To paraphrase old craggy-face Gordon Ramsay: Christmas, done. New Year, done. Now we’re halfway into January, which means a return of the daftly-named but admirably socially-conscious Veganuary.
And of course, all of you who over-indulged last year will be trying to burn off a few pounds, which means both slogging it out at the gym and eating healthy. But eating well doesn’t mean not going out to eat, not by a long shot.
In this month’s guide we’ve plucked out the best healthy-eating restaurants across the North, along with a couple of high-quality vegan spaces. But it’s not all about hair shirts and self-imposed culinary austerity, so when you reach breaking point and think to hell with it, there’s some good old-fashioned calorific menus for you too.
Even better, many of the restaurants listed have special January offers, so be sure to check before a visit to see if you can shave a few pounds off your bill, as well as your waistline. But don’t be a Scrooge, hand a percentage over to your hard-working waiting staff. They’re the lifeblood of the industry after all.
Here are our picks
The Pilcrow, The Pilcrow, Sadler’s Yard, Hanover Street, NOMA, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 0AB - Visit now
This January The Pilcrow are 25% off all drinks throughout the month for Pilcrow members. They’re serving it all up from midday seven days a week. Coffee, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Spirits, and Soft Drinks. All you need to do is sign up for a Pilcrow locals card for free at the bar or via their website. The locals card gives you 10% off your drinks throughout the year as well as 20% off take out beers, it makes sense!
Freida Mo’s, 33 Lark Lane, Liverpool, L17 8UW - Visit now
This cute semi-vegan cafe has only been open a year but has already become a firm fixture on Lark Lane, much-loved by the locals. Not only do they sell delicious – though not always healthy – food and snacks, but the atmosphere is the most upbeat and friendly this side of the bar from Cheers. Freida Mo’s isn’t just one of the best locations on Lark Lane, it’s one of our favourite places in Liverpool, full stop.
Ping’s Pan-Asian, Selfridges, Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8DA - Visit now
The best thing about Ping? More than anything it’s the freshness of the ingredients. These aren’t dishes that have been sitting around all day, the vegetables are crisp and crunchy, the meat soft and tender. Each dish is a few levels above the typical offering you may have tried before, with true depth of flavour, always adding a smart twist and enhanced quality. Exactly the kind of food you want to be eating on a January health-kick.
Salvi’s Pizzeria Napoletana, John Dalton Street, Manchester, M2 6FW - Visit now
Ok, so pizza might not be the best food for all you dieters but you can afford the odd treat, live a little. And Salvi’s is possibly our favourite pizza joint in town, offering a bold, cheery and bright cafe atmosphere ideal for dropping in whilst shopping or before a big night out.
The Ivy Asia, The Pavilion, Byrom St, , Manchester , M3 3HG - Visit now
This is one for all you dressing-up box types. You probably wouldn’t visit The Ivy Asia on a daily, or even weekly basis, not unless you have deep deep pockets, but when it comes to event dining it’s up there with the best. Manchester is a world class city, The Ivy provides food – and an experience – to match.
The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 7HE - Visit now
One of the Deaf Institute’s more celebrated offerings is the Sunday lunch. This isn’t the bog standard English breakfast or Sunday roast, this is the Vegan Hangover, which unsurprisingly features an all-vegan menu. The menu is lovingly-prepared by head chef Charlie, and varies from week to week. You’ll find quesadillas, nut roasts, mac and cheese and curries, all brimming with flavour and texture. Rest assured, this is some of the most inspiring food in Manchester, vegan or not.
Albert’s Restaurant & Bar, 120-122 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester, M20 2PU - Visit now
Albert’s is the kind of slick, smart place which comes from owners and staff who have the right levels of experience and ability when it comes to knowing their audience. The food is thoughtful and tasty, the staff are impeccably friendly without ever being intrusive. It’s the right kind of small chain, the kind of place that you know you’ll always enjoy a similarly high-level experience, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like the personality has been emptied out to the gods of a regimented handbook.
We are lucky to be spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh, delicious and independent food choices in the centre of Manchester. Nowhere is this presence felt more than in the Northern Quarter. Join John Ryan on this taster walk as you eat your way through the back streets learning about the local history and culture as you go.
Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.
Add a more personal twist to a meal out by cooking your own three course restaurant standard meal from scratch. Food Sorcery’s cooking together evenings are all about making cookery fun and sociable whilst still producing high quality dishes.
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.
Join expert cheese maker Louise Talbot at Food Sorcery as she hosts two days of cheese making masterclasses.
Join Food Sorcery’s expert chef Jason, as he shares his knowledge of all things steak. You’ll learn about the best cuts and how to cook them as well as how to cook some mouth watering sauces and sides.
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.
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.