Picky bits, produce, pizza and the benefits of everything on one road
Apologies in advance to anyone looking to buy a house in Monton over the next few years. Monton is the new Burton Road in Didsbury. There, we said it. You’re welcome, local homeowners.
In a single 0.4 mile stretch of high street, a roughly nine-minute walk from Monton Tap to The Waterside there is such variety and quality that it’s no wonder that there’s such a buzz about the place. It rubs off when you visit. Talking to local bar and restaurant owners you get the impression it’s only the beginning too. More will inevitably follow.
A lot of the buzz is down to the calibre of places in this guide. You’ve got a choice of pizza, craft beer bars, a refill shop turned cafe, natural wine purveyors, charming brunch spots, seemingly modest delis with colourful speakeasy bars upstairs and a charming pub on a canal that looks out over a lighthouse. Places any suburb would be proud to have.
Here’s our list of the very best places to eat and drink in Monton.
“Gloriously modern” is how Blacksticks (and presumably Elon Musk) would describe itself but we’ll happily call it a European restaurant in the heart of Monton. As well as a bar serving tapas and weekly specials, Blacksticks also does brunch, which can be enjoyed inside and outside depending on how European you’re planning to make your day. Close your eyes and you could be in Monte Carlo. Starters include goat's cheese bonbon with chargrilled veg or homemade chicken liver parfait whilst steaks sit alongside roast chicken breast and Nicoise veg. There’s a solid Sunday roast on offer too.
221 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PN
The Blind Pig
It’s only fair to point out that 2 for 1 cocktails at The Blind Pig is something that happens all day, every day of the week. You’re welcome. Aside from that there’s bottomless brunch, food served all day (pub classics including burgers, wings, topped fries, pizza), live music and to top it all off you can take your dog. Every high street needs a dependable pub grub spot and The Blind Pig is here for Monton’s needs.
204-206 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9LJ
At the time of writing, Bread Club isn’t even open yet but last time we were in Monton, the finishing touches were being put on the signage and the menu board was being sketched out in chalk pen. We’ve been told to expect chunky bread sandwiches, sweets and treats and a glance at the in-progress menu revealed a Reuben on rye (pastrami, Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut) and a Cubano (ham, roast pork, pickles, Swiss cheese).
253 Monton Road, Eccles, M30 9PS
The Coffeehouse & Kitchen
Speciality coffee and brunch by day, with beer and wine and a later opening on Saturday nights. The Coffeehouse & Kitchen, with seating inside and outside (a common theme in Monton, great use of pavement) is a handy spot for catching up for a coffee, getting to work on your laptop or filling up on brunch. Expect eggs, flatbreads, rice bowls, even Japanese fried chicken and plenty of sweet treats and pastries to go with your flat white. Gluten-free options too.
212 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9LJ
Farm & Fish
A collaborative effort between Tib Street’s The Butchers Quarter and The Wandering Palate, Farm & Fish is an artisan butcher, fishmonger and tasting room. This means you can go in one day and buy the highest quality sausages, sea bass or bags of those extremely addictive Torres Iberian ham crisps, whilst on another you could sit in the fresh, airy confines of the shop and eat a plate of mussels in a rich, tomato sauce and have a plate of sardines on toast as a chaser. With indoor and outdoor seating, it’s a great place for small plates. It’s worth scoping out The Butcher’s Quarter x Runaway Brewery Pale Ale or indeed their bone marrow gin in collaboration with Manchester Gin whilst you’re there too.
190 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PY
Another quality pizza provider on Monton Road that has eat-in and takeaway options. The cosy upstairs restaurant can pack quite a few into a small space, but it’s good to remember it’s walk-ins only to avoid disappointment. The menu packs pizza, pasta and some tempting sweet treats. The Leafy Boy is extremely good, featuring a tomato and mozzarella base topped with basil pesto, rocket, semi-dried tomatoes, parmesan and truffle oil. Speaking of truffle, the pesto, parmesan and truffle fries are also a delight. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available.
171 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9GS
A staple on Monton Road since 2015 (there’s also one in Rawtenstall), Mediterranean and Turkish bistro La Turka is known for its buzzy atmosphere and weekend belly dancing and music nights, as well as its food of course. It’s also a great spot for groups. The menu reads exactly how you’d expect from a family-owned, Turkish inspired restaurant so big meat sharing platters served with Turkish bread, rice and vegetables as well as meat and seafood specials and the all-important mezze and tapas. A handy two-course early bird menu is available Monday to Friday, 4-6pm for a mere £15.95.
168 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9GA
A nice little craft beer pub, is Maltdog. Passionate about beer (obvs) and passionate about live music, hence the regular open mic nights and featured artists playing their tunes in the front window. This passion is channelled via the playlist too. Small, cosy and with outdoor and indoor seating it’s a good spot to enjoy premium craft beers from near and far. Expect a level of variety that’ll take you from Amundsen’s modestly-named Apocalyptic Thunder Juice (6.5% ABV) to Black Edge’s Zinc Session Pale (3.5% ABV) in the space of two glasses. Dog friendly of course, would’ve ruined the name a bit if not.
169 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9GS
Oats & Honey
Walking into Oats & Honey for the first time is such a lovely surprise. Depending on who you’ve spoken to it's either a bar, a coffee shop, workshop and event space or a refill and gift shop. Spoiler alert: it’s all of those things. A buzzy, friendly community hub, the shop of all trades is as good a place to sit down for a flat white or a draught Shindigger as it is for stocking up on chocolate Brazil nuts and refilling eco-friendly cleaning products. Locally-made gifts are readily available, from candles to artwork, and the spot is host to Booze & Burn candle workshops that show you how to upcycle your rather telling collective of empties into something lovely.
205 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PN
We’ve made no secret of our love for Playfoots in the past. Theirs is a sausage roll that’s gone down in folklore. For your day to day brunch needs it’s the sort of spot every neighbourhood needs. Great speciality coffee, a robust fryup busting with Yorkshire bacon and Lincolnshire sausages, and a counter full of homemade cakes. Playfoots' Korean-style fried chicken bagel keeps customers coming back - piled high with sweet, sticky and spicy chicken with pickled cabbage and spicy mayo. Like many on Monton Road, coffee moves to beer and wine from Thursday onwards making for a cosy bar. Keep an eye out for supper clubs, quizzes and a regular taco night from its talented team of chefs.
175 Monton Rd, Monton, Eccles, Manchester M30 9GS
Pizza. Pizza everywhere. Well not quite. Two notable pizza places in Monton, Six Cut is one of them. Opposite Coffeehouse with seating inside and out front, it’s an affordable, modern pizza, breakfast and brunch purveyor that’s a good place to take a) your dog and b) your gluten-free mates. Pizzas err towards the untraditional, think crispy duck, smoked salmon and lamb and feta, but there’s still pepperoni, a marg and an olive, anchovy and caper specimen too. Breakfast and brunch are also worth shouting about, with plenty of egg, bagel and sarnie options.
We wonder if it was a fight to the death between local hospitality venues to decide which could name its full English The Full Monton? Either way, Six Cut won.
247 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PS
What a name for a restaurant. Brunch, cocktails, afternoon tea and live music. That’s Vintage Ambience in a nutshell. A modern tearoom and kitchen of sorts, the Monton Road spot opens until 9pm on weekdays which makes it handy for a midweek cocktail too. An expansive lunch and afternoon tea menu includes “famous” VA egg bennies in a range of guises as well as sandwiches, varied brunch options (steak n eggs, tempura prawns and crushed avocado on sourdough) and cocktails later on. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too.
188 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PY
The theme of multi-use, multi-functional foodie heroes in Monton is summed up well by relative newcomer Wandering Palate which opened in 2021. A deli, wine shop and bar with covered seating out front, a quick march up the stairs reveals a hidden speakeasy-style cocktail bar clad in pink and teal; completely unexpected from walking past on the street. Palate is serious about produce so you can expect the best wine, cheese and ingredients all curated in a very personal and informative way. A new cocktails and picky bits menu has recently launched alongside a creative programme upstairs which doubles up as an exhibition space.
191 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PN
There’s a lot more neon inside than you’d expect from the outside but don’t let that put you off. When the sun comes out in Monton there’s one place that demands a visit. Sitting alongside Bridgewater Canal opposite Monton Lighthouse, The Waterside is a modern pub and restaurant with four guestrooms. Serving breakfast to dinner, think pancakes and eggs, a roast on Sunday and upmarket pub grub. It’s also a solid option for a pint in the sun trying to work out why a man would build a lighthouse in his garden.
1 Parrin Ln, Eccles, Manchester M30 8AN
Read next: Manchester Craft Beer Festival reveals food line-up for 2022 return
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