Prawns, beef, salt and pepper tofu or chicken boxes are £7.50 served up generously with a side of chips.
Each option oozes with sticky goodness – try their Asian Tacos stuffed with beef, fresh salad, pickled slaw, toasted sesame, crispy shallots smacked between a soft toasted flatbread.
The local business is located inside the Arndale food market, as well as in the kitchens at Black Dog in the Northern Quarter.
The best Indian street food in Manchester – hands down.
Vegan, veggie and sure to warm you from the inside out – Bundobust is one of Manchester’s prize restaurants.
There’s an express lunch menu of two dishes for £8.50, including the classic Bundo Chaat, a street snack of broken samosa pastry and puffed rice, peas, onion, pomegranate, and tomato in tamarind chutney.
The tarka dhal is one of the most warming, filling and hearty pots of food you’ll find outside your nan’s kitchen.
Found on the edge of Piccadilly Gardens, the interiors are simple but cool – a perfect place to impress for less on a first date.
Tib Street, Northern Quarter
‘It ain’t easy being cheesy…’
It’s simple, it’s quick and you guessed it – it’s cheese mania.
Northern Soul’s cheesy delights range from brie, feta, cheddar, blue cheese – they do it all and stick it in a grilled sandwich.
Extra sandwich fillers include pulled port, jalapenos, onion chutney with sriracha glazed fries on the side – the best bit is, they’re all under £10.
Special menu-tion goes the ‘Pig on a Lead’ their 9-hour BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese grilled sandwich – it’s a mouthful.
Cheese in Northern Soul’s game and they’re undeniably killing it.
It’s time to ditch the meal-deal.
Put the BLT back in the fridge and head down to Katsouris Deli where freshly prepared sandwiches range between £4 and £7.
Toasted ciabatta sandwiches come at half or full. Trust us, the half ones are not small.
Breakfast balms come in at £5 where an Aphrodite Special means grilled halloumi, tomato and smoked ham – start off the day the continental way.
The deli boasts a sandwich menu of Mexican spicy chicken, Lamb Siciliana, Zorba the Greek and Supreme – don’t know what they are?
Go down and grab one.
This n’ That
Soap St, Northern Quarter
Manchester’s best curry house is tucked down a little side street in the Northern Quarter.
Delicious and very affordable, This n’ That will become everyone’s new favourite lunch place – if it isn’t already.
All the food is homemade and prepared using fresh whole spices with curry options changing daily.
Their menu works as follows – rice and three veg is £4.50, rice with one meat and two veg is £5 and rice with two meat and one veg is £6.
A fresh, homemade, bursting with flavour, steaming pot of curry almost spilling over – that could be your lunch every day.
Head to the Northern Quarter armed with a map – its location down an alley full of bins might throw you off, but once you find it, you’ll never forget it.
Wolf at the Door
Thomas Street, Northern Quarter
The best quid you’ll ever spend in Manchester – these bitesize bao buns are only £1.
Top scran just got very affordable.
The tiny tacos and bitesize buns surprisingly keep the wolf firmly at the door, but if you need more, we recommend their loaded fries.
Loaded with pizza toppings, melted vegan cheddar and siracha mayo or garlic and herb butter the fries are also filling and well within price range.
Be warned they have an enticing cocktail menu – get sucked in and lunch will become the next day.
Can’t decide on lunch?
The Arndale food market will satisfy any craving you throw at it, no matter how niche.
In recent years the market has welcomed some of Manchester’s most exciting and talented chefs – so quality is a given.
Our list promises affordability to and the Arndale food market deserves a place on this list.
Stalls including Wholesome Junkies (the vegan equivalent of dirty burger), Viet Shack, Piazza (pasta with burrata on top), Market Point and many more are class lunch spots and won’t put you out of pocket.
Whether it’s mid-shop, mid-hangover or just mid-day the Arndale market is sure to sort you out.
Banh Mi Co Ba
Bao bun sandwiches, Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, traditional rice dishes and vermicelli salads – your mouth watering yet?
Spring rolls, Pho broths stewing with tender steak briskets, marinated grilled pork steak on rice – still not watering?
How about if we told you all the above, plus everything else on Banh Mi Co Ba’s menu is under £10.
It’s hard not to darken their doors every lunch time – I mean how could you resist?
See you there.
Jack Rosenthal Street
Finger licking chicken wings for 20 to 50 pence – a Bunny bargain.
The First Street restaurant is home to the ultimate hot wing challenge, just ask your server and see if you can handle the heat.
For those who can’t, not to worry a glass of milk is helpfully placed on the menu.
The menu boasts some juicy burgers and bar snacks such as Jalapeno Poppers – we were intrigued to – they’re crispy coated, fried jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese.
Get down and dirty with these unbeatable prices but wash your hands before you return to the office.
Deansgate, Piccadilly, Rusholme
The falafel lover’s failsafe when it comes to a decently priced wrap.
We love the build-your-own aspect to this popular lunch spot and who can’t appreciate a customised falafel wrap.
Or if falafel doesn’t float your boat, grab a vine leaf or some tabouleh and top it off with a fresh juice or smoothie.
Health is wealth and it comes cheap at Go Falafel.
Food & Drink
Medlock Canteen – a brand new restaurant for Manchester inspired by American diners and Parisian bistros
One of the year’s most exciting restaurant openings has confirmed it will open in just a few weeks’ time, with Medlock Canteen announcing new details.
The restaurant comes from the team behind Madre (the Mexican restaurant at Kampus) and Belzan (one of Liverpool’s top restaurants).
And when it officially opens in March, diners will be spoiled with bottomless coffee, a rotisserie chicken oven, and ‘strong sandwiches’.
Oh, did we mention they’ll also be offering 50% off for the restaurant’s soft launch period?
Medlock Canteen is taking its inspiration from eateries on opposite sides of the pond – the laid-back and accessible style of American diners and the hospitality of Parisian bistros.
There’ll be an all-day menu served alongside those bottomless coffees, with guest welcome to sit as long as they like.
You can expect breakfasts ranging from classic Full Englishes to duck-egg hash to ‘millennial eggs’ (smashed avo and poached eggs).
There’ll be familiar brunch dishes like oats, pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches, plus French inspired dishes like a crab and gruyere omelette, with several brekkies available to take away.
Then at lunch, chef patron Sam Grainger is promising a ‘strong sandwich game’ – we’re talking roast beef sandwich with caramelised onions, gruyere and jus; turkey schnitzel with mozzarella and marinara; and a grilled cheese with three different cheeses and pickles.
And in the evenings, it’s all about steaks and fish of the day, as well as that rotisserie chicken oven.
Believed to be the only restaurant rotisserie oven in Manchester, Medlock Canteen will be serving chicken baguettes with chicken mayo, butterhead lettuce and jus at lunchtimes, and half- or whole-chicken with a choice of sides all day.
You can even pick up a chicken in a bag to take home with you.
Owner Chris Edwards said: “Picture your typical canteen; a spot where everyone and anyone can gather.
“On one table you have a group of friends catching up over dinner, two colleagues are sitting at the bar enjoying a post work drink, a worker pops in for a coffee before their night shift and a couple swing by for dessert en route home from dinner.
“We want people to come as they are, use the space as their own and eat and drink as they desire.”
Owain Williams added: “Medlock Canteen is inspired by American diners and French bistros. In these venues, everyone is always welcome for unfussy, traditional, everyday faire.
“The British equivalent of these spaces has always been the pub but the community bond created by these spaces has become collateral damage in the UK’s reframed relationship with the pub.
“We still want the community, the accessibility and the prices, but it needs to exist in a different atmosphere suitable for the city dwellers of Manchester.”
Medlock Canteen will be opening on 23 March at New Jackson, just past the Deansgate Square skyscrapers.
There’ll be a select number of soft launch bookings, which will give diners 50% off the food bill – you can sign up here.
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.