vegan / vegan-friendly cafes in Manchester UK

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vegan / vegan-friendly cafes in Manchester UK

Postby spike » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:32 pm

In recent months two of my favourite, and most local, veggie cafes have shut down :(
They both shut for the same reason - a massive increase in the rent. (both premesis are still vacant, I think one of them shut 6-12 months ago now)

Anyway, I'm at a bit of a loss for decent places to go for vegan food nowadays. Are there any hidden gems that I am unaware of?

There's 8th Day cafe which is overpriced and not great. Soup is at least affordable and tasty.

Earth Cafe is pretty good, excellent food;cakes, smoothies, coffee though sometimes the combination of salads availble is a bit strange.

Oklahoma is nice, decent coffee but very limited vegan choice and quality and portion size can vary.

Fuel in Withington
- I rediscovered this place last week. Haven't eaten there in years but it's a nice place and they do soya milk now and quality coffee :D

Cafe Pop has gone veggie again but didn't seem to have anything vegan when I went.

Basement - It's well meaning but no good if you're hungry; rarely open, very variable food quality, really slow and I don't think much of their food hygeine either.

I know that looks like quite a few places but there used to be loads more - including a couple of nice places in Chorlton I used to ocassionally go to which have recently closed too...
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Postby andyO » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:55 pm

There's that burrito place in piccadilly gardens that .flux recommended Barburrito I think it is called.

It's pretty nice food and pretty reasonable price.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:58 pm

AndyO and I love Tampopo on Albert Square. All the food is cooked to order, and there's some excellent clearly-labelled vegan dishes on the menu, like tofu xaio po (tofu in a black bean saice with loads of peppers and coriander). http://www.tampopo.co.uk/

There's also that new burrito bar in Picadilly Gardens which has lots of vegan fillings. You can just say what you want from the counter, and a meat-free one is cheaper. Their guacamole is the proper stuff, with no cream.

I would personally agree with your comments about the other places listed, though Eighth Day isn't really overpriced. It is many other places that are underpriced - by paying their workers minimum wage and denying them breaks to squeeze as much work out of them as possible. I would say though say that their food isn't consistant enough - the pizzas, soup and stews are really good value, but the bakes and specials are pricy for what you get.
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Postby spike » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:26 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot about Tampopo, have been known to go there occasionally too.
That Burito place definitely looks worth checking out too, hadn't heard of it before.
Cornerhouse is also worth mentioning I guess, I wouldn't go so far as describing it as vegan friendly but they do a tasty vegan pizza.
When I say they're not exactly vegan friendly, I asked a while back if they had soya milk "no, but we have goats milk" was the response :roll:
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Postby Rochellita » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:05 pm

Cycling Fox wrote:AndyO and I love Tampopo on Albert Square. All the food is cooked to order, and there's some excellent clearly-labelled vegan dishes on the menu, like tofu xaio po (tofu in a black bean saice with loads of peppers and coriander). http://www.tampopo.co.uk/


on you recommendation we'll go there tonight, I went there about a year ago and the food was bloody awful, badly cooked and tasteless. Maybe the chef had a bad night but I haven't been back since. Are the portions of tofu generous? I find most places are so stingy with the tofu which pisses me off no end when you see other customers getting plenty of flesh in their dishes.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:07 pm

.flux wrote: I went there about a year ago and the food was bloody awful, badly cooked and tasteless. Maybe the chef had a bad night but I haven't been back since. Are the portions of tofu generous?


That's a shame. I've been there about 8 times and really enjoyed the food apart from a new starter which I tried recently which came on a bed of browning and not very fresh looking lettuce, which was off putting. I'd say the tofu quota is about right.

I've heard there is a good noodle bar on Oxford Road near the swimming baths, but haven't checked it out yet.
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Re: vegan / vegan-friendly cafes in Manchester UK

Postby Hiking Fox » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:10 pm

spike wrote:In recent months two of my favourite, and most local, veggie cafes have shut down :(


Has 'Misty's closed down? I went there a couple of times and thought the bloke running it seemed very well meaning and friendly, but with no concept of hygiene. (There was actually mould on my cake!)
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Postby Rochellita » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:13 pm

Cycling Fox wrote:I've heard there is a good noodle bar on Oxford Road near the swimming baths, but haven't checked it out yet.


that'd be Umami, it's OK I'd say, though as I recall there is only one vegan dish. Beware of the Thai Salad, looks vegan but there's shrimp in the salad dressing.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:16 pm

spike wrote:Cornerhouse is also worth mentioning I guess, I wouldn't go so far as describing it as vegan friendly but they do a tasty vegan pizza.


Last time I was in 8th Day (a while ago), they were doing vegan pizzas for £5 which had masses of toppings (tomato sauce with mushrooms, peppers, olives, spinach, red onions, tomato and garlic oil) and I could never have eaten the whole thing myself. I had the Cornerhouse pizza last summer. It was much more stingy and cost about £7.
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Re: vegan / vegan-friendly cafes in Manchester UK

Postby spike » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:45 pm

Cycling Fox wrote:
spike wrote:In recent months two of my favourite, and most local, veggie cafes have shut down :(


Has 'Misty's closed down? I went there a couple of times and thought the bloke running it seemed very well meaning and friendly, but with no concept of hygiene. (There was actually mould on my cake!)


Yes, Misty's has closed down :(
It was a sad day when I had my final vegan breakfast there shortly before Christmas - although I like to think it is a coincidence I have been eating more healthily since it shut!

I didn't get the impression the hygiene was that bad tbh, but I have to say I learned to ask which cakes were the freshest before making my selection ;)
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Postby spike » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:48 pm

Cycling Fox wrote:
spike wrote:Cornerhouse is also worth mentioning I guess, I wouldn't go so far as describing it as vegan friendly but they do a tasty vegan pizza.


Last time I was in 8th Day (a while ago), they were doing vegan pizzas for £5 which had masses of toppings (tomato sauce with mushrooms, peppers, olives, spinach, red onions, tomato and garlic oil) and I could never have eaten the whole thing myself. I had the Cornerhouse pizza last summer. It was much more stingy and cost about £7.


Hmm, I didn't know the 8th day did pizza to be honest, but then I can't see their menu and they don't have printed ones which doesn't really help.

Cornerhouse pizza is £5.75 and yes sometimes toppings can be stingy, it's a real shame when quality of food in a place is so hit and miss.

IME quality at the 8th day is consistently bad, soup being the only exception I've discovered, but I will ask about pizza next time I'm there.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:01 am

spike wrote:IME quality at the 8th day is consistently bad, soup being the only exception I've discovered, but I will ask about pizza next time I'm there.


You should give them feedback on this - some of the staff there think they are the only decent veggie place in town and strutt around like they are the bees knees. In the 10 months I worked there I was only allowed to actually cook once, in case I 'lowered the standards'. Hmmm.
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Re: vegan / vegan-friendly cafes in Manchester UK

Postby Hiking Fox » Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:03 am

spike wrote:I didn't get the impression the hygiene was that bad tbh, but I have to say I learned to ask which cakes were the freshest before making my selection ;)


I saw the fella wiping out an ashtray with the same cloth he'd just wiped the table with. Put me off a bit, though for all I knew the actual kitchen might have been spotless...
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Postby Rochellita » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:03 am

CF, visited Tampopo last night and I'm afraid I'm still of the same opinion about the food. Also a bit too heavy and greasy for my liking. However, the fact that they clearly mark all vegan items is really impressive and I fed back positively on that because it was really appreciated.

Why don't we have a decent sushi bar here in Manchester? I think there is one Japanese restaurant and it doesn't even look like they cater at all for vegetarians, much less vegans. Oh, and that posh bollocks in the cellar at Selfridges!!!
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Postby Jonathan » Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:02 pm

It is a shame about the Basement. It was really good for a while after it started (nothing to do with me working there for 6 months! :lol: ). Unfortunately the kitchen was run by two people in a relationship and when that ended, so did the good food at the basement. Much more a shame for the guys who were together, but the food was good before and it's a loss for Manchester's vegan scene.

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