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Escape to Freight Island


Food hall meets music festival is how we’d describe Escape to Freight Island to anyone confused about what they’ll find at this regenerated rail depot beyond Piccadilly Station.

A team that includes key players from Festival No.6, Albert Hall, and Refuge, have taken a desolate industrial space and transformed it into something quite wonderful: a place that brings together exciting food with top DJs with family events with cultural ’happenings’ with cocktail and craft beer shenanigans.

Its mix of indoor and weather-proof outdoor space reflects the times – Escape to Freight Island was born in the summer of 2020 when we were first adjusting to the new rules of pandemic socialising. It was designed to make communal gatherings possible at a time when going out-out, and seeing live entertainment, was starting to feel like a thing of the past.

The world has opened up again since then and our options are plentiful once more. Yet we’re still queueing for this place, which says something very positive about what they’ve created there.


Food and drink at Escape to Freight Island

There are currently nine independent food and drink operators at Escape to Freight Island. See their individual entries for info on each one.

Got Beef pizza at Voodoo Rays, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

Voodoo Ray’s

NYC-style pizza via LDN. Voodoo Ray’s at Escape to Freight Island is the first opening outside the capital for these sell-‘em-by-the-slice pizza pushers.

Food at Barratxuri, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester


Fire takes centre stage at Baratxuri (pronounced “barachurri”) inside the Ticket Hall at Escape to Freight Island, with Basque wood-fired ovens and guests seated around a huge wood fire grill.

Vietnamese Pho at Mi & Pho, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

Mi & Pho

This family-run Vietnamese restaurant has been wow-ing the noodle-slurpers of Northenden for some time now. Their food has all the classic elements of Vietnamese cuisine: it’s super-fresh, colourful, healthy, and comforting.

Double Burger at Patty Queen, Freight Island, Manchester

Patty Queen

Promising “the best burger this side of Santa Monica”, Patty Queen means serious burger business, morning, noon and night. The LA-inspired burger joint menu includes breakfast buns with eggs and crispy bacon, brunch burgers with roast tomatoes, and beyond.

Gnocchi scouse shiitake with wild garlic at Belzan, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

Belzan Pasta Kitchen

Reaching out from the original critically acclaimed Smithdown Road neighbourhood bistro in Liverpool, Belzan at Escape to Freight Island is still all about creating and serving honest, nourishing, full-flavoured dishes that are good for the planet and good for the soul.

Fried chicken thighs, shredded cabbage and chipotle Mayo Tacos at Madre, Freight Island, Manchester


Tacos for the soul are on the menu at Madre, a spin-off of the popular Liverpool Albert Dock collaboration from the founders of London-based Breddos Tacos and Scouse favourites Volpi and Belzan.

Kebab at One Star Doner Bar, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

One Star Doner Bar

These doner kebabs from a Michelin star chef come highly recommended by Mike Skinner of The Streets. One Star Doner Bar from acclaimed Birmingham chef Brad Carter is surely one of the coolest projects to emerge from the forced shutdowns of lockdown.

Eclairs at Choo Choo, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

Choo Choo

Choo choo choose Choo Choo’s freshly baked éclairs and other treats with creative and super-sweet flavour combinations such as lemon meringue pie, peanut butter and jelly, salted caramel espresso, and rum and pineapple. Available at your table or to take home, or the office to sugar up your colleagues.

Soft Serve Ice Cream at Soft Boi, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

Soft Boi

Delicious Soft-Serve Vanilla Ice Cream with a range of awesome toppings.

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  • Great outdoor spot
  • Good for families
Escape to Freight Island, Baring Street, Manchester, UK Our review Read
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