Whether you’re searching for new flavours, are an indecisive eater or simply need a place with options to suit everyone’s tastebuds, Manchester’s Street food offering could be the answer. With a mix of cuisines and flavours all under one roof, what could be better? In the last few years, street food halls have become a firm favourite with Manchester’s residents and visitors alike, and it’s a good job we have plenty to choose from.
With street food vendors ranging from the authentic to the quirky, street food halls offer a place for some of the most exciting up-and-coming chefs to make the food they love at a reasonable price, and we can all benefit. Some of Manchester’s previous street food offerings have now become some of our best-loved restaurants, with food halls giving talented chef’s a much-needed platform to show what they can do.
Far from the days of street food meaning a single lonely burger van, Greater Manchester’s Street food scene has exploded in recent years with establishments popping up all over the city-region. Foodies love the fuss-free, casual nature of these places but also the chance to try something new without a hefty price tag. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a quick bite or to spend an afternoon with friends trying a mix of foods and drinks as you go, street food halls offer quality, delicious food and great places to chill.
We’ve rounded up some of the best street food markets and food halls, so that next time you’re searching for a bite to eat, you know where to go.
On the edge of Manchester’s beloved Northern Quarter, you’ll find a Grade II listed market building (the only remaining building from the Smithfield market) which is now home to some of Manchester’s favourite street food vendors. Mackie Mayor is a modern food hall which has precisely the urban, relaxed vibe you’d expect from its location. With great offerings for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, you really could spend all day eating in here. There are currently nine independent kitchens and bars showcasing the best regional food and drink. The vendors include Honest Crust Pizza, Tender Cow, Baohouse, Fin Fish Bar and Reserve Wines. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a coffee or something a little more exotic, there’s something for everyone. Plus, it’s dog-friendly, so furry friends can come along too!
Just five minutes’ walk from Manchester Victoria station, just outside of the hustle and bustle of Manchester city centre, a converted textile warehouse hosts Manchester’s longest-running street food market. Describing itself as Manchester’s biggest and friendliest street food venue, GRUB is open Wednesday to Sunday at The Red Bank Project. It has a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces including Manchester’s best-kept secret beer garden. Street food is served week in, week out by Manchester’s best independent businesses. You'll find that Rudy’s Pizza and Hip Hop Chip Shop started here once upon a time. You’ll be spoilt for choice with a huge range of vendors covering a whole range of cuisines from Greek to Sri Lankan and absolutely everything in between. There are even vendors to satisfy your sweet tooth because your dessert stomach needs feeding too.
Escape to Freight Island
If you like your street food served with a side of entertainment, Escape to Freight Island could be for you. In the heart of the regeneration of Depot Mayfield, this market and festival space offers incredible food and drink alongside entertainment and events. It’s home to several different restaurants, food trucks and bars serving up everything from “the most popular burger in Manchester” to American pies. It’s safe to say you’ll be spoilt for choice. Escape to Freight Island also regularly team up with Manchester chefs and restaurants to create one-of-a-kind dishes for a limited time, which should be enough of a reason to draw you back in. Sit outside or inside and enjoy the eclectic mix of events, entertainment and flavours at the party animal of Manchester’s street food scene.
A hub of street food, craft beer and cocktails, Society is a recent addition to Manchester city centre’s street food scene, but it’s a great one. With five independently owned kitchens, you can enjoy pan-Asian cuisine, Indian street food, towering burgers and much more. It’s a great place to socialise throughout the day whether you’re looking for an exciting lunch spot or the perfect place for after-work drinks. Resident DJs will be on hand to entertain you throughout the evening and give that cool, effortless Manchester vibe. Plus, Society is becoming a firm favourite for the city’s beer lovers with Vocation, one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the UK on site. Enjoy award-winning beers and creative cocktails while you enjoy dishes from across the world.
If you’re craving a taste of Asia, Manchester’s newest street food offering is the perfect place for you. Hello Oriental is home to an Asian-inspired bakery and café, Vietnamese restaurant and street food hall. Located in the centre of Manchester’s new Circle Square development on Oxford Road, you’ll find Chinese roasts, dim sum, bao, noodle dishes, bubble tea and more. Or for lighter Vietnamese flavours, expect classic dishes like pho, summer rolls and Vietnamese salads. Plus, there’s an oriental supermarket on-site if you feel inspired to cook up some East Asian flavours yourself.
New Century Kitchen
Once home to a legendary dance hall, the iconic New Century Hall re-opened in summer 2022 as a remarkable new social destination in Manchester’s NOMA district. The ground floor is now home to New Century Kitchen, a food hall and the beating heart of New Century, which is made up of six independent street food traders, a terrace that spills out onto Sadler’s Yard for al fresco dining, and a stunning mid-century style bar and interior. Guests can choose a wide selection of vibrant global cuisine, including pizza, sushi, steak, burgers, Vietnamese cuisine, and Indian Street Food, all whilst dining in New Century Kitchen. There’s also a selection of fantastic local beers, wines, creative cocktails, as well as artisan coffees, tea, juices, and smoothies, on the menu as well.
Voted Britain’s Favourite Market in 2019 and 2022, Bury Market is famous across our city-region and is making a name for itself across the globe. A traditional market located in a market town, you can find everything in Bury Market which is why it attracts thousands of visitors every week. There are over 200 stalls including a fish and meat hall so that you can whip up some delicious dishes at home. However, foodies will know, that it’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat. You’ll find delis and street food vendors of all sorts as well as great bakeries for a bite to eat, after all, shopping is tiring work.
The Produce Hall Stockport
Over the last 160 years, Stockport’s Produce Hall has been home to fish and meat markets, cheese stalls and sweetshops. Now, it’s home to delicious kitchens and bars serving up flavours that cater to all tastes. The bar hosts an eclectic mix of local beers and brilliant beverages from further afield while each kitchen serves delicious food daily. There’s something for everyone, including Caribbean soul food, Mexican treats, stone-baked pizzas, burgers and Cambodian cuisine, all serving lighter bites or moreish meals depending on what you fancy.
Foodie Friday’s Stockport Market
Sticking with Stockport, if you’re looking for a way to fill your Friday evening then look to Stockport institution Foodie Fridays. On the last Friday of every month from 6 pm to 9 pm, Stockport Market hosts street food, craft ales and live music. The event is loved by people across the town and is a fabulous feel-good foodie activity. Traders include I Knead Pizza, Oh Mei Dumpling, Halloumination and Tapas Y a la Carta and so much more. Expect everything from Halloumi to Fried Chicken, Thai favourites to toasted quesadillas. If you’re looking for the most delicious way to spend a Friday night in Stockport, you’ve just found it.
Altrincham is one of the UK’s original market towns and so it makes perfect sense that it’s now home to one of our city-region's most celebrated street food halls. Altrincham Market is at the heart of the town’s reinvention and focuses on independent traders and chefs. The Market House is currently home to ten food operators including Honest Crust pizza, Tender Cow, Great North Pie Co and Market House Coffee. There is also New Market Square with Mummas Fried chicken, Rubens Mezze Grill and Manchester-favourite Federal Café Bar. This dog-friendly spot is a favourite amongst Altrincham residents but has also become a destination in itself with people from across Greater Manchester travelling for brunch dates, light bites or even a casual dinner plan. The market is closed on Mondays, but for the rest of the week, you can fill your boots.
There’s nothing quite like shopping to build up an appetite and street food often makes the perfect break from retail therapy. So, it’s handy that the award-winning Arndale Market in Manchester’s central shopping centre has so many delicious options for you to try. Cheese toasties, pies, pastries, burritos, Thai street food, poke bowls and vegan junk food are just some of the possibilities, so trust us when we say you really will be spoilt for choice. Plus, there are sweet treats like smoothie bowls and Portuguese natas if you need dessert too, and why wouldn’t you?
Stretford Food Hall
Aptly named FoodHall, Stretford FoodHall can be found at Stretford Mall in the heart of Trafford, and has space for three vendors which operate on rotation. Resident independent restaurants cook up fresh food every day, from vegan burgers and tacos to Thai noodles, Korean chicken and even Dutch kitchens. Coming back to check out new traders is all part of the excitement! Stretford FoodHall is a great community space whether you want to work, catch up with friends or even hold an event.
The Makers Markets pop up all over Greater Manchester and present the perfect excuse to go and explore some local food options. With 18 artisan markets across the North West, there’s sure to be a Makers Market near you. In Greater Manchester, you’ll find the Makers Market appear in Chorlton, Cheadle, Northern Quarter, Sale, Stockport, Salford Quays and West Didsbury but there are other locations in Cheshire too. Expect an abundance of delicious bakes, cakes and treats, mouth-watering street food, amazing arts and crafts and so much more!
If you’re not hungry by now, then we don’t know how else to help. As you can see, there are so many options when it comes to street food in Greater Manchester which means countless dishes and cuisines to get stuck into. If you’re ever looking for an excuse to try something a little different, or your group has a wide variety of tastes, then these food halls are the ideal solution.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and fill your boots with some mouth-watering dishes.
You can find more places to eat and drink in Greater Manchester, here.
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