Blinker – The award-winning cocktail bar in Manchester serving retro Breville toasties

Just when you thought it couldn't get better...

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 14th June 2024

When the top cocktail bars in the UK were named earlier this year, Manchester absolutely shone.

Not only did our city scoop up the very top spot thanks to Schofield’s, but we also had another top 10 entry with the brilliant Blinker.

Blinker is a very proper cocktail bar, with table service, branded paper placemats, and some of the most skilfully-made drinks in the entire country.

It features an entire menu of martinis, plus another of old fashioneds, while the rest of the cocktail offering changes seasonally to champion local ingredients.

But alongside all those excellent drinks you’ll find a genius, very retro snack – a menu of Breville toasties.


Because what could possibly pair better with a martini than a gooey cheese toastie?

This is not one of those trendy grilled cheeses you find on street markets everywhere, and there’s not a scrap of sourdough to be found – it’s a proper nostalgic sarnie flattened in a Breville toastie maker so that your snack comes out all scored and lined with grill marks.


Having said that, they are a little more elevated than the toasties you were whipping up in your student halls.

Tucked away in the very back of the menu you’ll find Blinker’s list of (very affordable) toasted sandwiches.

One such toastie on the menu at Blinker is inspired by Italian pasta classic cacio e pepe.


This posh sandwich features a three-cheese blend and masses of black pepper, then is served piping hot with a shower of Cora Linn cheese on top.

There’s also a braised beef toastie with caramelised red onion, and another with goats cheese, apricot jam and dried rosemary.

The most impressive thing is that its menu is priced in line with that at Frankie’s Toasties, a notoriously cheap novelty spot on Portland Street that makes toasties with your more nostalgic (read: cheap and cheerful) fillings.

With this snack menu, Blinker has tapped in to what the people really want after a couple of drinks – loads of cheese slapped between white bread.

And when it comes to sandwiches, sometimes the old-school ones are the best.

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Featured image: The Manc Group