For vegans looking for great meals out locally, the choice has, in the past, often seemed limited. But with one in eight Britons vegetarian or vegan, Wirral and Chester restauranteurs have upped their game, quietly perfecting their offering to ensure there is something for even the most discerning of vegans. These days you’ll find new, cutting edge venues opening alongside longstanding eateries that have revamped their menus and old favourites that have faithfully served the region’s vegans for years. So, whether you’re a flexitarian or a fully-fledged member of the vegan community, you’re sure to find the perfect place for you in this mouth-watering selection of vegan-friendly restaurants.
A stone’s throw from West Kirby Station lies Karma, an Indian restaurant which has been in operation for 16 years. With black leather-look chairs and black tables, it’s a modern take on a traditional curry house, and its menu reflects the update. You’ll find all the dishes you’d expect from an Indian menu, and the accommodating waiting staff will advise on which can be adapted using vegan ingredients. With a stylish interior and a good reputation for serving amazing food, it’s little wonder diners continue to flock to this Grange Road restaurant before enjoying a drink at some of the chic bars the town has to offer.
With accommodating hosts in Julian and Jackie Davies and a really decent selection of vegan mains and desserts, it’s little wonder this family-run restaurant on Birkenhead Road has earned its rightful place in the hearts of Wirral food lovers since opening way back in 2004. The interior is bistro-style – think parquet floors and white walls, with imaginative cuisine such as Hazelnut and Brown Rice Roast and Strawberry Risotto (made with vegan cheese of course) just an order away. And at only a 10-minute walk from Hoylake Station, it’s easy to see why vegan diners flock from across the region to experience this culinary gem for themselves.
As if Julian’s wasn’t reason enough for vegans to visit Hoylake, now The Quadrant (formerly The Portrait House) is going all-out to entice the vegan market too. Far from including one or two token vegan dishes, the owners have worked hard to offer a varied menu, with a good choice of mains and must-have desserts served up in a sophisticated, smart setting. Only a three-minute stroll away from Hoylake Station, on The Quadrant just off Station Road, this vibrant vegan offering couldn’t be easier to reach.
This waterfront restaurant might be part of a chain (Lounges), but don’t let that put you off. Vegans will be pleasantly surprised by the breakfasts, mains, sandwiches and cakes on offer as part of its vegan menu, all served up in a lovely waterfront setting that’s just a 10-minute stroll from New Brighton Station. While you’ll probably go for the food, the outdoor terraces and floor to ceiling windows looking out onto Marine Lake, along with the fact that kids and dogs are made welcome, will probably sell it to you too.
Jöro Vegan Eatery
This little oasis in the basement of one of the beautiful properties in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, is a culinary heaven for vegans. No more painstakingly combing through menus to spot the vegan options; this quirky eatery is all-vegan, from its all-day breakfasts and hot chocolate with vegan cream and marshmallows to its mouth-watering chocolate brownies. Jöro is usually only open between 11.30am-6pm, but no doubt responding to customer demand, the restaurant now takes bookings for dinner on Friday evenings between 7-10pm. Just a four-minute walk from Hamilton Square Station, it’s easy to reach wherever you’re travelling from.
With its wide range of Thai street food, lovingly created by popular chef Lily, the small but perfectly formed Sukhothai in Birkenhead has built up a loyal client base that has followed its transformation from Wallasey takeaway to renowned Oxton Road restaurant. The separate vegan menu is a delight to diners, but this Thai hotspot can get very busy so be sure to book in advance if you’re planning a weekend trip. Take your own drinks, as the restaurant is unlicensed, and then enjoy a short walk back to Birkenhead Central Station for fuss-free travel.
Chester’s first ever vegan restaurant has made a big splash on the dining scene since opening at the end of January this year. Uber cool, this is the place to go if you want to enjoy vegan food and drink in a modern, stylish location. There’s plenty on offer menu-wise too, with seasonal small plates and a roast option on Sundays. The drinks are equally tempting, with cocktails such as White Rum, Beet Lemonade and Soda. And if all that isn’t enough to tempt you, then the business’s ‘sustainability’ ethos should be; the team use fermentation techniques to improve taste and reduce waste, and work with carbon neutral distilleries to ensure suppliers are accountable. A 20-minute walk from Chester Station means you can opt for a ‘green’ method of transport and do your bit for the environment too!
Before Hypha came Chai Station in Brook Street, a vegetarian bistro offering Indian street food that opened back in 2017. With the owners the same guys behind the Chester Spice Market, hopes were high that this restaurant would deliver – and it certainly has. Rather than offering the traditional curries, the menu is an authentic mix of regional dishes from different parts of India, where street food tends to be made up of vegetarian fare. Vegan options are clearly marked up on the menu and feature dishes such as savoury snacks eaten with Indian flatbreads and dosas - stuffed pancakes made with rice and lentils and crammed with different types of filling. You’ll need to bring your own alcohol but the restaurant is only minutes away from Chester Station, so you don’t even have to worry about driving home afterwards.
The Refreshment Rooms
Just a 15-minute walk away from Rock Ferry Station you’ll find this waterfront gem. With its voluntary local beach clean-ups and a pledge not to use single-use plastics, the team at the former Admiral pub are fast making a mark on the Wirral food scene, not just for their ethical efforts (all chicken is free range where available which, although not exactly music to vegans’ ears, is a definite start), but also for understanding the distinction between vegan and vegetarian and catering accordingly. Starters include Red Pepper Hummus and Rigatoni Pasta while diners are invited to speak to their server to find out about vegan mains on offer, and the live music and late bar on Fridays and Saturdays mean it’s worth sticking around and catching the last train home.
With a host of awards under its belt, including Open Table’s best ‘foodie’ restaurant in the country, there are numerous reasons why you might want to visit this cosy bistro; the high praise from critics across the country, the relaxed vibe, the intimate feel . . . but vegans will particularly enjoy the food. There are three menus (yes, three!) for vegans alone, featuring lunch, dinner, and Sunday offerings, offering meals so beautifully presented your Instagram followers will weep with jealousy. Take the short walk from Chester Station and you’ll find it tucked away in Music Hall Passage between Northgate Street and St Werburgh Street – the perfect location for a charming slice of Chester.