For those days when you’re in a bit of a rush…
In dire need of a quick refuel and definitely not in the mood for a bog-standard meal deal? We don’t blame you. With so many incredible independent food spots in our city, why would anyone voluntarily choose a boring old egg and cress sandwich? Next time you’re in need of a lunch fix, support our locals and bookmark our guide to the best street food vendors in Manchester.
1. Salt & Pepper, Arndale Market
Salt & Pepper has been blessing the Arndale with its seriously tasty grub since 2019 – and it’s been a cult fave with city centre workers ever since. Serving up East-meets-West modern Chinese grub, the menu consists of salt and pepper chicken, flatbreads, shredded meats loaded on top of fluffy fries and more. Salt & Pepper, Arndale Market (South Side), Manchester, M4 3AH.
2. Porky Pig, Manchester Markets
Reigning the Manchester Christmas Markets every year, Porky Pig is the home of the famous Yorkshire Pudding wrap here in Manchester – and Mancs can get their hands on it all year round. Offering up carvery meats with veggies and lashings of gravy, the hearty British spot also cooks up chicken with veggies, corn on the cob and salad on market days – with their core restaurant menu including their Yorkshire Pudding full English breakfasts, a roast in a Yorkshire and more. Porky Pig can often be found at the Manchester Markets on St Anne Square, with a permanent venue at 7 Cooper St, Manchester, M2 2FW.
3. Hanoi 75, Hatch
Situated at Manchester’s outdoor food and drink concept, Hatch, Hanoi 75 is one of the best Vietnamese spots in the city – serving the delicious cuisine up street-style. Packing tasty grub up into huge takeaway bowls, customers can enjoy bao buns, Bun Ga, pho and more. The food is even served within Hanoi 75‘s very own double-decker bus, which definitely makes it even cooler. Hanoi 75, Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, Manchester, M1 7ED.
4. Northern Soul, Northern Quarter
The first grilled cheese restaurant in the UK was born right here in Manchester, and while Northern Soul has expanded rapidly since opening, their original Church Street unit still remains to this day. If you’ve got a hankering for a tasty cheese toastie, this is your spot – with gourmet twists on the classic lunch including delicious relishes, meats, mac and cheese, and even onion bhajis. Northern Soul, Unit 10, 11 Church St, M4 1PN.
5. KBOM, Hatch
A pop resident making up part of Hatch’s already strong food scene, KBOM brings the flavours of Portugal to the city centre, serving up peri chicken and so much more. Because what more could you ask for on your lunch break? Expect tons of chicken, as well as surf n turf burgers, garlic shrimp, croquetas, Superbock beers and Sangria on tap. KBOM, Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, Manchester, M1 7ED.
6. Nell’s Pizza, Northern Quarter
Nell’s Pizza is a bit of a naughty one, but it’s worth every calorie. Serving whopping 22″ pizzas at Common every week, the NYC-inspired pizzeria also serves their ever-changing pizza menu by the slice – which is perfect for a cheeky little lunch (unless you’re game for the entire thing). Pizza can be purchased via click and collect or eaten inside Common (which is also a great spot to camp with your laptop if you have a few work bits you need to do in peace). Nell’s Pizza, Common, 39-41 Edge St, Manchester, M4 1HW.
7. Wholesome Junkies, Arndale Market
Taking fast food and making it completely vegan, Wholesome Junkies has two sites in Manchester, one in the Arndale and one in Ancoats. What they’ve achieved is absolutely delicious, and if you’re new to vegan grub (or just been craving a bit of naughtiness that usually consists of meat) then you’re in for a treat. The menu consists of familiar comfort food (but is 100% plant-based), including fried ‘chicken’ burgers, tacos, tater tots and so much more. Wholesome Junkies, Arndale Market, 49 High St, M4 3AH
8. Chaat Cart
New kids on the block Chaat Cart can be found at Manchester’s newest food hall and taproom, Society MCR, where they’re serving up South Indian street food packed full of flavour. Expect warming curries, Buddha bowls, flatbreads and more, with succulent meats, tiffin and tasty sides to accompany. Chaat Cart, Basement, 100 Barbirolli Square, M2 3BD.
9. Mira MCR
Popping up every weekend at The Crown & Kettle pub in Ancoats, Mira MCR takes inspiration from the streets of Naples, recreating the beloved Cuzzetiello sandwich that has become an absolute Neapolitan classic. The crusty pieces of bread are filled with hearty fillings such as meatballs, ragu and beef stew, with Mira sticking to tradition with their creations. After all, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. The Crown & Kettle, 2 Oldham Rd, Ancoats, M4 5FE.
10. Plant Grill
Situated within Manchester’s newest (and probably the biggest) hotspot, Plant Grill can be found at the epic Escape to Freight Island – which has taken over part of the famous Depot Mayfield. Serving up all things vegan, guests can enjoy proper big burgers, kebabs and more, all alongside beers from local breweries, refreshing cocktails and gorgeous gins. Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.