Everyone loves a bargain – and, it seems, a market. From farmers’ to fashion, via craft and vintage, it sometimes feels like you can’t move for stallholders trying to sell you stuff. So with that in mind we hunted out some of the best, and most eclectic, in Manchester.
Here are our top 5 picks
If someone stole into the Creative Tourist office one night and moved it, brick by brick, to the restored Market House that abuts Altrincham Market, we wouldn’t even think about dialling 999. We’d just open our arms to a weekend market that rotates between vintage, craft and food, and to the delights that come via Alty Market’s indoor, seven-days-until-late eatery. This is the bit that’s in Market House, around whose communal tables cluster indie food and drink outlets flogging everything from incredible pizza to hot chocolate and wine.
While it’s not quite as up there as Alty Market – though it shares a similar vibe – it’s still worth a visit to the monthly Castlefield Artisan Market. It’s held, confusingly, in the Royal Mills in Ancoats (not Castlefield) and serves up an eclectic range of stalls and stallholders: everything from local craft and pottery to tapas, bread and cakes, vintage, fruit and veg, cosmetics and craft beer.
Here is a little enterprise that has arguably set the blueprint for how to revive a local market. Since it opened in 2013, Levy Market has doubled in size, gone weekly, been shortlisted for a BBC Food & Farming Award and ploughs its profits into supplying grants to local start-up businesses. Head to either for excellent local food, bread, wine, cakes, crafts, tea and plants.
No Mancunian worth their salt could get away without mentioning the word “Arndale” in an article about markets. A collection of independent stalls cluster at the Northern Quarter end of the mall and cover everything from vegetables and cupcakes to sushi. People swear by the mobile phone outlet here – cheapest deals in Manchester – while the food hall, with our long-time favourite, Panchos Burritos (which also has a restaurant just off Oxford Road), is the place to head to for good, cheap eats.
A market that is both old and traditional. It’s also one of the biggest in the North West, has consistently been voted the best in Britain over the years, is 500 years old and sells the best black pudding in the country – alongside fish, meat, clothing and lots more besides.