Welcome to a brand new series on my blog, all about the wonderful city of Manchester…more specifically what to eat, drink and do here! I’ve called Greater Manchester and the city itself home for most of my life, so I know a thing or two about the place. I thought I’d begin at the most logical starting point – breakfast, or brunch as it often becomes! Here’s my pick of the top breakfast places in Manchester. Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, take a look at these six scrumptious eateries:
Most of my favourite things are Canadian – Avril Lavigne, the mighty Elk and, of course, maple syrup. Whilst I can’t guarantee you’ll bump into everyone’s favourite 00s pop rebel at York Street’s brunch spot Moose Coffee, you’ll find references to my favourite animal and plenty of the sweet stuff (along with super friendly staff and a menu that is next to impossible to choose from. It’s all so damn good!). As we all know I’m vegetarian, but I’m never stuck for an option at Moose – likewise, my carniverous fiancé and friends never struggle to find something suitably meaty to chow down on. From stacks of pancakes and waffles to hearty cooked breakfasts and eggs every way you could possibly imagine (plus their signature potato hash which I swear is addictive) you’ll be in absolute food heaven. Plus, it goes without saying that the coffee is a delight.
Home Sweet Home
Without sounding all hipster-ified, I was a big fan of Home Sweet Home when its only restaurant was in the wonderful Northern Quarter – now it is also present on Deansgate’s Great Northern site, which only means more delicious food for every corner of the city. If you’re up for a day of designer shopping and cocktails on the fancier side of town, heading to the Deansgate location is probably a good shout, but if you’re after the original Home Sweet Home experience I’d stick to the Northern Quarter (not least because you’ll get to play ‘spot the newest piece of street art’ whilst wandering over to it!). Egg lovers can check out their famous ‘Bennies’ menu or even go for something with a spicy Mexican twist; alternatively just play it safe with Breakfast Waffles or the House Hash. They’re always very accommodating to my veggie self and don’t look twice when I order the waffles without bacon. They also have non-milk options for your coffee, and I’m a big fan of their soy cappuccino!
Another Northern Quarter favourite of mine has got to be Sugar Junction. If you’re looking for something traditional with a quirky twist, this English tea room setting will serve you just fine. Their menu seems to alter relatively frequently which is always a blessing, as each new addition seems to be more delicious than the last! I think I’ve brought every friend and family member to Sugar Junction at some point, and with their breakfast being available until 5pm you’re never worried that your Sunday lie in will ruin your brekkie plans. You can of course get your classic full English (or vegetarian alternative) but I tend to go for something a little more adventurous – their Blueberry French Toast is divine, and many of my friends have tried and loved the egg dishes. Not only is the food gorgeous, but their tea selection is out of this world! The Northern Quarter Blend is my personal pick, and Cherries Are A Girl’s Best Friend is wonderful for something a little different too.
Ok, so it’s something a bit different from your unique NQ offering, but if you’re looking for a stylish breakfast or brunch setting without a hefty price tag you might want to look up Harvey Nichols’ Brasserie on the second floor of their Manchester store. We have been here for breakfast countless times as my other half is obsessed with the Corned Beef Hash, and the Fresh Fruit Salad is second to none for those days when I’m feeling the need for a health kick. The coffee is also wonderful, and their fresh juices are to die for. The setting is so Instagrammable that you’ll be tempted to snap away each time you visit (no shame here!) and with a view looking out over Exchange Square you do feel that you’re getting a taste of the high life. I always make a little extra effort with what I wear, although it’s not snobby at all (it is Manchester after all, and we’re a friendly bunch!) but the prices are definitely not bank-breaking. It’s actually very reasonable, and totally decadent!
I couldn’t possibly write this post without featuring this local neighbourhood favourite. Vivid Lounge is one of those cafe bar places that kind of shouldn’t work but totally does – I’ve been in there for a quick drink of an evening with a side order of thai spring rolls (so, so good) but also for one of the best breakfast fry ups in Manchester at the weekend. In fact, they’re also on Deliveroo so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home/hotel to enjoy their offerings (as seen in the Instagram photo above)! Tucked away on Great Ancoats Street, Vivid is a 10 minute walk from Piccadilly and worth every step to get there. It’s probably our current favourite breakfast location, as they cater so well to both meat-eaters and veggies! Plus there’s none of this ‘here’s an extra tomato in place of the bacon, sausages and black pudding’ nonsense for the vegetarian breakfast – you get a veggie sausage and little halloumi bites which work perfectly with the rest of the tasty ensemble.
Now, I have a small confession – I haven’t actually visited the Manchester branch of Piccolino (Cafe Grande) BUT I am a frequent visitor to the Knutsford branch where they have the same menu and very similar decor, so I had to include this on my list. First things first, you MUST get one of their delicious juices from the Juicery – I tend to go for something with a good blend of fruits and vegetables, which makes me feel better about ordering crepes, croissants and pancakes afterwards (not all on the same visit, I might add!). The coffee is outstanding and their eggs menu is something Tiz often orders from – it’s the perfect place for a relaxed brunch with friends, but is similarly ideal for that fancier breakfast experience with your partner. We’re actually planning a trip there this weekend!
Which Manchester breakfast and brunch venues would you add to my list? Leave your comments below!