Brunch but make it Gooey - French toast, butties and bacon get the Instagram treatment
When the call comes through about getting a sneak peek at Gooey’s new cafe a few hours ahead of the official press launch, you take that call in the name of duty and nothing more. Absolutely nothing to do with the donuts.
While the menu is clearly driven by the love of food, every corner of Gooey Cafe is created with photography in mind
Few brands in Manchester have reached cult status quite as fast as Gooey, the donut and cookie specialist that basically exists for the ‘gram. And unlike a couple of similar lockdown-born projects in this town that have struggled to keep hold of precious square footage as well as maintain the hype (RIP Bada Bing), Gooey’s simple but very effective offering seems to go from strength to strength.
Up until now, the doughy delights have only been available from a small neon-lit kiosk in the entrance to Ducie Street Warehouse, baked in a so-called dark kitchen. But the former Cat Cafe on the NQ’s High Street will now be home to all baking operations as well as a brunch cafe with a menu full of “Gooey-fied” traditional breakfast plates.
Not a sourdough sandwich in sight
It may seem that every item has been designed to look stunning on social media, but the team has put great effort into making sure that Gooey Cafe isn’t just another brunch spot. Bread and pastries are made in-house alongside its cookies and donuts.
Head Chef, Romin and Head Baker, Daniel have worked closely together to create a menu that fits the brand perfectly.
We got to sample breakfast sandwiches (from £6.90) served Japanese sando-style on fluffy shokupan bread. The bacon is black pepper cured, the soft-boiled eggs are sunshine golden Burford Browns. Red and brown sauce is house-made too.
Other brunch bits include the surprisingly creamy vegan mushroom toast (£9.90), made with roast cashew black garlic cream and a cube of Gooey French toast (£11.50) laden with crème patisserie and dulce de leche
You will find sourdough on this menu, this is the NQ after all, but only in the form of croutons for a caesar salad (£10.90). On the lunch menu alongside char siu barbecued baby back rib served on a sesame seed brioche (£10.50) and a panko fried chicken sandwich (£9.90) with katsu mayo, spiced slaw and kombu.
Also available are cold-pressed juices, coffee roasted by Dead Good Coffee and that super-thick hot chocolate topped with a lump of Gooey marshmallow (£4). Only the best - Yorkshire Tea is the brewer of choice for the Gooey clan, and you'll even find even a “fancy schmancy” drinks section with an iced strawberry and vanilla matcha latte (£4.50) and watermelon iced tea (£3.80).
The purr-fect place for a stylish brunch cafe
Housed in the former Cat Cafe that closed in January 2021, stylish is definitely the word for this wholeheartedly Instagrammable brand. While the menu is clearly driven by the love of food, every corner of Gooey Cafe is created with photography in mind, from the white-tiled counter area with signature red grouting, to the open kitchen, branded drinking glasses and neon “Gooey” sign.
The area is full of natural light and even overhead lighting is subtle - making for the perfect flat lay shot (IYKYK).
Described as having a "West Coast vibe with Northern Quarter charm", the bright and airy spot is minutes away from other NQ/Ancoats favourites The Firehouse, Ramona and Mackie Mayor, with another Insta-famous bakery just round the corner - Mr Dick waffle house. So if you've had your fill of penis and vulva-shaped waffles, maybe a soft brioche donut from Gooey will scratch that itch instead?
Expect outdoor seating spilling out onto the corner of High Street and New George Street on sunnier days, too. Best start queueing now to grab yourself a precious seat ahead of the opening at 9am on Friday 26 August.
Gooey will be open daily from 9am-6pm and The Gooey Kiosk at Ducie Street Warehouse will remain open from Wednesday-Sunday for the usual Gooey cookies, donuts and buns.
Gooey Cafe 103 High St, Manchester M4 1HQ
Read next: Manchester's best sandwiches: Part II
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