From totes to tees, here are some gift and garm ideas from your favourite dining venues
Leaving Manchester without a belly (or a bag) full of great food and drink is just not an option. But we’re throwing the limelight on the bars and restaurants that have the merchandise to match the menus.
Here’s a gaff-by-gaff rundown of the Manchester venues that leave you with tangible momentos of their cult dishes, coveted recipes, slapstick straplines and tasty little trinkets. If you’re looking for the ideal gift for someone who loves food and booze, look no further.
These are our favourite Manchester food and drink tees, totes, glassware and gifts.
If you’ve ever been to an Almost Famous restaurant, you’ll know that this lot does not mess about when it comes to towering dirty burgers, calorie-laden dirty fries and signature cocktails with equally dirty names including the iconic Bitch Juice. Almost Famous is no place for top buttons or skinny jeans because you’re bound to leave feeling fit to bust. In fact, the only appropriate ensemble we could possibly recommend here is your most forgiving eating pants and the uber-comfy Almost Famous hoodie. “Super plush and super swag” by their own admission, the AF hoodie is the perfect place to harbour a food baby in style, complete with some “sweet ass burger wings” emblazoned on the back. Also currently available from the Almost Famous merch offering are gift vouchers from £20-£100 because let’s face it, you can never go wrong when you give the gift of burgers, wings and fries.
Not happy to settle with just t-shirts, Alphabet Brewing is throwing the kitchen sink at merch with everything from hats and sweatshirts to cool bags and keyrings. All sporting Manchester illustrator and mural painter Hammo’s iconic stylings, the brewery’s two thirds and one third glasses are definitely some of the nicer branded drinking vessels available in the city.
Bundobust is one of those places you simply can’t just leave behind with only a full stomach and a doggy bag to show for it. Once you’ve worked your way through the meat-free Indian street food menu and drunk your fill of craft beers, you can stretch your legs with a mooch along the merch-lined walls framing the back quadrant of the technicolour restaurant. Also available online, the Bundobust merchandise arsenal is an eclectic collection of tote bags, t-shirts, prints, postcards, aprons, tea towels, notebooks, mugs and even a branded bar blade. Personal favourites include a "Reebokra" tee paying homage to the infamous Bundobust okra fries and a Patel’s Off License tote made from 60% organic cotton and 40% recycled polyester, named after the brand’s founder, Mayur Patel. Bundobust offers city-specific souvenirs so you can tailor-make your gift to friends and family in Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool.
Very much like its beer, the Cloudwater online merch store is a refined and cool operation. If you’re going to drink award-winning beer you need stylish glassware to sup it from. Whether you’re after a tankard, one of those tulip style tasting glasses or a beery wine glass, Cloudwater probably do a very nice one complete with that lovely cloud logo. Elsewhere there are totes, tees and snug-looking bobble hats too if you’re thinking of putting together a bundle for the special beer fan in your life.
Often, a night spent at Crazy Pedro’s is something you either can’t remember or just straight-up don’t want to remember. We’ve all been there - waking up with a severe case of pizza bloat and the furry remnants of Hooch coating your teeth. For those who would like a souvenir of Crazy old Pedro however, there’s plenty to be had on the flippin’ awesome merch front. Personal favourites amongst the Confidentials lot are the "Tip Your Bartender" t-shirt, Pizza Panther hoodie, Crazy Pedro’s rucksack, Crazy Pedro’s beer pong kit (!!) and the official Crazy Pedro’s sticker pack because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good novelty sticker? We’ve also got an eye on the "F*ck Politics, Eat Pizza" tee because, well, there’s no time quite like the present…
How do you like your eggs in the morning? We like ours with some merch. Spoilt for choice at Federal whether you’re in need of a branded keep cup or a new sweatshirt. With gifting very much at the forefront of Federal's selection, why not get that special person in your life the Aussie gift bundle which includes a packet of Tim Tams, Vegemite, Shapes, Milo and Chicken Salt all contained in a lovely branded Federal tote. Because you can never have enough branded totes.
Ever wondered where rockstars stock up on their essentials? Well, ponder no longer because you can consider this your key to the Aladdin’s cave of must-have glam rock paraphernalia that is Jimmy’s merch collection. We’re talking plain t-shirts, striped t-shirts and long-sleeved t-shirts; we’re talking tube socks, trawler hats and a Jimmy’s tote bag - all bedecked with the legendary lightning bolt emblem. These guys have even levelled up with a branded lighter-bottle opener and a gold bee pin badge, just crying out to be affixed to a leather lapel or a decorated guitar strap. Oh, and let’s not forget the psychedelic face mask in Jimmy’s signature black ’n’ red pattern because even the gnarliest rockstars need protection from germs.
There's a lot of merch for the beer crowd but what if you're more of a wino? Natural wine specialist, It's Alive has a range of cool grapey garms and gifts from psychedelic logo long-sleeves to aesthetically pleasing glass tumblers suitable for wine, coffee, craft beer or whatever other bevs you need to contain. There's also a classy collab with Little Torch Ceramics producing seriously stylish carafes, beakers and coffee cups.
Support your local lasagne dealer. Shop local and wear your love of lasagne on your torso with a t-shirt from the New York style Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria range. Currently available in red with a smiling, plump, Adidas trainer-clad chef holding a plate of the good stuff emblazoned across the front, it’s the perfect uniform to scoff down #slabs in.
We know and love Mowgli for its divine Indian street food menu devised from decades of family recipes, but did you know that you can bring your favourite Mowgli dishes into your own kitchen too? On the restaurant’s online shop is a trio of titles published by Mowgli mother, Nisha Katona, including the popular Pimp My Rice recipe book, divulging the secrets behind popular plates such as the Mother Butter Chicken and Himalayan Cheese on Toast. Joining the lineup is the Mowgli Cookbook and Katona’s The Spice Tree - neither of which would be complete without the Mowgli apron or tea towel, of course (both of which can also be purchased via the website). Mowgli merch also includes a branded t-shirt, tote bag and face mask all featuring the synonymous monkey motif.
Renowned for serving up what are arguably the best pancakes in town, Moose Coffee is the place to be for an all-American brunch experience up North. The coffee, shakes and Eggs Benedict menu here are all magnets for diners queuing around the block for a taste of a Moose speciality. But should anybody wish to show a little extra love post-visit, they can do so over on the Moose online shop. Wares include Moose maple syrup, Moose maple sprinkles, melting hot chocolate stick, "Moose Money" gift vouchers and the "Home of Breakfast" tote bag complete with illustrated pancake stack. Also available for purchasing are Moose’s own house coffee blends, either ground for you or left as beans to grind for yourself. Whichever you choose, make sure to pick up a Moose Diner Mug or a reusable, insulated travel mug whilst you’re there so you never have to go without.
If totes and tees aren't your thing, how about a cute, painted enamel pin badge set? We love local baker Saint Croissants' Instagrammable pimped up pastries and who doesn't want a smiley kawaii croissant on their lapel? This cute little set also contains a peace sign and a love heart.
If you’ve got beer on your t-shirt, that’s usually a bad thing but it doesn’t have to be. Salford based Seven Bro7hers brewery has a fantastic range of unisex items in its online shop. You’ll find Seven Bro7thers branded sweatshirts, t-shirts, bobble hats and more - making the ideal gift for the beer lover in your life.
Bunch of design heads at Siop Shop. You can see it in the doughnuts. See it in the space. Never content with mediocre designs or colour palettes Siop takes the visuals extremely seriously. Which explains the merch. Minimal options at the time of publishing this but you can bet that there are tees in the offing. Sitting pride of place in the merch store is the very *reads Mundial magazine once* Machine North x Siop Shop away kit which is a football top for people who appreciate retro Wales kits and/or doughnuts.
If you’ve experienced a life-changing pasta, arancini or bruschetta moment at Sugo Pasta Kitchen you might feel the need to commemorate it. But how can you do justice to a moment like that forever? Branded merch combining bold statements and a visual representation of said moment is a good place to begin. With a range of simple white t-shirts and hoodies complete with said tasty looking dishes and the aforementioned life-changing proclamation on the back, it’s time to start wearing your love for Sugo loud and proud. You can buy the lovely crockery now too.
Merch comes with the territory in craft beer. Every brewer and their dog is doing a logo t-shirt these days and Track is doing some especially nice ones with nods to its beers as well as one-off designs. Garments are made from 100% organic cotton and produced to "fair wear" industry standards - so no sweat shops and low carbon factories powered by renewable energy. Track also does caps and sweatshirts. There are also some very aesthetically pleasing graphic prints available as part of Track’s Digital Age project which saw collaborations with breweries from around the world.
This article was originally written in November 2020 and updated in August 2021
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