With Shrove Tuesday just around the corner, we’ve already got pancakes on the brain – and there’s one particular spot in the city centre that always ticks the boxes for us.
First opened in Manchester in 2013, Moose Coffee is a long-time city centre favourite. A sort of North American greasy spoon, this all-day breakfast spot is beloved amongst local foodies and always seems to have a queue stretching out of the door.
Inside you’ll find Canadian favourites like homemade grilled potato hash topped with eggs and streaky bacon, alongside sweet French toast and fried chicken waffles drenched in maple syrup.
It’s all amazing, but today we want to focus a little attention on the pancakes – because they really are worth shouting about.
Think large homemade pancakes mixed with chopped smoked sausage and streaky bacon and topped with fried eggs and served with butter and Canadian maple syrup, alongside stacks with a choice of toppings and fillings ranging from blueberries to chocolate and hazelnut spread, ice cream, bacon and maple syrup and more.
The menu at Moose Coffee is heavily inspired by the founders’ travels in American and Canada, and owners cite iconic New York breakfast spots like Pershing Deli at the south end of Grand Central Station and Comfort Diner on 45th Street as key influences.
As a result, there’s a long list of Moose Benedicts alongside classics like savoury, smooth and buttery comfort food Grits and fried hash.
But for those who like their brunch extra sweet, there’s also a host of fluffy pancake stacks slathered in the likes of homemade salted caramel, peanut butter and chocolate, plus classics like maple syrup and bacon.
In fact, the original site on York Street has proven so successful that in 2017 the team opened a second in the city centre – moving into Piccadilly Approach right in the path of thousands of commuters.
Having first begun life in Liverpool in 2006, the group now also boasts sites in Leeds and has worked to secure something of a grip on the north west’s breakfast crowd.
Using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, all fruit and veg is sourced locally in Manchester with bread baked daily over in Stockport courtesy of The Dutch Bakery.
Meat, meanwhile, is sourced from responsible farmers in the Lake District and Waterloo.
Moose Coffee’s pancake stacks are honestly the size of a decent Victoria sponge – which is just how it should be.
The Failsworth pizzeria with queues of delivery drivers and mac and cheese pizza
There are a lot of contenders vying for the title of the best pizza in Greater Manchester – but judging by the endless stream of delivery drivers traipsing up to Failsworth, Corner Slice might be up there…
This little pizzeria has carved out a niche for itself serving Detroit-style pizzas, and though some have attempted the same, no one comes close to this quality.
These deep-dish rectangular pizzas are made with a lighter, spongier dough than the sort of chewy Neapolitan you see a lot of these days.
They’re baked in a dish so that the edges crisp up perfectly, and with toppings and cheese spread right to the edges, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Corner Slice has just raised the bar again with its menu of creative toppings, including – and brace yourself here – mac and cheese pizza.
The Lord Lane local clearly looked at its normal thick-based pizzas and went ‘hmm, no, not enough carb. Add pasta’.
The result is their oozy, gooey mac and cheese pizza called Mr Mac – a béchamel base with macaroni, smoked mozzarella, a cheese blend, and a pesto crumb. Oh lordy.
Corner Slice’s Mr Mac pizza dipped in fermented hot sauceThe cheese pull on that…Pasta on pizza
Other menu highlights include the Red Wing (nduja, jalapeños, pepperoni and hot honey) and Sunrise (Korean BBQ cauliflower, gochujang mayo, kimchi onions and pickled cucumber) – the former leaving you with streaks of bright red chilli honey up your arms, the latter so packed with flavour that you find yourself staring down at your slice in amazement after each bite.
And if you just can’t decide, you can always go half-and-half on your pizza topping.
It’s not just about the pizzas either.
Half-and-half Detroit-style pizza at Corner SliceParmesan waffle fries and buffalo chicken
Corner Slice also has incredible sides, like Korean BBQ popcorn chicken, parmesan waffle fries, and garlic dough rolls with rotating flavours.
There are dips too, made on-site, like the fermented hot sauce that’s probably most closely related to Buffalo sauce (but infinitely more interesting) and BBQ ranch.
The whole time we’re there (which is midday on a Friday) there’s a constant stream of delivery drivers coming to collect orders. The phone never stops ringing.
At one point, they take an order that’s fit to feed an entire American football team.
It looks like the future is bright for Corner Slice. And thank god – we’re already lusting after those crusts.
Corner Slice in FailsworthA spread of pizzas and sides at Corner Slice in Failsworth