Vegetarian cafe that caters also for vegans. All bread, soups, cakes, pizza are handmade at the cafe using as much fair traded and locally grown produce when available. The cafe overlooks the nature reserve. Accessible on foot from Chorlton via Jacksons Bridge or by car via the M60 junction 6, following signs for Trafford Water Sports Centre. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, English
adjacent to Mersey Valley Visitor Centre, Sale Water Park (Rifle Road)
Manchester, England M33 2LX
0161-969-6775

Mon-Sun 11:00am-4:00pm

more-less
  • Outdoor seating
  • Cash only
reviews

Reviews

First Review by fire horse
stewlisa
stewlisa
  • vegan
Contributions
+38

Lunch in a pretty setting

4 Posted on 08 / 30 / 2014

We visited the Café Ark today after reading the reviews written by our Happy cow friends.
It's just behind the visitor centre by the car park and is quite small but the team are really friendly and the food was great.
Stewart ordered the vegetarian breakfast and I had the Vegan version with 2 mugs of coffee....great choice.
We will definitely be visiting again and I bought 2 pieces of vegan cake too....just eaten the fruit cake which was lovely and looking forward to the ginger cake tomorrow :)

Pros: Friendly Team, Good Food
Cons: Small, Would be chilly in winter
cool5cats
cool5cats
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Food Lovely

4 Posted on 06 / 11 / 2014

I've eaten quite a few times here now and being vegan and living in Sale it's great. Eaten falafel meal a few times. However careful as coffee and tea was in a Bone China tea cup. The bread wrapper had to be checked to see if vegan-friendly as he wasn't sure but to cater for vegans is marvellous and so appreciated.

Pros: Nice Food, Friendly Staff, Eat In Or Eat Out
Cons: Not Advertised Enough, Bit Expensive For Small Lunch, Bone China Mugs
Loopylulu
Loopylulu
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+6

Hidden Gem

5 Posted on 09 / 20 / 2013

We have been to Sale Water Park many times, when we bring my elderly parents for lunch at Deckers. No comment about Deckers on this site except to say it is my parents' choice. On this occasion we came by ourselves to kill time for an hour and instead of passing the very discreet sign for The Ark, decided to pay a visit for a coffee. The entrance is not obvious and didn't look too inviting so I sent my husband in on a recce. He came out with a smile on his face and said, 'You must come in and see this place. You won't believe it.' Inside was a light, clean, welcoming cafe with checked tablecloths and pleasant, fresh decor. The menu looked superb and we were sorry that we only had time for a coffee and a cake each. I'm a lapsed vegetarian, my husband is an omnivore who shies away from anything remotely green but even he was tempted. The coffee was hot and strong, just the way we like it and the fruit cake, a vegan recipe, was moist and delicious. The owner is a lovely lady and we felt like we were in her living room, chatting and having elevenses. It helped (us) that it was a wet day with not many customers, but we will be going back for a 'proper' meal when we have the time. We are only sorry that we haven't discovered this hidden gem sooner. June Williams

Pros: Extensive menu with childrens' portions., Clean tables, crockery and cutlery, Friendly staff, modest prices.
Cons: Poor entrance belies interior.

amurleopard42
amurleopard42
  • vegan
Contributions
+123

Simple and good

5 Posted on 03 / 10 / 2013

This is a nice place to refresh after a stroll around Merseyside. A small and simple cafe, with friendly staff behind the counter who readily name the vegan options -- of which there were many on the day I visited. I had the soup of the day (mushroom & tarragon), with a freshly baked, still warm, compact and very tasty bread roll, and two pieces of cake (almond & cherry, ginger & fruits -- both yummy). The menu contained sandwiches, lasagne and other items which I can't remember. The interior is simple but clean. There aren't too many tables inside, so it might get crowded when many people are around -- but there's the outside seating area too, for warmer days. I enjoyed my stay and would have gone again if I had stayed in Manchester long enough.

Pros: Tasty food, vegan options, friendly staff
Cons: Limited opening times
finetune
finetune
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Small Modest Cafe

3 Posted on 02 / 17 / 2013

I've been a couple of times and think I was unlucky as both times were a little disappointing. The first I was given a sandwich in a stale bun. The second my cake had furry white spots that looked like mould although I was assured the cake was freshly baked the same day. It's a popular cafe so must be pleasing many people. Much as i want to like it, I found it a bit dirty (floors and tables). The outdoor seating is pleasant and the location is great for walkers, cyclists and it's family friendly.

Pros: Family Friendly, Outdoor Location
Cons: Stale Food, Dirty
gin_and_tonic
gin_and_tonic
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+40

Great cakes

4 Posted on 02 / 06 / 2013

The Mersey Valley, south Manchester's very own slice of countryside. One thing it lacks is a destination. Being a linear route down one side or the other of the river, there is no destination to aim for. People either go to the riverside pub for good beer and mediocre food, or they go home.

If one were to walk an extra 5 minutes down the road from the pub, into Sale Water park, you'll be rewarded with Ark Cafe. A non nondescript building, just off the car park, is easy to miss.

They cater for walkers and wanderers, with teas, cakes and light lunches. They have a large selection of teas and several home made cakes.

We opted for halloumi pannini and various sandwiches. All of which were good. The kids liked the chocolate drink and cake. They were well catered for, as us grownups sat an chatted, with a number of kids books the cafe has.

One thing that blights the area is the M60 motorway, which runs near by. The noise from this can be intrusive at first, but you soon tune it out. This is not a criticism of the cafe, rather a 'feature' the entire Mersey Valley area.

If you have read this far, then I'll let you into a little secret, just for you foragers. Opposite Jacksons Boat is a disused and over grown orchard. In the autumn, when you are collecting blackberries you can get some nice sweet apples to go with them. But that's just our little secret, ok.

Pros: Home made produce, Location
VeganRocker
VeganRocker
  • vegan
Contributions
+24

I'll be back

4 Posted on 04 / 28 / 2012

With only one day in Manchester I headed out here for lunch. It's in a beautiful location, serene and green. The staff were wonderful and warm, and very helpful. Unfortunately they didn't have that many Vegan option but they were happy to remove the halloumi from my burger. The fennel and sweet potato soup was too die for and they did have vegan cakes and sweets available. very reasonable price. A soup, burger and juice came to 10 pound. After my lunch they even called a cab for me and gentleman went outside to find it.
A very simple decor, not a gourmet spot but lovely and definitely somewhere i'd like to revisit.
Thanks for a lovely experience.

Pros: good food, big portions, wonderful friendly staff
Cons: out of the way, not many vegan options
taffboy72
taffboy72
  • vegan
Contributions
+44

Find this hidden gem!

4 Posted on 01 / 20 / 2012

It's in the same triangular building as the Mersey Valley Visitors Centre, about 10 minutes walk from Jacksons Boat Pub, only about 25 minutes walk from Chorlton so well worth calling in on a Mersey walk.

Both my partner and I ate vegan there, cafe style menu such as soups and sandwiches. Own made bread and cakes including vegan. Good value, lovely service, quite quirky and offbeat in that great way so many indie veggie places are.
Updated from previous review on Saturday January 16, 2010

Pros: Nice offbeat atmosphere, Good food, nice service, not expensive
Cons: Not easily found if u dont know area
sophym
sophym
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

Basic but delicious!

5 Posted on 01 / 31 / 2011

This cafe isn't much to look at, and their menu comprises such simple veggie fare as soup, paninis and sandwiches with the usual choices of roasted veg, hummus, olives and various cheese-related combinations. However...

I asked about vegan options and the lady behind the counter was only too obliging - even cooking my vegan (roasted veg and hummus) panini separately from my mum's, which contained cheese, so as not to contaminate it. The sandwich arrived with a pile of delicious salad - cucumber, cherry toms, peppers, olives,and another big dollop of hummus. The panini was yummy and substantial, I think someone mentioned home-made bread?! And the veggies were far more exciting than those usually found in a roasted veg selection.

Oh yes, and they give you big pots of tea rather than cups, AND they have vegan cake. All at very reasonable prices too.

Pros: vegan-friendly, good portions, delicious and excellent value
Cons: slightly chilly in winter
fire horse
fire horse
  • vegan
Contributions
+76

Fab little place...

4 Posted on 06 / 15 / 2010

What a pleasant surprise when I saw the location...beautiful, amongst trees in a nature park setting.
The restaurant is simple, like being in someones farm kitchen. Down to earth atmosphere, clean, delicious food and the friendliest service.
Lots of books / interesting notice board to read while you drink your tea - various cakes including vegan carrot cake - overall, a delightful experience...
A main course of houlumi/ mushroom/tomato kebab with homemade brown bread, tzatziki and salad, 2 mugs of tea and a generous slice of cake came to £10... not bad at all.



 

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Last updated: 2012/11/26

 

Added: 2009/02/20

 

Added by: Stevie

 

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