It all began up a flight of stairs through an unmarked door in the Northern Quarter in early 2012. Back then, Almost Famous were the kings of Manchester’s dirty burger scene, drawing on the edgy marketing and stripped-back stylings of places like London’s Meat Liquor to ensure there was always a continuous line of trendy types waiting to get in.
The queues kept on growing until disaster struck in June 2013 when a fire destroyed the kitchen – and with it the hearts of many a Manc hipster. It took a year for them to reopen, during which time new branches were opened in Liverpool and Manchester.
The new place, located in Deansgate’s Great Northern Tower is bigger and enforces a more relaxed door policy. Otherwise it’s more of the same; no reservations, so you’re still going to have to queue, but at least you can do so at the bar rather than on the street. While you’re waiting, grab a boozy milkshake or a Bitch Juice cocktail, which comes with a glow-stick stirrer.
Food comes out in the same plastic baskets and the burgers are as messy and satisfying as ever. The signature burger packs quality meat into a brioche bun along with an excessive assortment of toppings, which range from steak to Monster Munch (yep, really).
As good as the burgers may be, it’s the formidable ‘Bacon Bacon Fries’ that steal the show; skin-on fries smothered in bacon-flavoured mayonnaise, topped with crispy bacon bits. Bring your roomiest trousers.