Collaboration post. The spending money for this blog post was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Manchester over the years. It’s a vibrant city with so much to see and do. I particularly love that it’s full of independent businesses and there’s always something new to discover.
Manchester is just under an hour away by train from Sheffield so it’s ideal for a day trip. I actually think a day trip isn’t quite long enough so checking out serviced apartments in Manchester to make it into a longer stay is a good idea.
Phil and I often go for the day together or to meet up with friends. I say often, but this was our first trip since baby X made his way into the world. We knew that this time would be a little different. He’s 10 months now so although he does enjoy the odd snooze in his pram he also likes to have a crawl around and explore somewhere new. So, we needed to find somewhere for him to burn off some energy and pram friendly coffee shops and restaurants.
So, on Tuesday, just after rush hour, we made our way down to the train station. We’d brushed up on new arrivals in the city, well, new to us but we didn’t have a specific plan of action. We prefer to walk around and explore and then hopefully stumble upon somewhere to try out. Actually, I tell a lie, we knew we wanted to head straight to Fred Aldous and that we’d stop off at the Manchester Art Gallery so X could crawl about in the kids area. Other than that, we were open to ideas.
Our day was mostly focused around food, coffee and a little browse of the shops. Manchester is one of those places that is really good for shopping, or if you prefer, window shopping.
I’m now going to share 6 fantastic places to eat and drink coffee in Manchester. These are city centre based, all pram-friendly and I’ve tried and tested them once if not several times – not all on this one trip but over a few recent trips.
6 Places To Eat And Drink Good Coffee In Manchester
Location: 8a Gateway House, Piccadilly Station Approach, Manchester, M1 2GH
I’d heard about Moose Coffee before our visit but had no idea there was one right by Piccadilly station. It caught our eye immediately and as we’re both fans of all things Canadian we strolled straight in.
Moose Coffee, is a Canadian inspired café with an excellent choice of breakfast and brunch options. Think pancakes, french toast, eggs Benedict and much more. You can check out their menu online.
Phil ordered a flat white, I went for the vegan hot chocolate and we also shared a Vegi Mighty Moose with a side of bacon. It was all delicious, I think I want potato hash with every meal now. The woman next to me ordered the Bronx Brunch which looked really good, I’ll probably try that next time or maybe the pancakes.
The staff were very friendly, there were many options on the menu that I’d love to try and despite being right next to the station the café had a relaxed atmosphere. We’ll certainly be stopping by again in the future.
After a spot of breakfast, we browsed some of our favourite shops in the Northern Quarter (Magma and Fred Aldous) and then headed to the Manchester Art Gallery. Xander loved playing with the foam bricks and light boxes. It was a good idea to swing by because he used up a load of energy before having his favourite Babease pouch and then having a nap.
Home Sweet Home
Location: 49-51 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW
Another breakfast spot we both love is Home Sweet Home. We didn’t visit on this occasion but we’ve been many times. They serve the best comfort food alongside good coffee and the huge 3 layered cakes look insane too.
Phil loves their Breakfast Burrito and Stacked Pancakes – OMG they’re so fluffy! I always switch between the Pulled Pork Pile up and the Avocado on Toast. You can browse their menu here. It’s not a huge menu but there are so many good options that you’ll be pleased you did your research before arriving.
Home Sweet Home is one of those places to go when you’re really hungry. The portions are very generous.
This place gets real busy so if there’s a few of you or you have a pram I’d suggest arriving as early as you can.
Fig & Sparrow
Location: 20 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JA
Another Northern Quarter favourite is Fig & Sparrow. It’s a cute little coffee shop which also sells crafts from Manchester based artists.
They offer a simple range of breakfast options including porridge, granola and toast – artisan bread, of course. They also do a mean brownie to go with your coffee. Speaking of coffee, they really know how to do it well and they even do a piccolo.
Location: 20-26 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN
After a day of exploring we decided to check out V-Rev, a vegan diner on Edge Street. It’s just opposite Ziferblat and Home Sweet Home. We’d been searching for somewhere to have a dairy-free milkshake and this place sounded perfect.
We headed in expecting to order a milkshake each and before we knew it we had ordered food too. There were some really intriguing options (menu) and we couldn’t resist.
The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and a retro vibe. They have lots of seating and we had room for the pram as well as a high chair.
I ordered the Mac & Cheez, Jalapeño Poppers and a Peanut Butter & Chocolate milkshake. Phil went for the Southwest of Heaven burger with loaded Buffalo fries.
I was SO HAPPY to have Mac & Cheez. It’s been years since I’ve had it, hello dairy intolerance, so this was a real treat. It was a “small” portion as I order it as a side but it was the perfect size for me. The garlic breadcrumbs on top added the perfect crunch and the mac and cheese itself was rich and indulgent. Rich in a good and comforting way. It was perfect for the rainy afternoon. This is something I’ll order again.
The Jalapeño Poppers were pretty good but there wasn’t enough filling inside them. They were super spicy which I loved and the coating was crisp and crunchy but they really needed some extra cream cheez inside .
The dairy-free/vegan milkshakes were INSANE. Honestly, the best I’ve had. Ever. They were thick, gooey and the balance of peanut butter and chocolate was perfect. I’ll be order that again next time.
It was all delicious and I can’t wait to go back and have Mac & Cheez again.
Location: 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS
An all-time favourite restaurant for us is Zouk. I’ve reviewed Zouk a couple of times now and it’s a place we keep going back to again and again. The first time I went was when I was at university and 10 years later it’s still a favourite for me.
Zouk a 15 minute walk from Piccadilly train station or just 5 minutes from Oxford Road station.
The staff have always been friendly and very helpful when I’ve visited. They’re always happy to help with picking out dairy free options and they serve a good range of veggie, vegan and meaty options – something for everyone.
They have an open kitchen so you can see your food being made. They also do a really good selection of cocktails so be sure to give them a try.
Black Sheep Coffee
Location: Unit 4A, Piccadilly Place, Aytoun St, Manchester M1 3BN
We ended our day trip as we started it, with a coffee near the station.
We bundled into Black Sheep Coffee because it looked warm and cosy. The staff were really friendly and made an excellent coffee. They even had hazelnut milk as an option.
I think this was my favourite coffee of the day, it was rich with a really unique flavour. I plan to order a bag of Black Sheep Coffee beans for home.
Keen to add more Manchester foodie spots to your list? Read about 5 tried and tested vegan-friendly restaurants you MUST try over on Nishi V.
Where are your favourite places to eat in Manchester?