We’re Stefan and Alex, we live and work in Prestwich and we run a Facebook group called Vegan Prestwich. We started about 18
months ago to share local tips and news with vegan and veeg-curious folk, feeling that the larger Manchester vegan groups can be very Chorlton-Withington-Didsbury-centric and wanting to show off what’s available up north. We’ve grown to nearly 250 members in that time, and the group’s turned into a really friendly, positive space - a rarity online these days!
If you’re interested in joining you can find us at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/veganprestwich
If you’re off social media (with good reason!), we also summarise the group’s advice and reviews on our website at https://www.veganprestwich.co.uk
Since it’s Veganuary our friends at Village Greens have kindly asked us to guest blog about our favourite vegan friendly places in Prestwich. We had a hard time choosing just a few to highlight, and if we missed a favourite of yours do let us know.
Alex: Pres is a small place with a focus on healthy eating, especially juices and smoothies. They always have three or four vegan options on their menu but for me it’s hard to choose anything other than the Vegan Benedict. What is in that beetroot hollandaise? If they ever take it off the menu you’ll find me begging for the recipe. We try to pop in for lunch about once a week. They shut at 5pm, though, so don’t plan on heading there for dinner.
Stef: We’re spoilt for choice for takeaways here, but as far as Indian curries go Saffron Express is my favourite. Their team is super friendly, they deliver quickly, the portions are big and cheap, they totally understand what ‘vegan’ means, and they’ll customise any dish to your spice preference. And if you’re getting a takeaway you can enjoy a pint from Maggie’s next door while you wait.
Alex: We both love to cook but sometimes ordering a pizza after a long day is just as good for the soul. Papa John’s, Pizza Express, and now Pizza Hut have gotten in on the takeaway vegan pizza game, but it’s nice to remember to order local from time to time and that’s when we opt for a Mozzarella. They have vegan cheese and last we checked the veggie sausage and salami toppings are vegan. They do falafel and pasta dishes which are SFV too.
Stef: If you’ve got a sweet tooth you need Frurt Frozen Yoghurt in your life. You fill a tub with frozen yoghurt (there’s always a couple of dairy-free options) and then pile it high with goodies - crumbled Oreos, nuts, fruit chunks, vegan marshmallows, flaked coconut, flavoured sauces, oh me oh my, the list goes on. The price is determined by the final weight of the monstrosity you create so it can get pretty expensive if you’re as greedy as me, but it’s so worth it. Deliveroo will pick it up for you too - they’re a bit out of the way from most of Prestwich - for the ultimate lazy comfort food. Unfortunately (at time of writing) they only offer non-recyclable polystyrene pots, which is a bit of a bummer, but perhaps one day they’ll switch and then they’ll be truly perfect.
Alex: Since moving here I’ve heard cracks about Prestwich becoming “The Didsbury of the North”. It seems the folk at Folk Cafe, Didsbury heard this and decided to test it out. Recently opened on the site Solita left vacant, Folk Prestwich is large but cosy with quirky interiors and vegan options on their breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. I can particularly recommend the cashew ricotta bagel with aubergine bacon. They also sell the Beyond burger, so if you’re already a fan or have been meaning to try it here’s your chance.
Tito’s Asian Grill (left)
Stef: Tito's is new in town and we’ve only recently made it down there, but we were well impressed. Goan curries (from the western coast of India) are quite different from the Punjabi / north Indian dishes most British curry houses sell, with lots of coconut, dosa (rice bread), and tangy tamarind flavours. The staff were totally lovely, the decor charming, and the meal was surprisingly cheap for how much we ate. And better still, they’re planning on launching a whole new vegan menu sometime soon with even more choices.
Alex: Geek that I am I was exploring Prestwich by Google Maps one day, looking for parts I might want to investigate, when a flag for a vegan bakery caught my attention. We’re getting married in just over a month and both feel strongly that we need a LOT of cake at the party. Sweet Somethings doesn’t actually have a shop front, but we booked in for a tasting session with Carina and knew from the first bite that we’d found the solution. She bakes really great cakes, simple as that.
The Woodthorpe Hotel
Stef: There’s plenty of pubs in Prestwich, but if you want a nice vegan meal in a fancy building with outdoor seating and space for a big crowd, The Woodthorpe is the one. When I was a little kid we’d come here on the regular and run riot in the kid-friendly beer garden and surrounding fields while the adults drank. Now that I’m a grown-up myself, it’s a great place to call by after a walk through Heaton Park for a cold pint of Guinness and a hot scran. I’m a fan of the vegan nachos and the jackfruit and pepper balti, but all of their vegan options are tasty. Some (but not all) of the other Joseph Holts pubs like The Friendship offer the same veeg-friendly menu, albeit in not-quite-as-nice surroundings.
We try and buy as much of our shopping as we can from Village Greens - what would we do without them? We pop into All The Shapes (right) reasonably often - big fans of their brassica bowl, their hummus, their beers and their DJs, and they do a vegan Sunday roast. We’re looking forward to trying Gaia’s Kitchen - a new, entirely vegan meal delivery service, and Yala Falafel - another entirely vegan place with great-looking cake options, on Sunnybank in Whitefield. For a sit-down Chinese meal, Tao’s Restaurant has the most thorough allergen marking we’ve ever seen on a menu, and for a Thai we love Tuk Tuk - really tasty, richly flavoured food with extra brownie points for minimal plastic packaging. There’s Anatolian Grill - if you’ve been to the village then you know it, but did you know they have a vegan menu? And down near Heaton Park metrolink stop, The Lime Tree and Bombay Cuisine do a great classic curry. Chips @ No.8 do a vegan pie, but you need to ask for the chips to be fried separately because they use beef dripping by default. Remal is a new-ish Lebanese place with a few options. Cuckoo does vegan pizza, as do Pizza Express, Papa John’s and Croma. TGI Friday (below) does a really good burger and has a Veganuary menu that will hopefully become permanent. We already miss the vegan sausage rolls from Pound Bakery (sadly closed), but Greggs has an ever-growing range and their sausage rolls are almost as good. Further north Campo Blanco in Whitefield does a good vegan paella, and The Swan and Cemetery pub on the way to Bury has a good selection of vegan options.
Many thanks to Karen and the rest of the team at Village Greens for the opportunity to plug some of our favourite places. It’s great to see our town offer more diverse options as the years have gone on, and I’m sure Village Greens has played a good part in showing the locals that it’s possible to shop with a clear conscience.
Join the discussion on our Facebook group to get involved - together we can show that there’s a real market for veggie options in Prestwich.