Manchester is a hotbed for entrepreneurs, with many finding opportunities in the city to pave their way to success. In fact, we’re actually home to some pretty huge household names – including the likes of Vimto and JD Sports. But something that makes us particularly proud to live in the Northern Powerhouse? The sheer number of female business owners that our region houses. From homely cafes to largely successful restaurants that have expanded across the nation, here are just some of the best female-owned restaurants and cafes in Manchester.
Mowgli Street Food has been incredibly successful since its humble beginnings in Liverpool, and is owned by talented British chef, Nisha Katona. Now seen on TV regularly, particularly on popular daytime shows such as This Morning, Nisha opened her restaurant Mowgli in Manchester a number of years ago, bringing her authentic-style Indian food to the city – incredible decor in tow. Mowgli Street Food, 16, Corn Exchange House, 37 Exchange St, M4 3TR.
2. Feel Good Club
A huge success since its addition to Manchester’s uber-cool Northern Quarter, Feel Good Club is the first of its kind for the city, focusing on mental health and wellbeing. The cafe serves coffees and food, and all staff are mental health first aid trained. Founded by wife duo Kiera and Aimie, Feel Good Club has proven incredibly popular with locals since its opening, and we’re sure it will continue to brighten our days for many years to come. Feel Good Club, 26-28 Hilton St, M1 2EH.
This cute little spot on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter provides a much-needed pit-stop for shoppers, offering delicious breakfasts, brunches, and an array of coffee and baked goods. Nibble also just so happens to be owned by Lauren Irlam, an advocate for female-owned businesses and making dietary requirements less stressful. She is keen to show her resilience as a woman but also says “I am just a normal girl. I drink too much, I struggle with balance and boundaries like everyone else. I get tired, so tired. But I love what I do and I love who I work with. And I love our wonderful customers.” We love the honesty! Nibble, 36 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN.
4. Cocoa Cabana
Founded by Sarah Gallacher, a chocolate pro who trained at the famous Slattery’s Patissier and Chocolatiers, Cocoa Cabana can be found in both Didsbury and Ancoats, serving up beautiful artisan chocolates, bakes and even chocolate cocktails. Gallacher has won a number of accolades for her incredible creations, and it’s unsurprising too considering how intricately they’re made. Cocoa Cabana, Murray Street, M4 6HS.
5. Ezra & Gil
A Northern Quarter staple for over five years now, Ezra & Gil is run by Alison Creely, whose venture has been so successful in Manchester, the city gained a second site on Peter Street last year. Ezra & Gil is well-known for its bustling cafe atmosphere, delicious coffee and homely brunch dishes. Ezra & Gil, 20 Hilton Street, M1 1FR.
6. Sweet Mandarin
Run by three sisters who are seriously talented in the kitchen, Sweet Mandarin is one of Manchester’s favourite Chinese restaurants – and even Gordon Ramsay is a fan. Following in the footsteps of their grandmother, who owned a restaurant in Middleton, the sisters bring family-style cuisine to their menu, featuring extensive options with a little something for everyone. Sweet Mandarin, 19 Copperas St, M4 1HS.
Run by Jane Dowler, an avid sommelier who, after spending time in Toledo with winemakers, brought the flavours of Spain to Manchester with Evuna. The restaurant now has two sites in the city centre, as well as in Altrincham and Knutsford, and has become well-known as one of Manchester’s favourite tapas restaurants thanks to its traditional Spanish dishes. Evuna, 79 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1LQ | 277-279 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EW.
Menagerie opened back in 2016, with Karina Jadhav and Seema Malhotra at the helm. The restaurant was an instant hit, pioneering the Insta-glam look in our city. Now, seven years on, the restaurant continues to prove popular with Mancs and visitors alike, thanks to its divine cocktails, breathtaking decor and diverse menu. Menagerie, One New Bailey, New Bailey St, M3 5JL.
9. Wholesome Junkies
Expanding our city’s horizons with tasty vegan junk food, Wholesome Junkies was founded by Chelsea Campbell, who set up shop in 2017 after years of working in hospitality. The start-up has seen huge success in the past year alone at Arndale Market, the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool and Ancoats General Store, leading to Campbell finding a brand new kitchen in the city centre to help fulfil demand and a huge 37,000 followers on their Instagram page.