I’m loathed to declare any meal ‘the most important’ because, to me, all meals are created equal. But lunch will always have a special place in my heart. On a weekday it means a break from work, on a Saturday it often involves a pint and on a Sunday it means gravy. What’s not to love? It also helps that we have some of the finest lunch spots right here in Manchester.
1. Northern Soul Grilled Cheese
The UK’s first gourmet grilled cheese restaurant, serving pimped up grilled cheese sandwiches, mac ‘n’ cheese and shakes, all set to a soul soundtrack. With restaurants in the Northern Quarter and Piccadilly, you’re never far away from a tasty toasted sandwich so there’s always time to nip out for one while you’re at work. Northern Soul, Unit G20, 21, 44 Tib St, M4 1LA.
2. Moose Coffee
The modern diner serves American-style breakfasts and 25 different brunch dishes, from pancakes to potato hashes, including seven choices of eggs benedict alone! Known as Manchester’s worst kept secret, diners should expect to wait for a table any day of the week but can enjoy one of their life-changing coffees while they wait. Moose Coffee, York House, 20 York St, M2 3BB.
3. The Koffee Pot
The Koffee Pot is a Mancunian institution that’s been serving up hearty no-nonsense British classics to the good people of Manchester for the last decade. Their fry-ups have been known to cure the worst of hangovers and their smoked kippers, haddock rarebit and haggis have made the Koffee Pot the go-to-caff for lunches, brunches and all-day breakfasts. The Koffee Pot, 84-86 Oldham St, M4 1LE.
4. Crazy Pedro’s
Part pizza joint, part bar, Crazy Pedro’s brings us the best of both worlds with its legendary lunch deal – two slices and a drink for a fiver. The dough is made fresh every day and topped with a host of weird and wonderful things, from the classic to the downright bizarre. Crazy Pedro’s, 55-57 Bridge Street, M33BQ | 1 Short Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1AA.
5. Frankie’s Toasties
Toasties are the ultimate convenience food, all you need is bread, cheese and fire and you’ve got yourself a tasty sandwich. Frankie’s Toasties, the UK’s first toastie restaurant, has opened in Manchester, offering ‘straight up’ toasties with a selection of outrageously good fillings, including Nutella, Supernoodles, alphabet spaghetti and loads more. Frankie’s Toasties, 98a Portland St, M1 4GX.
6. Salt & Pepper
A fast cult success here in Manchester, Salt & Pepper offers a tasty, treat-worthy menu of all things salt and pepper, including chicken wings, king prawns, tofu and crinkle fries. Whether it’s a feast or a small bite you’re after, Salt and Pepper have got you covered. Salt & Pepper, Black Dog Ballroom, 52 Church St, M4 1PW.
7. One Star Doner Bar
New to Escape to Freight Island, Michelin Star chef Brad Carter is slinging proper good doner kebabs, ones that most definitely trump the kind you’ll find on a suspicious back street after a Friday night on the town. Fill up on the naughty Berlin-style doners, or tuck into some deliciously nostalgic potato smiley faces. Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
8. Wolf at the Door
One of our favourite spots for cheap eats, Wolf at the Door serves a drool-worthy menu of bao buns and tacos, with a seasonally updated menu to get stuck into. From the chippy tea bao to the jerk chicken taco, the bar blends a variety of inspirations into its dishes, and trust us when we say, it works. Wolf at the Door, 30-32 Thomas St, M4 1ER.
9. Dust Dogs
The new venture by the team behind Northern Soul, Dust Dogs offers loaded hot dogs and dive bar vibes – making it the perfect casual spot for lunch. Think crazy creations such as fried noodles as hot dog toppings, loaded fries on top and so much more. Dust Dogs, Unit 10, 11 Church St, M4 1PN.
10. Rosa’s Thai
Rosa’s was founded by Thai-born Khao Kho – so if anyone knows homemade Thai meals, it’s this place. Rosa’s Thai offers an express lunch menu with two courses and a soft drink of choice for £13.95, which is available Monday to Friday 12-5pm, excluding bank holidays. Choose from the likes of crispy prawns and summer rolls to start followed by one of Rosa’s tasty curries, noodle dishes or stir-fries to dig into, with veggie and vegan options. Plus, why not sip on a refreshing bubble tea for the ultimate lunchtime treat? Rosa’s Thai, 184 Deansgate The Old Courthouse, Manchester, M3 3WB.
Also published on Medium.