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Roll with it: the best places for breakfast in Manchester

3 months ago

One odd feature of modern Manchester life is that the only time you see people queueing outside a restaurant is pre-11am. Going out for breakfast, or its late-rising relation brunch, has become a weekend ritual that’s worth standing out in the rain for, apparently. A habit that’s even more strange considering how many other great options you have in this city, no queue necessary.

Here we’ve listed 25+ of our favourite places for breakfast in Manchester (and we’ve still got more to add). From the bacon naan roll at Dishoom to the signature E&G omelette at Ezra and Gil to the freshly-baked cruffins at Albert’s Schloss, all of them hit the spot when it comes to the first, and best, meal of the day.

  • The Alan Breakfast
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    The Alan

    Bars

    With its neutral hues and natural foliage, stripped-back bricks and leather booths, The Alan is a tranquil space in which to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner – the open-plan kitchen serves all day from first thing till late evening – or indeed coffee and cocktails in the bar.

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  • Inside Albert's Schloss, the Bavarian-inspired cook haus and bier palace in Manchester city centre.
    Manchester City Centre

    Albert’s Schloss

    Bars

    Albert’s Schloss is a Bavarian-inspired fun palace of extraordinary dimensions and clever design. Behind the glistening tiles of the former Manchester and Salford Wesleyan Mission building (est in 1910) you’ll discover a vast bar, real fires, perfectly preserved original plaster, and a wall stuffed generously with flowers by floral artists’ Frog. You’ll also find a stage, DJ booth and network of beer pipes and tanks serving unpasturised Pilsner Urquell to hordes of adoring punters.

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  • Street View Outdoor Seating at All The Shapes Prestwich
    Prestwich

    All The Shapes

    Bars

    All The Shapes has that relaxed café-bar, all-day-eatery thing nailed. It’s the sort of place where you feel equally comfortable rocking up with toddlers in tow or drinking your way through the craft beer range until closing time.

    Throughout the day, you’ll find wholesome brunches like toasted banana bread with chocolate spread or home-made granola as well as cracking coffee and some excellent cakes. There is also a very good kids brunch menu with everything from Greek yoghurt with jam to smashed avocado on toast for your junior hipster.

    After brunch finishes (at 4pm, you lazy folks), there’s a menu swip-swap and it all becomes a Mexperience. Very appetising it is too.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Atlas Bar

    Bars

    Atlas Bar is known as one of the originals of Manchester’s modern cafe-bar scene. And for its extensive collection of gins – over 570 varieties and counting.

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  • One of the colourful dishes from the brunch menu at Another Heart to Feed in Didsbury
    Didsbury

    Another Heart To Feed Didsbury

    Restaurant - European

    Another Heart To Feed in Didsbury is an ecologically-minded coffee shop inspired by coffee culture capital of the world, Melbourne.

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  • Chorlton

    Barbakan Deli

    Groceries

    The folks at Barbakan have been nose to the grindstone for over 50 years – they were here long before Chorlton became a hip coffee culture destination.

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  • California Coffee and Wine Altrincham Tacos
    Altrincham

    California Coffee & Wine

    Bars

    California Coffee & Wine is a ray of SoCal sunshine. The Cal-Mex flavours served up are fresher and sharper than typical Tex-Mex offerings and everything feels clean and wholesome – if you give the sausage and bacon mega stack a swerve.

    The food doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s just there to be enjoyed. Expect dishes like San Fran salmon, all scrambled eggs and wilted spinach with some spectacular smoked fish from the Manchester Smokehouse or ranch beans with tortilla, smashed avocado, Cali salsa and plenty of zing from fresh chillies and spring onions.

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  • The famous black dahl at Dishoom Manchester
    Spinningfields

    Dishoom

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Dishoom is a legend in its own lunchtime and that’s exactly how it likes things. It’s not enough to serve up top-notch Indian dishes in grand surroundings; there’s a story behind the menu too. But when the food is this good it doesn’t need to hide behind tall tales.

    And the food is this good.

    The menu is bursting with small plates arriving at the table as and when, plus biriyani, curry and grilled gubbins as well as all sorts of sides and sundries. If you’re part of a big group (or obscenely greedy) it’s possible and even preferable to order something from each section.

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  • The almond milk porridge served at Ezra & Gil Peter Street - a coffee shop and brunch place in Manchester city centre.
    Manchester City Centre

    Ezra and Gil Peter Street

    Restaurant - Coffee

    The opening of Ezra & Gil Peter Street in 2021 was greeted with glee by brunch and coffee hunters this side of the city centre. Like their NQ venue, this new place is well-run and well-thought out, with a menu that suits weekend loungers and grab-and-go office workers. 

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  • Federal Northern Quarter, Brunch, French Toast, Eggs, Coffee
    Northern Quarter

    Federal Manchester NQ

    Restaurant - Global

    Keeping the Northern Quarter fed and watered since 2014, the first Federal is a daytime destination a stone’s throw from the Shudehill transport hub. Dishing up brunch stalwarts the likes of smashed avo and smoked salmon bagels, alongside bigger plates such as steak and eggs, it’ll set you up alright.

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  • Hot chocolate by Slattery at Grandpa Greene's near Oldham.
    Diggle

    Grandpa Greene’s Luxury Ice Cream

    Restaurant

    Perched by the canal in the picturesque village of Diggle, near Oldham, Grandpa Greene’s is best known for its award-winning homemade ice cream. It’s also a warm and inviting licensed cafe with glass fronted terraces and indoor dining. 

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  • Piccolino Caffe Grande is a Confidential Guides recommended Christmas party venue.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Piccolino Caffe Grande Manchester

    Bars

    With its terrace overlooking Albert Square and Manchester Town Hall, and a beautiful interior featuring a 40-seater private dining room, an open kitchen, and an oyster bar, Piccolino Caffé Grande Manchester is a real destination restaurant. (And, notably, it’s one that doesn’t price people out of the experience.)

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  • Northern Quarter

    The Koffee Pot

    Restaurant - Coffee

    The Koffee Pot is a true Mancunian institution, serving up hearty British classics to the people of Manchester. Established in 1978, this café by day and taco bar by night is a beloved local hangout for anyone looking for a satisfying meal and a good time.

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  • Egg on toast at Little Blanchflower
    Chorlton

    Little Blanchflower

    Restaurant - British

    Little Blanchflower is an offshoot from the justly-popular big sister Blanchflower in Altrincham.

    Call in for coffee and a beautiful pastry or grab lunch or breakfast midweek. There is a relaxed all-day brunch feel at weekends and you can book for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings.

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  • Steak from Tender Cow at Mackie Mayor, a food hall in Manchester.
    Northern Quarter

    Mackie Mayor

    Bars

    Mackie Mayor is a cosmopolitan food hall located in an 1858 Grade II listed market building on the edge of Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

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  • Book Now Northern Quarter

    The Pen & Pencil

    Bars

    Whatever level of hunger you’re anticipating, you’ll not have a rumbling tum for long next time you head on up to the Northern Quarter, with the host of all-day eating options on offer at The Pen & Pencil ranging from light bites to proper sit-down dinners.

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  • A cocktail served at Wilson's Social, a cafe bar in the NQ, Manchester.
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    Wilson’s Social

    Bars

    Glass-fronted bar and restaurant Wilson’s Social is part of the Selina NQ1 hostel, formerly Hatter’s. It’s a brunch, lunch and cocktail spot designed to appeal to the ‘digital nomads’, or as we used to call them, ‘backpackers’, staying in the highly Instagrammable rooms and dorms upstairs. 

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  • Ducie Street Warehouse
    Northern Quarter

    Ducie Street Warehouse

    Bars

    Ducie Street Warehouse is all sorts of things, but one of those things is a restaurant. It’s an all-day affair with everything from classic brunches to late-night cocktails. On the menu you’ll find a good selection of small sharing dishes and large plates – it’s a sociable kind of place. And of course, you’ll also find Ducie Street Warehouse’s signature focaccia flatbreads.

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  • Coffee and pastel de nata at the Old Fire Station, Salford.
    Salford

    The Old Fire Station

    Bakeries

    The Old Fire Station is a café, bar, bakery and brewery tap with a real community feel. It’s a part of the University of Salford but it’s open to everyone.

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  • Roast squash with labneh and zhoug at Evelyn's in the NQ
    Northern Quarter

    Evelyn’s

    Restaurant - Global

    Evelyn’s is a very clever restaurant. It’s from the chaps behind Mughli so expect a quality operation although it is very different to the standout star of Curry Mile.

    It’s a light and leafy sort of place, both in the surroundings and on the plate. Evelyn’s offers a fresher, healthier take on dining out but despite that, it won’t leave you feeling like you’re at a well-being bootcamp. There are still things like apple crumble and custard on the menu.

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  • Northern Quarter

    Idle Hands

    Restaurant - Global

    Idle Hands have a super-tight following – who helped by setting up a crowd-funding campaign in their honour when the chips were down – and, as a result, there’s a strong community focus at this coffee shop and kitchen, which started life on Piccadilly Station Approach in early 2015.

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  • Croissants fresh from the oven at Pollen Bakery - an award-winning bakery and cafe in New Islington, Manchester
    Book Now Greater Manchester

    Pollen Bakery

    Bakeries

    After an initial stint tucked away in an archway near Piccadilly, this airy bakery and cafe moved to a spot overlooking New Islington’s marina. Since then Pollen Bakery has bagged Best Food and Drink Retailer at the Manchester Food and Drink Awards, and been listed in the Sunday Times top 20 UK bakeries.

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  • Northern Quarter

    Siop Shop

    Restaurant - British

    Head to this Welsh-inspired daytime cafe for “gwasanaethau coffi a thoes”, or coffee and pastry services – listed on Facebook as a “donut shop”, but offering a little more on the sweet treats front, including a number of specials, plus a few baked savoury snacks.

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  • Sugar Junction, a cafe in the Northern Quarter, Manchester
    Northern Quarter

    Sugar Junction

    Restaurant - Global

    With a very vintage vibe, homemade cake and cocktails, and tempting hot and cold plates dished up all day every day in the heart of the Northern Quarter, Sugar Junction is the perfect go-to for ladies who brunch.

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  • Brunch cocktails at Trove Levenshulme.
    Book Now Levenshulme

    Trove Levenshulme

    Bakeries

    Trove Levenshulme has been going strong since 2011. The main draw is its fantastic bread, which forms the basis for its breakfast menu.

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