We’ve said goodbye to so many brilliant Manchester bars and restaurants already this year – so it’s nice to have some new openings to get excited about.
As the saying goes: when God closes a door he opens a window, and whilst we’ve found it really sad to say goodbye these past few months, there’s hope in seeing new businesses open their doors across the city centre (and beyond).
From the opening of the first Gail’s Bakery site to grace the north west, to the return of the Flawd team’s critically-acclaimed pre-Covid restaurant venture Higher Ground, there is a lot to look forward to this month.
Add in an exciting new kitchen pop-up at Cloudwater pub The Sadler’s Cat, a new Japanese izakaya-inspired bar in the Northern Quarter and a brand new pie and mash cafe, and we think you’ll agree there’s plenty to start feeling chipper about again this month.
Keep reading to discover the new Manchester bars and restaurants to put on your list this February.
Mira, aka as the original home of Manchester’s saucy sandwich, relocates to Cloudwater-owned pub Sadler’s Cat this month with its mouthwatering Neapolitan butties.
Owners Mike and Rhea first fell in love with the rich flavours, culture and history behind the sandwich whilst travelling and felt compelled to bring it home to Manchester, quickly building up loyal fanbase during the pandemic for their saucy ‘Cuzzetiello’ sandwiches.
Popular fillings at Mira include slow-cooked Genovese beef brisket with onions, parmesan and salami; Italian meatballs in a slow-cooked ragu with fresh basil and mozzarella and a vegan-friendly juicy aubergine parmigiana sandwich with rich tomato sauce, cashew cheese and basil.
They’ve also branched out into breakfast sandwiches, focaccia slabs and sides, and serve a regularly-changing Cuzzetiello ‘Wild card’ special.
Gail’s Bakery will open three cafes in the north this year, kicking things off with a new site in Wilmslow, Cheshire this February. Here, Mancs will be able to get their hands on all manner of treats: from its range of sourdough breads (including a ‘wasteless’ loaf made with breadcrumb leftovers), to cakes, pastries, sandwiches and more.
The bakery group already has strong ties with Manchester, having run its sister wholesale bakery The Bread Factory – which supplies bread to some of Manchester’s premium restaurants, cafes and bars – in Openshaw since 2017.
Already well known and loved by its customers in the south of England, Gail’s recently confirmed it would be opening more neighbourhood craft bakeries in Manchester city centre and Altrincham later this year.
The team behind gorgeous Ancoats wine and small plates bar Flawd will relaunch their Higher Ground concept as a permanent restaurant in Manchester’s Chinatown this February.
First launched as a four-week pop-up back in February 2020, it was closed when Covid struck but now the bistro is making a permanent return.
The brainchild of Joseph Otway, Richard Cossins and Daniel Craig Martin, dishes will change on a daily basis depending on the season and showcase organic produce from their very own market garden, Cinderwood, as well as other local producers.
Promising a focus on North West ingredients, dishes will put a focus on small-scale agriculture and small herd, whole carcass cookery, whilst its wine list will center around small-scale, low intervention winemakers from around the European continent.
Set to open in the Northern Quarter this month, Disorder is a new restaurant and bar that takes its inspiration from izakaya bars in Japan.
With a laid-back Asian-inspired menu featuring Japanese sandos with a Mancunian twist and a selection of small plates on offer, Executive Chef Bryan Barber will be cooking a number of dishes on a traditional Japanese konro grill (using a ceramic pot over charcoal) and making all gyoza on the menu by hand.
Watch out for The KFPB sando (made with fried chicken, lemongrass peanut satay sauce, and spiced berry jam) and Buldak fries (loaded fries topped with home made fire sauce, oyster mushrooms, crispy noodles and nori seaweed).
Two thirds of the dishes on the menu will be vegetarian and vegan friendly, with plenty of craft beers on offer and a dive bar-style music venue underground.
The latest arrival to take over the kitchen at Ancoats General Store, as the name suggests Waffle Kart specialise in all things waffles.
From signature waffle sandwiches stuffed with crispy fried chicken to waffle prawn toast and even spam-loaded waffles, plus crinkle cut fries, waffle fries, loaded fries and a host of homemade dips, this is definitely worth a look in this month.
Be fast though, food traders are in and out of here before you can say sesame slaw.
Great North Pie Co
After a lot of anticipation, Great North Pie Co will finally open its pie and mash cafe in Manchester city centre cafe this month.
Moving into garden neighbourhood Kampus just across the water from Manchester’s famous Gay Village, Great North Pie will serve up all the traditional favourites like classic Lancashire cheese and onion, roast chicken and mushroom, and 14 hour braised beef and ale alongside a regularly-changing selection of seasonal specials.
Set to arrive on the cobbles of Little David Street later this month, the cafe will be the first to move into the long-forgotten avenue as it is brought back to life by Kampus developers this year.
End of February, TBC
Founded by former Britain’s Next Top Model contestant Chloe Peers, Crumbled reopens at Hatch on Oxford Road this month – leaving behind its previous home at secret Northern Quarter garden Mala.
A haven for sweet tooths, as the name suggests its menu is almost entirely dedicated to crumble and custard puddings – with a few tasty hot drinks thrown in for good measue.
Making us nostalgic for school lunchtime puddings, find classics like apple and rhubarb crumbled served with a Insta-friendly additions like toasted pink marshmallow toppings, Lotus Biscoff and Rolo chocolates.
Stock Market Grill
This month sees the Schofield brothers, who run the award-winning Schofield’s Bar (among others), take over the former Bull & Bear restaurant space inside Gary Neville’s Stock Exchange Hotel.
Operated by Joe and Daniel Schofield and wine expert James Brandwood, the kitchen will be led by head chef Joshua Reed Cooper, whose CV includes stints at The French, Where The Light Gets In, and Mana.
The Stock Market Grill promises ‘traditional British dishes executed with technique’, with a bespoke menu that will include dishes like whipped black pudding on toast, tartare of rib-eye with caper jam and smoked dripping, steamed cod with caramelised mash, and a sticky toffee tart with honey custard.
End of February
Feature image – Great North Pie Co.
Archie’s has installed a bright pink train carriage at its original burger bar
Archie’s has fully reopened the doors of its original diner in Manchester, installing a hot pink train carriage inside.
The beloved burger and shake bar has today unveiled a ‘subway station’ in the basement as part of the Oxford Road site’s £1m transformation.
Diners can now tuck in to their smashed burgers, wings and tater tots from their own train booth.
The bright pink addition to the site has been designed like a New York City subway car, down to the handrails and the train windows with a graffiti-covered wall behind them.
The Archie’s team have even created a fast food-inspired underground map, featuring stops like Milkshake Gardens, St Pancakes, and Scrannington Place.
There’s enough seating inside the train carriage for around 25 diners, plus extra room outside it, where banks of metal train station-style benches are arranged.
The newly-revamped site also has new self-ordering screens at the entrance and a click-and-collect service.
The brand’s original site will be open from 11am (with its new breakfast offering on proud display) until 3am at the weekends.
Archie’s has become famed for its Instagram-friendly pink interiors since its launch in Manchester in 2010.
Features at other sites include giant ball pits and swings, plus masses of neon slogans, mirrors and colourful booths.
It’s lured in more than its fair share of celebs over the years too, with visits from famous faces like Floyd Mayweather, NeYo, Rita Ora, The Game, Kevin Hart and Conor McGregor, many of whom have designed their own milkshakes for the menu (Conor McGregor’s The Mac Life is a mad mix of Wispa Gold, peanut Lion Bar, hazelnut sauce and blue sherbert, if you were wondering).
Archie’s now has diners and burger bars across the country, including five here in Manchester, plus sells its food on Deliveroo.
There’s an apple crumble stall with unlimited custard under the Mancunian Way
A new food stall has opened underneath the Mancunian Way selling pots of apple and rhubarb crumble with unlimited custard.
Called Crumbled, it is one of three new food traders to have moved into Hatch street food village on Oxford Road – joined by Caroline Martin’s new Rio Mex taco joint, and Pakistani and Indian fusion spot Phukt.
Opened by Manchester-born fashion model Chloe Peers, the new crumble stall at Hatch offers two different types of crumbles with some eye-popping toppings including edible glitter, rose petals, Biscoff crumb and huge scoops of ice cream.
Customers can also opt to pay an additional £1 to enjoy unlimited custard refills, something that is well worth it when you find yourself halfway down the pot.
One of the newest additions to the street food lineup at the shipping container village, Crumbled neighbours a mouthwatering new Rio Mex taco joint from Michelin-trained chef Caroline Martins.
Having previously wowed Mancs with her fine-dining Sao Paulo Project menus at Blossom Street Social, not to mention starring in the north west heat of the BBC show Great British Menu, Martins is now also dabbling – eloquently, might we add – in the world of street food.
Inspired by her passion for the food of her home country of Brazil, combined with the time she spent living in Texas, Rio Mex sees one of Manchester’s most exciting chefs reflecting two of her favourite cuisines.
Must-try taco fillings include baja fish with biquinho pepper mayo and lime sour cream, ground pork al pastor with pineapple salsa, a five-hour chilli con carne with beef and black beans, and a melt-in-the-mouth barbacoa with cheddar sauce and house pickles.
Speaking on her new opening at hatch Caroline Martins, owner of RIO-MEX, said: “I fell in love with Hatch back in 2022 when I visited for the first time – the whole vibe was awesome! It’s the home of diversity in Manchester and a place where you can get everything done in one place.
“You can pop in, get your nails done, buy a cool vintage vest, get a cocktail at Miami Ice and have some incredible street food for dinner. And now RIO-MEX is joining; we can’t wait for everyone to try our beautiful Brazilian-Mexican fusion menu.”
You’ll also find butter chicken burgers and loaded masala fries over at newcomer Phukt, which is serving up Pakistani and Indian fusion dishes.
Promising a ‘feast from the East’, think tandoori gyros and biryani burritos, plus chaats, salads, dirty burgers and more.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Hatch, Manchester’s award-winning food, drink, and retail destination, has welcomed a number of fabulous new traders with a Brazilian-Mexican eatery from one of Manchester’s most acclaimed chefs and there’s also a brand new vintage retailer making a new home for itself within the Hatch community.
Great British Menu’s Caroline Martins, who has worked in some of the world’s most highly-esteemed restaurants and was responsible for Manchester pop-up success story Sao Paulo Project, is bringing her brand new concept RIO-MEX to Hatch. RIO-MEX is a Brazilian-Mexican fusion street food project, and will be serving tacos, loaded nachos, churros and salgadinhos, which translates to ‘savoury nibbles’ and are often served at Brazilian pubs. Menu highlights include the Chilli Con Carne Taco, which takes five hours and the perfect blend of herbs and spices to prepare.
The inspiration for RIO-MEX came from Caroline’s passion for the food of her home country of Brazil, combined with the time she spent living in Texas. Whilst there, Caroline developed a passion for fusion cooking and RIO-MEX was born – a brand new concept for one of Manchester’s most exciting chefs reflecting two of her favourite cuisines.
Caroline Martins, owner of RIO-MEX commented:
“I fell in love with Hatch back in 2022 when I visited for the first time – the whole vibe was awesome! It’s the home of diversity in Manchester and a place where you can get everything done in one place. You can pop in, get your nails done, buy a cool vintage vest, get a cocktail at Miami Ice and have some incredible street food for dinner. And now RIO-MEX is joining; we can’t wait for everyone to try our beautiful Brazilian-Mexican fusion menu.”