February saw the opening of some real hard hitters on the Manchester dining scene including Stock Market Grill and Higher Ground. But March is no shrinking violet when it comes to new openings. This month there are more than 10 new places to get excited about if you can fit another dinner in between grabbing a bargain tea at an old favourite, drinking a beer made by Manchester women for International Womens Day, and going to see Swan Lake.
This month’s new openings include an all-American smashed burger joint from Salford moving to the city, a much anticipated new cocktail bar in Chorlton, and a hot hot hot Brazilian spot samba dancing its way into the Arndale.
Read on for all the details on these and more new Manchester openings in March.
Friday 10 March
Any cocktail menu that starts with a quote from Ernest Hemingway is alright by us and we’re sure we can find another 96 reasons to visit this cocktail bar which opens this month. This new Chorlton bar comes from the people behind The Lead Station next door so it’s already weaved into the tapestry of the Beech Road community. The owners are also behind Tariff & Dale in the city centre which should give you an idea of the caliber of drinks to expect. Cocktails at 97 are modern incarnations of the classics. So a house martini includes grape skin vodka, spiced chestnut honey and house orange bitters, a margarita contains coconut oil washed silver tequila, dry curaçao, and yuzu sake, and of course the whisky sour is made with wild mushroom bourbon. If you prefer your spirits neat, there is an impressive collection of unusual ones including 16 different types of gin. There is a short and sweet list of beers and wines too.
97 Beech Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 9EQ
A Little Piece of Bahia
Wednesday 1 March
Bahia is one of the largest states in Brazil and is characterised by its strong Afro-Brazilian culture. It’s the birthplace of both samba music and the Brazilian dance-meets-martial-art capoeira. It’s also known for tropical beaches, beautiful architecture, and food. The food of Bahia makes good use of the fruits of the region, namely coconuts and seafood, so think spicy shrimp soups, crab stews and fried fish escabeche marinated in spices and vinegar.
If all that sounds like heaven to you, you’ll be queuing up when A Little Piece of Bahia opens in Manchester Arndale this March. Its founder Maria do Carmo Vargas Souza left Salvador, Bahia in 1989 to bring her region’s food to the rest of Brazil via a delivery service. Later, her daughters carried on the legacy and took it overseas, popping up at markets like London’s Brick Lane and Manchester’s Levenshulme market. Now, for the first time, ALTOB is opening its very first physical store – in Manchester. On the menu you’ll find dishes like moqueca coconut stew made with mushrooms or seafood, Feijoada, the classic Brazilian pork and bean casserole, and caruru, a thick soup made with okra, onions, garlic, cashews and smoked prawns. There are snacks too, like acarajé fritters made with black-eyed peas filled with a bread, coconut and peanut paste and optional prawns, and abará, also made from black-eyed peas but this time mashed and steamed in a banana leaf to make a sort of ‘pudding’. This one is high on our must-visit list.
Manchester Arndale, Manchester M4 3AD
CB Sushi at General Store
The revolving door of Ancoats General Store’s mini kitchen has spun once again, sending Waffle Kart on its vanilla and crispy chicken scented way. Next to pop up there is CB Sushi who will be bringing their vegan sushi and Japanese-inspired treats to the hot-desking digital nomads of Ancoats. But it’s not all cucumber maki, CB Sushi love a bit of meatless meat. You’ll find “chicken” cats, hoisin “duck” and crispy “beef” amongst the fillings and toppings on the menu. Korean cauli bites on the side are a must have btw.
57 Great Ancoats St, Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5AB
Wednesday 1 March
If the current state of reality is too much for you, there is an alternative. DNA VR is a virtual reality bar which gives you the option of several other realities to immerse yourself in – and you can even take your friends there. Jump into a virtual video game to solve puzzles and tasks with your team on the backdrop of a space station, the pyramids of Egypt, or even a zombie apocalypse. There are escape room, arcade and free roaming options and you can book as many hours as you like, paying per hour. DNA VR is already a hit in London and this is its first venue outside the capital. While this virtual reality bar is opening in March, the whole month is already fully booked already. Bookings for April onwards are now open.
30 Brown St, Manchester M2 1DH
Eat Like a Greek Monton
End of March
One way to highlight the arrival of your new food business is to paint your entire shop front Santorini blue. That’s what festival fave Eat Like A Greek has done to the former Wok Brothers spot next to Blacksticks on Monton High Street and it certainly draws the eye. Eat Like A Greek’s specialist subject is gyros, which traditionally consists of meat cooked on a rotating spit, thinly sliced and stuffed into pitta bread with salad and sauces. There are classic marinaded pork and chicken gyros on the menu but you can also stuff halloumi or falafel into your pitta if you prefer. The team recently visited Athens do some important research AKA eating and drinking, so we can probably expect some new menu additions inspired by their travels – please say one of them’s a spicy feta dip.
217 Monton Rd, Monton, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PN
Soft launch 24 March (limited tables) with full booking open the following week
Stalybridge may be home to Tameside’s only remaining tripe shop but it’s taken a little while for the dining scene there to really hot up. Nonetheless, hotting up it is, building on the reputation of places like Gladstone Barber and Bistro as well as a few other brilliant local bars and shops, independent foodie operators are seeing it as a viable option. Giuseppe’s is next to open and it’s a modern Sicilian bistro with an appropriately leggy logo. There will be wood fired pizzas as well as panuozzo butties stuffed with all-Italian fillings like rocket, mozzarella, salami Milano, salami Napoli and mortadella.
White House, 43 Market St, Stalybridge SK15 2AA
Maki & Ramen
Manchester really is having a ramen moment. Despite the sad closure of NQ favourite CBRB last month, new places keep opening and we can think of at least three on the way this year. Another for your to-nood list is Maki & Ramen which is moving into a spot diagonally across from Moose cafe on Fountain Street. Founded in 2015 by Teddy Lee, a former chef who studied at a sushi academy in Tokyo, Maki & Ramen is a high-quality ramen and sushi chain so far only operating in Scotland and London. This Manchester branch will be its first venture to the north of England. The company strap-line is, “your journey, our bowl,” and it’s not just bowls they do but plates too, featuring things like pumpkin croquettes, cauliflower karaage, and teriyaki chicken. Their range of sushi is really extensive with everything from black dragon rolls with BBQ eel tempura, cucumber and teriyaki sauce to the more purist nigiri topped with things like tuna, sea bream, octopus or surf clam. They encourage people to “discover the true taste of Japan with the people you love and let the good times roll”. Roll! Get it?
Maki and Ramen, Unit 2, 11 York Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M2 2AW
That Burger Place
Monday 27 March
That Burger Place is the stuff of legend in Salford. The homegrown bun huns opened in “the back streets” of Swinton in 2017, and quickly gained a rep. Just before opening their second Walkden branch in late 2020, the burgers started to get loads of attention from the kinds of people who like to score food out of 10. They won the accolade of best burger in MCR from Instagram patty pervs @theburgerreviews in September 2020 and were soon visited by every YouTube takeaway influencer within a 30 mile radius. In March 2022, they received a National Burger Awards nomination for their California Dreaming burger, one of just 16 burger gaffs rated the best in the country and the only one from Manchester to appear in the list.
The burger brand has popped up at Seven Brothers in Ancoats a few times but other than that, it’s been a bit of a Salford secret. City dwellers who have been salivating jealously all over TBP’s Instagram pics, fuming that they couldn’t get their hands on one, will be elated to hear that they will be opening a dark kitchen in the city centre this March so that they can deliver to the skyscrapers full of burger fans there too. Owner Ryan tells us he has recently been on a meaty odyssey to Los Angeles, learning from the smash masters out there how to make the optimum smashed patty: juicy in the middle and with a super crispy ground beef doily around the edge. He will be bringing his levelled up burger prowess to the new city centre menu with a brand new “next level crispy” LA Smash inspired by Goldburger in California.
Aldow Industrial Park, Manchester M12 6EJ
The Kitchen @ Bask (Ate Days a Week)
Relative newcomer Bask is already a popular evening venue in Stockport for its bulging events calendar of open mics, live bands, quizzes and more. The venue is stepping up its game even more by adding a kitchen to proceedings in March. Behind the food menu will be Stockport faves Ate Days A Week who are famous for their pies and now also their pizzas which have just started spinning at fellow Stockport bar Notion. This time, Ate Days are turning their hand to sarnies. Menu sneak peeks include a Reuben stuffed with pastrami, pickles, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island sauce on sourdough bread, and a kebab with vegan kofta, mango chutney, vegan coriander mayo, and salad on a tortilla wrap. We’re sure they will have some music themed names too. There will also be a deli counter with salad boxes and platters, and breakfast butties in the morning. Cakes and bakes will come via Mrs Boon’s cakes who also host popular “tea parties” at Bask. Apparently owner Charlie’s vegan red velvet cake is next level. Food will be served 8am-3pm, Monday-Saturday.
20 Railway Rd, Stockport SK1 3SW
Tibetan Kitchen @ The Buddhist Centre
The Buddhist Centre is a Manchester institution and its basement diner Earth Cafe was one of the early vegetarian establishments in Manchester. In 2020, it made way for vegan pizza parlour Four Side, but the space has, slightly worryingly, been empty for a while now. So we are thrilled to say tashi delek to the Chorlton and festival staple Tibetan Kitchen that has moved into the much loved basement. If you’re new to Tibetan Kitchen’s food you can expect round, fat Tibetan momos that look a bit like happy buddhas and whose bottoms are best dunked in TK’s incredible chilli sauce, plus curries, stir fries and more – all vegetarian and vegan. Namast-yay!
16-20 Turner St, Manchester M4 1DZ
Oscillate is a serious new coffee shop for Urmston owned by Patrick who used to run Just Between Friends in the Northern Quarter. Coffee nerds (can we call them bean-iuses?) will be buzzing to hear their in-house coffee is sourced from Copenhagen based La Cabra and the more local Blossom Coffee Roasters with regular guests popping up. This minimalist space also features butties like grilled cheddar, comte, and spring onion, and artichoke, almond ricotta and spinach made using Pollen sourdough with a daily selection of sweet baked treats from the Ancoats fave too.
52 Flixton Rd, Urmston, Manchester M41 5AB
Sunday 5 March
Manchester’s brimming with Vietnamese food these days but it wasn’t always thus. Back before the food scene exploded, a little Vietnamese cafe opened on Oldham Road and single handedly introduced the delights of summer rolls and pho to a whole load of unsuspecting Mancs. V Nam was Manchester’s first Vietnamese cafe and it soon gained an evangelical following of brother slurping, soft shell crab munching fanatics. Fast forward to 2023 and the humble caff is going mainstream. Sidling into the spot vacated by its almost namesake V Rev, V Nam will be bowling over the NQ massive with bowls of steaming noodles, light and fresh herby rice rolls and lashings of the country’s prized fish sauce.
20-26 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN
Waltzing Matilda is a floating cafe and pizzeria that has been a massive hit with people who’ve had the chance to check it out in Marple and New Islington Marina. It’s been ‘closed’ for refurbishment for a few months now but it’s due to reopen on 11 March and will be dropping anchor at Tramway Wharf in Marple to serve hot coffee, wood-fired pizza, big fat cookies topped with silly things like Kinder Bueno hippos, and brownies the size of breeze blocks from various local makers. This is one popular boat so booking is highly recommended.
Tramway Wharf, Marple