The best of Manchester for vegans, part 2
A number of months ago, I met someone who is known as Olive on Twitter. She is assertive, kind, compassionate and honest. She also loves cooking and isn't scared to try out new recipes using uncommon ingredients.
Olive follows a vegan lifestyle and likes to give restaurants and pubs the opportunity to blossom, while they concoct vegan dishes for her and her hubby (Popeye) to enjoy. It is this last point, which made me reach out to her.
Olive and Popeye have been eating out in Manchester a fair bit, and I wanted to share their experiences with you. You can find part one here.
Olive's experiences of eating out as a vegan
I have been vegan for nearly 30 years and in the early days, dining out, was virtually impossible, unless we went to a vegan or vegetarian restaurant!
How things have changed! Now there's with choices everywhere and one of my favourite destinations to visit is the fabulous city of Manchester where vegans are spoilt for choice. I have not managed to try all the lovely places, but I am having fun trying!
I love the Manchester vegan dining out scene, which is improving all the time, especially with the newly refurbished Corn Exchange, round the corner from Victoria Station. I have been waiting to try Cosy Club in the Corn Exchange which looks great from the outside and if the weather is nice is ideal for outside dining.
They have a separate vegan menu and so during a shopping trip into the City Centre, my husband and I decided to call in for brunch. The Waitress Saemi, was aware and attentive. She asked if we had any dietary requirements and then brought the vegan menu to us.
I chose the vegan breakfast, without baked beans but extra amounts of the remaining items, which was no problem. Large mugs of Americano coffee accompanied the breakfast and I really could not fault it. It was a perfect brunch and I happily polished it all off. They have an all day vegan menu, so no doubt I will revisit to sample the other vegan options.
Another must place to visit, has to be the Handmade Burger Company on Deansgate, who have taken the initiative to register their vegan burgers with The Vegan Society. This gives vegans confidence and although it was my first ever visit, (as a vegan of nearly 30 years), to a burger restaurant, it certainly won't be the last. There are plenty of options including a superfood salad, but for me it had to be the chickpea and quinoa burger.
I really enjoyed the burger and could easily have shared the chips with my husband, as they were good sized portions. I take my hat off to Handmade Burger Company, they obviously know where the market is heading and are ahead of their competitors! Why would I visit any other burger chain
The Corn Exchange will be home to other interesting venues, which will open by the end of the year. I have been in contact with most of them, to see how vegan friendly they are and can see that I will be dining out in Manchester again very soon.
Pho is a Vietnamese chain who say this on their website:
"Most of our vegetarian dishes are also vegan – this is because the majority of our menu is egg and dairy free. Dishes like vegetarian summer & spring rolls, tofu and mushroom pho are vegan with veggie or spicy stock. Some of our dishes contain fish sauce for seasoning so just be sure to mention you are vegan to a member of staff when ordering and ask for no fish sauce. Nuoc Cham which is served with all bun dishes contains fish sauce so ask for ginger soy."
The Manchester branch were very amenable when I tweeted them and said staff members would be more than happy to advise as to suitability of dishes….a great start. Their sorbets are also suitable for vegans so you can have a pudding too!
Mexican Wahaca is the brain child of Thomasina Myers who was the first Masterchef winner. On their menu it says “Many of our vegetarian dishes can be served vegan, please ask your waiter for details." I love Mexican food and as Wahaca is opening in October, it is on the 'to visit' list.
Italian Vapiano currently only have restaurants in London. However, they will also be opening a branch in Manchester soon and they too have confirmed that vegan diets are happily catered for.
Another Italian to open will be Gino D’Campo – My Restaurant, I have no further details than that, so watch this space for details.
Spinningfields is a very trendy part of the city with many restaurants and bars. One that has surprised me was Fazenda Bar and Grill. It was the last place I would expect to find vegan food but this is what they say on their website:
"Enjoy the Fazenda experience your way. Although meat is the essence of our dining experience, we believe that your choice of diet should not prevent you from having a nice meal with your friends and family. Fazenda is proud to offer the ultimate salad and sides bar and to all diners the possibility of choice. But because we know the salad bar might not be enough, we also offer our vegan guests the option of having a hot main on top of the salad bar choices."
They only have two options and both are gnocchi, but I suppose its better than nothing. I am not sure what other vegans will think about dining in such a meat orientated place. I would certainly prefer not to.
The days of no food at the Inn for vegans is no longer and Manchester is certainly fast becoming even more of a vegan paradise and long may it continue.
I don't know about you but I am super tempted to spend a weekend in Manchester and eat out lots.
Vegan Eats in Manchester
Nama Artisan Raw Foods
222 Veggie Vegan
Can vegans enjoy fine dining?
Is it easy for vegans to be part of work socials that include eating out?
Can you eat out when you follow a plant-based diet?
When asked why he (Moby) is always very outspoken about animal rights and veganism, he answered:
"Because billions of animals are suffering and it’s incumbent upon us to do all that we can to alleviate their suffering."