Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

The North of England has a global standing when it comes to food and drink. And there’s plenty to choose from. Look around and you’ll find a new place to eat and drink on every corner, from high-end cuisine to smash-and-dash dining, street food and pop-up bars. You could eat and drink somewhere new every day for a year, and still be left wanting.

Of course, some venues are better than others. Despite the Michelin star squad’s suspicious aversion to the Manchester’s food scene, the city contains some of the best chefs and mixologists in the country, and equally, Salford, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and Cumbria all have their own must-go destinations.

Whether you’re a born and bred local or visiting the North for the day, here are five of the best places to spend your money, fill your belly and wet your whistle as we head into Spring.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Pier Eight at The Lowry

    Pier Eight at The Lowry, Pier 8, The Lowry, Salford Quays, Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, M50 3AZ - Visit now

    So far, this waterfront restaurant has been seen as a place to grab a quick pre-show bite to eat, rather than a destination venue. The new menu changes that, pairing adventurous ideas with hearty British staples, making it well worth a trip in its own right. And if the food doesn’t do it for you, that panoramic view out over the quays certainly will.

  • 2. Spring & Summer at The Pilcrow

    The exterior of The Pilcrow

    Spring/Summer at The Pilcrow Pub at The Pilcrow, Manchester, 31 March–31 August 2018, free entry - Visit now

    The Pilcrow Pub is one of Manchester’s most-loved pubs, built by hand, by the people of Manchester, for the people of Manchester. It’s based in the fast-developing NOMA district of the city, around Victoria Station, elegantly constructed with wood and steel, adding to its relaxed Scandinavian feel. They’re taking charge of the Spring season with a host of interesting one-off events, taking in everything from tap takeovers for the craft ale lovers, to jewellery-making workshops.

  • 3. Asha’s

    Lennox Paul David

    Asha’s, 47 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 3NG - Visit now

    Only the most curmudgeonly diner could fail to be impressed by the elaborate and inventive menu on offer at Asha’s. If your tastes lean toward fine dining, rather than curry and chips, you won’t find better in Manchester.

  • 4. The Botanist Didsbury

    The Botanist

    The Botanist Didsbury, 11 School Lane, Didsbury, M20 6RD - Visit now

    The Botanist’s new menu provides high quality, tasty, interesting vegan options that fit right in alongside the rest of the dishes. It enables diners of all dietary requirements (gluten-free and dairy-free options also abound) to eat together, with no-one condemned to an afterthought dish or a bowl of fries. Minor issues and teething troubles aside, they’re off to a great start.

  • 5. Mughli Restaurant & Charcoal Pit

    Mughli Restaurant & Charcoal Pit, 30 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M14 5TQ - Visit now

    Mughli is one of the curry mile’s most highly-regarded restaurants, and for good reason. Alongside the tried and tested classics, you’ll find a menu offering all manner of dishes from the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

More in Food and Drink

Food and Drink 4–5 May 2018, FREE

Grub Food Fair at Mayfield

Switching from the arches of Temperance Street to its summer-time home of Mayfield, GRUB’s Food Fair will benefit from a bigger bar and more covered seating this year. This opening weekend boasts nine street food traders across two days of food, drink and music.

Childrens 28 April–12 May 2018, from £00.00

Leeds International Festival 2018

Leeds International Festival, the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation, is back for its second year, this time featuring more than 50 events and 40 speakers over 15 days.

Just So Festival picnic courtesy TenEight
Families 17–19 August 2018, from £20

Food and drink at Just So Festival

Pack your picnic blankets for artisan food and drink, literary inspired midnight feasts and Custard Catwalks.

Culture Guides

Theatre in Manchester and The North Guide


Vibrant, varied and fearless – there’s a real wealth of performance on offer in Manchester and the North – we’ve rounded up the best in our theatre guide.


It’s festival season at the cinemas of the North this month and we’ve got the low-down.

©Viviane Sassen, Ra, series Mud and Lotus 2017. Courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa. Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror at The Hepworth Wakefield


Featuring a giant ‘art hammock’, the mesmerising photographs of Vivian Sassen, and a unique exploration into the use of digital technology by indigenous communities in north east Brazil; check out or latest exhibition highlights from across the North West.


Out of this world free festivals of making, magical dance experiences and theatrical adventures for all the family.

Luke Allan, Carcanet New Poetries.


It’s raining poetry and prose this April in the Rainy City, and there’s plenty to catch from both established and emerging writers. Fill your wellie boots – and your mornings, afternoons and evenings, weekdays and weekends.


From death-themed musicals to day-long explorations of the current freakscene, via rising country stars and a fresh look at an art gallery’s collection, the musical calendar for Manchester and the North is packed to the rafters.