As the weather is turning there's nothing better than a nice hot pie indoors (preferably with a lovely big pint)
As a multiple award winner at my mam’s annual Pie Night, there is no one else in this city qualified enough to pick the best places for a pie. I challenge anybody to attend 2020’s event and try to prove me wrong.
Anyway, here’s the list…
The Bay Horse Tavern
What’s a proper boozer without a selection of big juicy pies to enjoy with an ice-cold pint? A cold, empty lonely building that’s what. As you’d expect from The Bay Horse Tavern, they offer a range of lovely pies all day with a choice of either mash or their brilliant thrice cooked chips (+ gravy of course). There’s Steak & Ale, Chicken, Bacon and Spring Cabbage and a couple for the veggies – Mushroom & Leek or Cheese & Onion. They also offer a great deal every Thursday – £6 pies all day!
What pie should I have? Their Cheese & Onion is a winner!
The Bay Horse Tavern, 35–37 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1NA
A quick look at the Pieminister menu is enough to satisfy even Wigan’s most obese man. Served with a choice of sides, Pieminister offer some truly brilliant creations including their Fandango (A free range British chicken, chorizo, olive & butter bean pie) and the Saag Pie-neer (A pea, paneer, spinach, potato, chilli & mango pie). They also offer Gluten-Free pies which are just as good as the ones which are packed full of gluten. Located right in the Northern Quarter opposite Affleck’s – you can’t go wrong.
What pie should I have? There’s almost too much to choose from but I’ll always go for their Saag Pie-neer.
Pieminister, 53 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD
Lord of the Pies
If you find yourself in Stockport, the best course of action would be to head to Lord of the Pies over on St Petersgate and get a couple of their fantastic treats down your gullet. Try the Stockport Pie which consists of ground beef stew, lyonnaise potatoes and Robinsons Old Tom Ale, or the wonderful Pulled Chicken Balti pie. They also have a shop in Chorlton, which serves up the Chorlton Pie, a super-duper Vegan special with kale, edamame and celeriac puree.
What pie should I have? Go for the British Beef & Blue Cheese and you’ll be laughing.
Lord of the Pies, St Petersgate, Stockport SK1 1EB
Lord of the Pies, 559a Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AN
Great North Pie Co.
These guys are now true veterans down at Altrincham Market and continue to serve hungry punters daily with their delicious pastries. They’ve managed to win more awards than Meryl bloody Streep at the Oscars, being crowned Supreme Champion of the British Pie Awards back in 2015. Their menu changes with the seasons and we’re still waiting to see what they will pull out of the bag this winter. They can be found at Market House from Tuesday to Sunday, as well as a few other places – of which you can find out more on their site here. To be fair, they are well worth the trip anywhere.
What pie should I have? If it’s still on the menu – the Ham & Black Pudding.
Great North Pie Co, 26 Market St, Altrincham WA14 1PF
You’ll find the pies and scotch eggs of Beehive Food all around the bars and boozers of the city – usually in places where they don’t have their own kitchen to feed the drunkards all around them. They specialise in the kind of cold pies that are the perfect snack alongside a nice pint and a couple of packets of ready salted crisps. Their Bramley Apple Pork Pie is excellent, and I once had a Homity Pie (with cheddar, onion and potato) which was a revelation. Check their website for stockists and enjoy.
What pie should I have? The classic Bramley Apple Pork Pie – can’t go wrong.
Randall & Aubin
There’s something about Fish Pie that creates a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling inside and even though there’s no pastry to be seen – this is still very much a pie and deserves to be on this list. There’s no better place in the city to go for some fish that Randall & Aubin so you’re in good hands with their pie believe me. This one is extra special too – with fish, lobster, peas, spinach and a cheesy potato crust. They also do a wonderful Beef Fillet with Shin & Marrow Pie in case you don’t like seafood. That one is certainly indulgent.
What pie should I have? The Fish Pie (obviously)
Randall & Aubin, 64 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BN
This place is owned by me mam, and as another multiple award winner at her Pie Night she is an expert when it comes to anything wrapped in pastry. Of course, I’m biased but she does make some of the best pies I’ve ever tasted with her Cheese & Onion, based on my granddad’s recipe, being a real highlight. On Thursdays she allows us mere mortals the chance to taste it but go in any time and she can probably knock you something together – including the Oldham speciality – Rag Pudding. Although you might have to wait about an hour while for that one.
What pie should I have? If it’s not already sold out – the Cheese & Onion.
Maypole Granary, 12 Middleton Rd, Royton, Oldham OL2 5PA
To be fair you’re probably not going to find many pies on the menu of any Indian restaurant but as they always like to tell us – Dishoom is different. When they moved up to Manchester, they created a dish that encapsulates everything we love up here in the North. They get a huge lamb shank, cook it until it’s literally falling off the bone, add layers of rice and caramelised onions and put it all under a puff pastry ‘blanket’. Is it a ‘proper’ pie? No. Is it brilliant? Yes. Oh, and the chicken liver raita and nihari gravy on the side are the best!
What pie should I have? The only they’ve got! The Nalli Nihari Biryani
Dishoom, 32 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BT
Pie and Ale
This place just off Lever Street is the Ronseal of venues. They proudly do pies and ales and not much else and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that at all! With a menu selection of delicious pastry goodies, and some corking specials, you can’t go far wrong with this place. They have an eclectic choice including a fantastic Game & Smoked Porter number which will warm you up on even the most miserable Manchester afternoon.
What pie should I have? Their Steak & Yippe Pie Ale is a great twist on everyone’s favourite classic.
Pie and Ale, Unit 1 & 2, The Hive, 47 Lever St, Manchester M1 1FN