Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

The countdown to the c-word has begin. That’s right, as Noddy H likes to yell, it’s Christmas. Love it or loathe it, it’s going nowhere and it’s always good news for you food-lovers as the city’s finest bars and restaurants start to flex their muscles, showing off their winter menus.

This month we have some of the very best options across the North, including a fantastic new vegan restaurant in Manchester; the latest restaurant from chef t’errible (that’s French for controversial chef, by the way, not ‘bad chef’, far from it) Marco Pierre White; Deansgate tapas; one of Liverpool’s best new independent venues; a South Manchester favourite; the stunning winter menu from a reliably brililant Spinningfields restaurant, and much much more.

That’s more than enough for you to explore over the next four weeks, before the big day itself arrives, with its inevitably inedible turkey and soggy sprouts. We’ll be back in a month, in those lost post-Christmas weeks – which, lucky for us all, brings all manner of wonderful January discounts. Now that’s something to look forward to. Until then, mine’s a Snowball.

Here are our picks

  • 1. The Allotment Vegan Restaurant

    Martin Kevill

    The Allotment Vegan Restaurant, Lloyd’s house, 18-22 Lloyd St, Manchester, M2 5WA - Visit now

    The Allotment is a vegan restaurant, but it’s not trying to replicate or even replace non-vegan dishes. It takes a wide range of vegan produce and turns it into something quite unique and as a result, some of the dishes are like nothing you’ve seen before. Stockport’s loss is very much Manchester’s grain and yes we did mean to write grain.

  • 2. Marco Pierre White’s English Chophouse

    Sophie Jones

    Marco Pierre White’s English Chophouse, 2 Canal St, Manchester, M1 3HE - Visit now

    The latest restaurant from the legendary Marco Pierre White offers great artistry in British cooking, with a French flair and combination of amazing flavours. And yes, the exquisite food more than justifies the price tag.

  • 3. Tattu

    Ian Jones

    Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

    A new menu at Tattu, Spinningfields’ leading restaurant (sorry 20 Stories, maybe next year), is always a cause for celebration. They’ve been reliably putting out some of the most elaborate and intricate – but above all delicious – dishes for years, and this winter sees some of their chefs most inventive creations yet.

  • 4. Peaberry Coffee House & Kitchen Albert Dock

    Ian Jones

    Peaberry Coffee House & Kitchen Albert Dock, Albert Dock, Units 1/2a The Colonnades, Liverpool, L3 4AA - Visit now

    Liverpool’s Albert Dock has a reputation as something of a tourist haunt, but with the likes of Peaberry, things are certainly changing. Fiercely independent, without being too niche or too obvious, it’s a shining example of an exciting forward-thinking eatery.

  • 5. Albert’s Restaurant & Bar

    Alberts

    Albert’s Restaurant & Bar, 120-122 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester, M20 2PU - Visit now

    Albert’s is 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.

  • 6. Evuna Deansgate

    Charlie Spargo

    Evuna Deansgate, 277-279 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EW - Visit now

    Time is generally one of the truest tests of a restaurant’s calibre. It takes both quality output and a local touch to not just exist, but thrive. At tapas restaurant Evuna – who’ve recently celebrated 15 years of operating – that’s exactly what’s on offer.

  • 7. PLY

    Image of signage outside PLY in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    PLY, 26 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1DW - Visit now

    The waft of pizza and the soft music make PLY perhaps the most welcoming of all the current pizzerias in Manchester. A Christmas special, the Fairytale pizza features little roast potatoes and the probably controversial addition of raw sprouts. Admittedly this is not going to be for everyone but, come on, the concept is fun and actually adds a nice bitter note.

  • 8. Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival

    Liverpool Ice Festival

    Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival at Pier Head, Liverpool, 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, from £6 - Book now

    The third annual Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival is back and it’s better than ever. As well as a bunch of high-octane funfair rides and ice-based events for all you thrill-seekers, there’s a range of excellent pop-up food and drink stalls. Our favourite? The Sausage Swing Grill with its endless range of high-quality bratwurst dishes. Warm yourself up this Christmas, grab a tray of their mouth-watering currywurst.

More in Food and Drink

Activity 6 October 2018–6 March 2019, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks

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. 

Eat The City - Scranchester Tours
Food and Drink 27 October 2018–25 May 2019, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

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.

Cooking Together Italian Hake with Salsa verde ingredients
Activity 31 October 2018–1 June 2019, from £120

Cooking Together at Food Sorcery

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.

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester
Food and Drink 1 November 2018–1 February 2019, 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.

Come As You Are at The Refuge
Food and Drink 31 December 2018–1 January 2019, from £15.00

Come As You Are at The Refuge

‘Come As You Are’ and count down to 2019 in style with a whole host of familiar faces and fantastic folk at The Refuge, Manchester.

Childrens 2–12 May 2019, from £00.00

Leeds International Festival 2019

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.

Vintage by the Sea courtesy Emma Sudall
Families 31 August–1 September 2019, FREE

Vintage by the Sea in Morecambe

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.

Culture Guides

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Contemporary circus, slapstick comedy, burlesque and immersive dining. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Cinema

It’s almost that most wonderful time of the year and there’s all kinds of festive programming and counter-programming in the cinemas of Manchester and the North.

Ren Hang: Wake Up Together at Open Eye Gallery

Exhibitions

Tubism, pottery, same-sex intimacy and art education; this month’s Exhibitions Guide has it all. (Even a tentative mention of Christmas.)

Families

Luminous adventures, festive fixes, Drag Queen Storytime and New Year’s Eve parties with nippers to book now for … look no further for the best things to do with kids.

Poet Nia Davies at No Matter #4.

Literature

December sees some great events lined up for those readers who have been good this year – read on to find out about the live literature gifts we have wrapped up for you, and find out where to buy some Christmas presents of your own…

Music

This month’s music guide features some of the most exciting underground artists from around the world, as well as homegrown Manchester talent.

Tours and Activities

This month we are highlighting some of the top multilingual tours and activities Manchester has to offer.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Families 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, from £6

Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester
Food and Drink 1 November 2018–1 February 2019, from £30

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester

Cooking Together Italian Hake with Salsa verde ingredients
Activity 31 October 2018–1 June 2019, from £120

Cooking Together at Food Sorcery

Eat The City - Scranchester Tours
Food and Drink 27 October 2018–25 May 2019, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Activity 6 October 2018–6 March 2019, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks

MONITOR exhibition, AIR Gallery, Altrincham
Exhibitions 6–22 December 2018, FREE

MONITOR at AIR Gallery