Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

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

  • 1. Black Friar

    Black Friar
    Ian Jones

    Black Friar, Blackfriars Rd, Salford, M3 7DH - Visit now

    Like a phoenix from the ashes, the Black Friar pub is a renewed treasure for Salford. Spearheaded by Aiden Byrne, previously the head chef at 20 Stories, their menu is rich in delights.

  • 2. Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2021

    MFDF 2021
    Ian Jones

    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.

  • 3. The Lion’s Den Manchester

    The Lion's Dean Manchester
    The Lion's Den Manchester

    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.

  • 4. The Bull & Bear Manchester

    The Bull and Bear
    Ian Jones

    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.

  • 5. Albert’s Schloss

    Alberts Schloss
    Albert Schloss

    Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5QR - Visit now

    This Bavarian-themed den of delights is well known for the glamorous entertainers and frequent dancing on the tables. However, the German street food-inspired menu shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • 6. Cheshire House Bar and Grill

    Cheshire House Bar and Grill
    Cheshire House Bar and Grill

    Cheshire House Bar and Grill, Regent St, Knutsford, WA16 6GR - Visit now

    If you’re looking for an opportunity to brush off your Sunday best, look no further than a meal at the Cheshire House Bar and Grill.

  • 7. Open Kitchen Cafe and Bar

    Open Kitchen Cafe and Bar
    Bradley Lengden

    Open Kitchen Cafe and Bar, People's History Museum, Left Bank, Manchester, M3 3ER - Visit now

    Formed with sustainability at its heart, Open Kitchen Cafe and Bar, the in-house restaurant at People’s History Museum, approach to culinary creation is as admirable as it is delicious.

  • 8. NQ64 Manchester Peter St

    NQ64 Manchester Peter St
    Ian Jones

    NQ64 Manchester Peter St, 23 Peter St, Manchester, M2 5QR - Visit now

    NQ64 Peter Street is the latest venue from the team behind the original (and excellent) Northern Quarter bar, offering up video games, high-quality drinks and a great, friendly atmosphere.

  • 9. Ducie Street Warehouse

    Ducie Street Warehouse
    Ducie Street Warehouse

    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.

  • 10. Ma Boyle’s Alehouse and Eatery

    Ma Boyle's Alehouse and Eatery
    Ma Boyle's Alehouse and Eatery

    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.

  • 11. Bloom Cafe

    Bloom Cafe
    Bloom Cafe

    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.

More in Food and Drink

Manchester Cheese Crawl
Activity Until 28 August 2021, from £25

The Manchester Cheese Crawl

Eat your way through the dairy based delights of Manchester, with the Manchester Cheese Crawl walking tour.

Leeds Waterfront Festival by Cloe Keefe
Festivals Until 12 September 2021,

Leeds Waterfront Festival 2021

Leeds Waterfront Festival brings the waterways of the city to life with an eclectic mix of music, performance and art for all the family.

Activity Until 25 August 2021, from £4

Summer Bake Off at Manchester Jewish Museum

Get hands on with heritage and learn some new skills with the summer bake off at the Manchester Jewish Museum.

Food and Drink Until 17 December 2021, from £55

Explore Ancoats Food & Drink Tour

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.

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester
Activity 7 August–18 December 2021, from £30

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester

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.

Vintage by the Sea
Families 4–5 September 2021, FREE

Vintage by the Sea in Morecambe: CANCELLED

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.

Manchester coffee festival
Activity 6–7 November 2021, from £12

Manchester Coffee Festival with Cup North

Manchester Coffee Festival is a packed weekend of all things coffee related and also, the biggest international coffee event outside London.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

This month’s cinema guide features previews, film festivals and movie marathons.

Annie Morris: When A Happy Thing Falls at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Exhibitions

The British Textile Biennial; a forest of towering, luminous sculptures; and a film inspired by a narrative told by ‘a Square’ – we bring you this month’s top pick of exhibitions.

Grimm Tales: Witches, Wolves, Fairies and Frogs at Williamson Park

Families

With summer in full bloom in Costa del Manchester and the North, we round up our top alfresco activities to do with the family, plus exciting indoor offerings.

Writer Louise Finnigan.

Literature

With August, the literature scene is promising some hot events, both online and in real life: with book launches, short story showcases, regular poetry chats, live readings and even an exhibition of word art…

Black Midi

Music

Across Manchester and the north, gig-starved fans and artists are re-connecting in a way that seemed impossible a year and a half ago. With so many shows scheduled, and so much appreciation for them, it’s simply a joyous time to be a music fan in these parts.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

As some of our favourite theatre teams head back into the rehearsal room, we take a look ahead to some of the performances we’re most looking forward to, as well as the outdoor theatre happening now.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Summer is here and we’re so excited to be out in the world touring, making, playing and doing all the things Manchester and the North has to offer.

Things to do right now

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Food and Drink Until 17 December 2021, from £55

Explore Ancoats Food & Drink Tour

Activity Until 25 August 2021, from £4

Summer Bake Off at Manchester Jewish Museum

Leeds Waterfront Festival by Cloe Keefe
Festivals Until 12 September 2021,

Leeds Waterfront Festival 2021

Manchester Cheese Crawl
Activity Until 28 August 2021, from £25

The Manchester Cheese Crawl

Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four