The Whale Tail Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 23 reviews )
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+44-1524-845133
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78a Penny St (at above Single Step Cooperative), Lancaster, England, LA1 1XN

Shop downstairs, cafe upstairs. Family friendly vegetarian cafe offering daily lunch specials, plus burgers, salads, potato bakes, pasta, and cakes. Secluded patio garden. Small childrens play section. No wheelchair access. Open Mon-Sat 10:00am-5:00pm, Sun 10:00am-3:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Organic, Western, Bakery, British

Reviews (23)

First Review by jacqui

very good food, and very popular - Edit

This place is great. It's tucked away a bit, but there is a sign pointing you in the right direction. It's vegetarian but it's very very vegan friendly, so there are loads of options, in fact im fairly sure that even the vegetarian options can be made vegan if you want.
I've had the full brekky soo many times, because it's an absolute winner - they do really good veggie sausages and smoked tofu and hash browns - it's dreamy
I've also the tried the TLT - tofu lettuce and tomato - comes with vegan mayo and it's delicious
The specials are usually really good - they tend to come with a selection of salady bits, which I enjoy very much.
If I'm being picky I feel like they should just go the whole hog and go full on vegan, but I'm still grateful to them for being a shining example of veggie food

Pros: Delicious food, Big menu

Cons: Only open during the day

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Fresh food and quick friendly service - Edit

Popped in while in the area and was not disappointed we chose here to eat. Luckily it was a sunny day so we were able to sit in the courtyard with our dog, dogs unfortunately not allowed in the cafe. I ordered the burrito and a side of chips. Food came very quickly despite being freshly prepared. Really flavoursome and full of colour. Unfortunately no room for cake as the portions were of a good size, but the cake on offer looked delicious. Good choice of vegan options, over half the menu, and the specials board was packed with choices too. I wouldn't hesitate to return next time we are in the area.

Pros: large choice of vegan options, quick service, freshly prepared food

Cons: dogs not allowed in cafe, but are allowed in the c

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Lovely little gem - Edit

Nice space and tasty simple well priced food. About 65% is vegan or can be.
Tucked down a short little alley, above pretty wholefood shop.
It's upstairs with a great airy space, though stairs would be hard if you have mobility problems.

Pros: Tasty , Good value

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Nice lunch - Edit

Very nice atmosphere and beautiful lil room. Easy to find and pretty much in the city centre.
I had the spicy bean burger with chips plus salad and mum had falafel salad with pita bread. The chips seemed like oven chips and there was too much tomato relish in my burger. We both agreed there wasn't a lot of flavour and was a bit boring.
We took home a chocolste fudge cake that was very hearty and very yummy!!!
I don't know if we'll come again in the near future as we want to try out the other veggie restaurants in Lancaster!


Updated from previous review on 2016-03-31

Pros: Lots of choice - vegan cakes!, Lovely atmosphere , Very affordable

Cons: Boring flavours

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amazing food - Edit

This places offers a good variety of vegan food. It was so yummy that we got the cookbook!

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awesome lunch - Edit

a slight diversion off the M6, but well worth.
my other half had the veggie homity pie whish came with four small side salads. the wee one went wild with her tofu sausage, beans and chips which she lived. I went for a vegan breakfast, toast, tofu, beans, sausage, fried tomato and fried shrooms. tasty as.

great cafe. has a really nice vibe and was pretty busy which always makes me happy. lots of vegan options and plenty of healthy options.

now for the cake!

Pros: lots of choice, great space, good value

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This time we didn't have the breakfast... - Edit

For quite a number of years we have been stopping off in Lancaster to eat at the Whale Tail on the way to the Lake District or Scotland and every time we go for the breakfast, because it is excellent and usually provides enough sustenance to get us well north of Glasgow. This time we finally visited when we were too late for the breakfast and were forced to choose something else, but this was also excellent and very tasty.

So this five cows rating is for a number of visits over the years when we have never been disappointed by the atmosphere, service and food.

Pros: The breakfast, Good variety of main dishes and cakes, Over a fanstastic veggy/organic shop

Cons: None

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good choice of vegan cakes! - Edit

lovely little cafe. comfy and nice atmosphere. not everything is vegan but lots of cakes are and they even have vegan cream and ice cream to go with them.

Pros: did I mention cake?, vegan mains as well, health food shop downstairs

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A Lancaster Institution - Edit

The Whaletail's run with passion, not profit in mind. It's a solid Lancaster institution, a great cafe serving a wide array of veggie food and quite a bit vegan.

It's especially child friendly, with toys and books and a sense of freedom for the kids to play and make noise.

Do get a salad cresecent (half salad bowl) to add to eg soup or BLT - it's not on the menu!

Pros: Free papers, Child Friendly, You know half the room

Cons: You know half the room!>)

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Better than ever - Edit

I've been to the Whales Tail quite a few times over the years but Fridays Brie Potato Bake was the best meal I've ever had. Various main courses available along with snack items and cake. It's licensed and they have an outdoor seating area too. Great place in this great little City.

Pros: Choice, Relaxed atmosphere, Food

Cons: Restricted opening hours, Can get very busy 12/2 & weekends

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love it - Edit

I love it here the food is amazing and the cafe is lovely! I love the shop down stairs
too! The chocolate cake is AMAZING! :)

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A nice bowl of soup! - Edit

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

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The Whale Tail Cafe, Lancaster - Edit

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

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Old favourite still going strong! - Edit

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.

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Best 'BLT' ever - Edit

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!

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The best ! - Edit

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 , ?????

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Vegan

  Contributions +45

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

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)
THEY DO NOT SELL COKE! Hallelujah.

Pros: Lots of healthy options, Almost everything vegan, Lovely atmosphere and outdoor seating

Cons: Not open in the evenings any more :-(

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my favourite veggie restaurant - Edit

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

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

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

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Wish this was my local - Edit

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

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What a find! - Edit

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

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Would persuade me to move to Lancaster - Edit

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!

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Delicious fresh food - Edit

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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