After some serious debate, a bit of back and forth and a few close calls, the Finest team have finally agreed on our favourite neighbourhood spots in Greater Manchester.
With regards to what constitutes a ‘neighbourhood’ spot though – the jury is still out. It’s somewhere you regularly visit. It’s somewhere you’ll find regulars. It’s somewhere you can go for drinks with mates one day and a sit down meal with your mum the next. Hard to categorise, yes, but these places certainly fit the bill…
Wolf At The Door
Bringing innovation to the Northern Quarter with a heavy focus on food and drink both informed by seasonality and the best available produce. Spread over three floors, this place is a relaxed restaurant and bar with fine-dining at a cost that won’t break the bank. In the basement you’ll find their ‘Innovation Room,’ a creative space for both their chefs and bartenders to develop and explore new flavours with guests. If you’re a true foodie make sure you check this place out.
Wolf at the Door, 30-32, Thomas St, Manchester M4 1ER
0161 660 7177
A polished and considered Japanese inspired menu with award-winning cocktails, and a buzzing atmosphere from day to night. The interior takes influence from Manchester’s industrial past but offers it up with a Japanese twist in a casual dining environment. You can grab a bento box at lunch time throughout the week for just £9, at the weekends they’re renowned for their bottomless brunch, and on Sundays you’ll find it packed out from 4pm when they’re serving up all you can eat dim sum from their Yum Cha menu.
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
0161 236 5144
A real neighbourhood spot in every sense that satisfies all your brunch needs alongside a decent pint or two. Common boasts a great selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes and a happy hour that cannot be missed. Pop in for a coffee during the day or drop by in the evenings for the Common Knowledge Quiz, regular DJ sets or get your shop on at the Loot Art Market.
Common, 39-41 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW
0161 832 9245
With hundreds flocking to Levenshulme every weekend to try sister site Trove and its legendary sourdough, Erst was born out of a desire to push beyond brunch. With a focus on simple seasonal food from the grill, including naturally leavened flatbreads made in house, their small plates are designed to share and evolve week by week. This, coupled with an impressive small-batch natural wine list, means no two trips to Erst are ever the same. Erst can be exactly what you make of it, whether it’s for casual after work drinks, a few small plates to share with a date at the bar (with a view of the kitchen – chef’s table style), or a special evening meal with friends and family.
Erst, 9 Murray St, Manchester M4 6HS
0161 826 3008
T R O V E
A firm favourite of ours for breakfast and brunch, Trove is a collection of talented artisans that make food from scratch, by hand, and have a central focus on organic ingredients and locally sourced produce. It’s the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday morning with friends and is swarming with artists, creatives, families and of course, little dogs.
TROVE, 1032 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WX
0161 432 7184
Previously a repairs shop, Nordie is small but perfectly formed with a stripped back, simple interior with bright pops of colour. Just a short walk from Levenshulme station, this place has a beautifully curated cocktail menu complete with a rotating natural wines and craft beer list.
Nordie, 1044 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WX
Owned by Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford (aka the Unabombers), Volta is known for its small plates inspired by the DJ duo’s travels all around the world. This is the ultimate suburban neighbourhood spot with friendly faces and a welcoming charm you can only find when you head south of the city.
Volta, 167 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LN
0161 448 8887
Another Heart To Feed / West Village
Starting the day out as ‘Another Heart To Feed,’ this little slice of Melbourne manages to rustle up quite possibly one of Manchester’s greatest brunch menus. Their dishes have the potential to break Instagram at any moment, with the likes of sourdough, granola, avocado, poached eggs and hummus all making an appearance. This spot then gears up for the evening from 4pm as ‘West Village.’
West Village, 220 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LW
Bar San Juan
Who’d have thought that some of the best tapas you will ever eat could be found on Beech Road in Chorlton? Well, the answer to that is simple – anyone who has ever been to San Juan, that’s who. Offering up a tiny (as in this place is very small) slice of Madrid in the suburb, it has been a clear neighbourhood favourite for years now. The aforementioned out-of-this-world tapas is served alongside a fantastic range of wines and a sangria that will blow your head off. It’s always busy in here and the atmosphere electric.
Bar San Juan, 56 Beech Rd, Manchester M21 9EG
With a heavy focus on three of life’s greatest gifts; bread, cheese and wine, The Creameries is the gift that keeps on giving! Expect freshly baked bread, cocktails, bar snacks and seasonal menus that comprise of carefully curated dishes using locally sourced ingredients fresh from the market. The Creameries have created a menu and laid-back vibe perfect for you to just drop in for a casual gathering over a few glasses of wine.
The Creameries, 406 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0SD
0161 312 8328
All The Shapes
A relaxed eatery and bar with wine and craft beer in the evenings and plenty of coffee throughout the day. All The Shapes is the go-to spot in the area with a rolling arts programme, live music each week, guest DJ spots and monthly foodie events. It’s effortlessly cool and chilled out. They’ve got an eclectic menu of small and large plates plus a selection of nibbles, and is perfect for a quick bite to eat while you put the world to rights with your mates over a few drinks.
All the Shapes, 8 Warwick St, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3HN
0161 798 5555
Slap bang in the centre of Altrincham, Blanchflower is a café turned restaurant that serves up a delicious evening menu with an ingredient list you can count on just one hand. The idea is to take things back to basics with good food and good drinks that can be enjoyed come rain or shine. There’s a full in-house bakery for daytime treats, and a large menu for evening dining. There’s also a large wine list so there’s definitely something for everyone.
Blanchflower, 12-14 Shaw’s Rd, Altrincham WA14 1QU
0161 929 6724
The Con Club
Packed full of everything you could possibly ever need, including a restaurant, sushi kitchen, bar, microbrewery, rooftop terrace and to top it all off, a DJ every Friday and live music on Sundays. Celebrating their travels in the comfort of their suburban home, the owners curated a menu with a nod to the world’s cuisines all while using local suppliers.
The Con Club, 48 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ
0161 696 6870
Hearth of the Ram
Set within a 200-year-old building, this award winning restaurant has gained many accolades since its opening in 2012, including a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award. Offering up all-day food and drink with an emphasis on local sourcing and seasonality, the menu changes daily and promises to reflect British style and cuisine. Be sure to get a table in their stunning conservatory when you can!
Hearth of the Ram, 13 Peel Brow, Ramsbottom, Bury BL0 0AA
Serving up an ever-changing menu of Northern Spain and Basque delights; Baratxuri is relaxed, comfortable and above all – absolutely fantastic. Set down a little side street, this place has wowed locals for years and has, in recent years, been the driving force behind an influx of ‘foodie’ visitors to the town.
Baratxuri, 1 Smithy St, Ramsbottom, Bury BL0 9AT