a vegan's gotta eat in manchester...
November 20, 2006 12:12 PM   Subscribe

i'm going to northwest england for new years. where's the vegan food! am i going to freeze?

i'm flying into manchester (from chicago) on 27 december. i'll be staying with a friend in bolton, though we'll probably be driving around salford quite a bit. we'll be in liverpool on the 30th to watch everton and we have to be in sheffield on new year's to watch the sheffield wednesday match. (it's the whole point of my trip.)

my biggest worry is that i will starve or be an oboxious burden because i'm vegan. my friend is decidedly not vegan. i think i'll be ok when i'm at his place because we'll go shopping, but what about eating out? are there any good vegan friendly places in manchester, liverpool, sheffield, salford and bolton? this will be my first time up in the north.

my second biggest worry is that i, being from the bay area, will freeze because i don't have proper winter clothes. i have a lined jacket and hoodie, as well as a scarf and hat. should this be enough to brave manchester in late december?
posted by kendrak to Food & Drink (14 answers total)
It's cold but it's not that cold up there. It's more wet than anything, so take a brolly.

As for vegan eating, I can't recommend anywhere but I can pretty much guess what the choice is. Here, veganism is considered 'unusual' at best. There used to be a vegetarian restaurant in Chester -- that was 1989. On the good side, there are plenty of brasseries in Manchester.

Apart from all that... you're going to watch Everton? You're travelling all the way from California to watch Everton? Really? You're a very wise man my son.
posted by popcassady at 12:44 PM on November 20, 2006

Did find this though.
posted by popcassady at 12:47 PM on November 20, 2006

As far as weather, wear everything you mentioned simultaneously and add a pair of gloves and you should be fine. It doesn't go that far below freezing.

As far as veganity, I have to ask what you do when eating out at home. For example, I know that some people ask for a basic salad, or vegetables without sauces, or whatever. While there are a couple of options, it's not like the bay area is overflowing with "vegan-friendly" restaurants, and it's not like non-vegans are typically eager to visit said restaurants over and over.

I noticed, for example, that the handy list popcassady found does not contain a single restaurant that also serves meat.
posted by trevyn at 12:52 PM on November 20, 2006

Response by poster: yeah, i've looked at the veggie heaven site for the cities i'm most likely going to, but i'm not sure my mate will like most of it. i guess i'm settling for curries, chinese, and thai.

and i'm flying all the way from california for everton but mostly sheffield wednesday. they were respectable 12 years ago when i first became a fan.
posted by kendrak at 12:52 PM on November 20, 2006

There is a Vegan restaurant in Liverpool called The Egg, it's meant to be pretty well respected, but I've only been a couple of times, and I'm not a vegan so I just moaned about the lack of meat.

Oh and well done on flying to watch Everton, they are my team and hopefully we will batter Newcastle on the 30th as well.
posted by djstig at 1:38 PM on November 20, 2006

Oh just noticed that its only vegetarian and not vegan according the their extremely rubbish website, but I think they might do some Vegan scran, maybe.
posted by djstig at 1:40 PM on November 20, 2006

If you haven't already, you may want to check out vegdining.com's listing for northwest England. I've never been, but generally vegdining's listings are reliable. It looks like most of the places are in Manchester or Liverpool.
posted by AV at 4:10 PM on November 20, 2006

You need to think multicultural:

I don't know much about England, other than that they love curries. You can almost always find something vegan (or at least close enough for comfort) at a curry joint. And, even if you can't find something on the menu, most folks from the Subcontinent (and those Britons whose families hail from the Subcontinent) tend to at least understand the concept of vegetarian cooking.

I also remember that most places I ate throughout England had at least side orders that might qualify as vegan. I ate meat at the time, and so wasn't particularly conscious of cooking conditions.

And remember, you're travelling. You almost have to rough it. Perhaps that means eating bread and salad the whole trip. Or, perhaps that means dropping your tabboos a bit and eating a few fish while you're abroad.
posted by Netzapper at 6:28 PM on November 20, 2006

Also, be aware that in the north of England some chip shops fry their chips in beef dripping, not vegetable oil, so if you fancy a bag of chips (and there's nothing more intoxicating on a cold day, on your way to the match, than the smell of hot chips & vinegar), make sure you ask if they've been cooked in oil or dripping.
posted by essexjan at 1:28 AM on November 21, 2006

Best answer: In Sheffield I would recommend the Fat Cat pub. This is only a mile or so from Wednesday's ground (and the tram runs between the two). There is also the New Barrack Tavern, although I was in there a couple of weeks ago and I felt the food standard had slipped (great for beer though). There is a dedicated vegetarian restaurant in Sheffield, the KumQuat Mae, but I'd check it was open at New Year as its pretty small.
posted by Cuppatea at 2:27 AM on November 21, 2006

Best answer: Northen england ex-vegan here.

Curries are reliable. Manchester has loads of curry places - The curry mile is I think on Oxford Road. Most of the veggie options will be vegan (very few places use butter ghee these days). Nan breads contain milk products but chappatties are OK, and rice is, well, rice. Veg bhajis or pakora to start - ask them not to put raita on it (yogurt sauce - some places serve the starters with loads of yoghurt on the side, others serve them swimming in the stuff).

Chinese food is fairly obvious what's vegan and what's not - and you have the advantage of tofu.

Re: essexjan's comment. Lancashire (Mancs, Liverpool, Salford etc) traditionally fry chips in vegetable oil, but Yorkshire chippies traditionally use beef dripping. You'll probably be able to tell whether it's a traditional Yorkshire chippy when you walk through the door, just by smell, but ask. This is only an issue in "Fish and Chip" shops - the majority of fast food takeaways are chinese/west-indian/turkish/whatever and they'll be fine (using vegetable oil). If you find yourself in a west indian chippie, Jamaican veg patties are OK, IIRC, if you want something to go with your chips. Chinese chippies will do veggie spring rolls. A lot of kebab places will do felafal, or you can ask for a salad kebab.

For specifically veggie places you could try the vegetarian society's listings
here - any place which is vegetarian will have a few vegan offerings. veggieplaces.co.uk might also be worth a look. But nobody's going to object to going for a chinese or a curry.
posted by handee at 3:31 AM on November 21, 2006

Response by poster: the fat cat looks peferct! thanks for all the suggestions. i think my friend was more worried about what i'd eat than i was. (lived on falafel, bread, and appfelmuss in germany for 6 months.)
posted by kendrak at 10:45 AM on November 21, 2006

the eighth day on oxford road
posted by baker dave at 9:08 AM on November 23, 2006

earth cafe buddhist ethics very good food and nice place to chill out try google
posted by baker dave at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2006

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