We've got some very nice fancy restaurants in Manchester, but there's a cool new culinary cat in town. The (ahem) Rainy City and street food may not seem like a match made in heaven, but after being somewhat slow to catch on to the global craze for foodstuffs from carts, trucks, buses and stands, Manchester has rallied and now boasts several reliable locations for roving foodies to forage. And most of them wisely offer protection from the elements, so no need to worry about your burritos or burgers getting all soggy. Here’s a few of our favourites.
Manchester street food
The first to provide a serious alternative to Manchester Markets’ seasonal offerings, the Guerillas bring together a choice selection of street food vendors for a well-liked series of street food fairs around the city. Currently they’re running Saturday events on Blossom Street in Ancoats, with residents featuring Fire and Salt BBQ, Dirty Dogs, Chaat Cart, and Mumma Schnitzel, whose chicken sandwiches are legendary.
The recently refurbished Alty Market is posher than George Osborne – whose constituency is just down the road. While there’s nothing 'street' about it, the food’s good: residents include Honest Crust pizza, sandwich and salad outfit The Ginger Kid, craft beer from Jack in the Box, Reserve Wines, supplemented by pop-up vendors around the perimeter. Get in early to bag a table in the palatial Market House.
A lesson in how a struggling town centre market can be given a new lease on life, Levy Market boasts a surprising range of food options. Favourites include artisan ice cream heroes Ginger’s Comfort Emporium (who also have permanent digs at Afflecks), neapolitan goodness from Little Italy Kitchen, Mio Pizza’s woodfired pies, Nila’s Burmese Kitchen, Lush Brownies and Kawaii Cupcakes – and the bar’s nice too.
Not to be confused with the soulless Food Court upstairs, the Arndale’s food market has come far. Newcomer Viet Shack, purveyor of addictive summer rolls and banh mi sandwiches, has supplanted the still-excellent Pancho’s Burritos as hipster foodie choice. But don’t forget about the cheese sandwiches at Queen Brie, Boggart Brewery’s cute Microbar and m1lkshake, where you can get any kind of candy put in (yes) a milkshake.
Open daily, times vary.