vegan / vegan-friendly cafes in Manchester UK

Travel and location information for vegans, restaurant, hotel, B&B etc reviews. If you want to meet people from some area, post here.

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Postby Hiking Fox » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:49 am

Decided to check out 'V2Go' in the Trafford (shopping) Centre, as I'd never been to the Trafford Centre before.

Our first impression was good. We asked what menu items were vegan, and the two serving staff pointed to a list on the wall. Over half the options were either vegan or easy to adapt.

So we picked two of them - 'Burger meal', and 'Falafel meal without Tziki dip'. Both were 4.75, I think.

The burger was served up with salad and chips. A hot drink came with it. I wanted tea, but they didn't have soya milk and I'm not keen on black tea, so I chose orange juice instead, and had to pay 50p extra. It was a big juice, but I would have preferred the option of a smaller orange juice and not paying extra.

The staff put a ramekin of tziki dip on the plate with the falafel, even though we'd only just that second asked for it without! When this was pointed out, they just took it off and chucked it in the bin, which seemed very wasteful. They could have easily put in the fridge and given it to the next person. We asked for some hummous instead, and they gave us that without charging extra.

Verdict:
The burger was reasonable value. It was quite big, and came with salad and chips, so it felt like a good plateful of food.

The falafel wasn't very good value. You just get a pitta with a little basic salad and the falafels in it. There's no accompaniment to it to replace the chips that you get with a burger. I think they should offer a choice of either hummous or tziki as standard, and have a much more adventurous salad, with things like red onions, cucumber and peppers in it.

For a place to be totally vegetarian but not offer soya milk is pretty disappointing.

I'd go there again for a burger, but probably not for anything else. I haven't been able to find an email address for them so I can give feedback.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:04 pm

I also recently checked out 'Herbivore', which is a little studenty vegetarian cafe near the university library.

I have to say I thought it was pretty dreadful! The only vegan option on the menu when I went (apart from the soup, which had run out) was a sandwich filled with hummous, olive spread, and iceberg lettuce. I was getting it as a take away, so they put it on a paper plate with a little cling film on it. There is no way I could have carried it very far, as it would have oozed everywhere, so I ate it on the wall outside. They were generous with the hummous, but I thought it was still a bit pricy for 2.90.

They didn't have soya milk, and there were no vegan cakes, flapjacks, etc.

Disappointing. Dunno how the students afford it.
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Postby spike » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:50 pm

Thanks for the info, HF.

I used to go to that Herbivores place sometimes a few years ago - the used to have one or two vegan sweet things (one caky, one flapjacky IIRC) but stopped doing them becuase they coulcn't get catering size tubs of vegan marge (apparently).
The woman running the place really has soemthing against soya milk, despite loads of requests she just refused to get it in.
I think when I used to go there would be one main meal option and the soups which were vegan, plus some of the sandwiches, but then they stopped doing vegan main meals. Soups were the only thing that were good value, and the coffee was rubbish.

BTW, after slagging off Barburrito earlier on in this thread I have since been there a few times and enjoyed the food - really good if you're in the centre of town and want something quick and filling. I haven't foudn the food to be overly salty since the first visit either.
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Postby JP » Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:48 pm

ok, after plugging barburrito the place has seriously started to piss me off lately :D

They have recently upped all their prices quite considerably. They also charge extra for every little thing you ask, but do not deduct anything when as vegan you leave the cream cheese and grated cheese out.

I had one of those "get a free burrito" vouchers, and it ended up costing 2.55 because you had to have it with a drink and because i took guacamole and mistakenly took half and half on the veg options (half and half = double the price, lol!).

I'll defend herbivore a wee bit, if *certain* VF member is working, you can get FANTASTIC special meals, not cheap, £4, but well worth it ;)
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Postby spike » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:01 pm

LOL, funny that you've gone off Barburrito and I now quite like it. I wasn't paying when I was there last so was unaware they'd upped the prices.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:09 pm

Have any of you got experience of that 'Greenhouse' place in Rusholme?

I've been meaning to go for about a year.

In fact, how about a VF meet up there? I've heard that the service is really slow and it is quite eccentric, but that there is loads for vegans, so it might be a good place for conversation?

...unless any of you have been already, and don't rate it!
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Postby spike » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:20 pm

Never been to the Green House despite having lived in Rusholme area for 4 years!

VF meet up there sounds like a great idea.
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Postby Rochellita » Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:48 pm

hmm, I'm not a huge fan of the Greenhouse personally as I think it's seriously overpriced the quality of the food is not really that outstanding, but I'll go if you all decide you want to eat there.

Other options are Earth or Oklahoma on the Northern Quarter- or both!

Oklahoma does lovely vegan ice-cream shakes and a decent sweet potato dish. Earth I guess most of you have been to at some point. I like the food personally and think it is lovingly and well prepared, though not cheap and you get nice cakes there.
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Postby spike » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:06 pm

Wow, I didn't know that OKlahoma did vegan ice cream shakes! Haven't been in for a while so will make an effort to go soon.
I much prefer Earth - it's a bit over-priced but not really that much dearer than Oklahoma and their cakes are totally amazing!
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Postby Hiking Fox » Sun Jun 24, 2007 4:03 pm

Actually yeah, why don't we meet up at Earth?

I like Oklahoma too (especially the sweet potato!) but Earth has a more relaxed atmosphere, and I'd rather give my money to an all-vegan place* if given the choice.

(*I believe the place is all vegan except for the option of calf milk in tea that they introduced cos they said were losing too much trade after the Basement opened, and needed to attract more non-vegans.)

We could meet up at, say 5.30 one evening (it is open till 7, I think), or on a Saturday afternoon (though in my experience, Saturday is the worst day for most people in the summer)
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Postby spike » Sun Jun 24, 2007 4:22 pm

I'm up for that, as is Urbangardener.
Any day except Thursdays are good for us.
(it's closed on Mondays BTW)
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Postby Rochellita » Sun Jun 24, 2007 4:37 pm

We ate at Earth yesterday and it's changed for the better! I had two lovely veg-tofu kebabs and salad. They have introduced a rather handsome looking cheesecake to the menu as well as a few new staple savoury dishes.

They have unfortunately always offered calf milk as an option, also pre-Basement days, but are otherwise all vegan.
Last edited by Rochellita on Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fruitbat » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:22 pm

i second the loveliness of Earth cafe yesterday! It has a better pricing system too now.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:39 am

How about next Wednesday at Earth, then?

I figure that Wednesday worked last time, so perhaps would be a good choice again (also, I know that AndyO is always running Tues and Thurs eves).

I'd be happy to phone them and ask if they'd reserve us a table.

What do people think?
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Postby spike » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:19 pm

I think next weds would be good for me.
I'm looking forward to sampling som eof the new stuff on the menu!
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