A Local’s Guide To Eating Out In Manchester

6 not that best kept secret spots to eat in Manchester
A Local’s Guide To Eating Out In Manchester - photo by Grub Manchester - UKTR blog post
A Local’s Guide To Eating Out In Manchester - photo by Grub Manchester

When we visit new cities and places, the unfamiliarity of the new surroundings can often be overwhelming.

This leads to us usually depending on the well-known chain and overpriced restaurants when meal times arrive. There are so many interesting and exciting new food places to discover, yet they often go unnoticed for fear of the unknown.

Manchester is the UK’s third biggest city and plays host to so many new and interesting new food and drink places to choose from.

If you’re visiting the city, no matter whether you’re looking for a mid-morning brunch, afternoon caffeine hit after some shopping or a delicious meal in a restaurant, you’re sure to find somewhere you will love.

Photo by Armando Ascorve Morales on Unsplash

Photo by Armando Ascorve Morales on Unsplash

The saying “eat where the locals eat” is a common phrase, but in Manchester, the locals are fiercely proud and fond of their local eateries and bars and know the best places to eat and drink. The places they love are usually a lot quieter and cheaper than the well-known chains and have a lot more atmosphere to them. With that in mind, here are some of the best recommended local places to eat in Manchester.



With the recent rise in fine-dining establishments in the city, there has also been a rise in the prices being charged at these restaurants. Whilst a lot of people appreciate good food, they don’t always appreciate the prices that come with it.

Grafene is one of Manchester’s most established restaurants and offers high-quality fine-dining with even better prices.

Photo credit - Grafene Manchester - UK Travel Room Blog

Photo credit – Grafene Manchester

Whether you choose the a la carte menu or one of the more extensive taster menus, you’re sure to enjoy a whole host of foods you haven’t tried together before for a taste sensation.

Photo credit - Grafene Manchester -- UKTR bog post

Photo credit – Grafene Manchester – their version of venison, black peas, celeriac and leek, and a dessert of Eccles cake, currants, yoghurt, butter, tea

This is a restaurant that is popular with office workers from the city’s Spinningfield area, so you can even just grab one of their signature cocktails and do a spot of people watching.


Northern Soul Grilled Cheese

As well as fine-dining, Manchester is also loved by locals for its abundance of cheap eateries dotted around the city.

Since its opening, Northern Soul Grilled Cheese has become hugely popular with many Mancunians and has even won the affection of Man VS Food’s very own Adam Richman, who regularly visits.

If you’re struggling to decide on where to eat in Manchester, then Northern Soul will not disappoint.

Set in the bustling Northern Quarter, there is an extensive menu to choose from, including its legendary grilled cheese, Mac and Cheese and loaded fries and nachos.

This is the place to visit if you just want to sit down and enjoy some good (and very cheesy) food.


Rudy’s Pizza

Perhaps one of Manchester’s most popular pizza restaurants, beating the high street chains, Rudy’s Pizza started out their pizza venture as a street food vendor.

As the popularity (and queuing times) rose, they branched out and now have two permanent locations in the city.

Photo credit - Rudy's Pizza - UK Travel Room

Photo credit – Rudy’s Pizza

Made using fresh and authentic Neapolitan ingredients, the pizzas here are cooked and ready in just 60 seconds and are famous for the soft, delicious dough.

If you’re looking for a place to eat in Manchester on a budget, then a visit here will not disappoint.


Lawn Coffee

Lawn Coffee is one of Manchester’s biggest and best-kept secrets.

Neatly tucked away in the Princess St. Hotel, Lawn Coffee is just a few minutes walk away from the busy city centre and is a welcome place to sit down and rest your feet after exploring the city all day.

As this coffee shop isn’t directly viewable from the street, it’s usually very quiet apart from a few in-the-know locals reading their paper or popping in for their daily caffeine fix.

Photo credit - Lawn Coffee - UK Travel Room

Photo credit – Lawn Coffee

One of the best things about this coffee shop is the expertise on offer. If you’re a true coffee connoisseur, look on and marvel at the many different ways your coffee can be freshly brewed. Whether you prefer, V60, espresso or Aeropress, the choice of coffee brew is yours.

Thanks to the nearby coffee roaster, Ancoats Coffee Co, you can enjoy the taste of Manchester in a coffee cup.

Be sure to try one of their many bakes and pastries on offer whilst you’re there, too.


Black Milk

If you are a dessert fan or have a bit of a sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed with a trip to Black Milk.

Originally a cereal cafe set in Afflecks Palace, one of Manchester’s shopping emporiums, they recently branched out to a more permanent venue in the city’s Northern Quarter.

From sky-high freakshakes topped with whole slices of cheesecake to ridiculously chocolatey waffle stacks, there is an extensive menu available to suit all tastes.

Photo credit - @peckish_paige on Insta - The Cookie Dough x Salted Caramel Stack

Photo credit – @peckish_paige on Insta – The Cookie Dough x Salted Caramel Stack

Loved by local residents and students, the cafe is always busy and there is often a wait for a table. If you’re in the mood for a true treat, their chocolate cereal bowls come loaded with cereal and flavoured milk, so if you’re looking to impress friends or family this is the place to be.


Koffee Pot

Affectionately known as a Manchester Institution, Koffee Pot should be high up on your visit list when in Manchester.

One of the city’s best brunch locations, Koffee Pot boasts a relaxed and chilled out vibe – perfect if you were out enjoying the abundance of bars that are on offer late into the night.

Photo credit - The Koffee Pot - The MancMuffin

Photo credit – The Koffee Pot – The MancMuffin

This is no ordinary street cafe, however. The menu boasts a whole load of brunch and dinner favourites.

From the KP Full English which comes complete with servings of black pudding, potato cakes and Spam to the extremely popular smoked haddock and sourdough toast combination, the menu here will have you feeling happily full and content for hours afterwards.

Rodica M Lazar
I have a great job, great friends, travel the world and enjoy my lifestyle (and still have time to organise local networking events). I believe it's all worthwhile and you can do it too. If you want to see how I juggle a career and still explore the world, follow my adventures on The UK Travel Room