The hottest location at the moment, everyone seems to be wanting to open up shop in Ancoats, and so this guide will probably have to be updated every few months or so.
Until loads of people come flocking though, now is the perfect chance to head on down and check out some of the fantastic bars, restaurants and pubs all within around 3 minutes’ walk of each other.
A wine bar and imaginative restaurant brought to Ancoats from the masterminds behind Trove. There’s an inspired selection of natural wines and craft beers selected from small producers around the world. The concrete industrial space is light and spacious with high ceilings with a nod to nature with European oak tables and bute wool benches. The classic neighbourhood spot is perfect for luxurious dining and comfortable after-work drinks. They also have a seasonal, changing menu adapting weekly/monthly.
Erst, 9 Murray St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6HS
The Counter House
A neighbourhood eatery and bar in the heart of Ancoats, the edge of Cutting Room Square. Open all day serving up healthy juices and shots, small and large plates from morning to midnight. The Counter House has a rustic aesthetic complete with wacky artwork and their very own ‘Urban Jungle’ against exposed brick work. It’s a perfect light space, for laid back and comfortable dining or just for an after work drink soaking up the sun (maybe) in the square.
The Counter House, 35 Blossom Street, Manchester, M4 6AJ
Seven Brothers Beerhouse
Back in the 50’s a man and a woman got married and ended up having 11 kids. Perhaps it was because there was nothing to do in the olden times, or maybe they really fancied each other. Most likely it was a combination of both, but whatever the reasons, they ended up with 7 boys and 4 girls of which the boys have opened up a brewery while the girls have opened up a gin distillery. The Seven Brothers Beerhouse in Ancoats is where you can have a sip of their locally brewed ales, as well as tuck into a little bit of grub if you’re hungry. As a man with a very commercial palette, I tend to go for their excellent Lager, but their Watermelon number is pretty decent too. Give ‘em all a try actually – they’re all good.
Seven Brothers Beerhouse, The Ice Plant, 39 Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AF
Sugo Pasta Kitchen
Anyone who tells you that you shouldn’t go to a restaurant and eat pasta should get their stupid chops full of some of the stunning dishes at Sugo so you can then proudly proclaim – “You’re wrong!” The gang here expanded into Ancoats relatively recently after smashing it down in Altrincham and they’re smashing it here too with their frankly quite brilliant pasta dishes. A MUST is their ‘signature’ House Sugo – Orecchiette pasta with slow cooked beef shin, pork shoulder, nduja sausage and ragu. Fucking fantastic.
Sugo Pasta Kitchen, Blossom St, Manchester M4 6BA
A proper little gem here, Rads have been serving up Caribbean food in Ancoats since 2013 and once you find it – you’ll probably never go anywhere else for your lunch – at least not for a few weeks anyway. This place is legendary for their Jerk Chicken, Saltfish and their amazing Curried Mutton – all served up by the friendliest people imaginable. Oh and their patties are probably the best in the city – head on down and try them for yourself – you’ll know what I mean.
Rads, 62 Jersey St, Manchester M4 6AD
0161 211 9604
Ancoats General Store
Don’t head towards the Ancoats General Store expecting a Spar where you can pick up some bog roll, bleach and a box of matches. Oh no. This place is much more of a foodie haven than a supermarket with a fantastic range of local food and drink available as well as a little coffee shop and bakery. You can get your mitts on some mouth-watering doughnuts in one aisle, some locally made BBQ sauce in another, some Moss Side Cider in the next and finish it all off with a little pork pie that was cooked that very day by a housewife in Beswick. It’s brilliant. Even if you’re just popping in for some booze – their selection is legendary and you’ll be sure to find something you want. You can probably buy bog roll, matches and bleach too – I was only messing about.
Ancoats General Store, 57 Great Ancoats Street, corner of Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AB
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
There’s not much that I can say about Rudy’s that hasn’t already been said about a million times in the past. They do what many people in the city say are the best pizzas in Manchester, and although that fact is always up for debate, there’s no denying that they are damn tasty. The prices are very reasonable too and if you grab yourself a Margarita, a couple of Campari Sodas and pop on some Gucci sunglasses, you could fool yourself into thinking you’re all the way in Napoli, instead of a slightly manky old industrial area of Manchester.
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, 9 Cotton St, Manchester M4 5BF
Ca Phe Viet
A brilliant little hidden gem on Oldham Road here, Ca Phe Viet is one of the best Vietnamese places in the city, perhaps the best – so keep it quiet and don’t tell anyone unless it gets ruined. I must admit I’m not the biggest fan of Vietnamese food, but I found myself really enjoying the food here. Grab one of their Bahn Mi sandwiches on your lunch break or on the way to another boozer and you’ll be well satisfied. You can also expect the traditional soups including the lovely (and extravagant) Pho Dac Biet Special which contains Steak, Chicken, Brisket, Pork Belly, Pork Roll and King Prawns. Wow.
Ca Phe Viet, 74-86 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 5EB
Helmed by former NOMA chef Simon Martin, Mana has brought a massive slice of fine dining sophistication to the streets of Ancoats with their 19 Course Taster Menu. Probably one of the most ambitious projects to hit Manchester in years, Mana have been impressing critics and diners alike, including our very own Kate Tighe who tried it out earlier this year. Instead of continuing to waffle on – just read her review…
Mana, 42 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6BF
Jub burst onto the scene and made a serious mark. Tucked away under a building on the main road, Great Ancoats Street, Jub is an authentic and truly delicious Thai spot. ‘Jub’ translates as ‘Kiss’ and the spot is a vision of pastel, modern geometric patterns and plenty, plenty of plywood. The menu is reasonably priced for just HOW good the food is. There’s also plenty of sheltered outdoor seating, complete with heaters – it’s like they know Manchester’s bipolar weather.
Jub Thai, 149A Great Ancoats St, Manchester M4 6DH
Born in Manchester Arndale, Viet Shack quickly became one of the most popular and talked about stalls in town. They got that famous they needed a full restaurant. Popular amongst the nine to fivers on the hour lunch break, is now a fully fledged evening restaurant. And it is always busy. There’s Asian inspired cocktails, craft beer and like a lot of places in this area, plywood.
Viet Shack, 65 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5AB
Super famous for its pastries and breads, Pollen is the ultimate coffee stop in Ancoats. It’s award winning and Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2019 nominated so you know how good it is without even going. They have a lovely outside area to watch the People of Ancoats wander down the marina. They’ve got some of the flakiest, buttery-est croissants possibly ever. They also host yoga classes every week so you can burn it all off and do it again the week after.
Pollen Bakery, Cotton Field Wharf, 8 New Union St, Manchester M4 6FQ
The Hip Hop Chip Shop
Fresh off the street food scene, the Hip Hop Chip Shop has a permanent home in Ancoats bringing their super fancy, award winning fish and chips to the neighbourhood. They’re also serving up pies, wraps and the classic and diet-stable fish finger butty. It’s affordable, no-messing, real good food that’s good for the soul. They’ve even get veggie and vegan alternatives.
Hip Hop Chip Shop, Sawmill Court, 44 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
Grown up sister of El Gata Negro, Canto is a modern Portugese restaurant open 6 days a week, serving up brunch, lunch and dinner. The charming mediteranean style tapas includes all the classics and homages to the popular regions of Portugal.
Canto, Cutting Room Square, Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DH
The Crown & Kettle
One of the city’s best pubs, The Crown & Kettle is famed for its fantastic roof, which was designed by Leonardo Di Vinci when he was on the piss one Saturday afternoon in 1976. Its Grade II listed which means that if anyone tries to mess around with it the Queen will come down and batter them. If you manage to drag your eyes away from the ceiling though you’ll find a brilliant pub with a range of beers that will bring a tear to your eye. Not only that but they also have an extensive range of ciders (which are usually stronger than lighter fluid) and they also serve up some rather tasty pies. A great place for a prolonged afternoon of boozing.
The Crown & Kettle, 2 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 5FE
0161 235 0978
Elnecot hit Ancoats last year with its unique range of dishes and small plates, offering a varied menu of British classics including the amazing Manchester Egg, some Saddleworth Blue Cheese Parcels and even Lancashire Pulled Pork Arepas. The food is always on point and the restaurant is a fantastic place to relax and have a bit of grub and some wine. I could pretty much eat everything on the menu, as Tim tried to do when he reviewed it last year. Check out what he said and be sure to give it a try.
Elnecot, 41 Blossom Street, Cutting Room Square, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ