With top name restaurants, cosy cafes and a thriving culture of street food, foodies are well looked after in the UK’s Northern capital. Known for its neon-lit curry mile and lantern-lit Chinatown, Manchester is also home to the UK’s first Michelin starred restaurant and some seriously good pub food. Discover our pick of the city’s best eateries - all of them within easy reach of our Manchester hotels.
Of course, Manchester has the full alphabet of chain restaurants you’d expect for such a large city, from All Bar One to Zizzi’s. But the independent eating scene is legendary too, with more quirky restaurants then you can shake an artisan baguette at.
If you’re staying at our Manchester City Piccadilly hotel, you’re very near the Northern Quarter where you’ll find Cain & Grain, with its Rib Joint & Tap Room, a swanky First Floor Bar, and the RBG Bar & Grill for quality steaks and burgers. Infamous Diner offers American-style plates to the sound of jukebox tunes, while European eats include Ply, serving wood-fired sourdough pizzas, and Rosylee, dishing up charcoal-baked skewers. If you fancy a treat, the family-run 63 Degrees uses locally-sourced ingredients with a modern French twist.
If you’re after a taste of sunshine, Manchester offers a cheerful selection from the Med. We recommend La Bandera, whose traditional Spanish menu keeps things fresh, simple and locally sourced. La Viña is a lovely relaxed place serving home-cooked Spanish dishes and charcuteria sharing planks. Street On First is a new bar and restaurant with a cool vibe and Spanish street food offering.
Fancy a curry? Head to Curry Mile aka Wilmslow Road. It’s a mix of fine food and fast food, with many curry houses and shisha cafés open until 3am or 4am. The legendary Shere Khan, which pioneered the Rusholme scene in 1987, is still going strong, while the beautiful new Ziya is a more modern take on Indian cuisine. Spicy Mint (once Spicy Hut) has won awards for its sizzling Shashlik dishes, and Mughli Charcoal Pit offers street food-style tapas. The nearest Premier Inn to the Curry Mile is our Manchester City Centre (Deansgate Locks) hotel.
Searching for that perfect cup of coffee? With cafés seemingly on every corner, you won’t have to look too hard in this city.
One place that takes its brewing very seriously is specialist coffee shop Pot Kettle Black – you’ll find it tucked away under the ornate glass roof of Barton’s Arcade. Coffees are served in their special red mugs - and always with a glass of water and a delicate wafer biscuit.
Another place for coffee aficionados is North Tea Power on Tibb Street in the Northern Quarter. Serving handcrafted, high-end coffees along with specialist loose-leaf teas, cake and doorstep sandwiches, its decor is on the industrial-side, but expect a friendly service and atmosphere - this is Manchester, after all.
At the fantastically Scandinavian looking Fig + Sparrow on Oldham Street, you can buy some beautiful, design-led gifts along with your coffee. Vegan friendly, they do some great toast - try the date and walnut sourdough topped with avocado.
Manchester has some great markets and, alongside all the fruit and veg on offer, you’ll often find pop-up food trucks selling everything from artisan mac ‘n’ cheese to dim sum.
If you love trying something different, the Street Food Market at Piccadilly brings together some of the region’s best vendors. Running every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Piccadilly Gardens (although it’s closed for the whole month of January), you’ll find over 15 stalls offering food from around the world, from Middle Eastern wraps to African delicacies.
Or try the foodie heaven that is Altrincham Market - it even won the Observer Food Award for ‘best market’ in 2015, so you know you’re in for something special. You’ll find food stalls selling everything from fresh fish to fruit and veg whenever the market’s open, and a dedicated farmer’s market here on the first Friday of the month. But for a real treat, head next door to the Market House where you’ll find permanent concessions selling everything from baked goodies to tender flat-iron steak.
If you’re in Manchester on a Saturday, why not have a look at Levenshulme Market? Open from 10am to 4pm, expect to find huge grilled cheese sandwiches, sweet treats from the Manchester Cheesecake Company and a vegan take on KFC - Kentucky-fried cauliflower!
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