Lunch in Manchester is a joy with our guide to the best places to enjoy your afternoon feed. Whether it’s a light bite, a blow-out meal or a generous hunk of local, artisan sourdough bread you’re after (accompanied by a respectable flat white); like coffee shops, good lunch places are one thing Manchester is not short on. Leaving no excuse for any sneaky Subways (not that we’re judging).
Here are our picks
Mackie Mayor, 1 Eagle Street, Manchester, M4 5BU
A ‘Time Out Food Hall’ style venue packed with an impressive array of local artisan food and drink businesses, in a stunning Grade II listed market building in the Northern Quarter.
GRUB Manchester, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M4 4HF - Visit now
Manchester’s legendary street food festival GRUB has set up camp just behind Piccadilly Station, where independent businesses and grassroots traders are serving up an incredible array of freshly prepared food and drink every weekend. (The Plant Powered Sundays are not to be missed!)
The Refuge, Oxford Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 7HA - Visit now
Big news for those who think lunch is the most important meal of the day. The Refuge has relaunched The People’s Lunch – hearty bowls of soul food for just £7.50. You can choose from meat, fish or vegan options, each week, available Monday to Friday from 12 til 3 pm. Expect dishes such a homemade parpadelle, grilled brassicas, torched mackerel and sweet potato curry. Every week features a ramen dish, from ultra-traditional pork tonkotsu to a vegan mushroom-based ‘shoyu’.
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now
Alfresco dining without stepping outside. Overlooking the park and with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Whitworth gallery’s ‘Café in the Trees’ serves up some spectacular views alongside its deliciously seasonal, locally sourced menu. Run by award winning chef Peter Booth.
Trove Restaurant, 1032 Stockport Road, Levenshulme, Greater Manchester, M19 3WX - Visit now
Formed by a passionate group of local food and drink vigilantes who believe in making things from scratch and by hand, this small Levenshulme café places a big emphasis on organic ingredients and locally sourced produce. And you can taste it.
TAKK, 6 Tariff Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2FF - Visit now
You may know Takk as a coffee hang-out, but this Icelandic-inspired spot is also a great place to enjoy a working lunch. Check out the satisfying range of Mediterranean sandwiches, flaky pastries and chunks of cake on offer throughout the day.
Real Junk Food Project Manchester, 85 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6EQ - Visit now
Enjoy a gourmet lunch for whatever price you feel and help fight food waste. Overseen by acclaimed chef Mary-Ellen McTague, the Real Junk Food Project Manchester has finally found a permanent home, ideally located along Oxford Road. And business is booming.