Food envy is a real problem nowadays, and I don’t know about you, but I cannot get through a single Saturday morning without being inundated with pictures of poached eggs, prosecco and pizza from everyone I have ever known.
Unless you have been living in a cage for the past year, you will have seen each of these dishes bellow on your Instagram feeds time and time again. But, just in case you need it reiterating or your list updating, here are the twelve most instagramable dishes in Manchester.
Oh, and just as a warning; there will be brunch.
Eggs Benedict from Federal
It came as a massive surprise when I was doing my research on Federal to learn that it has an Australian and New Zealand theme. Apparently, this is because the Aussies (wrongly) think they invented brunch. Bitch please, us Brits have been eating breakfast at 3 pm since the 1800s, that is just our style. Ranting aside, the brunch at Federal is legendary, and nothing highlights this more than their eggs benedict. Perfect poached eggs, with saffron yellow running yolks, on sourdough toast, hollandaise and with your choice of bacon (smoked or unsmoked), avocado, smoked salmon or Halloumi. Breakfast perfection, even if they are massively misinformed.
9 Nicholas Croft, Manchester M4 1EY
Sashimi Platter from Umezushi
This spot is probably one of the best-kept secrets in Manchester, and everyone wants an expertly carved slice of it. Umezushi lives under some railway arches close to Victoria Station…propper Crimewatch vibes. That being said this is so worth the trip as the food is incredible- it even got a mention in the 2017 Michelin Guide which is pretty much unheard of for Manchester because they hate us for some reason. Authentic, handcrafted sushi and sashimi is the name of the game here and not only is it beautifully presented, but it is also some of the best seafood I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I mean…just look at it.
Umezushi, 4, Mirabel St, Manchester M3 1PJ
Roast Dinner from The Refuge
We all love a roast dinner, right? I don’t know about you but a week doesn’t feel complete without demolishing something smothered in gravy. The Sunday dinner at The Refuge is epic too as it is served on a giant platter and designed to be shared. The roast platter for two consists of beef, suckling pig and chicken with roast potatoes, Chantenay carrots and parsnip, Vimto-braised red cabbage, buttered greens, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese and roast pan gravy. If that doesn’t make you ravenous, I do not know what will.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
Grilled Skate Wing from Fin @ Mackie Mayor
Not only is Mackie Mayor complete Instagram fodder in its own right with its shabby-chic benches, paint chipped pillars and trendy Edison bulbs suspended from the ceiling, but its food is too. To be honest, it should be when you are paying through the nose for it, but when it looks like that, it is hard to say no. I went there for lunch a few weekends ago, and when I got over the initial shock that I actually found a table at 2 pm on a Saturday, I was tempted by the griddled skate wing that has been all over my feed for weeks. Sided with salad, lemon and aioli it was so simple yet so delicious and confidently lived up to its expectations.
Mackie Mayor, Eagle St, Manchester M4
Cruffins from Pollen
The cruffin is the delectable love-child of a croissant and a muffin. The all-butter pastry from Pollen is lovingly shaped into deep muffin tins and baked to perfection. They are then tossed in sugar because obviously, they aren’t calorific enough already, and filled (typically patisserie cream flavoured with fresh vanilla bean) and a topping which changes weekly. Alumni include rhubarb & custard, pistachio & blood orange, quince & brown butter, lemon meringue and tart tartin which are the first thing I think of when I wake.
Pollen Bakery, 2 Sheffield St, Manchester M1 2ND
Brisket Potato Hash from Fress
It is said the Brunch is the most photographed thing in the world, after of course, the Statue of Liberty and your own offspring. So when it comes to the most important meal of the weekend, a list such as this would be incomplete without mention of Fress. Their brunch menu is crazy good, as are their Bloody Mary’s that come alongside it. It would be hard to pick just one dish, but I would go for the Brisket and Potato Hash – melt in the mouth slow cooked beef mixed up with potato, mushrooms, topped with two perfectly runny poached eggs and a sprinkling of fresh dill.
Fress, 62 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
That Breakfast from Another Heart to Feed
This is another one of those Australian themed spots that seem to believe the myth that the Aussies invented brunch. If you cast your eyes up three five paragraphs or consult your short-term memory, you already know how I feel about that. Be that as it may, they do a pretty mean brunch, and each plate looks like a work of art. Their signature breakfast consists of smashed avo on toast with crumbled, beetroot hummus, soft poached egg, seeds and a wedge of lime. It is colourful, fun and delicious to boot, so make sure you get it on your brunch list- it is worth a trip to West Didsbury in its own right.
Another Heart to Feed @ West Village, 220 Burton Rd, Manchester
Doughnuts & Coffee from Siop Shop
Think you know doughnuts? Think again. No longer do we have to settle for jam sodden, sticky messes because the ones from Siop Shop on Tib Street are a revelation. The guys there are baking masters and have everything from brownies, to cakes, to epic hand-made sandwiches and fantastic propper brews. It’s all about the doughnuts though- they are light as a feather, crisp and filled with some fantastically creative toppings/fillings such as chocolate & pistachio, cinnamon apple pie, lemon & poppy seed or the glazed filled with vanilla cream. Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics.
Siop Shop, 53 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LS
Bao Buns from The Fusion Lab
Oh, the humble Boa Bun- Taiwan’s answer to a butty and filled with all things good. They are pretty popular now, and you are never more than a stone’s throw away from an establishment that does pretty decent Boa. Nevertheless, look no further than The Fusion Lab at Arndale Food Market. I like these because A) they are pretty B) they are perfectly formed and C) they do not deter from their humble beginnings as a street-food snack. Boa should be eaten with your hands and served in a cardboard box. Top Marks all round.
49 High St, Manchester M4 3AH High St, Manchester M4 3AH
Burger from Hawksmoor
I’m not big into all those burgers that are filled high with rubbish. Just give me a classic done well- patties, cheese, bacon, salad, pickles- and I’m a happy girl. That is what you will find at Hawksmoor, and if you prefer a burger stacked with chicken wings, blue cheese, doughnuts, tater-tots and Nutella, you should head there for a lesson in simplicity. It must be said that as a rule, burgers are hard to make aesthetically pleasing. Do you go from the top down? That’s bun central. From the side? Just a mess. Top off? Easy now. Thing is the ones at Hawksmoor are magic though- they look good from every angle and will make your Instagram feed look goals.
Hawksmoor, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB