Manchester is one of the 'foodiest' cities in the UK, offering a wealth of new and established restaurants to dig your teeth into. There are so many, in fact, that we’ve created multiple guides to eating out in this great city, from some of the best Indian restaurants in Manchester in the city to dining on a budget. And if catching up with friends at the weekend over free-flowing cocktails and fizz is how you like to unwind, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the Manchester's boundless bottomless brunch options.
One of the latest food trends is a rise in interest in veganism, with many people looking to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, or at the very least cut down their meat consumption. This change in attitude has translated to numerous vegan restaurants, cafés and eateries popping up all over the city in recent years. From vegan junk food to satisfy the most serious of sceptics to elegant small plates and, quite frankly, awesome brunch menus, there are now vegan restaurants in Manchester that are suited and booted for all occasions.
While some of the options listed below aren’t necessarily 100% vegan, there are lots of restaurants in Manchester that offer dedicated vegan menus or, at bare minimum, a strong selection of plant-based dishes. That means, if you are dining with a group comprised of meat-fanatics, dairy-free diets and non-meat eaters, no one will feel hard done by at any of these hotspots.
Eating more plant-based food should be inclusive and accessible for all, and many of these places are paving the way for a more (whisper it) flexitarian way of eating. Take your pick from some of Manchester's best vegan restaurants below and stay tuned for more places being added to this list – we keep our guides updated so that you don’t have to.
Best vegan fast food in Manchester
Vegan food can be virtuous, yes, but it can also be gloriously indulgent. For those days when you're craving a really dirty burger or something doused in (vegan) mayo, these fast food favourites serve up some of the finest comfort food.
What: Wholesome Junkies can be found in a recently opened restaurant in Manchester's city centre, after its upgrade from a stall at Manchester's Arndale Market. It was awarded Food Trader of the Year at Manchester’s 2021 Food and Drink Awards, and one look at its Instagram will tell you why. Utterly outrageous sauce-drenched burgers, fries and other fast food favourites are on the menu. It’s a whole lotta beige (and a whole lotta tasty).
Where: Unit 4 Mirabel Street, M3 1PJ
Book now: Wholesome Junkies
What the Pitta
What: With sites in Brighton, London, Bristol and Croyden, What the Pitta is quickly making a name for itself as a go-to vegan lunch spot. It's known for its 'kebab shop mains’ which include the likes of pittas gyros, falafel wraps and doner kebabs. Most are filled with meat substitutes such as soya or chick’n making it a great spot for any vegan sceptics out there.
Where: 42 Back Turner Street, M4 1FR
Book now: What the Pitta
Vegan Shack Piccadilly Gardens
What: To make all your vegan fast-food dreams come true, it’s worth heading down to Vegan Shack Piccadilly Gardens. Think: huge burgers, loaded fries, chick’n tenders, tater tots. If you’re looking to banish the thought that being vegan is all about health and ‘clean’ eating, Vegan Shack will probably do the job, and it will do it in the most delicious way possible.
Where: 1 Piccadilly Gardens, M1 1RG
Book now: Vegan Shack
Doner Summer Manchester
What: You might not know this, but cult vegan favourite Doner Summer sells its amazing plates in Manchester. Tucked away in YES, a hipster venue in the Northern Quarter, Doner Summer sells everything we know and love it for. Huge kebabs, fried chick’n, fries, all served up as a plate of colourful and delicious vegan goodness. Be warned: it’s probably going to be a messy one…
Where: YES, 38 Charles Street, M1 7DB
Book now: Doner Summer Manchester
Best vegan restaurants in Manchester
If you're under the impression that all vegan food is the same, these restaurants will prove that theory wrong. Below, discover innovative curry houses, elegant dinner spots and a seriously good pizza restaurant (that makes its own vegan mozzarella!).
What: The Allotment is a totally vegan eatery that takes its grub seriously. Expect beautifully-crafted, colourful plates that place vegetables front and centre: go for roasted squash with miso sauce and pomegranate, harissa roasted aubergine rolls or cauliflower three ways. On Sundays, it does a mean Sunday roast featuring either an aubergine steak or leek and potato cake with all the trimmings. The innovative restaurant is also featured in the Michelin Guide.
Where: 18/22 Lloyd Street, M2 5WA
Book now: The Allotment
What: Bundobust isn’t exclusively vegan, but it is totally veggie and includes an impressive array of vegan options. The sharing-style restaurant also has outposts in Leeds and Liverpool and is one of the most popular Indian restaurants in Manchester. Look out for its bhaji butty, bhel puri and crispy okra fries.
Where: 61 Piccadilly, M1 2AG
Book now: Bundobust
Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Kitchen
What: This award-winning restaurant has made it onto many a restaurant best-list in Manchester for serving authentic vegetarian Indian food since 1972. There are so many things we love about Lily’s (including the fact that half the menu is vegan). The prices are fantastic with most main dishes barely surpassing £6, and there’s also the fact that you’ll want to order literally everything on the menu. Plus, anywhere that serves masala chips gets our vote.
Where: 75-83 Oldham Road, OL6 7DF
Book now: Lily’s vegetarian Indian Kitchen
What: It might be a chain but you can’t knock Pho for serving a mean collection of vegan options: from summer rolls to hot and spicy tofu soup. It even has its own vegan menu.
Where: The Corn Exchange, M4 3TR
Book now: Pho
What: Indian street food restaurant Mowgli offers a dedicated vegan menu that features plenty of signature dishes (the Mowgli Chip Butty for one) as well as favourites including its Holy Chow, Temple Dahl and Treacle Tamarind Fries. There’s a reason this restaurant has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, now with outposts all over the UK.
Where: 16, 37 Corn Exchange, M4 3TR
Book now: Mowgli
What: Pizza without cheese? Ok, we admit it doesn’t sound great, which is why if you’re going to order pizza sans cheese, the other ingredients have got to be some of the best. That’s where Purezza’s vegan pizzas really standout, all of which are served on 48-hour fermented sourdough and topped with organic tomatoes and plant-based mozzarella.
Where: 77 High Street, M4 1DH
Book now: Purezza
Go Falafel Piccadilly
What: There are three Go Falafel joints in Manchester and they each make a reliable spot if you’re a fan of this chickpea-based snack. Choose a wrap, platter or salad box to go for a satisfying and speedy lunch.
Where: Various locations
Book now: Go Falafel
Lotus Plant Based Kitchen
What: Going vegan doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favourite cuisines, as Lotus Plant Based Kitchen proves with its entirely vegan Chinese menu. You’ll find all your favourites on here, including crispy won ton, spring rolls, hot ‘n’ sour soup, pad thai, and ‘duck’ chow mein. Just take a seat inside the Withington restaurant, order as much as you possibly can (if you’re anything like us when it comes to Chinese), and tuck into a vegan Chinese feast!
Where: 536 Wilmslow Road, M20 4BY
Book now: Lotus Plant Based Kitchen
What: Herbivorous is a Withington-based restaurant that serves up a range of all-vegan, utterly mouth-watering dishes. You’ve got a fried ‘chicken’ burger, Philly cheesesteak sandwich, and Buffalo wings with fries – need we say more? There’s also a gorgeous range of small plates, in case you’re desperate to try as many of Herbivorous’ dishes as you possibly can, and to be honest we can’t blame you… If you want to make a boozy night of it, there’s also a fun range of cocktails here – gorgeous vegan food and a mojito or two, a dream combination.
Where: 445 Wilmslow Road, M20 4AN
Book now: Herbivorous
Ortica Italian Plant Based
What: You might think Italian is a cuisine that’s hard to veganise – cheese is basically a staple in every Italian dish we’ve ever eaten. But Ortica Italian Plant Based in Urmston shows that not only can you do a vegan Italian, but you can do it very, very well. With a menu crafted and cooked by an Italian family who moved to the UK in 2017, you’re getting authentic dishes and flavours at Ortica – all vegan. There’s focaccia, lasagna, gnocchi, and a gorgeous range of pizzas ready and waiting to fulfil all your vegan Italian cravings.
Where: 70 Flixton Road, M41 5AB
Book now: Ortica Italian Plant Based
Best vegan brunches in Manchester
Good vegan brunches are actually really easy to come by. Often, classic dishes only require a few simple swaps to make them vegan-friendly: think falafel shakshuka or a full English made with vegan sausages instead. You get the idea, and so do these top spots.
What: We’ve fallen hard for the interiors at this Californian-inspired café. Foliage adorns every corner of the restaurant, from a giant palm tree in the centre of the dining area to baby pot plants behind the bar. It sure has that whole Insta-vibe going – and so does the food. The menu caters for brunch, lunch and sushi (very specific) while on weekends bottomless brunch is the thing.
Where: One New Bailey Stanley Street, M3 5JL
Book now: Foodwell
What: No, The Elnecot isn’t a vegan restaurant, but we wanted to include these guys in this list because by no means is its vegan offering an afterthought. Amongst various meat and veggie dishes is Zhougie Woogie Cauli, a tasty mix of crispy cauli, sambal mayo and zhougie woogie sauce, while the brunch menu features a vegan full English, herby mushrooms on toast and falafel shashuka. It’s a solid any time, any day kind of spot that offers all-day, evening, brunch, Sunday roast and kids' menus.
Where: 41 Blossom Street, Cutting Room Square, M4 6AJ
Book now: The Elnecot
Hungry for more? Now take a look at the very best restaurants in Manchester.