The Whale Tail Cafe

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 13 Reviews
Daily specials, salads, pasta, and cakes. Lunch only. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan-friendly, Organic
78a Penny Street (above Single Step Cooperative)
Lancaster, England LA1 1XN

Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-3pm.

  • Outdoor seating


First Review by jacqui

A nice bowl of soup!

4 Posted on 02 / 11 / 2013

Found this place by chance - wasn't looking particularly...
Dropped in for a soup and a roll having made some Yogi Tea purchases downstairs in the little shop.
Service was quick and the place was ticking over. I have been told since that had I gone a little earlier in time for the lunch rush then I would have had a long wait but I went quite late on so missed that.
The soup itself was spot on!
There was a relaxed ambience and i felt quite comfortable at my table with my head in a book while my hot brew cooled. I noticed also there was some informal sofas too to sit on and I believe they may have wi-fi too but not certain on that.
Would definitely go back next time I am in Lancaster

Pros: Good food, relaxing atmosphere
Cons: stairs up to the cafe, pokey toilet downstairs

The Whale Tail Cafe, Lancaster

4 Posted on 08 / 05 / 2012

There's many positive things about this place. Staff are nice, the location is central and the food was pleasant enough but the dish I had I wouldn't have described as being exceptional. Defo worth a visit if you are in town.

Pros: Vegan vego friend;y, Central

Old favourite still going strong!

3 Posted on 06 / 09 / 2012

I have been veggy since 1976 and have been eating at the Whale Tail since the early 80's. It rarely disappoints, but my recent convert to a vegan diet (well I didn't want to rush into it!!) and my latest visit there (yesterday) made me view their menu in a different light.
The soup, broccoli and almond, was very tasty, but the vegan options on the specials board were uninspired and uninspiring - felafel or potato skins with salad and garlic mayo. Admittedly my visit was just at the end of the lunch-time rush but the choice on the daily menu just comprised jackets with hummous or salads and pitta bread.
I view this lovely cafe as an old friend, it has been part of my life for so long, and I will keep going there, but I will try other new places in future to see if their choices are any better.

Pros: Fresh food, Very friendly staff, Lovely environment.
Cons: Limited vegan choice for mains.

Best 'BLT' ever

4 Posted on 01 / 02 / 2011

I've been a student at Lancaster for the past two and a half years and I can't believe I haven't been to the Whale Tail more often! My boyfriend and I went one lunch time and it was delicious. The desserts and cakes looked scrummy, and the vegan BLT I had was so tasty.
I wish it was open for dinner!

Pros: Good food, Friendly staff, Vegan cake!
Cons: Not open in the evenings!


The best !

5 Posted on 07 / 10 / 2010

I was a student at Lancaster in the 90s and always ate there. I took a friend visiting last week and was happy to report that it is still the best place to eat there for a healthy, very tasty lunch, even though I am not a veggie/vegan. The list of specials was really yummy and I have always had problems choosing what to have as it all sounds so tasty and creative. The drinks provided are really great- such a choice of juices and teas and if you want it you can even have a civilised glass of wine! Even though the puddings look great, unfortunately I have never had enough room after the salads I eat!

Pros: Variety of healthy foods on offer, Relaxed atmosphere, Really tasty food
Cons: hard to locate if you don't know where , disabled/buggy access difficult , ?????

I'm lucky to have a place like this in my hometown

5 Posted on 07 / 03 / 2009

I've been visiting the Whale Tail for as long as I can remember. I've always had a great fondness for it and that's unlikely to change. I've seen it undergo something of a transformation without losing any of it svalues (although prices have risen of course, it's still not expensive and for such good quality food it's well worth it.)
The Whale Tail salad is a favourite of mine. For just less than a fiver you can munch your way through the mountain of four different types of salad that is the Whale Tail Salad Bowl.
Down to earth, cheap and cheerful nibbles such as chips and crumpets are always on the menu, and keep your eye on the specials board for more exotic main meals (moroccan chickpea and apricot tagine = heavenly) and often lovely creative soups.
Don't you dare leave without trying a sticky toffee pudding or hot chocolate fudge cake (both vegan of course) with soya custard or vanilla 'ice cream.'

The Whale Tail is also a lovely place to go for just a drink and maybe a piece of sugar free date flapjack. You can choose from a good selection of herbal teas, teas and coffees, barley cup (hooray!) fizzy drinks without nasties, fruit juices and organic beers and ciders (At least I think these are still available)

Pros: Lots of healthy options, Almost everything vegan, Lovely atmosphere and outdoor seating
Cons: Not open in the evenings any more :-(

my favourite veggie restaurant

5 Posted on 03 / 23 / 2009

I live about 20 miles from the Whale Tail and I always make an effort to vist when I am in Lancaster or fancy a wWhale Tail salad bowl. Its a bit difficult to locate if you don't know the area but most local people have an idea if you ask them...Its through an archway then up a couple of flights of stairs above a healthfood shop- a bit of a nightmare with baby and buggy but well worth the effort. There is a baby changing table available in the ladies toilets at ground floor level which is always useful to know... The Whail Tail used to only be open until 5pm but it is now open some evenings (wed-Sat I think but don't quote me)
Its well worth a visit and it isn't too pricey either

Pros: food , price, baby change facilities downstairs
Cons: Stairs

The best (& now only) veggie cafe in town!

5 Posted on 02 / 09 / 2009

I worked in Single Step (below The Whale Tale) for a number of years, so know it well. Even if it wasn't the only remaining vegetarian place in town, it would still be the best one to visit, if only for the chocolate cake! They're also well know though for their vegetarian and vegan breakfasts, and if you're feeling in a healthier mood, try the Whale Tail Salad - definitely not the usual limp lettuce and slice of tomato.

Pros: good food, licenced, nice garden
Cons: up a flight of stairs, not exactly cheap

Wish this was my local

5 Posted on 06 / 01 / 2008

Set back from the road - you will reach the entrance after this, up stairs. You will see the food coop on the ground floor.
After making it through the door the community/co opy vibe changes to clean lines, shiny black and blonde. The kitchen is open to view. It is a cool and warm vibe. They have live music there sometimes which you can be informed of the date of by putting you name on an email list.
During mealtimes on a Saturday it can be very busy, but in between it can be quite quiet. On the occasion I went there were a couple of other couples coming and going and a couple of singles chilling.

Food is cafe fare - cooked breakfasts, ciabatta, soup. Beverages available include soft drinks, wine and cider and tea and coffees.
I asked for a variation of one of the ciabattas - egg, veggie bacon and mushrooms - which they obliged. The egg was poached perfectly, mushrooms sauteed perfectly and the bacon was really good. It came with a choice of chips or kettle chips (crisps), I chose kettle chips and salad garnish with tomato/ red pepper tapenade. It was pretty much perfect. Prefer crusty ciabatta but it wasn't the softest. I had fennel tea.

Service was great from attractive young Lancastrians!

Value was great at around ten pounds for a great lunch, listed above and recharge time.

Pros: Great space, great food and value, great service
Cons: toilets could improve

What a find!

5 Posted on 05 / 04 / 2008

Our train broke down in Lancaster on the way to the Lake District. Fortunately I had brought my copy of Vegetarian Britain - otherwise we would never have found this place. Just a delightful place for a tasty, fresh, and filling veggie lunch. The food is fairly standard, but they add their own original twists. And they have vegan cake.

Pros: low prices, quick service, nice atmosphere

Would persuade me to move to Lancaster

5 Posted on 05 / 28 / 2007

The epitome of what veggie lunch food should be - fast, tasty, fresh, healthy, nice and informed staff, spacious but friendly eating area, good prices. We loved this place and would certainly return. The good news is that they are testing the waters to open evenings too. The bad news we were on on holiday in the area and it may be some time before we can visit again.

Pros: Tasty vegan options, Attractive & open seating, Reasonably priced
Cons: Walked past first time -, keep your eyes peeled!

Delicious fresh food

5 Posted on 03 / 21 / 2007

I had lunch here recently and it was brilliant. I had one of their specials, which was fresh and tasty, with a really nice "whale tail salad", which is a very tasty combination of sprouts, pasta salad with seeds, and other veg., and cost about £6. They use organic ingrediants, the cakes looked lovely and you can eat outside in the garden. A little challenging to find, it is up a small road opposite the "lounge" cocktail bar. Only disappointment is that they dont open for dinner!

Pros: Wonderful food, Good portion sizes, Healthy but nice


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Last updated: 2013/10/26


Added: 2007/08/01


Added by: Guest