I’m taking a last minute trip to Manchester. I've never been and don't know any more about the place than what I've read in the guidebooks. Any recommendations on restaurants to check out? Pubs? Anything else? I didn’t find too much in a search on the boards.
Main meal-Lancashire Hotpot
Sweet snack-Eccle's Cakes
Manchester city centre has a China town-always good nosh. Lots of good restaurants & bars on Kings Street & St Ann's Square. The Print Works near Manchester evening arena has wide range of bars & restaurants.
The Cedar Tree - a brilliant Lebanese restaurant (bring your own wine) on Thomas St near Piccadilly Gardens.
Opposite this and a few doors down is an Indian cafe, which does really cheap curries and kebabs. The food is not gourmet by any means, but is very tasty. It's got fixed tables and chairs - like in fast food places - but don't let that put you off, it's great value.
The Yang Sing and it's smaller version Little Yang Sing are both supposed to be very good Chinese restaurants, but sometimes get negative comments. I went to the Yang Sing a few years ago and thought it was great - you can ask them to plan a banquet or platters of dim sum to match your tastes.
I live just outside Manchester and write about food for a living, so I've been practically everywhere. There are a few places I'd suggest, and a few I'd suggest avoiding...
Great: The Market on High Street in the Northern Quarter (the greenwich village of Manchester): This restaurant ain't cheap, but it's consistently rated the best in the city. It's got an amazingly cosy, eccentric atmosphere and the olf-school french-english food is to die for (omlettes with smoked haddock, fresh duck salads...)
Good: For Thai, Try Chaophraya on Chapel Walks. This place is new and I had an incredible meal there, plus the decor is gorgeous too. Moderately expensive.
For Chinese, the aforementioned Yang Sing is the big place everyone goes. I think it's overrated. Pearl City, also in Chinatown (the nabe is small enough to find it if you just walk around) has food that's just as good or better, for far less.
A lovely Spanish tapas/wine bar is Evuna, on Deansgate. Great vino, lovely food, also not cheap.
For Pizza, Kroma near the city hall can't be beat.
For lunches, I'd reccommend Barburrito on Piccadilly gardens...Nice fresh, cheap mexican food in a great location. You could also grab some noodles at Tempopo, near the gorgeous city hall. Good coffee-and-a sandwich place is Oklahoma on Turner Street in the Northern Quarter - it also has a funky shop attached, and free wireless.
I'd say avoid The Cedar Tree, unfortunately. The food is nice, but the place is dirty and the service is always absolutely appalling. After several bad experiences, I've decided to stay away.
Thanks for all the tips, unfortunately I ran out the door before I got to read many of them. But we fared pretty well foodwise. Had a fantastic Korean meal at Koreana. Much better than I could have hoped for, very friendly service and totally reasonable price.
Bar Burrito, however was a different story. I Lived in San Francisco for a long time and am a bit of a burrito nut, so my assessment may not be fair, but here goes. My hopes soared when I saw counter. They take the same approach that a lot of San Francisco's Taqueria's do where you go down the line pointing out what you want. Everything looked fresh. For a moment I though, that maybe this is it. I might have to move to Manchester, or cram myself onto that miserable train every weekend. But, hopes were dashed. Not that it was bad. I've had worse, it just didn't taste like anything at all, even with all three salsas thrown in. That in itself is a pretty amazing feat. They've got the right idea (which they obviously took straight from Chipotle, including the typeface) but they really, really need to work on flavor.
Okay hungry1, you lived in california, that's all I need to hear.... For the UK, where even passably decent mexican food is scarcer than hen's teeth, Barburrito is something to get excited about. By Californian, or even american standards, it's not that great. If you're new to the northwest, you'll see what i mean in time.
OK, so we don't do Mexican food in the north west. Hey, we don't even understand Mexican food.
If you have to move here, you will find great eats - a variety of European, Chinese, South Asian and , of course, the now ubiquitous "modern British". Yankunian gives a couple of good pointers - not that I would agree with all of them. For example, Cedar Tree has always given good service and great food. If you're going to be here, you'll have plenty of eating time. Enjoy the city and, of course, the suburbs and surrounding towns