It’s been a weird, weird old year (again), but being Mancunian as ever, our city wrestled on through it. Showcasing true Northern grit, our city’s entrepreneurs said a big “F YOU” to Covid this year, resulting in a swarm of brand new businesses for us Mancs to enjoy. From delicious pizzerias to huge night out destinations, here’s some of the best new restaurants and bars to grace Manchester in 2021.
1. L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele
Known for being the ‘best pizzeria’ in the world, L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele has made its way over to Manchester, serving up delicious, traditional Neapolitan pizza. Rivalling cult favourite Rudy’s, the famed pizzeria once featured in Julia Robert’s starring Eat Pray Love, where Robert’s character famously had a ‘relationship’ with her pizza. Now, Mancs can have a relationship with their pizza, too, with the new restaurant now open on King Street. L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele, 53 King St, M2 4LQ.
2. Bold Street Coffee
Crossing the West to open a new spot in Manchester, Bold Street Coffee has brought its epic breakfast sarnies to the Rainy City for the first time ever, and trust me when we say – even Maccy’s could never. Think sexy egg drips, proper good coffee and stacked breakfast buns, alongside a huge menu of hot drinks and delicious brunch dishes. Bold Street Coffee, 53 Cross Street, M2 4JN.
3. Your Girl Can Bake
Probably the most unique dining concept to come out of 2021, Your Girl Can Bake is perfect for sweet lovers, offering a drive-in experience like no other. Simply rock up when your sweet craving hits, drive in, and enjoy a sugary feast on a resting table that sits across the car window-to-window. The bakery-come-drive-in-come-restaurant serves up an array of treats, including waffles drenched in chocolate, huge bowls of pick n mix, moreish cookie dough topped with a huge selection of chocolates, chocolate fondue, brownies and so much more. Your Girl Can Bake, Capricorn House, 58-60 Higher Ardwick, Manchester, EMEA M12 6.
4. The Black Friar
Re-opening just this year after twenty years since it last called the bell for the final round, The Black Friar is back with a luxurious makeover, instantly making it one of the most stunning pubs Manchester has to offer. Serving up gourmet pub grub, visitors can expect some pretty special, hearty dishes at the Salford institution, including puff pastry pie, monkfish and Cumbrian pig belly. Retreat to one of the pub’s many cosy snugs, enjoy the large beer garden, or perch up by the bar for a tasty G&T or cocktail. The Black Friar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford, M3 7DB.
5. American Pies
American Pies has been serving up cheesy, beige goodness since the beginning of the year, with Chicago-style pizzas forming the core of their mouthwatering menu. Expect proper deep-dish pies with an array of moreish toppings, alongside innovative pizza burritos, garlic knots and more carby deliciousness. American Pies, unit 1, 58 W Mosley St, M2 3HZ.
6. Ramona and The Firehouse
One of the year’s biggest, most successful openings, Ramona has become an absolute hotspot for NQ and Ancoats dwellers, serving up Detroit-style slices, tequila, and all-around good vibes. Neighboured by their newest idea, The Firehouse, guests can enjoy delicious peri-peri chicken, fluffy flatbreads and fantastic cocktails, before retreating to the tipi to enjoy a bit of live music. Ramona, 40 Swan St, M4 5JG.
7. The Blues Kitchen
Rivalling bustling Manchester institutions such as Albert’s Schloss and Impossible, The Blues Kitchen has brought a slice of the Deep South to the city, boasting not only a BBQ-infused restaurant, but a lively concert hall, too. From whopping pork ribs to juicy, juicy burgers, guests won’t be short of comfort food options when dining at The Blues Kitchen. Once you’ve filled your tum, head up to the concert hall for a cocktail and a boogie, where live jazz, soul and funk bands frequently play. The Blues Kitchen, 13 Quay St, M3 3HN.
Quite possibly the biggest vegan opening of the year here in Manchester, Purezza stole the hearts of the plant-based community earlier this year, bringing a fully vegan Neapolitan offering to the NQ. Born in Brighton just a few years ago, the venue serves up plant-based creations designed in-house, including vegan N’duja, BBQ pulled ‘porketta’, and even cheese steaks, shedding the healthy, vegetable-based reputation that vegan food has long had. Purezza, 75-77 High St, M4 1FS.
9. Mala Secret Garden
Originally finding success as a haven for those looking to socialise with friends in a safer, outdoor environment, Mala has continued to be a massive hit throughout 2021 thanks to its independent ethos. Providing a space for local businesses to serve their delicious food, Mala welcomes all in a curious, botanical ‘Secret Garden’, with tons of outdoor seating, sheltered sheds, ski lifts and so much more to retreat to. Local businesses taking up residence at the Secret Garden include Crumbled, Salt & Pepper, Chakalaka NQ, Mule, House of Habesha, Ply Squared and more. Mala, 19 Lever St, M1 1BY.
10. The Real Greek
Taking over the former Wahaca site at the Corn Exchange, The Real Greek has diversified Manchester’s greek food scene, finally bringing so much more of the underrated cuisine to our city. Think relaxed, yet understated sunshine vibes throughout, with dishes such as cold meze, hot meze, flatbreads, and The Real Greek’s beloved Souvlaki wraps. The Real Greek, Corn Exchange, Exchange Sq, M4 3TR.