Having somehow found myself a grad job, I’ve recently been basking in how nice it feels to go out to eat more without the guilt of also eating away at my student loan. And seeing as I’ve found some lovely new favourite places, I thought I’d write a lil blog post on my favourite, affordable places to grab food in Manchester.
For something with your after work drinks – YES.
With its dreamy pink room and roof terrace, YES seems to have quickly become a favourite new venue for half of Manchester. I’m yet to actually end up on a night out here but it’s become my go-to place for after-work drinks and pizza. When the sun is shining, the terrace is a perfect spot to watch the passing trains and make the most of their cocktail deals (buying 2 and getting the second for a quid when they’re a fiver makes it affordable too) but as the days grow grey and wet, in true Mancunion style, it’s just as good to be inside where you’re closer to the two kitchens they’ve got on offer. The pizzas from Pepperoni Playboy are so tasty and they’ve got a really varied range – I’m trying to cut down on how much meat and dairy I consume so it’s handy that their vegan options are just as amazing as the more standard ones. ‘Psycho Kaler’ and ‘Pepperoni Playboy’ are my favourites and, seeing as they’re half price from 12-6pm, you can always try both…
For dinner – Kosmos.
I probably passed Kosmos pretty much every day for the majority of my time at University – it’s tucked between takeout places and corner shops on Wilmslow Road, opposite the Fallowfield student residential campus. Despite that, I didn’t really take much notice or end up venturing inside until recently, but it’s quickly become one of my favourite places to visit. The staff are lovely and keen to offer recommendations, without being overbearing – it’s a family run restaurant and you can tell there’s a passion and pride for the food they make. It’s also delicious – I’ve tried two different chicken dishes and sampled the sea bass, but the meatballs are by far my favourite thing off of the menu. You quickly forget that you’re in rainy Fallowfield once you’re inside and everything is a decent price, with mains tending to be between £11 and £14.
For a date – Hatch MCR.
Underneath the Mancunian Way on Oxford Road, Hatch is a little haven of independent shops, bars and food vendors, with fairy lights and disco balls strung through the trees. There’s a varied range of food options available, my favourite being the satay mushroom bao buns from Slurp, Crackle & Pop. Grab a small meal for between £6 and £10 before heading to Number 8 for wine on the roof terrace. I’d also recommend Electrik Box for drinks – it’s got a lovely upstairs space with some fun retro games like pinball to play. If you’re looking for more of an evening out I’d really recommend Hatch for it’s variety – there’s often DJs playing and you’re close enough to the centre to continue the night in the Northern Quarter or wherever else you fancy!