Simple and unpretentious, Bakerie makes wonderful bread, but is also a welcoming wine bar and eaterie. The menu runs from soup and sandwiches to wholesome stews, and includes child-friendly, vegan, and gluten- and dairy-free options. There’s also an art video wall where you can appreciate the work of local artists.
Try Frankie’s Fish Bar for clean and crisp fish with a variety of dressings (none of your greasy batter here).
For a proper sit-down affair head to Greens, a veggie institution in Manchester.
For freshly baked bread, head to Barbakan bakery and deli. You can sit outside and enjoy the freshly baked produce as well as soups and coffee.
The Manchester Food and Drink Festival (events until 8 October) is holding its own version of Munich’s Oktoberfest in nearby Albert Square from 5-7 October. The square is also a street-food hub for the duration of the festival.
Not many people know about the Marie Louise Gardens, tucked away behind a busy main road in a densely populated area. Be one of the few tourists to discover its five acres of peaceful seclusion.
There’s a fine view of the city in all its glory from the windows of the Crowne Plaza (rooms from €50). Its cleanliness and great service make this place a reliable, if not unique, choice.
The Abbey Lodge Hotel (rooms from €63) is a sweet, family-run hotel close to Chorlton’s delis and wholefood shops. It’s a great place to see the city without staying on the main drag, and has large en-suite rooms.
Junk takes the jumble ethos and makes it sell. A deliciously kitted out shop crammed full of curios and up-cycled goods, it’s great for a rummage and even better for a bargain.
Didsbury Village Farmshop stocks fine meats, fresh fruit and veg, ice cream, jams and chutneys. All produce is sourced locally, while the friendly service creates a real village shop feel.
Vintage Vogue is a small but perfectly formed treasure trove of costume jewellery, bric-a-brac and furniture.
Bluu is one of the Northern Quarter’s best-loved and best-stocked bars, with an eyewatering cocktail menu and an even more eye-wateringly cool (though laid-back) clientele.
One Lounge is a great indie bar in the heart of West Didsbury, hosting jazz, funk and soul nights as well as offering cut-price weekday cocktails. Good for people watching, it’s a little cheaper and less intense than some of the citycentre establishments.