Considering all you need is water, flour and an egg or two, you wouldn’t think there could be so much variety in pancakes in Manchester.But there are so many different styles to choose from.
From sweet to savoury, miniature to fat and thin to fluffy, no matter what pancake floats your boat the city of Manchester is here to deliver. You just need to know where to look.
We’ve broken down some of our favourites below to help you get your pancake fix all year round. Yes, Shrove Tuesday is looming, but one day is hardly enough to sample them all.
Keep reading to discover the best places for pancakes in Manchester.
Head to Lazy Sundae ice cream parlour in the Northern Quarter for its famous soufflé pancakes.
This pancake day, you’ll find specials topped with either honeycomb, banana and miso caramel or Nutella and strawberries.
A popular order in Japan and, increasingly, across the globe, opt for personalised toppings like wafers, chocolate sprinkles, fruit and ice cream to make this special, puffed-up pancake your own.
Ice cream flavours are vast, and there’s a good range of sorbets for vegans and the lactose intolerant to enjoy too.
Hampton and Vouis
This cute little cafe next to Albert Square is very easy to miss, but well worth seeking out.
Venture inside, and you’ll find great coffee, a counter full of bakes from local suppliers and an excellent year-round pancake menu.
Here, fluffy American-style pancakes are loaded with sauce and sweet treats like Jammy Dodger biscuits, raspberries, caramel sauce and strawberry jam (pictured above).
There’s also a Lotus Biscoff stack, a special apple crumble and custard stack, and a Biscoff and Bueno stack. All come with vanilla ice cream on the side.
This pancake day, the Hampton and Vouis chefs have created a number of specials too. Think crab meat and smashed avocado, poached egg and lemon butter sauce, or pistachio ice cream topped with lemon syrup, white chocolate and pistachio.
Already famous for its hanging kebabs, The Botanist has created a pancake-friendly version to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.
Stacked high, you’ll get six miniature Scotch pancakes dressed with either marshmallows, strawberries and lemon drizzle or hot chocolate sauce and chocolate brownie chunks.
Available from 28 February to 2 March at all Manchester sites, be quick – before they’re all gone.
Canadians are famous for their pancakes and the selection at Moose does not disappoint. Made fresh to order, think a stack of three dusted with icing sugar and served with Canadian butter.
Whether you opt for savoury or sweet toppings maple syrup on the side is pretty much a given (yes, even with your eggs and bacon) and we’re absolutely here for it.
The only thing that could make it more authentic is if the staff split the bill for you unrequested.
The Koffee Pot
A greasy spoon cafe, but make it Northern Quarter.
The Koffee Pot has long been a go-to breakfast spot, way before it moved up from Stevenson Square to its new premises on Oldham Street.
It’s known for its fry ups and breakfast tacos, but you can get a solid pancake stack here too. Think all-American buttermilk pancake stacks with added sausage patty, smoked streaky bacon, hash brown, fried egg and maple syrup.
It’s basically a full English in a pancake stack, and who doesn’t want that?
Read more:Greater Manchester cafe brings back epic Easter egg hot chocolate
19 Cafe Bar
This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot has become an absolute go-to for naughty pancakes, thanks to its chocolate bar-laden menu.
The Biscoff and Kinder Bueno pancakes are the big draws here at 19 Cafe Bar. Loaded with the likes of Biscoff crumb and spread, banana, ice cream and salted caramel sauce, or homemade Kinder sauce, Bueno, chocolate sauce, roasted hazelnuts and vanilla ice cream, .
There are healthier pancake options too and a strong list of brunch cocktails available from the bar.
Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home. What a spot. The biggest unit inside Great Northern Warehouse may now be home to Italian restaurant Cibo, but the original Northern Quarter site still prevails.
One of the pancake OGs, house stacks at this brunch restaurant include three fluffy pancakes and toppings like caramelised banana, salted caramel Nutella, chopped hazelnut and whipped cream.
Served all day, wash them down with one of Home Sweet Home’s giant milkshakes for a proper treat.
This trendy cafe in the Northern Quarter has a solid brunch menu, including indulgent buttermilk souffle pancakes loaded with honeycomb butter and a spiced berry compote.
Washed down with a coffee or a brunch cocktail, you can’t go wrong.
Kong’s Chicken Shop at Dogbowl
If you like a bit of fried chicken with your pancakes, it’s got to be Kong’s. Some of the best in the city, chicken here is rolled in a secret spice mix then double dredged for extra crispiness.
This pancake day, head down to Dogbowl for American style buttermilk pancakes served with either chicken, bacon and maple; berry compote, candied pecans, whipped ricotta and mint; or Caramelised banana, pecans and salted caramel ice-cream.
A super-secret look inside GCHQ’s Manc spy headquarters
The Manc recently had the privilege of looking around GCHQ’s Manchester headquarters to meet the real-world spies, data analysts and security experts keeping us all safe. It was awesome.
For anyone unaware, GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) is the British intelligence agency that helps look after our nation’s security both at home and abroad, and back in 2019, the national security organisation set up its Manchester base in Heron House just off Albert Square.
Just last month, we were invited along to meet some of these silent heroes in person as part of a private and unprecedented press day, opening up their doors to select members of the public for the first time.
Invited inside the high-security facility along with around 60 kids from Whalley Range‘s St Margaret’s Primary School, we spent the day cracking codes, being upstaged by children much smarter than us and trying not to sweat through our clothes from nervousness.
Welcome to Manc spy HQ
After being escorted through a strict entry procedure and chaperoned upstairs to the only floor we were allowed on, we were met by an admittedly unsuspecting team of people that you would never twig as working in espionage. It quickly put us at ease.
We’re not joking when we say there were areas of this place we weren’t allowed anywhere near and even staff members have to their leave belongings behind before entering. However, what we did get to see was seriously impressive.
As well as immediate sights like the small drones being controlled by employees who could only give us their first names, we were also welcomed into a large briefing room with a high-tech display with screens that stretched across an entire wall and genuinely resembled something from a Bond flick.
We then did our best to keep up with some of Britain’s brightest young brains, working through a series of code-cracking exercises inspired by the GCHQ’s new Puzzles for Spies book.
Making moves in Manchester
So why Manchester? Well, we spoke to Deputy Director Liz (yes, that’s all you’re getting) and she explained numerous appealing factors that drew the over-100-year-old institution to the city.
First off, they noted that not only is Manchester one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK and, indeed Europe, but thanks to city centre development and the likes of the ever-expanding Media City, Manchester has become a true “digital hub”.
She also went on to state the roadmap for people joining the intelligence service is starting to change and while people used to join the likes of their Cheltenham HQ “at the age of 18 and stay for 40 years”, the demographic is changing and they want to seek out more diversity.
Part of the reason they invited the kids along is they wanted to show it’s more about “aptitude and skills, not just getting a degree”. It’s not just about reaching out further but adapting the recruitment process.
They also believe that as well as the uni and tech culture acting as a great feeder for GCHQ, the fact that Manchester is a huge melting pot of people from all walks of life will help them “evolve” as a group and they hope to start soaking up “untapped talent all across the North West“.
What’s it like being a spy?
It’s a question most people have wondered at one time or another — usually after a trip to the cinema or watching Line of Duty— but we wanted to know exactly how close to the movies working for GCHQ is and, thankfully, many of the people were more than happy to oblige.
Although most said being somewhat evasive becomes second nature when once you accept the job, it really is only your immediate family that you can reveal their roles to and even then, they can’t really divulge what they do on a day-to-day basis.
Again, it’s worth reminding that, for all intents and purposes, these lot are spies and they genuinely have to keep up the lie. We especially enjoyed so many of them simply telling their friends they “work in marketing”.
On the other hand, despite having to withhold details even between certain colleagues with different clearance levels, Liz insists that they “don’t tend to moan about the nuts and bolts” of the job but things like the commute and how the price of Greggs keeps going up. Their office is above Greggs, for context.
She also admitted it’s “pretty exciting” to be able to do things that would be considered illegal for most people to do, not to mention immensely cool to be able to tell your kids “mums a spy”. Fair.
What are GCHQ working on right now?
Beyond trying to reveal “the human side” behind these otherwise faceless people, demystifying espionage and intelligence work, as well as trying to earn some trust through increased transparency, GCHQ also gave some insight as to what exactly it is they’re looking into at present.
Of course, we couldn’t talk about national security without asking them about Putin and the Russian invasion, which they confirmed is obviously top of the priority list, declaring the support of Ukraine as their “biggest task at the moment”.
They also went on to explain that cyberattacks from the likes of China are also of concern, adding that they are carrying out counter-terrorism, software development and sweeps, as well as various routine security checks on a regular basis.
Liz also went on to assure that GCHQ as a whole is “working on all the missions, covering all the hostile states and pretty much covering everything you can think of”. It was genuinely a relief to know that we’re in safe hands.
If you think a career at GCHQ Manchester might be something you’re interested in, you can check out their vacancies down below and you also can also buy their Puzzles for Spies book HERE.
A bar in Manchester has made the move to introduce a ridiculously cheap drinks deal, pricing a number of its most popular bevs at just £2.50 each.
Yes, that’s right. Every Friday night for the foreseeable future, Alvarium in the Northern Quarter will be serving up bottles of beer, alongside spirits and glasses of red, white and rose wine at a super low rate.
Perfect for helping those struggling with the high cost of, well, everything right now, this is a way to get the Christmas presents sorted and still go out celebrating the festive season with your mates. Happy days.
The Northern Quarter bar, which stays open until 1am on Fridays, launched a new extended happy hour earlier this summer that saw it offer two bottles of San Miguel for £5, two cocktails for £10 and bottles of house wine at £12.50 each.
Now, however, Alvarium’s owners have taken things a step further – taking the pricing structure back to the nineties with a range of £2.50 drinks available every Friday.
As well as wine and beer, you’ll find tasty spritzes sitting alongside other festive-themed cocktails like ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ (a mix of brandy, bourbon, lemon, cranberry and orange) and ‘Winter Berries’ (vodka, apple, passionfruit, grenadine and lemonade).
Sharing the news online over the weekend, the dog-friendly cocktail bar and kitchen wrote: “INTRODUCING THE FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL.
The bar has previously hosted kitchen pop-ups from the likes of vegan kitchen Black Leaf, Manchester slab shack Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria, and Abeja Tapas Bar.
Now it has taken its food offering back in-house, serving up a selection of locally-sourced meat and cheese boards loaded with an array of pickles, chutneys, crackers, giant slices of sourdough and more – perfect for soaking up all that cheap, cheap booze.