As one of the shining beacons of food, drink and culture in the ‘burbs, Chorlton has something for everyone and you could easily spend around a week just trying all of the many, many places out. This is just a day though so we’re going for the very best…
For the sake of this write up I’ll propose a route, starting on one side of Chorlton and ending on the other – but in the real world you can easily walk to and from any of these places within minutes.
We’re going to start on Wilbraham Road, the bit towards Whalley Range where there’s that Chinese Takeaway with the proper 80’s pixelated sign. Right next door is somewhere which is the perfect place to start the day – The Creameries.
Only recently opened up, The Creameries is the brain child of chef Mary-Ellen McTague and serves up an ever-changing menu of phenomenal dishes – both big and small. Pretty much everything is made in-house including the impressive range of bar snacks that you can enjoy with your ice-cold pint of cider. There’s homemade crisps sprinkled with a range of eclectic seasonings, goat prosciutto and some of the best bread and cheese that money can buy. It’s a veritable foodie heaven and a place where sitting out front on the suntrap terrace with a bottle of plonk and some grub is pretty much the best thing in the world ever.
The Creameries, 406 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0SD
0161 312 8328
From here I suggest a little walk up the hill, past the Metrolink station and past Morrisons. On the apex of the incline you’ll find Chorlton Tap and Brewski – both of which are well worth a visit.
They may have taken the plunge and opened in the city centre but Brewski’s spiritual home will always be Chorlton and it’s here that you can enjoy some proper naughty food and sample some of their many, many cask and keg tipples. Top of any visitor’s wish list should be their brilliant Poutine – basically chips, cheese and gravy like you used to have at school but much more special. They’ve got plenty of little extras thrown in there too including the addition of chilli, crab and even a bit of pork belly. Booze-wise they have everything you could ever imagine, so go on – enjoy yourself.
Brewski Bar, 537-539 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0UE
Carry on walking down the hill, pop into the Sue Ryder charity shop and head on into Electrik.
Home to a vast range of beers, ciders, wine and cocktails, Electrik is a fantastic place to sit in and chill with a couple of bevvies. There’s always top tunes on in here and their terrace is very respectable too when the weather is nice. Electrik also has a brilliant menu of pizzas, including the pizza doughnut (actually named Gnocco Fritto). But if food and drink aren’t enough for you (greedy beggar!) they have One Deck Wednesday every week and more often than not you’ll find someone famous on the decks AND Quingo, a mix up of bingo and a quiz every single Tuesday! It’ll be your new favourite bar, I promise.
Electrik, 559 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0AE
No day out where you actually shower and get changed out of your scruffy pyjama pants is complete without a bit of a boogie now, is it? I mean if you’ve made all that effort you may as well go all out and dance, right?! And what better place to do it than Dulcimer. They’ve got live music pretty much every day so your dancing shoes will definitely be filled. There’s also a top pub quiz that is really, really hard so don’t think you’re going to be able to win – you won’t.
Dulcimer, 567 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0AE
Coming out of Dulcimer, cross over the road and head towards the far end of the high street. Passing the Co-op and a fair few Charity Shops you’ll see a few interesting places…
Bring & Mix
The ultimate definition of a speakeasy, Bring & Mix takes over day-time cafe to serve up bloody delicious cocktails, if you can get in that is. You need to know the password and you need to bring the booze. So it’s the perfect opportunity to get all that weird stuff you got in your cupboard 3 Christmases ago and see what a professional can conjure up. One thing for sure, you know it’s gonna be lavlay!
Bring & Mix, 514 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 9AW
A fabulous independent coffee shop where you can get your caffeine fix, sit in the outside area and soak up some rays (if you’re lucky). You can also get some mega cakes and light bites including freshly baked bread from Trove, of course! Be warned though, make sure you’ve got your card, phone, watch or finger because I think they can put your chip in there now – this place is cashless.
486 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 9AS
Head back on yourself and take a right at the traffic lights. On the way up Barlow Moor Road you’re going to encounter a few places to nip in and check out including The Beagle…
A favourite among many of the local cool cats in Chorlton, The Beagle certainly must be doing something right because it’s been around for ages and there always seems to be a sizable crowd in there enjoying the copious amounts of drink and food on offer. The food is a bit of a weird one, having a bit of a Mexican slant, but it certainly won’t let you down when you’re hungry – especially the brunch. It must also be noted that the greenhouse style terrace out front is a brilliant place to sit and watch Chorlton go by outside – and it doesn’t matter what the weather is like – it’s always nice, toasty and relaxing in there.
The Beagle, 456-458 Barlow Moor Rd, Chorlton, Manchester M21 0BQ
From here carry on up the road, check out Barbakan deli if you are looking for some brilliant Polish snacks or booze, and continue up to the little row of shops and bars opposite the Leisure Centre.
Joe in the office never bloody stops going on about Henry C’s and to be fair to the lad – it’s with good reason. Henry C’s is the epitome of a neighbourhood bar, with a bunch of lovely friendly people serving up some top drinks and fantastic grub. The range of cocktails on offer is very impressive with many of them featuring some rather special flourishes that you wouldn’t get elsewhere. They’ve got Cacao infused Campari for example which is pretty much my perfect liquid, as well as a Horseradish infused Vodka in the Bloody Mary’s. The beer selection is always top too – so you’re not going to go thirsty.
Henry C, 107 Manchester Rd, Manchester M21 9GA
Here you’ll also find The Font, Pi and Alphabet. All worth a visit.
Now you’re getting to the outskirts of where everything is now so you’re going to have to turn around and head back the way you came. Take a right at the Barlow Moor Rd/Wilbraham Road because we’re going to head on down to Chorlton Green.
On the way you should pop into Oxfam Books, and if you’re feeling thirsty there’s a few decent boozers knocking about including the Cask & Kiln, The Spread Eagle and Lloyds.
Down Chorlton Green way you’re going to see a lot of stuff in a tiny area, and most of it is brilliant. There’s a couple of proper boozers knocking about here including the excellent Beech Inn, the Horse and Jockey and the Trevor Arms.
Bar San Juan
I must admit that this place is quite possibly the best restaurant in the whole of Chorlton – perhaps even the whole of Manchester. A no frills Spanish den of tapas, wine, beer and sangria, the dishes are consistently fucking brilliant, the service is excellent and the vibe is always buzzing. The only (very minor) gripe is that it’s too small and always absolutely heaving so you have to make sure you get in there as soon as it opens – perhaps camp out for the night?
Bar San Juan, 56 Beech Rd, Manchester M21 9EG
0161 860 0498
THE LEAD STATION
One sniff of this place and you know it’s a Pinterest board dream and you will wanna redecorate your whole house. In the old police station, there’s a full array of dishes and drinks available and a cracking outdoor area to gulp it all down in. There’s a fantastic array of vegan options too!
The Lead Station, 99 Beech Rd, Manchester M21 9EQ
Right you can spend a bit more time exploring around here if you want, there’s plenty going on.
Carry on down Beech Road, past the park and you’re going to come out back on Barlow Moor Road near the Maccies and the Bus Station. Take a left for some more corkers…
I’m sat here trying to write something witty about pizza and I just can’t come up with anything that doesn’t make me sound like a terrible meme or a Domino’s advert. So, screw it – I’m not going to bother. Everyone knows that pizza is incredible and if you find somewhere that does it right then you should stick to it like glue and never let go. Luckily for a visit to Chorlton (or if you live here) you’ve got Double Zero serving up some amazing Neapolitan pies, piled high with some proper impressive high quality Italian meats, cheeses or veggies. The Vulcano with Calabrese sausage, nduja and jalapenos is pretty much perfect.
Double Zero Neapolitan Pizza, 368 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AZ
Man Bites Frog
I was in here for the first time a few weeks ago and I was thoroughly impressed with both the venue and the booze selection. We all sat in the brilliant beer garden out back, soaking up the sun slowly getting sozzled while laughing at an old 1970’s recipe book we found in the toilet. I don’t know what was going on in the 70’s but everything just seemed to be encased in jelly – regardless of whether it was sweet, savoury or in one grim case – dead. I’ve not had chance to try the food out at Man Bites Frog yet but it certainly looks impressive with a range of French inspired dishes and snacks available. They even serve up frog’s legs which are actually really nice and not disgusting as you might expect.
Man Bites Frog, 378 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AZ
This is it. The end of the road. You’ve had a full day out in Chorlton, checking out all of its most special establishments, buying a bag of sausages off of Frosty Butcher, putting a deposit down on a 1970’s sideboard at Sue Ryder and having a cheeky bottle of Cherry B from Booze Corner. You’re very drunk by now though and there is no better end to the day than a trip to the wonderful Jasmine – who serve up a range of Mediterranean dishes that are just perfect for picking at while you mumble something about that lad that you fancy at work. You know the kind of stuff I’m talking about, Hummus, Lamb Shawarma, Babaghanoush, Vine leaves, all finished off with enough Baklava to give you diabetes. Perfect.
Jasmine, 569 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AE
Again there’s a few decent places to head to other than these, including beer-haven Strange Brew and the rather brilliant Irish number Duffy’s Bar.
By now you should be right back at the cross roads in the centre of Chorlton where you can get a bus, Uber or Metrolink home. There’s probably loads of decent places that you’ve not visited, so you’re going to have to come back another time I’m afraid.