves trying a plant-based diet for the month of January cutting out meat, dairy and other animal derived products.

Loads of restaurants and bars offer up new menus and offers for Veganuary and we’re lucky enough in Manchester to have a huge number that specialise in both vegan and vegetarian food all year round, so we’ve rounded up a list of the best places for Veganuary and beyond…


Inspired by an epic USA road trip, the team behind Herbivorous took inspiration from the American vegan food scene and crafted their own style of plant-based food which they toured festivals with before setting up at Hatch. Founded by Robyn and Damian, Herbivorous now also has a bricks and mortar venue in Withington, Greater Manchester. Veganuary participants might want to check out their seitan version of a Philly cheese steak, and their Buffalo Wings are a must for anyone wanting a vegan alternative to the chicken version.

Vegan Shack

Vegan Shack’s mission is simple, to make delicious plant-based alternative fast food that’s accessible to as many people as possible with no compromise on taste or the planet. The restaurant offers peri tenders, loaded fries, burgers and even their own version of Maccies’ sweet apple pie for all your junk food cravings this Veganuary.

The Vurger Co

This London brand that’s headed up North is dishing up some really good vegan burgers that actually look like the press images in a big, bright and colourful restaurant next to Afflecks on Church Street. The “chicken” burgers here are super crispy and chunky with a real meaty texture to them, a proper treat with one of their signature shakes on the side. This lot also sell sauces to take home, there’s a range of vegan mayos, “cheezy” nacho style jarred sauces and even vegan honey.

Wholesome Junkies

Featured on the Beeb’s Million Pound Menu, Wholesome Junkies had a stall at the Arndale for years before opening a standalone restaurant in the former Umezushi spot round the back of Victoria station in 2022. It might be “junk” but it’s not all fake meat here, the “chickn” sandwich is made using crispy fried oyster mushrooms and it’s very good indeed. There’s also three types of vegan mac n cheese and a whole load of tater tots – the Thai ones with sweet chilli, spicy mayo, spring onions, crispy shallots and lime are always a shout.

Bhaji Pala

Claiming to be the very first fully vegan Indian in Greater Manchester, Bhaji Pala in Gatley is an absolute star. It’s always packed with locals and out of towners despite there being several more carnivore-friendly Indian restaurants you could easily hit with a poppadom frisbeed from the door. On the tandoor there’s pineapple, broccoli and jackfruit as well as Saffron tofu tikka, but check out the beetroot curry and crispy corn and “cheese” balls too. Even the lassis are made with almond yoghurt. A real find, this.


Well established for knocking up some of the finest vegetarian and vegan dishes in the whole city, Bundobust has gone from strength to strength since first opening on Piccadilly Gardens. The newer brewery bar on Oxford Road is always packed to the rafters. The combination of outstanding plant-powered Indian dishes and a constantly changing beer and ale list (many of which are brewed in house) has made this place one of the best casual places to eat in the city. For a Manchester Veganuary, it’s a no-brainer even on the regular menu but they usually have something special up their sleeves for vegans this month too.

Lily’s Vegi

Ashton’s vegan temple, Lily’s serves a full plant-powered menu of Indian street food and family recipes. Lily’s was first established in 1972 by husband and wife duo, PG and Lilawati ‘Lily’ Sachdev on Cotton Street East in Ashton, as a small snack shop. The family opened a larger restaurant over the road in Ashton in 2019. The restaurant branched out to Chorlton in 2020 and opened an Ancoats deli a year or so later. Our top tip from the delis is the addictive tubs of snack mixes like Bombay mix and Corn chevdo but treat yourself to a full banquet in their comfy Ashton restaurant, it even does vegan paneer.

Little Yeti

We love this little Nepalese spot in Chorlton famous for its delicate, tasty little steamed or deep fried dumplings known as momos served with all kinds of mostly vegan sauces to dunk them in. There are vegan momos and more on the separate vegan and veggie menu which also features a vegan mushroom shashlik as well as vegan bhajis, samosas and other fried snacks and vegan nan and roti. There are spiced vegetable based dishes too like a comforting yellow dall and a vegetable chow mein. Sometimes you will also find The Little Yeti popping up in various locations around Greater Manchester. Keep an eye on socials to see where it’s heading next.

Little Aladdin Vegan Cafe

Sure, you can get yourself a vegan curry from This & That just around the corner, but everything in Little Aladdin’s on High Street is vegan so you won’t be tempted to stray from the righteous path. All your Indian veggie faves are here, aubergine, okra, chickpeas, spinach, spuds, and an absolutely belting tarka dahl. But this place also does grab and go wraps with falafel, tofu, bhajis, fried aubergine hash browns with vegan cheese. Want to go even harder? What about a vegan doner? They do delivery too.


Purezza is known for its full menu of vegan dishes, not least the sourdough pizzas which include veganised versions of toppings like pepperoni, ‘nduja and meatballs. There’s even a carbonara pizza with a white sauce base, vegan ‘scrambled egg’ and vegan pancetta. But don’t overlook Purezza’s small plates menu which includes lasagne, mac n cheese and smoked meatballs. Desserts include cannoli, brownies, cheesecake and gelato all made without animal products.


Another strong contender in the vegan Indian street food game is Sanskruti which nobody can agree on the location of: Is it Withington? Is it Fallowfield? Is it actually Ladybarn? Anyway, Sanskruti is a firm favourite of many people of the plant based persuasion. Why? Creamy Malai kofta in cashew and tomato gravy, crisp Mysore masala dosa, sweet and savoury bananas sautéed with turmeric, asafoetida, curry leaves, lemon juice and spices served with a fulka roti, juicy vegetable seekh kebabs, sticky battered baby corn Manchurian – need we say more?

What The Pitta

Home to more vegan döner kebabs, What the Pitta serves a list of döner wraps and fries for all vegan junk food enthusiasts. Their signature vegan döner “meat” contains GMO free spiced soya pieces and comes tightly wrapped in fresh bread with tons of salad and sauces for you to choose from. They also have chicken and falafel versions.

The Garden Eatery

The Garden Eatery in Hale is all about clean eating. Expect fresh, sustainable plant-based goodness all year round from acai or pitaya smoothie bowls to turmeric scrambled chickpeas to the clash of cultures that is cauliflower gochujang on ciabatta. This cute cafe has something for everyone determined to ditch the junk including a wide range of pressed juices and alternative milk lattes.

Eighth Day Vegetarian Health Food Shop and Cafe

Eighth Day is an award-winning and long standing health food co-op on Oxford Road offering the largest selection of veggie, vegan, organic and Fairtrade food in the North West. This lot were stocking lentils and vegan mayo way before Veganuary was even a thing and the shop continues to be one of the best for plant-based groceries, refillables and even booze. There’s also a lovely canteen style cafe in the basement dishing up hearty stews, pies and cakes.

Otto Vegan Empire

Stretford Food Hall and GRUB faves, chef James Lavin’s Ottömen made itself famous for mega vegan mezze platters full of nutritious and delicious things like falafel, creamy hummus, salsa with rose petals, khoubz flatbreads, vegan nuggets, loaded fries and sinconta with a sprinkling of tart and crunchy pickles. They are also known for rustling up a very sexy pie. Now rebranded as Otto Vegan Empire and operating upstairs out of the Crown & Conspirator pub in Stockport, you can tuck into an extended version of their menu in banquet form or just a few plates in a comfortable pub environment. There’s also a ‘Sharbet Aperitif’ with prosecco, vimto and berries.

Bahn Vi

The Alty Market favourite has been serving up plant-based creations for a few years now but recently opened in New Century in the city centre too. Inspired and influenced by the team’s favourite street food dishes from their travels across South East Asia, expect steaming, fragrant and deeply flavoured broths; delicious rice bowls; crispy mushroom ‘wings’ (strong recommend) and their own spin on Vietnam’s best-loved sandwich the Banh Mi.

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