We’ve officially entered ‘fool’s spring’, that time of year when even the briefest glint of sunshine has us optimistic that brighter days are coming.
Admittedly, of late the Manchester weather has been pretty mardy – but there’s plenty of cheery sunshine to be found on the plates at some of these new restaurant and bar openings.
From a globally-inspired seafood pop-up to foraged small plates, chip-stuffed souvlaki and saucy sandwiches taken from the streets of Naples, Manchester’s operators have been busy.
As a result, we’ve got some cracking new openings to shout about this March.
We’ve rounded up some of the best new restaurants to check out this month. Keep reading to discover where to put on your list next.
A new pop-up at Deansgate Square, cocktails and fishy small plates are the order of the day at Pesky.
Think seaweed martinis, prawn and cabbage Japanese okonomiyaki pancakes drizzled in Kewpie mayo, and BBQ squid in fragrant north African Chermoula butter.
Elsewhere, you’ll find ‘drunken oysters’ served with paired shots and a ‘from land’ section mostly comprised of fresh, plant-based dishes that both cut through the greasiness on the fish side and cater to vegans.
Only here for a month, find it opposite the General Store until 27 March.
Owen St, Manchester M15 4YB
Mira (Ancoats General Store)
Mira’s saucy Neapolitan-inspired street food sandwiches have moved down the road, leaving The Crown and Kettle for Ancoats General Store.
The saucy ‘Cuzzetiello’ sandwiches first became a hit with Mancs during lockdown – stuffed with the likes of giant meatballs, slow-cooked beef brisket stew, or juicy aubergine parmigiana.
The team has added some new breakfast sandwiches to the menu for the move.
Made using homemade vegan brioche (a first for them), opt for a Lincolnshire sausage butty with tomato jam or a ‘vegan bacon hashy’ with added cheese sauce.
Read more: Mira’s saucy Neapolitan sandwiches are coming to Ancoats General Store
57 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5AB
Pong & Puck
A new beer pong and shuffleboard bar, Pong & Puck is opening inside the Great Northern Warehouse this month.
Specialising in beer pong, table tennis and shuffleboard, it comes from the team behind Bar Hutte, which brings Alpine-inspired karaoke huts to the city every Christmas.
Filled with neon signs, graffiti and murals, it will be soundtracked by music from the 80s, 90s and 00s.
Bookings are being taken from 11 March.
The Real Greek (Trafford Centre)
From the same company that owns Franca Manca, The Real Greek is incredibly popular down south – now it’s making moves on Manchester.
This is the second site to open up here in as many months, meaning shoppers at The Trafford Centre can now get their hands on its trademark chip-stuffed souvlaki wraps and halloumi popcorn.
Elsewhere, diners will find a good selection of Greek wines, hot and cold mezze, homemade baklava and Greek filo custard pies.
Unit R8B, The Orient, Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8EQ
The Post Box Cafe and Shawarma (Chorlton)
Attached to the Post Office on Wilbraham Road in Chorlton, this new shawarma spot has only been open a week but it’s already got tongues wagging.
Served in super fresh samoons, a type of yeast bread popular in Iraw, shawarma filling choices include chicken, lamb or doner – all roasted on huge spits inside.
Meat is marinated long in advance to a secret recipe, then served shredded from the spit with salad, hummus, tzatziki, cabbage and mixed olives (if you so desire).
You can also get all the usual takeaway fare here: burgers, chips, onion rings and pizzas also feature on the menu, but we get the feeling it’s all about the shawarmas, really.
543 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9PP
O’Sheas Irish Beer Garden
It was one of the biggest openings of 2021 – and now O’Sheas giant Irish beer garden will return this month, this time with an indoor venue.
Still within staggering distance of Piccadilly station, punters can expect ice-cold Guinness, pornstar and espresso martinis on tap, plus bagels and loaded fries courtesy of Eat New York.
Re-designed and draped in the colours of Ireland, a clear roof above rows of tables will keep revellers dry no matter what the weather.
Another Hand (Deansgate Mews)
Another promising new addition to what might just be Manchester’s most overlooked foodie street, Another Hand opens on Deansgate Mews from 3 March.
Cheffed by Max Yorke, formerly of Hispi and Edinburgh Castle, the new opening sees him join up with Julian PIzer and Danny Foggo of Three Hands Deli to bring the project to life.
Serving a daily changing menu of seasonal small plates, the focus here is all on the quality of ingredients – with operators taking huge pride in sourcing from the very best local producers.
With room for just 24-covers, it will offer an intimate atmosphere and a mostly vegetarian menu with some sustainably sourced meat and fish dishes.
Food will be served with natural wine, craft beer, seasonal cocktails and coffee.
255 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Band on The Wall
Band on The Wall reopens from 10 March, following an extensive £3.5 million expansion project that has transformed the 200-year-old venue into a ‘bigger and better’ version of its old self.
Expect a larger ground floor venue space, a new ‘grand and ambient’ bar area and a second newly created bar and restaurant space, which will serve a menu of hot and cold food throughout the day.
The second bar space also includes a stage, perfect for smaller gigs. Elsewhere, a whole floor is now dedicated to BOTW’s learning programme with breakout rooms, a state-of-the-art AV suite and a large group space.
25 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ
A new Polish bakery that’s just opened up inside Stockport’s market this week, selling locally-made breads, sweets and more.
Sweet tooths will find a large variety of breakfast pastries, all made from scratch every morning.
Everything comes hot out of the oven at 7am, with bread choices ranging from sweet Challa to crusty Italian/
There is also an extensive selection of high-end desserts to discover, so make sure to go hungry.
Market Pl, Stockport SK1 1UN
Black Milk NQ
Manchester’s favourite naughty dessert cafe has reopened following a two-month closure with a new look and a new pancake menu.
Not content with celebrating on just one day, the team is stretching Shrove Tuesday out into the whole week, serving up delightful late-night pancake stacks loaded with the likes of blueberry crumble, maple syrup, Kinderella cream and hot fudge from 12-8pm all weekend.
After that, they’ll be launching a new birthday-themed menu from 7 March to celebrate the cafe’s 7th anniversary with plans to introduce more cakes, cookies, gelato and brownies as the weeks go on.
88 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LF
Feature image – Supplied