The best bars, restaurants and pubs for a proper good day out...
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.
Elnecot offers a truly unique range of dishes in a casual setting, offering a varied menu of British classics alongside some more ‘eccentric’ options. 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, but be sure to give their sublime version of the Manchester Egg a try.
Elnecot, 41 Blossom Street, Cutting Room Square, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
Outstanding Vietnamese dishes, many with a unique Mancunian twist, a banging cocktail list and one of the city’s greatest sound systems and basement bars – NAM has a lot going for it and is well worth a visit when down in Ancoats. Oh, and you can add a massive terrace outside to that list too, one which seemingly gets the sun for most of the day.
NAM, Unit 2, 33 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
A brand-new addition to Ancoats, Mule is an all-day coffee, brunch and cocktail bar that’s now open just a couple of doors down from the Edinburgh Castle. There’s brunch available until 4pm throughout the day, 7 days a week, and then after that they pull out the bar snacks and their spirits and shakers and start serving up the cocktails. IOt’s from the team behind the stylish Cow Hollow Hotel in the NQ so you know you’re in good hands.
Mule, 13 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5AF
Bada Bing Sandwich Deli
With a kitchen located in an old warehouse on Radium Street, Bada Bing have set tongues wagging over the last few months with their American-stlye hoagies and subs – the kind of butties that you’d see James Gandolfini tucking into whilst recovering from his 3rd heart attack. The Meatball Sub is a sandwich that you just HAVE TO get your chops around, and their classic ‘The Bing’ is a winner too!
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
A fortnightly pop-up market over on Radium Street, if you’re in the area when it’s on you should definitely get yourself down there for a visit. It’s tiny, but it manages to pack a LOT of traders into it’s modest size, and you’ll find all manner of local makers and sellers, including a bakery, rums, wines, jewellery, vintage clothing, records, art, prints and loads more.
House of Habesha
Criminally overlooked and under-represented in most cities in the UK since forever, cuisines from Africa have experienced a welcome surge of popularly over the past few years, and House of Habesha is certainly worthy of the adoration that they’ve received. Set up within Blossom Street Social, Habesha serve up authentic Eritrean & Ethiopian cuisine including some truly spectacular platters, stews and even breakfast.
Blossom Street Social, 51 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
Helmed by former NOMA chef Simon Martin, Mana has brought a massive slice of fine dining sophistication to the streets of Ancoats and it became the first restaurant in Manchester to grab a Michelin star in about a gazillion years back in 2019. Probably one of the most ambitious projects to hit Manchester in years, Mana have been impressing critics and diners alike and is somewhere you just have to visit once in your life.
Mana, 42 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6BF
Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria
Located within the same kitchen as Bada Bing, you know you’re near some primo Lasagne when you spy the ‘NO LASAGNE’ neon sign perched on the wall outside. You can’t go wrong with a proper sexy lasagne and Lazy Tony certainly don’t disappoint. Their sides are outstanding too, with some Mozzarella Sticks that create the city’s most photogenic cheese pull and taste fantastic.
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.
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 moved into Ancoats 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. 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 – 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
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 won a ton of awards 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 team behind Cottonopolis took this 200 year old abandoned pub and brought it back to life in 2019 and it’s become Ancoats’ must-visit venue for high-end pub grub and some seriously impressive drinks. The food menu is outstanding, with traditional dishes but turned up to 11. A class act all round and somewhere that should be on everyone’s roast dinner list too.
Edinburgh Castle, Henry St &, Blossom St, Manchester M4 5AW
Grown up sister of El Gato Negro, Canto is a modern Portuguese restaurant open 6 days a week, serving up brunch, lunch and dinner. The charming Mediterranean 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.
The Crown & Kettle, 2 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 5FE
0161 235 0978
The Jane Eyre
This boozer has won more awards than Tom Hanks and they’re all deserved, unlike his (he definitely shouldn’t have won anything for Forest Gump). Serving up an impressive range of drinks, including some show-stopping cocktails, Jane Eyre is one of the city’s best places to sit back and relax after a hard day of graft. Add in their excellent food too and you’re looking at a great bar all round.
The Jane Eyre, 14 Hood St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6WX
Blue Eyed Panda
A superb Chinese restaurant that is as authentic as it is impressive. There’s everything you could ever think of on the menu, including all of your favourite classics, plus a few unique dishes that you won’t find elsewhere. I can’t recommend their dim sum enough either, oh and their Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings are lip-smackingly good.
Blue Eyed Panda, Jersey St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6JA
Ancoats Coffee Co.
A cracking little café in an old mill in Ancoats, Ancoats Coffee is also the place where they roast their own beans and then ship them out all over the city. So, obviously it always smells like coffee here, which if you like it can only be a plus. It also means that your cuppa will be fabulously fresh.
Ancoats Coffee Co, 9, Royal Mill, 17 Redhill St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5BA
Just on the way to the New Islington marina, Cask opened up a rather impressive space a couple of years back and they’ve never looked back since. With certainly one of the best beer selections in the city, this place is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys a pint of ale, and they always impress with their foreign ones too – of which the Belgians are always the best. There’s also a great terrace outside too for when it’s sunny.
Cask, Cottonfield Wharf, 2 New Union Street New Islington Marina, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6FQ