We might have spent the majority of the year under some form of lockdown, but that didn’t stop Manc businesses.
In fact, we saw a ton of incredible new openings this year, despite the virus wreaking complete havoc on our region in particular (hello, Tier 4). From cult restaurants that have grasped the opportunity to expand further during this mental year, to the entrepreneurial souls who’ve taken the leap and started their dream foodie businesses – we’ve rounded up just some of the best spots in town that opened in 2020.
1. Wolf at the Door
Previously called Wilderness Kitchen, Wolf at the Door launched earlier this year – with a brand new concept that I, for one, have very much welcomed. Serving up tacos and bao buns from just £1 each (Yep! You read that right!) with American twists, the restaurant and natural wine bar has become a popular NQ spot this year. Be sure to stop by to try some orange wine and a couple of bao buns when we finally escape this bloomin’ tiering system. Wolf at the Door, 30-32 Thomas St, M4 1ER.
2. Rudy’s Sale
Cult favourite Rudy’s has seen quite the expansion this year, with new restaurants in both Leeds and Sale in 2020. The latest addition to Greater Manchester – in Sale – opened just last month during the November lockdown, and is serving up their delicious Neapolitan pizzas for click and collect and Deliveroo to South Mancunians now. Rudy’s, 2 Northenden Rd, Sale, M33 3BR.
3. Archie’s Piccadilly
After a decade of success in Manchester, Archie’s opened not one, but two epic new restaurants, both of which feature incredible additions that take your regular burger hang-out to a whole new level. From selfie opps to bright pink ball pools – you’ll find a pretty pink wonderland at both their new Piccadilly restaurant and their brand new flagship restaurant in the Trafford Centre. Archie’s, 6 & 7, Gateway House, Piccadilly, M1 2GH | 134 Barton Dock Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, M17 8EH.
4. Dunkin’ Burgers
Opening just this winter, the brains behind Viet Shack have introduced a brand new concept – burgers dunked in gravy. How Northern of them? Taking rib eye patties and stacking them high with tons of tasty topping options, Dunkin’ Burgers is definitely one to try next time you’re pottering around the Arndale. Dunkin’ Burgers, Arndale Market, 49 High St, M4 3AH.
5. Corner Slice MCR
Manchester’s first Detroit-style pizzeria, Corner Slice MCR came to inception as a result of the first nationwide lockdown, opening up in Failsworth shortly after. The restaurant, which is currently operating on a takeaway basis, serves up pan pizza with a Foccacia-like finish – topped with all sorts of tasty Italian toppings. There’s even the odd experimental pizza thrown in there, too, so be sure to try it a couple of times so you can make your way through their menu. Corner Slice MCR, 141 Lord Ln, Failsworth, M35 0QH.
6. 202 Kitchen
Opening up this summer – back when we could actually enjoy ourselves a little bit – 202 Kitchen is Manchester’s newest pink paradise, which takes on the Instagram Trapbox trend with its dishes. Casual, hearty dishes such as mac and cheese, fried chicken, burgers and more are piled up high in metal serving boxes with cocktails, tasty desserts and social media moments for guests to enjoy. After finding success on Bridge Street earlier this year, the restaurant is currently moving to a brand new location which is set to be revealed soon. New location TBC.
7. Sicilian NQ
Formerly known as William Sicilian Street Food, this authentic Sicilian restaurant popped up in the Northern Quarter earlier this year – renamed and reworked as Sicilian NQ. The lovely little restaurant hones in on the idyllic region’s homely food, bringing dishes such as arancini, cannoli, cipollini, pasta and more to our rainy city. Sicilian NQ, 14 Turner St, M4 1DZ.
8. Escape to Freight Island
Another popular summer opening, Escape to Freight Island is Manchester’s newest outdoor space, with plenty of food and drink vendors on-site to choose from. Think New York-style pizza at Voodoo Rays, juicy burgers at Patty Queen, barbequed meats at Baratxuri, and beers courtesy of Camden Town Brewery. Escape to Freight Island will reopen once Manchester moves into tier 2. Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
The popular London vegan spot opened up just a few months ago here in Manchester, serving takeaway only of their much-loved jackfruit burgers and ‘chicken’. It’s so good, in fact, that it actually turned out Executive Editor, Georgie, fully vegan. Who’d have thought it? Biff’s serves up takeaway and delivery from their Oxford Road kitchen, which is available via Deliveroo. Biff’s, 144 Oxford Rd, M139GP.
10. Triple Bagels
Once known as Eat New York in the Northern Quarter, Triple Bagels opened up in Prestwich just a matter of months ago – bringing salt beef, burgers and bagels to North Manchester. The American-inspired menu is the perfect lunch option, with Deliveroo available for those nearby. Triple Bagels, 24 Bury New Rd, Prestwich, M25 0LD.
11. Southside Tequila Joint
Created during lockdown, the guys behind Withington’s Solomon Cafe Bar and NQ’s Crazy Pedro’s teamed up for a brand new ‘tequila joint’ – now open and serving tacos, cocktails, and chips and dips. The newly renovated space has an outdoor terrace to enjoy during the summer (perfect for tequila sessions!), and a massive list of tequila and gin-based cocktails for you to drink your woes away with. Southside Tequila Joint, 447-449 Wilmslow Rd, Withington, M20 4AN.
12. Delhi House Cafe
The Corn Exchange’s latest addition Delhi House Cafe brings a vibrant take on Indian food to the city centre – bringing dishes from the streets of Delhi and transforming them into something a little more contemporary. The cosy new spot has a bustling cafe vibe to it, with menu highlights including masala fried chicken, naan burger, and more traditional dishes such as butter chicken. Delhi House Cafe, Unit 10, The Corn Exchange, M4 3TR.
13. Döner Haus
Aaaand another new addition to the fantastic Corn Exchange, Döner Haus opened in Manchester right at the start of this year – with tasty Berlin-style kebabs that brought something a little new to the Manchester hospitality scene. The menu is pretty diverse to suit your kebab preferences, with Berlin döner, schnitzel, currywurst, shawarma and teller all on the menu. Our pick? The mixed chilli döner… Mmmm… Döner Haus, The Corn Exchange, Exchange St, M4 3TR.
14. Nell’s Pizza
Last but definitely not least is Nell’s Pizza – who really switched up the Manchester pizza scene for us this year. A market that is dominated with Neapolitan pizza, Nell’s brought proper New York-style slices to us every week at Common – and they’ve since become a more permanent fixture for us to enjoy. Think slices bigger than your head and whopping 22-inch pizzas, with classic cheese, pepperoni, and more to choose from. Nell’s Pizza, Common Bar, 39-41 Edge St, M4 1HW.