The sun might not be shining, but we’re making the most of the start of the summer season, and all we wanna do is eat, drink, repeat. But with our newfound excitement comes ample arguments over where to eat – which is where the beauty of food halls comes in. Fancy bao buns but your mate wants pizza? These super social spots are perfect for eliminating those food-related fights. Here’s our guide to the best food halls and markets to try in Manchester.
1. Society MCR
Society MCR is opened just last year, with Northern brewery Vocation at the helm. The taproom and food hall has a number of spaces to enjoy throughout the venue, including the bustling food hall (complete with communal-style benches for reunions with friends), an outdoor patio, a lounge area, a Vocation bar and a mezzanine. There, guests can expect vendors such as Vocation themselves, Dokes Pizzeria (created by the team behind Elnecot), Slap and Pickles burgers, Manzoku Street Food and more. Society MCR, 100 Barbirolli Square, M2 3BD.
2. Mackie Mayor
Restoring the former Smithfield Market and creating a busy, atmospheric dining destination for Mancs to enjoy, Mackie Mayor has long been a favourite for locals – with bars, coffee shops and restaurants to enjoy inside. Situated in the Northern Quarter, guests can enjoy tacos, pizzas, wines, fried chicken, succulent beef and so much more, with tons of vendors to try during your visit. Mackie Mayor, 1 Eagle St, M4 5BU.
3. Altrincham Market
The sister site to Mackie Mayor, Altrincham Market – more commonly known as Alty Market – offers a similar experience to Mackie Mayor, with a lively atmosphere and fantastic local food traders. Food-wise, guests can expect coffees, pizzas, traditional brunch dishes, burgers, donuts, burritos and tacos – with both a lovely outdoor terrace to enjoy and an indoor market, too. Altrincham Market, Greenwood St, Altrincham, WA14 1SA.
4. Escape to Freight Island
Opening just last summer, Escape to Freight Island is one of the most impressive venues in the city – spanning a huge outdoor area at Depot Mayfield, as well as taking up residence inside, too. Changing at every turn, visitors can sprawl out on the bleachers in the sun, hideaway under their botanical gazebo, chill out inside with seriously cool warehouse vibes, or get right in the mix of it all outdoors by the bars and food vendors. The venue hosts regular events and live music, with NYC-style pizza, juicy burgers, BBQ, tacos, doughnuts, classic Italian pasta, craft beers, pies and so much more on offer. Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
A whole dining and drinking neighbourhood made up of vibrant shipping containers, Hatch is one-of-a-kind here in Manchester – continually growing over the years to welcome more and more local traders. Hosting both events and live music frequently, guests can kind of create a DIY day or night out at Hatch – with tons of bars and restaurants housing their own indoor spaces and terraces, a vast open-air space with tons of seating, and lots of independent shops to potter around. Expect cuisines from countries such as Vietnam, Portugal, Spain, Italy and even Teesside, as well as cocktail bars, coffee shops and more. Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, M1 7ED.
6. GRUB MCR
A weekly street food event taking place at Red Bank, GRUB MCR is a fantastic destination for foodie lovers – with a little something for everyone, as well as ever-changing cuisines on offer. Keeping independents at the heart of what they do, GRUB is the perfect place if you like trying new things – with both indoor and outdoor seating available to enjoy. Expect Plant Powered Sundays, baked sweet treats and cuisines varying from Chinese and Mexican to Sri Lankan and Japanese. GRUB MCR, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, M4 4HF.
7. Stretford Food Hall
A weekend destination in its own right, Stretford Food Hall is bright, airy, and spot-on for meeting friends for a Sunday coffee. Boasting bright, Miami-style interiors, the dog-friendly venue is home to flavourful Malaysian grub, tacos, Dim Sum, ice cream and baked goods – with so much more on offer both weekly and seasonally. Guests can also enjoy both coffees and beers, meaning it’s a fantastic location for both casual coffees and late afternoon drinks. Stretford Food Hall, Chester Rd, Stretford, M32 9BD.
8. Stockport Produce Hall
A produce hall with a century-long history, Stockport’s The Produce Hall has brought back to life the town’s old market hall – giving locals a lively place to go for coffees, food, locally-brewed beers and more. Maintaining a number of original features, the architecturally beautiful building can now be seen bustling with people every week – with a lovely bar and fresh food served from vendors such as Chaat Cart, Black Market and Angkor Soul. The Produce Hall, 24A Market Pl, Stockport, SK1 1EU.
9. Arndale Market
Arndale Market has a special place in our hearts. Every lunch break, it’s been consistently there for us, and over the years, it’s kind of acted like a springboard of success for local food vendors. Both Viet Shack and Salt & Pepper have gone leaps and bounds since opening up on the market, with the likes of Just Natas, Piazza MCR, and Dunkin’ Burgers currently enjoying residence at the busy foodie spot. Arndale Market, 49 High St, M4 3AH.