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Ancoats neighbourhood guide: what to see, eat and do

Ancoats locals open up about the neighbourhood’s best brunch, bars, art shows, date spots, dinner fare and more

Rob Martin
Written by
Rob Martin

In the past, we've named this hip, fast-changing community based around Cutting Room Square as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. Like many places that see a sudden regeneration, places to eat, drink and be entertained come and go until things start to settle down and residents decide what's right for the community. So we asked locals for their tips on how to do Ancoats right.

Best place for fun

"Weirdly it's the corner shop, Ancoats General Store. Alongside your eggs, milk and bread, it host regular parties and has a fully licensed bar, as well as art events by OverDrawn and a quiz. There's also Scrancoats every Thursday – a pop-up where you can try food from independents from around the city." Ben Kenyon

Best place for a date

"If it's dinner and drinks you have in mind, Elnecot on Cutting Room Square has cosy booths and sharing plates – think scotch egg and whitebait tapas." Eoin Drumm

"When it's sunny, take a blanket and some drinks down to New Islington Marina for relaxing, people-watching and chatting." Jay Sheridan

Best brunch

"Café Cotton on Radium Street has its own bakery next door, so the bread is as fresh as it gets, plus there is a take-out deli for when you’re on the go. I love Ancoats Coffee Co, which is inside the impressive Royal Mills building, as well." Joelle McGuire

"The Counter House on Blossom Street is my new favourite. They have an amazing selection of pressed juices and it feels like an urban jungle inside. The tables are made from recycled yoghurt pots!" Neil Sargeant

"For something quick and delicious head to Trove. I go straight after a Saturday morning gym session for the croissant French toast with crème fraiche, peaches and syrup." Gabrielle Swarbrick

Best dinner


Rudy’s on Cutting Room Square has been voted one of the best places for Neapolitan pizza in the UK, while the Hip Hop Chip Shop has twists on chippy classics including jerk fish and chilli- battered sausages." Callum Boyle

"Sugo Pasta Kitchen only does pasta dishes, but they do every single one well." Will Griffiths

Best bar/pub

"It has to be Nam for the audiophile sound system, Second City for the football and The Jane Eyre for the bloody marys with horseradish vodka – all in Cutting Room Square so you can stumble from one to the other." David McAndrew

"Seven Brothers Beerhouse sells its own brew from its brewery in Salford and has loads of acts and events on through the week." Paul Shakeshaft

Best entertainment

"Pick between Hallé St Peters and nearby St Michaels for classical music, especially the contemporary output from Psappha. Theatre lovers must not miss the wonderfully inventive Hope Mill Theatre, a tiny place with a huge imagination and so much ambition." Rob Martin

Best of the rest

"Look out for Erst, bringing simple, natural seasonal food and wine to Murray Street, for a Chinese called Blue Eyed Panda on Jersey Street, and for Blossom Street Social, a new wine bar by the Hanging Ditch crew, in Smithís Yard." Lucy Cowgill

Worked up an appetite exploring the neighbourhood?

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