Hungry, beer- thristy Americans traveling to York and Manchester (UK)
I am traveling with an Americans who work in the beer industry to York and Manchester. Does anyone have any suggestion for places to eat and drink in York and Manchester? We are looking for casual restaurants and pubs that are mid-priced. We have 3 days in York and 2 days in Manchester in the Deansgate/Picadelly area.
The Maltings in York is one of the best real ale pubs we've found anywhere in the UK. You can also go to the York Brewery, which has its own pub and the beers are really excellent. We particularly like the Yorkshire Terrier, but all of their beers are pretty good.
My husband is a 25+ year home brewer, with a particular taste for British ales, and we spend a lot of time in Northern England, having a seasonal business there for the past 11 years.
The Marble Arch is one of the best pubs in the UK. They also do very affordable comfort food. It is easy to find put all the things around it have been pulled down, so you feel as if you are going in the wrong direction. The Lass O Gowrie down near the BBC is old style and classic. Down on the Bridgewater Canal near Deansgate station is Dukes 92, good lunch spot and very well kept beers. And near Selfridges is a funny looking stripey tudor pub in a square - this listed building had to be built around for that development - and one of the few places outside Yorkshire that serves Sam Smiths. I think its called Sinclairs, they do good cheap pub food.
York is not as easy, as it is a destination for nights out from places like Leeds - stag nights etc. There are lots of small pubs inside the older part running down to the river from the minster, but their main attraction is their age (some are pre civil war) - beer quality can be hit and miss. The Yorkshire Terrier on Stonegate would be a good start. I had a fantastic meal in York, but am struggling to remember the name of the place - I'll see if I kept the receipt somewhere. There is a branch of Akbars, a very popular northern english indian restaurant chain, and also of Red Chilli, a Sichuan chinese specialist but not for the faint hearted when it comes to chillis. (Note: a typical northern night out is beer, then indian, then more beers)
A lot depends on where you are. I would recommend you invest a few pounds in a copy of the Good Beer Guide which as well as listing recommended pubs tells you what beers they keep and local breweries - which may be of more interest to your visitors
In summary, you won't be short of places in either city.
I definitely agree with the Marble Arch, lovely place. If you didn't mind traveling about 10-15 minutes out of Deansgate, then I would definitely recommend Palmiro (http://www.palmiro.net/), a wonderful little Italian on the borders of Chorlton. If you do decide to go, give them a call first. There is a pub called the Hilary Step next door, perfect for a pint after your meal. Also, I've always had a lovely time in the Briton’s Protection, next to the Bridgewater Hall and they often have very decent beers on.
I often drink and eat in Manchester but for some reason have a mental block now! Will try and think of some other places and get back to you.