Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

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

  • 1. The Pilcrow

    The exterior of The Pilcrow
    The Pilcrow.

    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!

  • 2. Freida Mo’s

    Ian Jones

    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.

  • 3. Ping’s Pan-Asian

    Ping's Pan-Asian

    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.

  • 4. Salvi’s Pizzeria Napoletana

    Salvi's

    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.

  • 5. The Ivy Asia

    Ian Jones

    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.

  • 6. The Deaf Institute

    Pimped Fries

    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.

  • 7. Albert’s Restaurant & Bar

    Albert's Restaurant & Bar
    Alberts

    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.

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.

Cheese Making at Food Sorcery
Activity 19–20 January 2019, from £100

Cheese Making at Food Sorcery

Join expert cheese maker Louise Talbot at Food Sorcery as she hosts two days of cheese making masterclasses.

Activity 26 January 2019, from £100

Steak Masterclass at Food Sorcery

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.

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

Cinema

January brings a focus on women-centric cinema, classic revivals and international hits.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

Exhibitions

On the brink of the new year, here’s a couple of the major exhibitions and smaller gems we’re looking forward to in 2019.

A World Inside A Book courtesy Suzi Corker

Families

January ain’t dull. Create with light, become forensic archeologists, sculpt with mud, step inside books and find a giant piglet with a coat made from dosh.

Literature

January, February, March, April, even May… we’ve plenty for you to look forward to live literature wise as 2019 unfolds – from performance poetry and soundscapes to readings from magazines, memoirs and award-winning short stories.

Music

Some of the most singular voices in contemporary music are to grace northern stages in the coming months.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Five-star musicals, acclaimed site-specific performances and two-week-long eclectic arts festivals? There’s nothing dry about January.

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
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

Motion Sickness at STOCK Gallery
Exhibitions 12 January–1 February 2019, FREE

Motion Sickness at STOCK Gallery

Families 5 December 2018–1 June 2019, from £5.25

Patternarium at Eureka!