I must admit that I've not been down to Altrincham for a few months now and with the frequency in which places are opening down there I've probably missed a load out.
When I was there though it was just as good as it’s always been – a great success story of turning a once dead town into a bustling hub of food, drink and culture. Oldham, Rochdale & Ashton – take note.
Of course, a trip to Alty would not be complete without a visit to their world-famous market, and don’t worry – you don’t need to buy a sausage dog and some Scandi clobber to enjoy it. There’s some fantastic food establishments in here including some amazing pizzas from Honest Crust, some proper mint pies from the Great North Pie Co. and of course – those lovely Tender Cow creations. There’s plenty for you if you’re thirsty too including some of the best wines in Manchester, a few odd little IPAs that have been brewed to a 2000-year-old recipe and enough fizz to sink a Greek catamaran. Everything under one roof. Be careful though – it can get seriously busy – especially on the weekend.
Altrincham Market & Market House, 26 Market St, Altrincham WA14 1PF
A relative newbie on the Altrincham scene, Tre Ciccio have been smashing it since opening earlier in the year – specialising in some wonderful pizzas as well as chicken – a combination that is a little unexpected but not at all unwelcome. When you first go through the doors you’ll see their huge pizza oven which magically transforms balls of dough and cheese into sizable disks of cheesy heaven. I must also wholeheartedly recommend their Rotolini which are little pizza ‘bites’ stuffed with cured ham, fior di latte cheese and tomato. They’re the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Well, they’re up there on the list anyway.
Tre Ciccio, 4a Moss Ln, Altrincham WA14 1BA
The Drop Bar & Restaurant
The gang from the brilliant Caribbean gaff in Chorlton have decided to expand and head to Altrincham. It’s more of the same really with some truly amazing Caribbean dishes on offer including all of the Jerk-related classics, some truly outstanding condiments and the best Fried Plantain you can get your grubby little mitts on in Manchester. They’re always banging out some proper strong cocktails too and their Rum Punch should be right at the top of anyone’s list to try.
The Drop, 9 Goose Green, Altrincham WA14 1DW
Sugo Pasta Kitchen
It seems that everyone is going crazy for Italian food down in Altrincham and many would say that Sugo is mostly to blame for its popularity. Tucked away opposite the market, Sugo do Italian food like it should be done with fresh ingredients, freshly made pasta and gallons of olive oil so good that you could guzzle it like wine. They’ve recently opened in Ancoats too so they must be doing something right and a visit is a must if you’re in Altrincham, even if you’re not hungry.
Sugo Pasta Kitchen, 22 Shaw’s Rd, Altrincham WA14 1QU
It’s always good to take a break from the food and the drink, and if you head on over to The Contemporary you can enjoy a nice bit of culture, or more specifically – art. On the window outside they very kindly let you know what to expect when you go in by listing their artists and they usually have loads of them knocking about. That means that you can find a rather eclectic selection of stuff on offer, from pictures of Benny Hill with an apple on his head and a dildo in his hand right up to a lovely serene lakeside painting in Windermere. I’ve never actually seen a Benny Hill picture in here, it’s just the strangest thing I could think of at this exact moment in time. The Contemporary makes for a nice relaxing snoop and if you like any of the pieces, they’re all for sale.
The Contemporary, 102 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham WA14 1DG
Porta Tapas Bar
I don’t think there is any other food in the world that I’d rather eat than a lovely bit of Spanish Tapas and if you feel the same – a trip to Porta should definitely be on the list. When I was there last I went well too far and ate way too much. Everything was perfect though – especially their Ox Cheek with nuts and those amazing little Padron Peppers that everyone loves. They’ve also got a great selection of Spanish wines to tuck into, most of which are perfect for making a frosty Calimocho to go with your mound of Patatas Bravas.
Porta Tapas Bar, 50 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ
Mort Subite & Belgian Bar
I find it pretty unusual that there are two speciality Belgian beer bars within such a small place in such a small town but if I’m being honest with you – I’m definitely not complaining. There’s nothing better than cracking open an ice-cold bottle of Delirium on a dark Autumn day and getting absolutely ratted by only drinking half a glass. There is the brilliant Mort Subite and the imaginatively named Belgian Bar, both offering a massive range of Belgian lagers, ales and the odd bit of Lambic, which is a beer but it’s just a little bit weirder.
Mort Subite, 28-32 Greenwood St, Altrincham, WA14 1RZ
Belgian Bar, 40 Greenwood St, Altrincham, WA14 1RZ
What even is Cambodian food?! I barely even know where Cambodia is, never mind the kind of grub they’re knocking back down there. Okay, so I do know where it is but you get the idea – Cambodian food isn’t exactly the most common cuisine for restaurants but Angkor Soul have managed to slip themselves into a tiny little niche and have been banging out some fantastic dishes ever since. Finest writer Tim visited the restaurant a few weeks back and was very impressed with what they had on offer. He noted “Altrincham has another excellent eatery on its hands here, and also one offering something little bit different, Angkor’s most definitely got soul.”
Angkor Soul, 20 Ashley Road, Altrincham, Trafford, WA14 2DW
New Market Square
As if Altrincham needed any more markets, the gang from Altrincham Market have added New Market Square to their arsenal which is home to a constantly changing roster of anything from street food, antiques and even the odd specialist deli. It might get a little bit too wet and chilly to sit outside in a couple of months but until then – bring a jacket and wear one of them umbrella hats and brace the elements because these little beauties are usually too good to miss. They sometimes have a cracking little antiques market here too where you can buy a bit of old tat in which to impress your loser mates with when they come round to your house.
Marigot Bay Bar and Café
A brand new one this and it continues the exotic theme perfectly. Named after a tiny little slice of paradise in Saint Lucia, Marigot Bay aims to replicate the laid-back lifestyle you’d find there – giving us Mancs a little bit of paradise in a city famed for its grey skies and extensive levels of drizzle. As you’d expect from a Caribbean bar they have enough rum to satisfy Jack Sparrow on a booze-binge and the cocktails that they manage to knock together with the stuff are typically excellent. It’s well worth a visit – you won’t be disappointed!
Marigot Bay Bar and Café, 6 King’s Court, Railway St, Altrincham WA14 2RD
The Con Club
Even though I’d like to punch David Cameron in the face more than anyone else ever, living or dead, any political connotations at The Con Club stop firmly at the name. It’s called this because it is housed in the old Working Men’s Conservative Club which is the perfect definition of an oxymoron if ever there was one. The place shut down and the owners of The Con Club moved in – turning it into an excellent all-day restaurant and boozer who serve up a cracking breakfast and a Bloody Mary that will blow your face off. With the vast selection of booze they have on offer it’s also a great place for a cheeky few cocktails too.
The Con Club, 48 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ