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Idle Hands
Photograph: Idle Hands

12 brilliant places for breakfast and brunch in Manchester

From greasy spoons to upmarket restaurants, here’s our round-up of the best breakfast and brunch spots in Manchester

By Lucy Lovell

Manchester’s food scene is acing it at the moment. There are top-of-their-class restaurants, uber-cool coffee shops and wholesome cheap eats. But if there’s one thing Manchester does really well, it’s brunch. From OTT pancake stacks to tender steak and eggs, antipodean eggs benedict to a traditional English fry-up, Cottonopolis has more eggs than the Easter Bunny.

But where the heck do you start? The Northern Quarter is a good neighbourhood if you’re part of the brunch crowd. This trendy part of the centre is home to an array of great cafés and restaurants (against a photogenic backdrop of eye-popping graffiti and indie record shops). Ancoats is the next up-and-coming area to visit: a slick new development home to some of the city’s most exciting new addresses, many of which knock out a magnificent brunch.

So start your day right and read on for the very best breakfast and brunch in Manchester. Hangover, be gone!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Manchester

Best brunch in Manchester

Koffee Pot
Photograph: Courtesy

1. Koffee Pot

Restaurants Cafés

This Northern Quarter institution may have moved around the corner from its original Stevenson Square address but it remains the area’s destination of choice for hangover-banishing breakfasts. This is no ordinary greasy spoon – the interior features vibrant street art (credit is due to Manchester-based artist Hammo) and spacious red booths, while the full English includes black pudding at no extra charge to those who dig it. Tea, filter coffee and hot Vimto are joined by beers and Bloody Marys behind the bar. Breakfast pint, anyone?

Oak Street Café
Photograph: Courtesy

2. Oak Street Café

Restaurants Global

An unassuming board outside this wonderfully restored Victorian fish market in the Northern Quarter hints at Oak Street’s existence. It runs alongside the Manchester Craft and Design Centre: a collection of independent artisan workshops selling jewellery and ceramics that make for dreamy post-breakfast window shopping. Refreshments include quality teas, coffees and juices. Food is good throughout the day, but breakfast is particularly strong. Expect a wide selection of American-style pancakes and indulgent cakes.

Idle Hands
Photograph: Idle Hands

3. Idle Hands

Affordable, friendly and one of the best flat whites in the city: it doesn’t get much better than Idle Hands. This cheeky coffee and pie spot has a fab breakfast selection, but the hash brown stack is a must. Order a base of two triple-cooked homemade hash browns for a fiver, then go to town with as many toppings as you dare. Poached egg, bacon, homemade cowboy beans, avo, cheese, jalapenos, sausage: they’re all around £1-£2. Order the lot and regret nothing.

Teacup Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy

4. Teacup Kitchen

Restaurants Tea rooms

Founded by Manchester’s very own Mr Scruff, whose love of tea is as strong as his love of music (if not stronger), Teacup is a place where you’ll find not only all manner of teas, but also an extensive cake menu, cocktails, wines and beers. There’s also a full lunch and afternoon tea menu. Breakfasts, served all day, are a strong point.

Trove, Manchester
Photograph: Trove

5. Trove Ancoats

Achingly cool décor is the first thing that hits you about Trove. Next is the food. Happily, this joint nails both style and substance. Expect all your breakfast staples, but with elevated ingredients: sausages are spicy merguez; french toast is made with croissant loaf and poached rhubarb; eggs royale is served with tea-smoked trout. Add a Bloody Mary for £5, grab a cake to take away, and you’re set up for the day.

Photograph: Courtesy

6. Gorilla

Music Music venues

This trendy bar and nightclub hidden among Whitworth Street’s antiquated railway arches is a wonderful place to eat or drink, day or night. Breakfast is a treat and the full English is very popular indeed – and not just with those returning to the scene of last night’s antics. Feeling really hungry? Opt for the royal version of the classic: it’s massive and even better with a Bloody Mary or espresso martini on the side.

Home Sweet Home
Photograph: Courtesy

7. Home Sweet Home

Restaurants Diners

This quirky café in the Northern Quarter is more spacious than it looks, and is packed with more trinkets and kitsch ornaments than your nan’s living room. Sure, there’s the occasional wait, but food-wise, everything’s spot on. Adventurous breakfasters can opt for waffles, served with fried chicken after noon, or the protein-packed steak, avo and eggs combo. Bottomless filter coffee from local roasters Has Bean seals the deal.

San Carlo Cicchetti
Photograph: Courtesy

8. San Carlo Cicchetti

Restaurants Italian

This elegant restaurant is a sister to celebrity haunt San Carlo and specialises in Italian tapas. Step through the doors and look on as attentive waiters serve the city’s best-dressed punters from morning until late at night. Many come for gnocchi or a glass of prosecco – but the breakfasts are a local secret. From pastries and bacon sandwiches to the Great Cicchetti breakfast with hash browns and bury black pudding, there’s something for every appetite here.

Mackie Mayor
Photograph: Pexels / Paul Cook

9. Mackie Mayor

It’s all here at this bustling food market. High-quality sausage sandwiches from Tender Cow, confit duck leg waffle from Rotisserie, mind-blowing pastries and flat whites from Wolf House Coffee... bagsy one of the huge tables and order from your favourite. A crowd-pleaser, but in the best possible way.

10. Sugar Junction

Restaurants Tea rooms

Manchester’s Northern Quarter isn’t short on quirk – both in its venues and those who frequent them – and Sugar Junction’s attention to vintage detail has to be applauded. Afternoon tea is its forte but the eggs benedict and eggs florentine are great too, as is the Tib Street Hash served with a fried egg, butternut squash, roasted red pepper and halloumi. Coffee is excellent and breakfast is served until 5pm.

Moose Coffee
Photograph: Courtesy

11. Moose Coffee

Restaurants American

Just around the corner from the shops and crowds of Market Street, Moose is fantastic place to get away from the city-centre bustle. The menu is extensive and will probably give more indecisive folk a panic attack. Rest assured, though, you could pick something with a blindfold on and rarely go wrong. The fluffy pancakes, quite rightly, have a dedicated fanbase.

Thyme Out Deli
Photograph: Courtesy

12. Thyme Out Food Co

Restaurants Delis

Tucked away in West Didsbury, you’ll find plenty of choice at this café with a mildly hippyish vibe. Ingredients are locally sourced and veggies will be in their element. The Veg Out breakfast is appropriately massive (chargrilled halloumi, homemade hash browns and all the trimmings). Other options include duck eggs benedict, an ace vegan fry-up and breakfast burritos.

After more solid recommendations?

The 24 best restaurants in Manchester


Over the past few years this city’s food scene has flourished: trailblazing indie restaurants have opened across the city, under-the-radar local favourites have been celebrated by national restaurant critics and world-famous chefs are setting up flashy new ventures.


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