Brewtaps, bakehouses and solid spots to eat
It was the railway that transformed Urmston from a sleepy farming community into a larger commuter town, don't you know? And the train is still a prominent feature today. Less than ten minutes from Manchester Piccadilly, Urmston station is one of the better-kept on the line to Liverpool and station pub, The Steamhouse, is a welcome stop off if you’re in need of a pint.
Up the stairs and out into Urmston and you don’t have to walk far to find the good stuff. From small independent shops taking care of your grocery needs to buzzy neighbourhood bars and sumptuous bakehouses. Throw a few choice restaurants into the mix and you’ve got your next trip out in the burbs.
Read on for a run-down of the key eating and drinking spots in Urmston.
There’s a jack of all trades feel to the Bevano Lounge which makes it a handy go-to for all occasions. A short hop from the train station, the large cafe bar has plenty of seating across two floors (good for larger groups) and serves a pretty comprehensive menu across breakfast lunch and dinner, with plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to match. Friendly, informal and super dog friendly, Bevano also has form for live music as well as food offers, be it Tapas Tuesdays or cheeky Mondays - the latter offering a free drink or pudding with any special, main or burger order.
A little taste and guzzle of Bavaria in Urmston. Bräuhaus, as the name suggests, deals in German-style lager and Bavarian-inspired food (think currywurst, pretzels with beery cheese dip etc) with the added bonus of craft beer and natural wine. The bar comes from the same team behind the sadly now defunct Mexican diner El Camino (which popped up for a time at The Cotton Factory in the city centre) and its predecessor Get Chucked burgers which currently operates for delivery or drive-by collection from the bar. Another hop, skip and jump away from the station, the bar which opens from midday also does coffee and has a handy biergarten which is a welcome suntrap, with cover, come summer. Needless to say, Bräuhaus goes hard during mid-September to early October but we can’t for the life of us think why.
There are now four Brewchimp outposts in Manchester’s vicinity, with Urmston sitting first on a list of locations that now includes Stretford, Flixton and Boothstown. Less than a 20-minute walk from the train station and very much aiming to be a community hub, as well as its curated selection of craft beer Brewchimp also does a selection of burgers, fries, salads and wings. Brewchimp also prides itself on its entertainment offering with music, comedy and bingo nights as well as its own resident band.
Order! Order! Quiet in the cheese court! Except when you’re ordering cheese, or asking for cheese advice, or talking about the other wonderful deli items on offer alongside the bounty that is the cheese counter. Last time we were in there our eyes were very much fixated on the cheese fridge stacked with truckles of Manchego and Stinking Bishop but there’s plenty of other treats including local coffee, olive oils, chutneys and posh crisps and crackers. Guilty.
Modern craft beer, local can sourcing and an ethos based on encouraging experimentation, tasting new styles and bolder flavours. Craft Brewtique is a bijou craft tinny paradise stocking all your favourite Manchester brewers as well as intriguing concoctions from further afield. Stocking recent Manchester brewery supergroup Sureshot, we’ve also spotted the likes of Track and Pomona Island.
Urmston has some very, very good bakeries and Emma Lou Cakes is one of them. First and foremost a cake maker for all occasions, from birthdays to weddings, owner Emma has received plenty of plaudits for her decorations in the 17 years the business has been open. The eye-catching cakes are made in collaboration with Emma’s sister Melissa and the family business motto "If you dream it, we can create it!" should give you an indication of the ambition and skill involved. On a recent visit, we were wowed by a cake painstakingly iced into an uncanny representation of Pumba the fun-loving warthog from Disney's Lion King.
Excuse us if we’re making a big deal out of this but there’s a machine in Goodness Zero Waste, a zero waste shop, that makes peanut butter. There’s a big hopper of peanuts at the top, you decide what consistency you want (smooth or chunky or a middling combination of both), you press the button and you collect the peanut butter in either your own jar or one donated to the shop as to avoid waste. The subsequent butter slowly feeds out like either a) Mr Whippy ice cream or b) something more akin its respective colour. This, along with a wide range of refillables from granola and spices to household cleaning liquids and other sustainable products is the future. Urmston is lucky to have such a place.
It’s not just craft beer in Urmston by the way. Urmstonians (?) are extremely lucky to have a cosy wine bar in the form of Kelder Wines with shelves packed to the point of bursting with impressive wines. Drinking in can be done by the glass, carafe and bottle with bottles of wine, beers and even mini emergency canned Negronis also available for takeaway - with a cute Kelder Wines tote thrown in. Kelder has a great calendar of events scheduled throughout the year too including tastings and a book club. Book clubs not boozy enough for you? You can also join Kelder's wine club and have a regular surprise box delivered.
Another fantastic bakery in Urmston and a solid place to work from if you’re looking to get away from home or the office with your laptop. Serving great coffee and a full brunch menu in a light, airy space, the star of the show however is the counter, stacked with beautiful baked goodies. From baklava tarts to flower-speckled cakes and pastries, there’s a daily stream of people picking up extremely pretty homemade cakes.
European-inspired Proost has a rich history in Urmston, dating back all the way to 2019, made famous by husband and wife duo John and Carolyn Phillips’ appearance on Channel 4’s Too Many Chefs. The duo held popular supper clubs before the show and it was those experiences that fed into Proost. Traditional and elegant with Belgian beer and lunch and dinner menus that include classics like sausage and mash, fish and chips and turkey schnitzel, a visit guarantees a stylish, robust feed. The Sunday roast looks good too.
They don’t get quainter than Sarah’s Yard. The tiny Mediterranean delicatessens and tapas bar has a cosy covered and heated outdoor seating area ideal for lunching on homemade soup or Med-inspired small plates later in the evening. Inside there’s a carefully chosen selection of cheeses, continental meats, eggs, artisan bread and everything else you could possibly want for briefly whisking your mind away from Manchester.
Honestly, what is with Urmston and great craft beer selections? Bar-crawling could be the official sport. Prairie School Taphouse is another place fighting the good fight when it comes to local brewers and tasty tap options - last time were there, we tried an Aperol Spritz inspired sour, something you might not have expected to find in Urmston til quite recently. In true Urmston fashion, there’s a lot going on too: multiple quizzes, music nights, board game night. No such thing as a boring pint.
Another jack of all trades is Sup. Get yourself a bar that can do both (read: most things), a bar with a solid beer selection, mainstream and crafty, with a cafe vibe throughout the day that opens up to a dinner menu and music events in the evening. Dog and child friendly, there’s a roast on Sundays as well as DJs and a stand-up night throughout the week. Sup is also known for its painting of Manchester music legend Denise Johnson.
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