T R O V E Home of probably the best breakfast sausage I've ever eaten, TROVE is not just a Levenshulme institution, it's a Manchester one. They make their own bread, cakes, brownies, errr tables, cutlery, errr, plaster board, errr - I dunno. They do a lot though and it's all very, very impressive. I mean the aforementioned breakfast was a revelation and truly sorted my head out. I was in a good mood for the rest of the day, which is highly unusual and so TROVE should be commended for that alone. Get them a blue plaque or something. T R O V E, 1032 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WX trovefoods.co.uk Levenshulme Antiques Village It's a bit of an odd place this. I went in after a smashing breakfast in TROVE (see above), and I must say that I was both impressed and alarmed by the range of things on offer. Impressed because there is pretty much something for everyone - regardless of your budget, tastes or size of your living room. Alarmed because I wondered where all this stuff had come from. It's like Indiana Jones got hired out by someone for a weekend to traipse through eBay bidding on a vast array of furniture, art, toys and whatever else he could buy with his poor feedback rating. The result is a lovely way to spend about an hour, pottering around and pretending like you can both afford what's on show, and that you know what it is. Levenshulme Antiques Village, 965 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3NP www.theantiquesvillage.com/ The Talleyrand Opposite the Antiques Market is a small but classy bar which takes its name from some French bloke called Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord who stayed in the area after he was exiled from France in the 1790’s. It is straight-forward and simple with minimal fuss set in wood panelling and an uncluttered interior and an extensive collection of craft beers. The Talleyrand is a great spot for a casual beer with friends or on your bill-tod as you watch the world go by. The Talleyrand, 1030 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WX Alborz I reckon Persian and Middle Eastern Food is some of the best in the world. What is better than a load of delicious grilled meats, fresh salads, freshly baked breads and lovely dippy things? Nothing. That’s what. Anyway, Alborz down in Levvy is fantastic and it is a great place for a slap up meal with a load of your mates. Make sure you order the lamb chops (they are mint) as well as the grilled aubergine starter with caramelized onions and mint ( kashk-e-bademjan )- you will not regret it! Alborz, 820 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3AW The Blue Bell Inn A cracking pub here, right opposite the playing fields on Barlow Road. It's an odd one when you first get there though - there's two doors and it can be a faff getting from one side of the pub to the other. In fact, in my inebriated state, I couldn't work it out so I only know half of it and can therefore only discuss half of it. It's a Samuel Smiths pub, and so you know what that means - a great selection of ales and lagers, a lovely cider on tap and loads of great spirits flying around. It also means that the prices are excellent too, which is always a nice little cherry on top. I've not eaten here yet but when it comes past you - the food looks brilliant! The Blue Bell Inn, 170 Barlow Rd, Manchester M19 3HF 0161 224 1723 Nordie Some people told me about Nordie a little while ago and since then, it has quickly made its way up to the top of my list of favourite bars. The place is adorable, and everyone knows it. The phrase ‘small but perfectly formed’ certainly comes to mind with a simple interior with bright pops of colour and modern minimalist furniture. Serving up a beautifully curated list of cocktails with natural wines, craft beers plus coffee and the odd sweet treat, Nordie is a favourite among locals but is certainly worth a detour. Perfect for a few cocktails with friends or a lazy Sunday afternoon outside. Nordie, 1044 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WX www.nordie.co.uk/ Station Hop A brand-new place this and a welcome antithesis to all the betting shops and kebab houses that typically line Stockport Road. It's a bar/booze shop and they offer a fantastic range of beers and ales on tap which change more often than Dale Winton's skin tone. They've recently had a Tiny Rebel Cheeky V Sour Beer in here which is fantastic - whoever decided to combine my two greatest loves in life is a fucking genius. On top of the booze on taps, you can also buy yourself some bottles and cans and it's also not usual for them to offer some food with kitchen takeovers from some of the city's best and brightest street food and pop-up crews. A class act all round. Station Hop, 815 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3BS Wokist The Wokist is a Chinese restaurant with a bit of a difference. It basically lets you DIY the whole thing – choosing your base (noodles or rice), followed by your protein, fresh veg and one of their delicious homemade sauces. My order usually revolves around a naughty combination of udon noodles with beef, beansprouts and peanuts and Mongolian sauce with delicious results. Wokist, 1042 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WX Levenshulme Market Yeah so that big one in the building in Altrincham gets all of the glamour and cheers and whoops but Levvy's market is actually proper mint and deserves just as much accolade as the one 'down south'. For one, it's not in a cushy building - it all takes place outside under canvas and rubber, and so you get a much more authentic market experience. On top of that they offer regular Night Markets, Live Entertainment, family stuff for kids and loads more. So much better than the usual state of affairs at these things – having to stand up with a 10 quid pizza while you wait for a family from Didsbury with a sausage dog to stop chatting bubbles and let you have their seats. Levenshulme Market, Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3PJ https://www.levymarket.com/ Village Stores If you are a fan of Unicorn down in Chorlton, you will certainly love the vibe of Village Stores. Think of it as your one-stop local food shop stocked well with groceries, health food, vegan & vegetarian items, fresh organic bread, organic fruit & veg (from local producers) organic eggs and eco toiletries. They also offer delivery and pre-packed seasonal veg boxes to take the stress out of shopping and help you get creative with your cooking. They have loads of plants too, and we know everyone loves plants at the moment so get involved! Village Stores, 114 Barlow Rd, Manchester M19 3EF www.village-stores.com/ Fred's Ale House Quite who Fred is I don't rightly know but he knows how to run a pretty decent boozer, food haunt and live music venue. It looks a little bit like a shop from the outside but once you step you you'll be greeted by a cracking place to chill out and get merry, and although it seems a little bit clinical inside at times, their selection of booze and decent jukebox more than make up for it. Upstairs there is a little outdoor terrace bit, as well as another room serving up food and playing gigs. At the moment they are bashing out pizzas by CIBUS who are also down at Electrik in Chorlton. Fred's Ale House, 843 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3PW www.fredsalehouse.com/ The Klondyke Proper good in here. The Klondyke doesn't look like much or sound like much but it's a cracking little venue with a packed calendar of events and parties not just for us adults but for kids and families and anyone else looking for an enjoyable time. As the sun starts coming out people will start flocking to The Klondyke to get involved in their outside beer garden bit, which will usually include someone flogging some food from the back of a van or a trailer. They've also just opened a brand new room-The Committee Room- which is available for private hire and comes with a cute log burner for the cosy winter times.There's always a massive range of stuff going on so get on their Facebook site or just cruise down and get involved. The Klondyke, 1 Burnage Range, Manchester M19 2HQ 0161 224 4122 The Nest Inside Levenshulme Library is a Wellness Centre called The Nest – which sounds so cosy and inviting I might just go there and curl up and go to sleep for 100 years. The Owl and The Coconut run wellness events in the space like meditation, art therapy, yoga and even a book club which is all aimed at de-stressing from our busy lives and providing a place where people can relax and be mindful. In a time where mental health issues are rising at an alarming rate, somewhere like this is just what you need to take a step back. We need more places like The Nest in our communities if you ask me. Find Out More Persian Tasty Grill This bad boy is the perfect place to end your night. Or start your night. Or visit halfway through your night because you're too pissed and need to sober up. Sure, it doesn't look like much. Most of the best kebab shops don’t. But appearances can be deceiving and once you step in here, order yourself a lovely bit of charcoal’ed meat wrapped in salad and bread - you'll be living la vida loca - as Ricky Martin would say between mouthfuls of kobeda. It's top value in here too. Gazza could walk in here with a fiver and come out 30 minutes later with leftovers. It's great! Persian Tasty Grill, 879 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3PW persiantastygrill.co.uk The Meating Room Jumping on the junkfood-burgers-cheese-fries-chicken craze, The Meating Room doesn't scrimp on the calories or indeed the cholesterol but I suppose you're not going to go to a place like this and ask for the garden salad. You're going in either because you're proper hungry or proper pissed up - but in both respects, nothing is going to fix the situation you're in quite like a big juicy burger coated in cheese and sauce and a pile of fries the size of Ben Nevis. It's a no-frills kinda place really, you know what you're going to get and the guys here do it really, really well. The Meating Room, 948 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3NN 0161 312 9808 South Station (Coming Soon) There is LOADS happening in Levenshulme over the next few years, and one of them is South Station. The plan is to open into a destination cycle café, bar and co-working space in the disused Levenshulme South Station sometime this year. Right in the thick of it all, South Station will have good coffee, good food, good ethics and good-natured people all housed in the beautiful Victorian station that is reimagined and made into this cute little café. They are crowdfunding at the moment which you can get involved with too!