Welcome to the mid-July edition of the Food and Drink Guide to Manchester and the North, and we’re glad to announce that things are finally back to normal. Well, sort of. We can now safely eat and drink indoors, though in many cases it’s simple good manners (as well as safer for those around you) to wear masks in certain places. The pandemic is far from over so we need to act cautiously, while also supporting hospitality as much as we can.
The past few weeks have seen a mixture of blistering heatwaves and torrential downpours, so we’ve been dining both inside and out, and we’ve found some excellent new spaces as well as revisiting some old faves.
Why not go for a city break in one of the many vibrant and exciting cities in the North West?
This means new venues like the Black Friar in Salford are a must for sun-lovers looking for a wonderful beer garden to eat and drink in. But we’ve been checking out places further afield too, such as the excellent Ma Boyles in Liverpool, and we’re delighted to see the return of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival later in the year, which led to a triumphant launch meal at the wonderful Bull & Bear.
But there are plenty more than these, all of which deserve those quids you saved up during 2020. And rather than juggling the Kafka-like admin nightmare of a trip abroad, why not go for a city break in one of the many vibrant and exciting cities in the North West? You can pair it with a trip to one or more of the restaurants below, all of which get our full seal of approval.
These past few weeks have shown us just how great the food and drink scene is in the North of England. The guide below is a small taste of what Manchester and the North have to offer when it comes to food and drink and you can expect much, much more in the coming weeks and months.
Here are our picks
Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2021, 16–27 September 2021 - Book now
The much-loved Manchester Food and Drink Festival ended up being postponed last year due to you-know-what, but now it’s back and bigger than ever with a host of exciting food-related events designed to showcase Manchester’s diverse and resilient hospitality industry.
The Lion’s Den Manchester, Great Northern, 253 Deansgate Mews, Manchester, M3 4EN - Visit now
The Lion’s Den is a must-visit two-storey bar and live event space tucked away in the sprawling Great Northern complex. It might take a couple of minutes to find but it’s well worth the hunt, thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, wonderfully friendly staff, and some of the best small onstage events in all of Manchester.
The Bull & Bear Manchester, 4 Norfolk St,, Manchester, M2 1DW - Visit now
The Bull & Bear is Tom’s first restaurant in the North of England, and judging by the food on offer tonight, his event at MFDF 2021 looks to set to impress. Whether you’re a red or a blue, the United Illuminati have done well with this one.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ground Floor, Warehouse, Ducie St,, Manchester, M1 2TP - Visit now
Ducie Street Warehouse has been through more than a few changes over the recent years, but we’ve always been impressed by everything they offer, from the food to the look of the space itself. More than just a restaurant, it offers a co-working space, an outside terrace, a cinema, a bar and doubtless more things to do and places to explore.
Ma Boyle’s Alehouse and Eatery, Tower Bldg, 7 Tower Gardens, Liverpool, L3 1LG - Visit now
Ma Boyle’s Alehouse and Eatery is an institution in Liverpool. Nestled down a side street in the business district (and a literal stone’s throw from the Liver Buildings) it’s long been a firm favourite for after-work drinks or a cheeky pub lunch on payday.
Bloom Cafe, 45 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2AY - Visit now
Looking for an extra herbal kick with your morning pick-me-up? Then Deansgate’s newest resident, Bloom Cafe, has just the thing. A combination of CBD-infused coffees, cold drinks and teas serve up an organic twist on the traditional coffee shop, offering visitors a convenient way of dipping their toe into the world of alternative health remedies, while still getting that non-negotiable caffeine fix.
Eat your way through the dairy based delights of Manchester, with the Manchester Cheese Crawl walking tour.
Leeds Waterfront Festival brings the waterways of the city to life with an eclectic mix of music, performance and art for all the family.
Get hands on with heritage and learn some new skills with the summer bake off at the Manchester Jewish Museum.
Take a culinary tour of Ancoats, the world’s first industrial suburb where an award-winning chip shop (which pays homage to hip-hop) sits alongside a Michelin starred fine dining restaurant.
Join Craft Beer Tour Manchester for a journey through some of the cities best local breweries and artisanal beer serving bars. Discover the personality of Manchester’s beer through a diverse range of pints.
Celebrate the brilliance of 20th century design, fashion, vehicles and entertainment at this award-winning festival set around Morecambe’s famous art deco Midland Hotel.