Ditto Coffee Albert Square

Creative Tourist
Ditto Coffee Albert Square

Review by Sarah Catherine Jones: 

Albert Square in the city centre might still be a construction site, but the delights of the Manchester Union building should be ignored at your peril.

Home to Ditto Coffee, it’s a cosy, reassuringly unpretentious space that has both coffee and music at its heart. Owned by Ditto Music, founders Matt and Lee Parsons support over 1.2m independent artists, aiming to create a fairer music industry for all. But we’re not here for the music. Our visit is dedicated to the new brunch menu – and Ditto has some seasonal specials up its sleeve.

To kick things off, we decided to get acquainted with some drinks. While the obvious choice is coffee (we’d recommend the mighty espressos), there are plenty of other options to get you going. Think fresh smoothies, teas and warming chai, as well as a selection of boozy hot chocolates and mulled wine if you’re in need of Christmas cheer.

Image courtesy of Sarah Catherine Jones

Eager to try out some vegan treats, we opted for a surprisingly beautiful beetroot wellington from the Christmas menu; beetroot mousse is layered with spinach and earthy mushroom duxelles, encased in all the puff pastry goodness you’d expect. It’s paired with dollops of vegan bechamel sauce and a pleasingly spiced sweet potato and butternut squash puree, which combines magnificently with a side of steamed green beans. As a final flourish, the dish is topped with edible flowers and sprinkles of chia seeds.

Next, another vegan option, the plant burger, served with more expertly seasoned chips than you could shake a stick at. The burger is layered with a generous helping of house burger sauce, baby gem lettuce, tomato and delicate pickled silverskin onions, which adds a distinct tangy sweetness. Served in a brioche bun, it’s a satisfying plate, perfect for big appetites.

Image courtesy of Sarah Catherine Jones

The highlight of the Christmas menu is the vegetarian San Sebastian Cheesecake, which has a Basque-style burnt top. With a creamy custard texture, you’d be forgiven for thinking this would be a dense affair, but it’s light and joyous in every way possible. Served with a rich ruby chocolate brandy sauce and ruby chocolate drops, it’s worth visiting Ditto Coffee for this alone.

Image courtesy of Sarah Catherine Jones

Another great vegetarian dessert is the Nutella and fruit waffle sandwich, which is something of a textural triumph. A crispy house waffle is topped with lashings of Nutella, nuts and fruits including strawberries, blueberries and bananas, then crowned with a generous scoop of Madagascan vanilla ice cream. It’s an undoubtedly decadent way to finish brunch.

Whether you’re a meat eater, veggie or vegan, Ditto Coffee is a solid brunch spot for the festive season and beyond. There’s real care and creativity on show here, with dishes that give a refreshing take on the usual Manchester brunch fare. Throw in the great service and warm surroundings, and you’re onto a winner.

Union, Albert SquareManchesterM2 6LW View map
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Opening Hours

  • Monday8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 4:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

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