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Shaun Barnes

Shaun Barnes

Food Geek

Shaun is a self-confessed food geek. He thinks about food most of the day and may be addicted to dining out. In the couple of years that he’s been writing about his experiences he’s reviewed over 150 restaurants, the majority of which are in Manchester and the North West area. But his ever growing list of places to visit is just as long. 


Latest articles by Shaun Barnes


The Best Indian Restaurants In (Greater) Manchester

12.8.2015

Manchester is a melting pot of culture when it comes to food. Its restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines ranging from the ever popular Chinese, Italian and Spanish to the more exotic such as Mexican, Japanese and Vietnamese. You’ll even find Russian and Armenian restaurants if you look closely.   I’m always attracted to seemingly exciting new


The Best Mexican Restaurants in Manchester

11.5.2015

People often ask what’s my favourite cuisine? While there’s no definitive answer - it changes as often as the weather in Manchester – there’s one that’s always hanging around the top few spots, Mexican. I love everything about Mexican food; it’s vibrant and colourful, spicy and hot and they seem to use my favourite ingredients – chillies, avocados


The Variety of Restaurants Spinningfields Has to Offer

10.1.2015

Spinningfields - an area of Manchester city centre - is often described as the “Canary Wharf of the North” due to its high proportion of commercial offices and its position as Manchester’s financial centre. But it’s certainly not all work and no play for the Spinnigfields folk, there’s a huge number of restaurants in the area too, catering for a wi


Curry Mile Manchester - More Than Just Curry!

Curry Mile Manchester - More Than Just Curry!

7.30.2015

Wilmslow Road in Rusholme - commonly known as Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ – is famous for having the highest concentration of Asian restaurants in the UK.The first curry house, ‘New Taj Mahal Restaurant’ appeared there around 1959 and was quickly followed by many more throughout the 1960’s. The area became a focal point for the influx of Asian immigr


Manchester Dining With a View

Manchester Dining With a View

6.29.2015

There are many benefits to be had from eating or drinking somewhere with an amazing view. A beautiful view would obviously make for a romantic date but it also offers a focal point, which can help break the ice or avoid silent moments later on, particularly during those awkward first few dates when you’re still getting to know each other. Alternati


My Favourite Sushi in Manchester

My Favourite Sushi in Manchester

6.12.2015

You can get sushi everywhere these days but while the mass produced supermarket versions (or those little packets that come in meal deals) serve a purpose, there’s nothing quite like fresh sushi. Particularly if you can watch it being lovingly prepared right in front of you. Luckily, there are plenty of places in Manchester where you can do just th


Siam Smiles Manchester - Some of the Best Thai Food in the City

Siam Smiles Manchester - Some of the Best Thai Food in the City

5.21.2015

There’s no shortage of Thai restaurants in Manchester and each offers something a little different. Some in swanky locations like King Street (Chaophraya http://chaophraya.co.uk/), plush million pound buildings (Vermilionhttps://www.vermilion.uk.com/) or mainstream areas like Spinningfields (Thaikhun http://thaikhun.co.uk/). But for me the most exc


Best Cooking Classes Manchester Has to Offer

Best Cooking Classes Manchester Has to Offer

5.12.2015

Eating out is one of my favourite things to do but I also love cooking at home. Cooking classes combine the best of both worlds; you can learn new skills and practice them under the guidance of experts before eating the end result! Whether you’re a budding amateur cook, food enthusiast or already trained there’s a course to help improve your skillse


Where to Eat and Drink at the Trafford Centre, Manchester

Where to Eat and Drink at the Trafford Centre, Manchester

3.31.2015

It’s fair to say I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with shopping, particularly at the Trafford Centre. The one thing that gets me through the sometimes-necessary trips to such places is the hope of finding somewhere good to dine when I’m finished. You’d think that’d be easy at the Trafford Centre, after all there are over 50 places to eat and drink. Although the majority are either coffee shops or the usual sort of chains you can find on any retail park - from Pizza Express and Nando’s to T.G.I Fridays and Frankie & Benny’s - there are several more interesting options too.


Dog Friendly Places to Eat and Drink in Manchester

Dog Friendly Places to Eat and Drink in Manchester

3.6.2015

Dogs are regarded as man’s best friend but they’re often not treated as such when it comes to eating out. Never having had one myself, I was ignorant to this until recently when a friend got his first dog and suddenly realised how limited his dining options had become. It must be tough to leave your adorable new puppy at home just so you can go out


Manchester Bars – There’s One for All of Us

Manchester Bars – There’s One for All of Us

2.24.2015

Whatever your tipple there’s almost certainly a bar in Manchester for you. With around 500 to choose from offering everything from craft beer to cocktails and live music to live sport there really is something for everyone.


Manchester’s First Community Funded Independent Food, Drink and Art Venue

Manchester’s First Community Funded Independent Food, Drink and Art Venue

2.17.2015

While Manchester’s street food scene has grown massively over the last couple of years it seems to have stalled in recent months. It’s fair to say that it’s become a little confused at the moment, one of the early pioneers is currently on hiatus, other events described as ‘street food’ events are primarily established restaurants slinging substandard food to the masses while several prominent street food traders are now setting up permanent bricks and mortar establishments instead.


Romantic Restaurants in Manchester for Date Night

Romantic Restaurants in Manchester for Date Night

2.3.2015

Whilst Manchester is a great city with many iconic landmarks it can’t quite match the likes of Barcelona, Paris or Venice when it comes to idyllic romantic locations. The Beetham Tower is certainly no Eiffel Tower but there are still a few options just perfect for a romantic date. Whether it’s food and service fit for royalty, classy cocktail and w


A Guided Tour of Deansgate Restaurants

A Guided Tour of Deansgate Restaurants

1.20.2015

Deansgate is the longest road in Manchester city centre at over a mile long. It’s also one of the oldest; in Roman times it passed near the historic fort of Mamucium. These days Dea


Great Places to Eat in Greater Manchester

Great Places to Eat in Greater Manchester

1.12.2015

There’s no doubt that Manchester is an amazing city but it is, well, a city! Fans of Victorian architecture or the industrial revolution might not be disappointed but sometimes it’s nice to escape to somewhere a little greener and perhaps a bit more peaceful. Thankfully there are plenty of such places in the North West with many well under an hours


Where to Eat in Manchester - Late Night Edition

Where to Eat in Manchester - Late Night Edition

1.5.2015

Many countries around the world have a 24-hour eating culture, particularly those in Asia. Closer to home in Europe the Spanish traditionally eat much later than we’re accustomed to, but back in England there’s only really London that comes close to replicating that kind of culture.In many towns it’s virtually impossible to eat anything better than


Best Christmas Menus in Manchester

Best Christmas Menus in Manchester

12.1.2014

Christmas has different meanings for us all, for some it’s a religious occasion, for others it’s about spending time with family. Millions love the John Lewis advert (or Coca-Cola if you’re old school) while for many, particularly children it’s all about the presents. But the thing I get most excited about at Christmas time is food.From Christmas E


Alternative Christmas Parties Manchester Has to Offer

Alternative Christmas Parties Manchester Has to Offer

11.26.2014

A work Christmas party can turn even the cheeriest of people into Scrooge or the Grinch. So why not avoid the clichés and arrange your own? Here are some ideas to make sure yours goes with a bang and will ensure that you and your colleagues are left full of festive cheer.Christmas MarketsParagraphPerhaps not the most obvious party location but you


Christmas Markets in Manchester

Christmas Markets in Manchester

11.24.2014

Once Bonfire Night is out of the way Manchester is all about the countdown to Christmas. Early November sees the famous giant Santa take u


Where to Get your Comfort Food Fix in Manchester

Where to Get your Comfort Food Fix in Manchester

11.17.2014

Whether you’ve got a hangover, need warming up on a cold winter night or are just in need of cheering up, sometimes there’s only one type of food that will do, comfort food. It’s usually not very good for you but that’s okay as it’s only a one off and it’ll make you feel better!BreakfastLet’s start with the dreaded hangover, a Full English breakfas


London Restaurants Opening in Manchester

London Restaurants Opening in Manchester

11.14.2014

It was once said that “food in Manchester is two years behind London”, whether that was ever true is debatable but one thing is for sure, it won’t be for much longer.That’s because the London food scene is seemingly bringing itself to Manchester one piece at a time. The capital’s thriving street food scene has been making regular appearances in Man


Teppanyaki Manchester – An Entertaining Night Out

Teppanyaki Manchester – An Entertaining Night Out

11.7.2014

Generally when I think of Japanese restaurants I imagine tranquil, zen-like places with minimalist decor. But there’s another side to eating out Japanese style, a much louder and more entertaining way of dining that’s becoming more and more popular in the UK and Manchester is no exception - Teppanyaki.What is Teppanyaki?Derived from the word ‘teppa


Where To Go For The Best Seafood In Manchester

Where To Go For The Best Seafood In Manchester

11.3.2014

Not so long ago Manchester had two dedicated seafood restaurants. But both Sole and LiveBait have closed down in recent years and interestingly, both have been replaced by meat heavy establishments in SoLita and Red’s True Barbecue. Of course, Manchester isn’t a coastal town and I can’t imagine many fish come out of the River Irwell or the ship can


Behind The Specials Board at SoLita Manchester

Behind The Specials Board at SoLita Manchester

10.28.2014

What do Andy Murray, James Gandolfini and Prince have in common? They’ve all had a special burger created in their honour at popular Manchester restaurant SoLita.Each for very different reasons; the ‘Andy Murray’, which contained deep fried haggis and a whisky & Irn Bru BBQ sauce celebrated the Scot’s Wimbledon win last summer. The ‘Prince’ burger


Restaurants in Manchester - Best for Al Fresco Dining

Restaurants in Manchester - Best for Al Fresco Dining

10.20.2014

Manchester is undoubtedly a fantastic city in many ways but unfortunately good weather isn’t one of them. When a good day finally arrives it’s often a case of if you blink you might miss it, so it pays to know where best to take advantage of the sun. For a city better known for gloomy, rainy days than blue skies and bright sunshine there are a surp


Curry Mile Manchester - How Mughli Puts it Back on the Map

Curry Mile Manchester - How Mughli Puts it Back on the Map

10.17.2014

Since the 1980’s, Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ was the place to go for Indian food. But for various reasons its reputation waned as we entered the 21st century, for most of the 2000’s it was a shadow of it’s former self and the last place people went for a quality curry.Its reputation has been somewhat restored in recent years however, thanks in part


Street Food Manchester - On and Off the Street

Street Food Manchester - On and Off the Street

10.10.2014

Street food has become more and more popular in the UK during recent years and specifically in Manchester over the past 12 to 18 months. But what actually is street food? According to Wikipedia it’s “ready-to-eat food sold in a street or other public place, such as a market or fair, by a hawker or vendor, often from a portable stall”.Whilst that de


Indy Man Beer Con 

Indy Man Beer Con 

9.24.2014

It’s not everyday you get the chance to hang around in an empty, historic swimming pool drinking some of the best beers in the world with happy, like-minded people. But that’s exactly what happens at The Independent Manchester Beer Convention - Indy Man Beer Con for short (presumably because it’s easier to say after several pints!). The team - who


Eating Out in Manchester - Best Child-Friendly Restaurants

Eating Out in Manchester - Best Child-Friendly Restaurants

9.15.2014

Dining out is supposed to be fun and relaxing but if you’ve ever eaten out with small children - or older ones for that matter - you’ll know it’s not always the case. It’s often difficult to find family friendly restaurants in the first place and then you may have fussy eaters to take into account or need somewhere to warm up baby food. Perhaps you


Afternoon Tea Manchester - List of the Best Options Around

Afternoon Tea Manchester - List of the Best Options Around

9.15.2014

Afternoon tea is a time-honoured tradition in Britain. It’s difficult to disagree with legendary nineteenth century writer of The Portrait of a Lady Henry James who once proclaimed “there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”.The quintessentially English ritual owes its origins to Anna


Manchester Food and Drink Festival Highlights

Manchester Food and Drink Festival Highlights

9.12.2014

With more and more food and drink festivals appearing each year it’s impossible to go to them all and the choice can be overwhelming. One of the best around is the Manchester Food and Drink Festival or MFDF.This modern festival has been running for over 17 years and now takes place across the whole of the city, in the centre as well as surrounding


New Restaurants Manchester - Fresh Places to Try!

New Restaurants Manchester - Fresh Places to Try!

9.1.2014

It seemed 2013 was the year of the restaurant opening in Manchester with new places appearing on a monthly basis. London burger chain Byron (link to London Byron article) arrived along with popular BBQ joint Red’s True Barbecue and Mexican restaurant Lucha Libre amongst many others. The most high profile were Living Ventures’ Michelin star chasing


Where to Find a Bargain - Best Cheap Restaurants in Manchester

Where to Find a Bargain - Best Cheap Restaurants in Manchester

8.25.2014

Eating out in Manchester certainly isn't cheap these days but there are bargains to be found if you know where to look or, often more importantly, when to eat.


8 Options for Sunday Lunch In Manchester

8 Options for Sunday Lunch In Manchester

8.11.2014

There are few things more British than a Sunday roast. For many, Sunday lunch is all about cooking for family or friends at home, but it’s also one of the most popular meals to eat out. After a hard week at work what could be more comforting than a plate full of delicious roast meat, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and gravy? Especially with no washing up afterwards! No wonder every Sunday pubs and restaurants all over the country are full of people enjoying this famous meal.


Great Breakfasts in Manchester

Great Breakfasts in Manchester

7.28.2014

Despite having long been regarded as ‘the most important meal of the day’ many of us choose to skip breakfast on a regular basis. Generally, this is due to a lack of time before the morning commute, but even at the weekend breakfast is often overlooked when it comes to eating out.


Dining Out On A Diet In Manchester

Dining Out On A Diet In Manchester

7.21.2014

Eating out regularly can add pounds to your figure as quickly as it empties them from your bank account. But whether you're trying to lose weight, have been put on a diet by your doctor or are just trying to live a little healthier, you don't have to give up dining out.


Boutique Bowling in Manchester

Boutique Bowling in Manchester

6.23.2014

Who doesn’t love bowling? OK, I must admit it’s not my absolute favourite pastime but that’s more to do with my personal rule of avoiding activities I'm not very good at. And thanks to poor hand-eye coordination I’m definitely not very good at bowling.


Manc Vs Food

Manc Vs Food

6.16.2014

Despite American reality TV show ‘Man V Food’ only being shown on relatively small channels Dave and Good Food in the UK, it has built up something of a cult following. Viewers were drawn to watch the adventures of host Adam Richman as he travelled America to take part in ‘big food’ challenges. Sometimes eating extremely hot foods such as the ‘Suicide Wing Challenge’ where he took on a plate of wings coated in Ghost Chili sauce but more often than not involving seriously large quantities of food, like an insane 72oz steak with several sides.


Around the City in (my Favourite) 8 Cuisines

Around the City in (my Favourite) 8 Cuisines

5.19.2014

Being a proud Northerner I’m fond of black pudding, Lancashire cheese, Eccles cakes and many of our other local delicacies. But one of the best things about Manchester is the huge variety of cuisines available in our restaurants.


Chasing Stars: Who Will Win Manchester’s First Michelin Star For 30 Years?

Chasing Stars: Who Will Win Manchester’s First Michelin Star For 30 Years?

4.18.2014

Despite something of a foodie boom in Manchester over recent years, the city currently doesn’t have a single Michelin star to show for it. Regarded as the ultimate honour in the chef world there hasn't been one in Manchester for almost 40 years.


Manchester Restaurants With Cocktails to Match The Food

Manchester Restaurants With Cocktails to Match The Food

2.21.2014

There are many fantastic cocktail bars in Manchester - from classy hotel sky bars to gothic bars in trendy areas, there is something to suit every taste. In the past my perfect night out would have been pre-dinner cocktails in one of them followed by a meal in a nice restaurant with perhaps a few more drinks somewhere else afterwards.