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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.