The NQ’s best arancini and tiramisu joint is getting a new home... in the NQ

ONE of Manchester’s most popular hidden gems, Williams Sicilian Street Food on Hilton Street, has announced it’s moving to bigger premises. But fans of the Sicilian specialists won’t have too far to go to get their fix of crisp canola, traditional tiramisu or arguably the best arancini in town, as the new place will still be in the Northern Quarter.

We’re planning a big launch soon where we’ll be serving some of the food we’ll have on the menu with lots of Prosecco

Williams Sicilian is planning to take over La Boca, the former tapas bar on Turner Street. The back street bocadillo had only been open 13 months, but owners Donna Robinson and James Ferdinales have decided to sell up to concentrate on their first venue, MaltDog Beer Shop & Ale House in Monton Village.  

“We put La Boca up for sale before Christmas and Carmen who owns Williams was the first to come in and put in an offer,” Donna told Confidentials. “We built this business from the heart and wanted to pass it on to someone who had the same sort of feeling, so we’re really pleased that Carmen and her wonderful Sicilian team will be taking it over.”

2019 01 28 La Boca Interior 3
The interior as Spanish restaurant La Boca

Williams Sicilian spokesperson Jamie told us the reason for the move. “Carmen had been looking for somewhere else for a while. Hilton Street wasn’t an ideal location and we weren’t allowed to sell alcohol because of issues with the landlord, which was proving to be a massive hitch. It used to be a sandwich shop and this is a good opportunity to get out of there and get somewhere else.”  

So what’s going to change and, more importantly, what will remain the same? “We’ve only really just got the go-ahead,” said Jamie, “but they’ve been in this week and decorated it a little bit, with lemons hanging everywhere. Carmen’s bought the whole business, which has a lovely big downstairs kitchen, and they’re keeping everything pretty much the same.”

2019 07 15 Arancini Williams
The best balls in the Northern Quarter

“We’re planning a big launch soon where we’ll be serving some of the food we’ll have on the menu with lots of Prosecco, and we’re hoping to have licensing in place to be able to offer live music and DJs.  

“There’s not really anyone else doing Sicilian street food, it’s an upgrade on the current premises but we’re not going to become all ‘restauranty’. We’ll be keeping with the same food concept and menu but now we’re going to be able to also serve cocktails and wine, and it’ll work out better for us.”  

And when is the move going to be? “We’re looking at early March,” says Jamie. “Carmen’s just employed a new head chef and a bartender so it’s pretty much ready to go out of the box. Williams already has quite a significant following so it’s now just about moving the whole existing concept into new premises. We’ll definitely be sticking with the arancini – but with added alcohol. We’re trying to keep it as authentic as possible.”  

To keep up to date with news from Williams Sicilian Street Food, follow them on Twitter.  

Williams Sicilian, 14 Turner St, Manchester, M4 1DZ  

Piqued your appetite? Read: Seven new Manchester restaurant and bar openings for February 2020