alternative manchester

Local's Guide to Manchester: Part One: Food + Drink


One of my most favourite things about working in store at Object is having the opportunity to natter to so many different people that come through our door. We are already so fortunate to have a such a supportive community on our doorstep but when we hear of people travelling from far + beyond to visit our store, it genuinely brings us out in massive toothy smiles ! 

We often get asked by travelling customers for recommendations on what to in Manchester so we’ve decided to dedicate these next 4 blog posts to exploring our home city. From our favourite places to drink good coffee, eat authentic Indian food, find inspiration, discover local makers and dance until midnight (we’re the wrong side of 29 to see sun come up these days), we hope our local’s guide to Manchester will keep you coming back to the beating heart of the North. 

So let’s start with the important stuff … 

Part 1: Food + Drink

Coffee + Brunch

Image:  Petite Passport  

Foundation Coffee, Northern Quarter, City Centre

A beautiful Scandinavian inspired coffee house created by interior design studio No Chintz. Definitely not just style over substance, these guys know their shitz when it comes to beans ! Got the caffeine jitters ? Instead check out their great selection of cold press juices, herbal teas + vegan friendly food menu. 

Trove, Levenshulme

If you decide to eat breakfast anywhere in Manchester, eat it at Trove ! Make the short 10 min train journey out to Levenshulme and taste bread like you’ve never tasted before, so much so you’ll be purchasing a handmade loaf to take home with you for supper ! Choose from classic brunch dishes like eggs benedict to more unusual nordic inspired offerings like smoked mackerel, salsify, pickled radish + rhubabrb vinegar on toast ! Their coffee is supplied by local roasters Passion Fruit too. 

Barbecue, Chorlton

My daily go to for a caffeine fix and a homemade Madeleine cake ! Their beans are roasted onsite by Chorlton coffee roasters Passion Fruit who supply most independent cafes in Manchester. Sit in with stack of arty mags supplied by the venue or take away and go exploring around Chorlton ! 

Further Recommendations

City Centre - Federation / Pollen Bakery 

Prestwich - All the Shapes 

Chorlton -  The Spoon Inn / Our Kid / Caffeine & Co  

Cheap Eats

GRUB Mcr, Picadilly, City Centre

A weekly street food market with live DJ held every Saturday from middy until late at ABC Brewery. My personal fave is Indian street food vendor, Vaso Kitchen, get the masala fries ! Infact get them twice ! 

The Drop, Chorlton

A bustlingly little cafe serving home cooked Caribbean classics and playing top tunes ! Always a great atmosphere and super friendly service, who doesn’t love being served by staff mid dance ! 

Image: Bacon on the Beech 

Image: Bacon on the Beech 

Rudy’s Pizza, Ancoats, City Centre

The guys at Rudy’s originally started out as street food vendors with a pop-up pizza offering at nearby neighbour Bar Fringe. Their pizzas are by made using authentic, fresh Neopolitan ingrediants. They take just 60 seconds to cook and are known for their moorish soft, floppy texture, totally delicious ! 

Further Recommendations

City Centre - Bundobust (Vegetarian Indian street food ) 

Hulme -  Kim by the Sea (Modern British)

Chorlton - San Juan (Tapas)

Fancy Eats

Hawksmoor, Deansgate, City Centre

Housed in a Victorian courthouse, the decadent ambience of Hawksmoor Manchester is created with the use deep wood paneling, reclaimed parquet and 1950s lighting. The cocktail selection is amazing and are all served in beautiful hand-cut crystal glasses. Steaks here really are a cut above anywhere else in Manchester and are always cooked to absolute perfection, no matter what your preference. Definitely book ahead if you’re planning a visit !

Image: Spinningfields Manchester 

Image: Spinningfields Manchester 

Australasia, Spinningfields, City Centre

Fusing modern Australian cuisine with Japanese elements, Australia was one of the first places in the city to offer small plate dining. The unique, subterranean setting is texture heaven, styled with soft furnishings in a milky colour palette paired with pale driftwood fixtures. Our faves on the menu include the grilled mackerel in banana leaves and Seared teriyaki beef with sweet soy and spring onion. The extensive wine list is fantastic too and so extensive you have to view it on an iPad as oppose to a menu ! 

Further Recommendations

City Centre

Tattu (Contemporary Chinese) / Evelyn’s Cafe Bar (Fusion) /  El Gato Negro (Tapas)


 SUGO ( Italian pasta kitchen) 


Image: The Refuge

Image: The Refuge

The Refuge, Oxford Road, City Centre

Adorned with hundreds upon hundreds of marbled tiles, grand structural arches and industrial lighting contrasted with psychedelic prints and retro cocktail chairs, The Refuge is a achingly cool venue to enjoy a tipple or two. Check out their website for live music and DJ listenings. 

Salut Wines, Fountain Street, City Centre

Stocking over 350+ wines (yes really), with 32 choices available by the glass this quiet, snug little drinking haunt is a great choice for catching up with friends for mid-week or pre-dinner drinks. Salut’s wine vending machine is an experience not to be missed, with 50ml tipples starting from a couple of quid, it’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with tasting until you find your personal fave ! 

The Castle, Northern Quarter, City Centre

If you’re looking to experience a proper British pub whilst visiting Manchester, head to this Victorian drinking den. They have a great selection of craft beers, boutique sprits and wines and a homely charm that feels like you’re sitting in a cosy living room. Also if you have time visit their sister venue, The Parlour on Beech Road in Chorlton and sample one of their award-winning Sunday roasts ! 

Further Recommendations

City Centre

The Gas LampPLYThe PilcrowCommon


The Beagle / Henry C