Coffee 'n' vinyl, pizza pies, the new Canto and a lost cat... what's new Manchester?
Spring is so sprung (although it is rumoured to snow next week) and instead of daffodils or blossoms on the trees we are excited to see green buds burst forth in the form of a swathe of new openings in Manchester and we can't wait to visit THEM ALL.
That said, take-away food is not over yet, look out for our upcoming list of must-tries on the delivery front. They'll come in handy for when the snow comes down next week.
Here is our round-up of what's opening on Manchester's bar and restaurant scene in April, May - and a bit later.
What: 200 Degrees
Where: Mosley Street
When: end of May
Originally from Nottingham, the specialist coffee roasters and "unashamed coffee geeks" of 200 Degrees will open up shop in The Hybrid Building, just off St Peter’s Square.
The mini-chain is named after the optimal temperature for roasting coffee and will feature barista courses that aim to explain "the science of the art of coffee". So if your latte art consists mainly of attempts at drawing a foam knob on your mate's coffee, consider signing up.
Director Tom Vincent said: "It may seem a bit strange to open a coffee shop in a city full of great coffee shops at a time like this but we hope our independent feel and relaxed, comfortable style will add something memorable to the city."
What: American Pies
Where: Mosley Street
American Pies is a new pizza joint by Brewski. Think deep-fried calzone, cheesy garlic knots, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza pies with a trademark parmesan butter crust and Long Island Grandma square pizza pies (yes, more of those), plus we hear that there will be diner-style fruit pies, perfect for with a cup of coffee.
Where: Back Piccadilly
When: order and pick up now
Badabing dubs itself the "home of the two-fisted sandwich", though as well as two hands you'll be needing an extra-large gob and an unassailable sense of ambition, at least when it comes to hoagies. The sandwich specialist unashamedly wears its Sopranos inspiration on its sleeve with sarnies such as the "Paulie Walnuts" featuring mushroom 'shwarma', artichokes, walnuts, rocket, balsamic caramelised onions, truffle mayo and taleggio. The divine meatball sub looks worthy of inclusion on our write up of the ten best butties in Manchester. Pre-order for pick-up Friday-Sunday.
What: Batard Bakery
Yes, you did read that right, Withington's newest micro-bakery is named after the French word for 'illegitimate'. Ok, ok it's also the name of a shape of bread but the other interpretation is so much more memorable. Not that it needs the notoriety, loaves have been flying out of the door every weekend. Part of the Withington Renaissance (Withysance? It's a stretch but let's go with it) and based in the Public Hall, Batard describes itself as a "community-minded small-batch bakehouse" and is currently baking each Saturday and Sunday, 10am until everything is sold.
Where: Bridge Street
When: April/delivering now
Liverpool's glitzy Boujee makes its way over to Manchester in a cloud of pink. Seriously, if you have an aversion to any kind of rose hue this might not be the place for you. The basic premise is sushi, cocktails and general fabulousness; all based on the aesthetic of Lystra Adams, the realest of the Real Housewives of Cheshire.
What: Burger Bae Mcr
When: delivering now
Burger-bae-Burnage Burger-bae-Burnage Burger-bae-Burnage - say it three times and a portal will open up, transporting you to fast-food heaven. Not really, but you can satisfy many a craving at Burger Bae, with chicken tenders, burger stacks, loaded fries and shakes ticking all the boxes. Currently servicing South Manchester's hangovers via delivery.
What: Chapati Cafe
Where: Media City
When: April/takeaway now
This longstanding Chorlton favourite has opened a new branch in Media City. Chorltonites will know it for its robust take on rice 'n' three served in traditional metal plate/tray hybrids. As well as the curries, which change daily and feature homestyle meat and veggie options, there are also street food treats such as chicken pops and samosa to add on the side plus we award additional points for stocking mango rubicon.
Breaking news this one. The team from Common, of lockdown massive-pizza-substantial-meal-gate fame, is opening up not one but two new venues in the Kampus community on the edge of the gay village. Cornerstone will be a "traditional boozer reimagined for the 21st century", and Nell's will be serving up the aforementioned massive pizzas. Just rename Manchester "deep pan-chester" already.
What: Fat Hippo
Where: Great Northern
You can't get better than this description of Fat Hippo than the words of its own Abbie Gilbertson:
"We're all about good, old-fashioned, roll up your sleeves and get it all over your face kind of food. As well as our signature beef and boneless buttermilk chicken patties - that come with free fries as standard - we’ve also got a carefully designed range of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options available." The family-friendly burger joint is opening as a concession in the new Lane7 leisure complex.
What: General Stores
Where: Deansgate Square (and Media City)
Cool coffee bar, pop-up venue and corner shop concept General Stores is gearing up to open in MediaCity imminently. But the big news is that they've scored a new location in Deansgate Square. No doubt there will be craft beer on tap, independent food retailers showing off their wares and general good vibes - but what about a Post Office?
Where: Brown Street
This is a biggie. Simon Shaw, of El Gato Negro and Canto fame, will be opening a new restaurant this spring. The new gaff will focus on Shaw's modern interpretation of Middle Eastern dishes, influenced by the region's rich and varied cultures. The chef-patron said; "I've directed some of that influence into dishes at El Gato Negro as there's so much overlap in styles and ingredients, but it's really exciting to focus on this diverse region's many cuisines with Habas."
One word: Terrace. A new addition to our list of the best outdoor drinking spots in Manchester, Hamilton's focuses squarely on the alcohol, which isn't a problem with us. They've taken a great deal of time and effort and worked with some of the best sommeliers to select the vast wine list. But if you do get peckish there is a menu of sharing platters, pizzas and burgers up until 5pm, plus bar snacks after that.
What: Hello Oriental
Where: Circle Square
Bruntwood has announced a beast of a new pan-Asian opening for its enormous Circle Square development. Taking inspiration from renowned Asian dining destinations Bang Bang Oriental in London and 1800 Lucky in Miami, the new spot is set to open in July 2021. Read our full article on Hello Oriental for more deets.
What: Junior Jacksons/Lost Cat
Where: Oldham Street
The team behind Crazy Pedro's, The Liar's Club and Bunny Jackson's will open two new venues this spring - right next door to each other.
First up is Junior Jackson's, a basement dive bar that has been described as the "crazy cousin" of Bunny Jackson's. There will be American sports, a large selection of bourbon and a burger chute (yes you read that right).
To get to the Lost Cat next door, you have to sneak in through the Bud & Pot florist. Once in, you'll find a relaxed neighbourhood bar, live music venue upstairs plus a rooftop terrace with movie screenings once a week.
Lost Cat is occupying the old Eat New York site and will continue that connection by serving bagels and burgers (and bagel burgers) from Triple B, some of which will end up down that infamous chute on the way to Junior's.
What: Just Between Friends
Just Between Friends is heading out to the mean streets of Cheshire. The Tib Street/Ancoats coffee specialists are setting up shop in Wilmslow. Expect great coffee, bagels and delicious flaky pastries at a minimum.
Mustard opened in Sale back in 2016 and their classic Americana (burgers, wings, shakes) were an instant hit. So much so that it was the vanguard of a newer, cooler Sale (still a WIP TBH). They’ve done great takeaways over lockdown, including free coffees and pancakes and have started spreading that love from their new Altrincham branch, which is sure to be as popular as its big sister.
Where: Northern Quarter
One thing this city does not have enough of is pizza. Won't someone please open a new pizza place? Well, we may be being a tiny bit facetious but by slinging only vegan, vegetarian and plant-based pizza, Brighton's Purezza really does bring something new to the party (shuffle over Four Side, there's room for two). The "best vegan restaurant of 2020" is looking to take over the Dough premises on Thomas Street.
What: Smithfield Social
Where: Northern Quarter
A neon "S" lights the way to the newest addition to the Northern Quarter family. Old favourite Teacup has been transformed into the Smithfield Social, which has a more down and dirty vibe than its predecessor. Liam Fray of the Courteeners has teamed up with Jobe Ferguson and Anthony Fielden to bring you hash browns with truffle mayo, brioche buns with treacle-cured streaky bacon and chorizo and grilled feta with eggs plus a great cup of coffee. With their "nice to meet ya" tagline, they sound like a friendly bunch of lads too.
What: Stutter & Twitch
Lovers of music may have already noticed the Stutter & Twitch caravan out on the streets of Altrincham. The independent record label of the same name came up with the idea during the first lockdown, serving up coffee and tunes to residents of the Sunday Times' best place to live in the North West - coincidence? We think not. Now S&T will have a permanent home, still following the vinyl-and-a-brew blueprint but with added craft beer, cocktails and bakery, all supported by Bruntwood's vision for the Stamford Quarter.
What: Sugo Pasta Kitchen
Trading places with Mustard (see above) Sugo has decided to open its third branch this spring. The opening is a bit hush hush at the moment, announced only with a bold 'M33' on Instagram. The secret is out, however, and the pasta masters will bring their uncompromising Italian cuisine to Sale, where no doubt someone will try to put parmesan on the scoglio. Just don't do it!
When: end of summer
Slightly cheating here as we don't know if this restaurant will be called Winters in the end. It will however be housed in the iconic Grade II listed building on Little Underbanks that housed the goldsmiths of the same name, so we are going to stick with Winters for now. The restaurant will serve French food and aims to move into its new home at the end of summer.