As Manchester’s indoor hospitality scene cautiously begins returning to some semblance of normality, new opening announcements seem to be absolutely everywhere.
These would usually be more staggered, but it seems a glut of operators were holding back for the long-promised “freedom day” of June 21st.
Amongst these, we count a smart new aperitivo and spritz bar, the arrival of Brighton-born vegan pizzeria Purezza in the Northern Quarter, a second NQ64 on Peter street and a new independent Piccadilly station stop-off called The Coffee Hive.
We also see the return of some solid favourites this week, including American Pies Chicago-style deep dish pizza and underground NQ vegan restaurant Black Leaf, which is back with an all-new menu.
Elsewhere, outdoor dining is still very much a thing. The Refuge is currently in the midst of hosting a huge street food takeover with some of Manchester’s biggest lockdown success stories – and this weekend sees two of our favourites, Batard and Badabing, take the reigns.
Read more about that (and our other top picks for the week) below.
Wales’ ‘only proper slurp spot’ NWR kitchen takeover at Mackie Mayor
Matsudai ramen have garnered huge praise from the likes of national papers the Guardian and Observer, now it’s been announced they’re taking over the New Wave Ramen kitchen at Mackie Mayor for two days. Technically it’s next week, but tickets have just gone live and are selling fast so we thought we’d give you a heads up. The event is part of a series that’ll bring some of the UK’s best ramen to Manchester for the very first time.
Confirm your bowl for a deposit of just £10 and check out the other upcoming events here.
A “Jewish grandma-style” wine-paired supper club, held in a cabin on stilts
Think “Friday night dinner” roast chicken with blackened lemons, whole-roasted garlic and sweet potato kugel, freshly-baked challah and borscht, followed by chocolate and chilli babka, then try and tell us you’re not hungry. Hosted by KAMPUS newcomer and bagel bakery-come-florist Breadflower, this one-off supper club takes place this Thursday 24th June with wine pairing from Ancoats’ Le Social Wine.
Held in the KAMPUS bungalow, tickets start from £40. Grab yours here.
The indie Manchester bakehouse serving amazing cheesecake-filled brioche pastries
There’s a lot of baking competition in Manchester, but indie startup Batard is rising fast through the ranks. Founder Lewis Loughman previously helped set up indulgent Manchester cookie house Gooey, now he counts the likes of Edinburgh Castle, Takk and General Stores amongst his wholesale clients. Popping up at The Refuge this weekend, his kolace, best described as what happens when “cheesecake meets brioche danish”, are a must-try – as are the cream-filled cannolis and sfogliatelle.
Catch Batard at The Refuge terrace this weekend, 25th-27th from 12-5pm.
Warm Sicilian brioche sandwiches on a Northern Quarter backstreet
What began as a Sicilian pop-up in an English butty shop found itself a new home at the other end of the Northern Quarter last year. The warm ice cream-stuffed brioche rolls here are a summer sensation – and now there’s a new addition on the menu. Think the same fluffy, house-baked brioche, this time slathered in sweet hazelnut chocolate spread and/or pistachio sauce and crunchy nut crumb. Just pull up on the street and order from the kiosk to take away.
Find Silician NQ on 14 Turner Street, between Thomas Street / High Street.
The smart new Italian-inspired aperitivo bar inside a former Cafe Nero
Opened by two businessmen with no obvious hospitality background, we’re not mad on Haunt MCR’s name but the offering has caught our eye. Inspired by the Italian tradition of aperitivo (think British happy hour, but more refined), there is a big selection of Italian wines and spritzes here plus other classic aperitivo drinks like the negroni and its American counterpart: the boulevardier. Stuzzichini (finger food) is served from morning to night, though it’s not clear if owners plan to send out complementary plates between 5 and 7 – as is customary abroad.
Find Haunt MCR at 58 Peter Street.