Harley Young goes for a teddy bear's picnic at the Deansgate cafe

What: Dulce Cor

Where: 209 Deansgate, Manchester city centre

Food/ Drink type: Breakfast, brunch, desserts

When: Monday to Sunday: 9am - 4pm

Independent or chain: Independent

2024 03 02 Dulce Cor Outside
Outside Dulce Cor Image: Confidentials


Located in the old Rendition cocktail bar on Deansgate, opposite Pieminister and the ever popular Federal (read Lucy’s review), is Dulce Cor, a pleasant and inviting brunch cafe with a twist - every other table has a pair of teddy bears sat at it. 

Why? Because bears like breakfast and sweet things too, I presume. 

I was unsure what to expect after passing Dulce Cor daily for the past few months on my way to work, seeing the bears sitting in window seats, posed in different positions like furry little customers each living out their own exciting lives in the city. So Dave and I popped in for a bite to eat on Saturday afternoon. 

The decor of this cafe is sweet and playful, as you can imagine anywhere that has teddy bears in the window would be. But it’s tastefully so - not overly flowery or taking the teddy bear fluff too far. It’s ‘just right’, as Goldilocks herself would say. 

2024 03 02 Dulce Cor Inside 1
Inside Dulce Cor Image: Confidentials
2024 03 02 Inside Dulce Cor
Inside Dulce Cor Image: Confidentials

The Main Event

We were welcomed warmly by our server, who offered us one of the window seats I’d seen the bears in just a few days prior (the generous teddies are willing to give up their seats on request, it seems). 

Our server provided us with an extensive menu and told us to place our order at the counter once we were ready. The menu consisted of plenty of sweet treats and brunch favourites, like the Full English breakfast (£12) Dave went with, as well as the cafe’s own take on classics like the Dulce Cor Benedict (£12.50) I was swayed by. There’s also a decent list of cocktails should you wish to take your brunch to the next level and make it boozy. 

We ordered a pot of tea to share along with a glass of orange juice and a can of kombucha and, shortly after I’d sat back down at our table, the drinks arrived. Impressively quick service. 

Ten to fifteen minutes later, our dishes were brought over. The Full English came with all the works you’d expect; crispy bacon, a chunky cumberland sausage, button mushrooms, black pudding, beans, two fried eggs, half a tomato, two slabs of sourdough and one of the biggest hash browns I think I’ve ever seen. The button mushrooms were deliciously garlicky and creamy, and the well-seasoned beans took a bashing with everything else that could be dipped on Dave’s plate, which he cleared in a matter of minutes. 

2024 03 02 Dulce Cor Full English
The Full English Image: Confidentials

The Dulce Cor Benedict looked an absolute corker and smelled divine, too, consisting of: maple glazed bacon; two poached eggs (full to the brim with golden egg yolk in the middle just as they should be); fresh spinach; green pesto; hollandaise and chilli flakes. 

This sight for sore eyes looked beautiful from every angle - It almost felt unjust to give the perfectly poached eggs a gentle prod with my fork and watch the liquid gold ooze out, but I’m glad I did as the combination of all elements of this dish at once was like I’d set my taste buds alight with fireworks. 

The sweetness of the maple glazed bacon combined with the creamy, richness of the hollandaise almost causes the dish to verge on being too sickly, but it’s quickly brought back to life by the tangy, sharpness of the pesto and slight kick that the chilli flakes provide. This rollercoaster of flavours takes your palate on a journey making it the ideal dish for those who appreciate savoury-sweet combos. 

2024 03 02 Dulce Cor Eggs Benedict Thumbnial
Dulce Cor Benedict Image: Confidentials

Both dishes were presented beautifully showing the real love and care the Dulce Cor team put into running the place. 

As we looked up from polishing off our plates, we noticed that the table behind us had left and a pair of teddy bears had taken their place, causing passersby to stop and take a photo then inevitably turn their heads to the menu in the window. You’ve got to admit, the unusual guests do provide a smile or two. 

2024 03 02 Dulce Cor Teddy
Our fellow guests Image: Confidentials

Judgement Day 

Having only opened five months ago, Dulce Cor (and its family of bears) is settling in nicely in the popular food and drink district. With a steady flow of customers, fantastic service and lovingly-made, creative food, it wouldn’t surprise me if the queue for coffees across the road start taking over both sides of Deansgate. 

Dulce Cor Cafe & Bar, 209 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3NW

Follow Harley Young on X @Harley__Young

The scores

All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, and ALWAYS paid for by Confidentials.com and completely independent of any commercial relationship. They are a first-person account of one visit by one, knowledgeable restaurant reviewer and don't represent the company as a whole.

If you want to see the receipt as proof this magazine paid for the meal then a copy will be available upon request. Or maybe ask the restaurant.

Venues are rated against the best examples of their type. What we mean by this is a restaurant which aspires to be fine dining is measured against other fine dining restaurants, a mid-range restaurant against other mid-range restaurants, a pizzeria against other pizzerias, a teashop against other teashops, a KFC against the contents of your bin. You get the message.

Given the above, this is how we score: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: sigh and shake your head, 10-11: if you’re passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: nothing's that good is it?

  • Food 8/10

    Full English 8, Dulce Cor Benedict 8

  • Ambience 4/5

  • Service 4.5/5