Manchester has been blessed with glorious sunshine for weeks now, and I don’t know about you, but it’s the one time of the year I actually crave salads.
In a city renowned for stodgy, homely foods, such as burgers, mac ‘n’ cheese and pizza- my friend and I were pretty stumped the other day when we decided to opt for a salad for lunch, rather than something heavy.
Turns out, Manchester has a pretty solid selection of leafy dishes- so take my advice and head to one of my 8 favourite places for the perfect summer salad.
Truthfully, Pho in the Corn Exchange is probably one of the last places I’d think of if I fancied a salad. I never really associated Vietnamese food with healthy eating, but I was completely wrong, as they actually have an entire section on their menu dedicated to crunchy, crispy salads with a Vietnamese twist. Cram packed with shredded chicken, Asian herbs, peppers and chilli ginger dressing, the Gỏi gà is a salad with an attitude, and is just one of many delicious options that will most definitely satisfy your cravings.
Pho, 37 Hanging Ditch Unit 15, The Corn Exchange, Manchester M4 3TR
The ‘Sunshine’ salad at Manchester’s best Brazilian-inspired hotspot is the perfect alternative to a starchy, carby meal- but has all the same nutritional value. Made up of red and white quinoa, sweetcorn, chargrilled pepper, crunchy corn and herb dressing, the ‘sunshine’ is exactly what you need to fill the spot, on a hot summers’ day. But don’t forget about the ‘Super’ and the ‘Ipanema’- two salads made up of marinated kale, butter beans, avocado, palm hearts, cheesy dough balls croutons and many more tantalisingly tasty ingredients. Oh, and you can add any flame grilled chicken skewer, chargrilled prawns and grilled halloumi to any of the above, for a little extra. YUM.
Cabana, The Corn Exchange, Exchange Square, Manchester M4 3TR
One of the shining stars of the Arndale Food Market, Zorbas specialise in all things Mediterranean, most noticeably – Greek food. It’s well known that the Greeks are absolute experts when it comes to salads so it will come as no surprise to learn that Zorba’s Greek Meze is pretty much salad heaven. For £4.50 you get a huge tray filled with a variety of Greek treats including olives, stuffed vine leaves, feta, hummus, pickled cabbage and plenty of greenery on the side. You even get a nicely toasted pita bread for the side – perfect for dipping into the hummus or for making a Greek salad ‘pocket’.
Zorbas, Arndale Market, 49 High St, Manchester M4 3AH
Black Dog Ballroom
With a menu featuring pizzas, burgers and hot dogs, you probably wouldn’t think of Black Dog Ballroom as somewhere to tuck into a salad but trust me – it should definitely be on this list. Plonked right next to the pizzas on the menu, Black Dog’s Superfood Salad is a massive bowl containing a mix of leaves, avocado, peppers, beetroot, tomatoes, pomegranate, mixed seeds and more. What’s even more exciting is the fact that you can add some extras to it to take it into a whole different level. Goats Cheese, Chargrilled Chicken, Minute Steak or even Vegan Cheese can be included – I wonder if it’s still a salad if we include them all?
Black Dog Ballroom NQ, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
Black Dog Ballroom NWS, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP
First of all, if you successfully go to Solita and order a salad, you deserve a medal. But on a different note, I wouldn’t blame you because they’re bloody divine. Whilst there are only two options on the menu, they’re both pretty sensational. Order the Chicken Caesar Salad, and you’ll be biting into grilled or buttermilk chicken with crispy bacon and all of the extras. Or, if you really want to go all out, opt for the ‘Black and Blue’ salad which consists of salad, blue cheese and fillet steak, chargrilled rare to perfection. Salad > burgers any day!
Solita NQ, Turner St, Manchester M4 1DW
Everyone loves Mexican food. Tacos, fajitas, enchiladas… what’s not to like? There’s a lot of carb-age associated with all of these though so it will come as a relief to know that Pancho’s have managed to create healthy salads with a taste of Mexico that are bound to tease your taste buds- and you don’t have to feel guilty about it afterwards! All of their brilliant Burritos can be made sans-tortilla, meaning you get a big Grande Bowl filled with your choice of succulent meats, (Picante Lamb all the way), rice, salsa, beans and vegetables.
FC1, Arndale Food Market, 49 High St, Manchester M4 3AH
The Quadrangle, Chester St, Manchester M1 5QS
Ah curry! You probably couldn’t find a food further away from a salad but that hasn’t stopped Spinningfields Indian Scene from offering a range of ‘Superfood’ salads that offer something much healthier than a korma but with a little Indian twist. Aiming to provide something high in protein and low in carbs, you can choose some meat, fish or paneer to go alongside some greens and a side dish (quinoa or stir fried veg). Try their Roasted Salmon with Kale, Beetroot and Spiced Orange and you’ll feel fresher than a Spring meadow after a shower.
Scene Indian Street Kitchen, 4a Leftbank Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AN
Banyan’s ‘Powerbowls’ and salads are perfect for those of you who are watching your weight or simply trying to get healthy. Salad doesn’t have to be boring- and Banyan prove that with their Mexican Powerbowl, Chicken and Chorizo Salad, Bang Bang Chicken Salad and Revitalise Powerbowl. Ingredients include black turtle beans, avocado salsa, nuts, butternut squash, beetroot, sautéed new potatoes, green beans and many more mouth-watering elements. But I guess you’ll have to go and order one to find out…
Banyan, Unit 4, The Corn Exchange, Exchange Square, Manchester M4 3TR
A form of raw fish salad from Hawaii, poké began life as a dish served up by fishermen who seasoned their cut-offs from their catch to serve as a snack while working. Influenced by Japanese and other Asian cultures, Poke dishes are served up fresh every day at Oke Poke on Church Street and you can’t go wrong when the weather is hot and sunny. Typically served cold, your Poke Bowl will consist of fish, chicken or tofu alongside some of the greenest of greens. Finished off with the likes of soy, ginger, teriyaki or wasabi these really are some of the tastiest salads in the city by far.
Oké Poké, 59 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD
When you go to Artisan for a salad, you just know it’s going to be good. From a heavenly mix of goat’s cheese, beetroot and quinoa to a super filling Super food salad consisting of beets, spinach, avocado, chia sees and walnut dressing, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when you fix your eyes on the menu.
Artisan, Avenue North, 18-22 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BZ