The explosion of foodie highlights in Manchester over the past decade has been astonishing. Where once there was pie and barms (bread rolls filled with, well, anything) there is now a vibrant, flavorful food scene taking inspiration from all over the world.
It helps that Manchester has a vast multicultural heritage. In the center of the city, you’ll find Chinatown, Italian bistros and pizzerias, Indian restaurants, Ethiopian and Syrian spots, Jamaican takeaways, modern and traditional British fare, and fusions of every cuisine in between. Hungry? Here’s how I’d eat my way around Manchester in three days.
It rains here. A lot. Bring a hooded jacket, but expect sunny intervals.
If you only have time for one thing, head to Mackie Mayor for international street food—indoors.
Get acquainted with Manchester with a slap-up all-day English breakfast at Koffee Pot in the Northern Quarter. This buzzy café-bar is ideal for people-watching, and the food is great, too—with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. From here, walk to Siop Shop for gourmet doughnuts or Idle Hands for the best coffee in town—plus amazing pies. Try the key lime.
Then, explore the gastronomical delights of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats to really get to know the city. You’ll find it’s a quirky place under its cool, edgy exterior—take a cheese tour or explore it via the medium of dance.
Explore Chinatown and find street food from all over the world with a local guide who knows the best spots, including Yuzu for great sushi. Then, discover Manchester’s craft beer scene at local breweries such as Track, Cloudwater, and Marble.
Get sophisticated on your second night in Manchester. There are a number of highly regarded restaurants in and around Manchester—including Michelin-starred Mana. In Ancoats you’ll find trendy places including Erst, Elnecot, and wine bar Flawd. Or, take the train or a cab to Stockport and visit Where The Light Gets In for locally sourced food with an eye on ecology and provenance.
Walk off the previous days’ snacks on a self-guided tour around some of Manchester’s most iconic sites and historic buildings—or learn more about the street art of the Northern Quarter. Luckily, there are plenty of bakeries and cafés to grab snacks in along the way.
No self-respecting foodie would dare leave Manchester without visiting the Curry Mile and tasting its wealth—including sambar and dosas, curries, idlis, tandoori, and kebabs. From there, head back into the city and round out your trip on a river cruise to see the skyline from a whole new perspective.