This article originally started as ‘the best grilled cheese / cheese toasties’ in Manchester, but it’s taken on a mind of its own.
It got me thinking, we all love cheese in all its forms, some people would happily sprinkle some on their Cornflakes in the morning if they could, and it’s so versatile you can enjoy it hot, cold, molten, grated, fried, battered and any other way you can dream of.
So here lies a list of ways you can best ways to enjoy cheese in Manchester:
Grilled Cheese at Northern Soul
There are very few complaints with Northern Soul. The little shack on Church Street (and now on Piccadilly Approach), is always busy and it’s always busy for one reason – the grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s a lot to choose from and most people seem to adore the Pig on A Lead (Mac & Cheese with BBQ Pulled Pork) but personally, I don’t think there’s anything better than melted blue cheese. Luckily Northern Soul’s rotating menu seems to always have a version of blue cheese on it that is a complete sensation to my taste buds.
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, 10 Church St, Manchester M4 1PN
Croque Madame at Brasserie Abode
A little bit of a French influence now over at Brasserie Abode who have the always amazing Croque Madame on their menu. It’s a grilled cheese and roast ham sandwich topped with a fried egg – perfect for some runny egg action down the middle. It’s a great twist on a classic.
Brasserie Abode, 107 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2DB
Grilled Cheese & Soup at Bunny Jacksons
One of the best combinations ever made by man, a lovely grilled cheese sandwich with a tomato soup to dip is quite possibly the best thing you can eat on a cold winter day. Bunny Jacksons offer a fantastic one on their menu and the grilled cheese comes loaded with a sharp cheddar, mozzarella and the amazing Blacksticks cheese for some serious tang. Perfect.
Bunny Jacksons, 1 Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester M15 4RA
House Poutine at Koffee Pot
What I’m talking about here is Poutine if you’re from Canada, or simply chips, cheese and gravy if you’re from Burnley like me. They do a few superb ones at Koffee Pot including ones that are piled with their speciality salt beef. Personally, I adore their ‘House’ Poutine which is a classic – beef dripping chips, gravy and gooey cheese.
The Koffee Pot, 84-86 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
Buffalo Chicken Poutine at Brewski
You can’t beat the classic cheese, chips and gravy just from your local chippy, but Brewski will try their best. Mainly because this Chorlton stalwart (and city centre) serves up six different types of Poutine including Philly Cheese Steak, Buffalo Chicken topped with Blue Cheese and for your good old standard gravy and cheese curds. Delicious.
Brewski Bar, 58 West Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HZ
Brewski Bar, 537-538 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, M21, 0UE
Cane & Grain
One of the greatest places in the city to get your hands on some ribs, Cane & Grain also specialise in a diverse range of sides – many of which pack a considerable amount of cheese. Top of the list should be their mac ‘n’ cheese which comes smothered in three cheese sauce and is topped with some perfectly melted red cheddar. Add some beef brisket and you’re in cheese heaven.
Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
Recently upgrading from Street Food locations to a permanent spot in the Arndale market, Mac Daddies only sell one thing – Mac and Cheese – and if you’re only going to sell one thing, you better do it well. And very well they do with a menu that’s packed full of cheesy and meaty variations on the classic. As if their 4 cheese sauce isn’t enough they’ll bang some bacon or chorizo on there for you too.
Mac Daddies, Arndale Market, 49 High St, Manchester M4 3AH
Bøck Bière Café
Let’s get one thing straight – this place also does a Roast Dinner Fondue i.e. you dip everything into a pot of red wine gravy. This isn’t cheese related but I thought that should be shared with you all. Back to cheese and I’m going to give you two words – Pizza Fondue. Cheesy marinara, in which you dip your choice of toppings and dough waffles. Or they also offer the Classic Fondue, a blend of four cheeses in which you dip steak and cured bockwurst or vegetarian sausages and Halloumi. I know, I’m salivating over my keyboard too.
Bøck Bière Café, 10 Tib Lane, Manchester, M2 4JB
Bøck Bière Café
Halloumi Fries at Reds True Barbeque
All hail probably the most perfect dish of battered and fried cheese – the Halloumi Fries at Reds True BBQ. Is there no end to what these guys can’t stick on a barbeque and change lives with? Another cheesy delight from Reds is the molten cheese burger, with cheese packed right in the middle for endless hours of succulent delight. Personally, I’ll have those Halloumi wonders ever time.
Reds True BBQ, 22 Lloyd St, Manchester M2 5WA
Many things at Solita
Solita are so willing to fry some cheese that they will basically give you a mountain of Halloumi fries when you order them. Not that anyone is complaining right? I’ve always been a fan of the sides and starters on the menu at Solita, not only do they do some amazing Halloumi Fries but they also do some excellent Mac ‘n’ Cheese balls.
Solita NQ, Turner St, Manchester M4 1DW
Cheese & Onion at The Bay Horse Tavern
One of the best places for a pie in the city, The Bay Horse Tavern offer a Pie and a Pint for £8.50 and of their selection of pies, if you’re a cheese fan, then the Cheese & Onion is a must. Flaky pastry gives way to a gooey, creamy interior which is perfectly matched with the Thrice Cooked Chips or even a bit of Mash & Gravy. Perfect for a cold day in October.
The Bay Horse Tavern, 35-37 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Lush canal setting and even better food, you’d be mad not to overindulge with a cheese board from Duke’s 92. Choose a Motherboard and there’s no end to the delights of their amazing range of blue cheeses, goat’s cheese, cheddar, cream cheese… I could go on and on but you could just go and try it yourself.
Dukes 92, 18 – 25 Castle St, Manchester M3 4LZ
Albatross & Arnold
Champions of local and seasonal produce, Albatross & Arnold feature a cheese board in their dessert section which is constantly changing so I can’t really tell you what to expect. I can tell you that in the past they have had the lovely Nicky Nook Soft Blue from near Preston and it was what cheese dreams are made of.
Albatross & Arnold, Leftbank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AN
Spanish Cheeses at La Bandera
You don’t have limit yourself just to British cheese when it comes to a cheese board, as La Bandera show with their selection of ‘Best Spanish Cheeses’ served with membrillo (quince), marmalade and olives. It’s all about the Manchego really isn’t it?!
La Bandera, 2 Ridgefield, Manchester M2 6EQ
Margherita at Crazy Pedro’s
Cheese usually isn’t the first thing you think of when it comes to Crazy Pedro’s – it’s usually some form of meat or sauce or some random slice of deliciousness that usually ends up on top of the cheese. But if you decided to go for their classic Margarita, you’ll be in for a rather unexpected cheesy surprise. It’s excellent, and the closest you’re going to get to a proper NY slice in Manchester and it even comes with little chunks of unmelted mozzarella on there too.
Crazy Pedro’s, 55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ// Short St, Manchester M1 1JG
The current kings of pizza in Manchester and the place pretty much everyone thinks of when someone says “You fancy popping out for a pizza?”. There’s the one in Ancoats and there’s the one on Peter Street and what they both do, and do really well, is proper Neapolitan pizzas with some amazingly fresh and authentic Italian mozzarella on top. Hard to beat really.
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, 9 Cotton St, Manchester M4 5BF
Baked Tunworth Cheese at The Creameries
Chorlton’s The Creameries are really serious about their cheese and nothing proves this more than their epic whole Tunworth cheese which is baked in hay with thyme and garlic and served with a load of grilled sourdough. Tunworth cheese is considered to be the ‘British Camembert’ and it’s great for tucking into with friends while drinking some wine.
The Creameries, 406 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0SD
NY Cheesecake at The Refuge
It’s not just savoury places where you can enjoy cheese, you can’t forget good old cheesecake now can you? For a really, really good one head on over to The Refuge for their New York offering which comes topped with macerated strawberries and tastes like a slice of heaven with every mouthful. I was forced to look on the Internet to see what ‘macerated’ means because they were so good. I’m still none the wiser but I don’t care if they taste that good. You can see the cheeky little fella hiding in that back left corner behind those other delightful looking desserts.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA