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
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.
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
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.
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.
When love is on the menu‘If music be the food of love, play on’ quoted Shakespeare in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Music’s all well and good old Will, but I’d rather live my life by the adage ‘the way to a (wo)man’s heart is through their stomach’ – violins don’t taste great and being h-angry never makes for good date atmosphere.I’ve always found foo
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
The Marble Brewery started life in 1997 as an idea to revive the long-standing Marble Arch pub. It was a toss-up between a micro-brewery and a karaoke room. I think I can single handily state, for all the beer drinkers in the whole of Manchester and beyond: I’m glad the beer won out.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Whether you are food-crazed gourmand or a curious newcomer, Manchester’s Chinatown has great allure. The dragon-decked wooden arch, dating back to 1987, offers a beautiful welcome to England’s second largest Chinatown after London. It’s also where you’ll authentic and often very reasonably priced food from across Asia.Chinese Obviously, there is pl
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
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
Search for the best… NegroniThere are many cocktails that people call the ‘classic cocktail’ – the Manhattan, the julep, the bloody mary, the bellini, however there’s only one classic cocktail that does it for me - the negroni.A negroni is an acquired taste, it’s bitter and it’s dry. But a good one is the perfect drink: refreshing, balanced by a sl
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
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
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 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
Food, fun and frolics When it comes to getting a bit of culture Manchester is ‘mad fer it’, the same goes for eating out. For a while, we all thought eating was cheating because venues offered nothing more than a bag of salted peanuts, but now some clever bods have realised food is as entertaining as the entertainment itself. So where are the bes
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
Does anyone actually organise dinner parties anymore? I mean the kind of evening where everyone gets dressed up to go round to someone’s house for eats. There’s a formality attached to the title that puts me off. But supper club, or even better, secret supper club, sounds so much more interesting, intriguing and dare I say, exciting.To clear it up
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 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
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
Spending a day doing nothing in Manchester is a rare treat. When such a day comes up, it’s important to fill it with as much food as possible. Manchester’s food scene has exploded in the last few years - when I uni’d here over a decade ago, I was lucky to find one or two good independent places. Even then, they were only open during the evening. How glad I am it has all changed.
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
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.
My favourite feeling in the world is finding something that no one else knows about or making a discovery which lights up my day. I’ve lived in Manchester for 13 years now and the city I call home is still delighting me with twisty alleyways that open onto the best food the city has to offer. I’m sharing my favourites with you here because I love them and want them to flourish - though I’m loathe to – I want them to stay my secret hideaways forever.
is located in the main shopping area in the very centre of Manchester, it’s so small compared to its neighbours that you’d hardly know it was there. Tucked into the front of the Corn Exchange and surrounded/shadowed by some of the largest shops in Manchester, Salvis is the truest of little Italian joints. The space is tiny, but the welcome is massive, whether they know you or not. Salvi’s is one of the only places in Manchester that I feel truly settled when eating alone.
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.
When it comes to the perfect pint, Manchester’s quickly becoming the beer angel of the North. Forget fighting your way to the front of a chain bar for a pint of watered down corpo-lager, Manchester is a bursting barrel of down-to-earth real ale pubs, quirky craft beer sellers and micro-bars sourcing the best beer the north has to offer.
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.
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.
Manchester’s a seventh heaven for the baked goods enthusiast. With so many places to pause and ponder over a simple slice, whilst you let the manic franticness of the world pass, the decision making process often takes longer than the act itself. Here’s my rundown of the best.
As the recession has taken bite, people are searching for a food bargain; but cheap food needn't mean rubbish food. An army of passionate foodies has been unleashed onto the streets. They are chefs who want to start a business but can’t afford a restaurant, people who have been made redundant and want to step away from the rat race or those who want to take their food passion to everyday people.
For the past couple of summers there’s been a fizzy orange drink making its mark in Manchester. And it ain’t tango.Aperol Spritz is a combination of ice, prosecco, soda water and the all important Aperol, an Italian aperitif which has a strong taste of bitter orange, a hint of rhubarb and the colour of a summer sunset.Last year the Aperol Spritz So
This weekend sees the return of the celebration of all things barbecue to Manchester for the second year. In 2013 Grillstock
spread their wings and flew north from their base in Bristol to bring the mix of “meat, music and mayhem” to Albert’s Square. So successful was it, that they are back.
Wild foods, initially eaten by all and then by those weird friends of your parents who ‘had opted out’ has been making a comeback. After countless food scares, the rise of Scandi-cuisine and the affable Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall constantly popping up on our screens, wild food is definitely back. But where can you forage for wild food in Manchester, without getting your wellies on and your hands dirty?
A fast food stall with a difference, The Moocher
is very much slow food orientated. Using nature’s bounty, they cook, cure, preserve and create low-cost dishes based around the ethos of local/seasonal/wild. Expect to find their stall packed with delights such as cured venison peeking through jars of wild garlic pesto; juicy hares hiding under a pastry pie or wild boar laid down on homemade bread. Regularly popping up at Levy Market
, they also make appearances at street food events and festivals in the North West.
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.
Now come on, who doesn’t love a good burger? If your answer is “not me” then you might as well stop reading now. If, like any sane person, you do then read on for some suggestions as to where you might find a patty that will tear down the golden arches and knock the crown off the “King’s” head.
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.
Owning up to liking a drink can sometimes be akin to admitting that you’re a regular shoplifter or that you laugh when old people fall over, especially if you admit to liking hard liquor. Well I’ll raise my head above the parapet and say it – I love hard liquor. Why do I love it so much? It’s all thanks to Manchester’s self-styled sauce specialists, The Liquorists
Whether you’ve imbibed a little too much the night before, or it’s just a luxurious, lazy Sunday stretching out in front of you, nothing beats a lazy brunch. Manchester’s lucky to have a wide selection of places to pick - in fact, if you’re a little worse for wear, it can be the picking part that’s most painful.
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.
Whether you’re a light luncher, drastic dieter or just like grazing the day away, Manchester is a city full of small dishes for eaters on every budget.
Cash – Superstore NQ
One of Manchester’s newest openings - from the guys behind the well-known, well-loved Banyan Tree
mixes New York bar style, British food and an injection of spice to bring you lively, energetic and surprisingly brilliant dishes. Grey walls, stripped wood and an open kitchen are enhanced by a well-stocked bar and chefs that aren’t afraid to take some chances.