Lunch in Manchester

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

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

  • 1. Mackie Mayor

    Mackie Mayor

    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.

  • 2. GRUB Manchester

    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!)

  • 3. V Revolution

    V Revolution.

    V Revolution, 20-26 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HN - Visit now

    Fast food meets tofu; V-Revolution’s 100% vegan menu delivers hangover curing, carb-heavy delights in an all-American diner style setting.

  • 4. Nibble


    Nibble, 36 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    A great independent café in Manchester’s bustling Northern Quarter. Perfect if you’re looking for high-quality homemade produce.

  • 5. The Refuge

    Heritage Tomatoes, Red Onion

    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’.

  • 6. LEAF on Portland Street

    LEAF on Portland Street
    Courtesy of LEAF on Portland Street

    LEAF on Portland Street, 113–115 Portland St, Manchester, M1 6DW - Visit now

    Housed in the former CUBE Gallery and RIBA building on Portland Street, the long-awaited Manchester outpost of Liverpool’s legendary LEAF is finally here.

  • 7. Federal Cafe

    Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester

    Federal Cafe, Basil Chambers, 9 Nicholas Croft, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1EY - Visit now

    A New Zealand and Australian style café with incredible coffee, brunch, drinks and lunch options (plus: nice interior design).

  • 8. Yuzu

    Yuzu Manchester

    Yuzu, 39 Faulkner Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4EE - Visit now

    A tiny Japanese restaurant on the edge of China Town in Manchester; Yuzu is simple, refined and exquisite.

  • 9. North Tea Power

    Image courtesy of North Tea Power

    North Tea Power, 36 Tib Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1LA - Visit now

    The mighty North Tea Power is a Northern Quarter favourite thanks to its addictive grilled cheese sandwiches, serious good selection of teas and coffees and captivating playlist.

  • 10. The Whitworth

    The Whitworth
    The Whitworth, Photo: Alan Williams

    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.

  • 11. Fig and Sparrow

    Fig and Sparrow © Jan Dixon

    Fig and Sparrow, 20 Oldham Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    Not only a beautiful lifestyle store, Fig and Sparrow in the Northern Quarter also boasts a coffee bar, complete with a tantalising selection of loose leaf teas, seasonal food and homemade cakes.

  • 12. Common Bar

    Common Bar in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Common Bar, 39-47 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now

    Head to Northern Quarter stalwart Common Bar for cocktails, BOGOF burgers, smashed avo and popcorn cockles.

  • 13. Trove Restaurant

    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.

  • 14. Soup Kitchen

    Image of Soup Kitchen in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Manchester, M1 1DF - Visit now

    Bubbling vats of soup are the order of the day here, with flavours erring towards the unusual, alongside old favourites. Stop in and perch on one of the long wooden benches, or take-away.

  • 15. Eighth Day

    Eighth Day
    image courtesy of On the Eighth Day

    Eighth Day, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 7DU - Visit now

    Not only a great place to pick up your hemp milk and agave syrup, but also a deliciously hearty, fairly priced vegetarian/vegan lunch in the laid-back downstairs café.

  • 16. TAKK

    Takk cafe in Manchester.

    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.

  • 17. Gorilla

    Gorilla, Whitworth street Manchester

    Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5WW - Visit now

    A bar, kitchen and music venue from the people who brought you Trof.

  • 18. Gaucho Manchester

    Gaucho Manchester
    Gaucho Manchester

    Gaucho Manchester, 2a St Mary’s Street, Manchester, M3 2LB - Visit now

    Based in a converted Methodist church, Gaucho is one of the best-looking restaurants in Manchester. If you fancy pushing the boat out for lunch, get your teeth into this steak-heavy menu.

  • 19. Real Junk Food Project Manchester

    Courtesy of Real Junk Food Project Manchester

    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.

More places to go