Put down that Gregg's pasty with a side of Space Raiders and a Full-Fat Coke - it's time you started eating proper now. You're an adult. You need vitamins and all that. Check these places out for some nutrition at lunch time...
What even is Poké I hear you ask from your desk while scoffing a dry Egg Mayonnaise butty. Well it’s Hawaiian street food you savage and it’s fresh, healthy and best of all – bloody lovely. Located on Church Street opposite Afflecks, Oké Poké is a lovely little restaurant offering either Poké bowls or wraps, as well as a range of Juices, Smoothies and Protein Shakes. Each dish is entirely customisable so there’s around a million different ways to have it but most will likely include some form of fish, chicken or tofu, rice and loads of fresh veggies.
What to Order: Lomi Lomi Bowl – Quinoa, Salmon, Cucumber, Mango, Celery, Mixed Leaves, Spring Onion and Walnuts topped with a Pomegranate Sauce.
Oké Poké, 59 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD
The ultimate in healthy eating establishments, Kettlebell is pretty much entirely designed for people who like to go to the gym, wear them tight lycra pants and can bench-press a robust toddler with one leg. They’ve got 3 locations around the city so wherever you work there should be one close by and the food is excellent. Everything comes with all the nutritional information you could ever desire and they offer breakfast, lunch, mains, shakes and even protein pizzas. The menu is massive so if you don’t find anything you like then just give up and go eat some SPAM under a bridge and stop bothering everyone.
What to Order: Katsu Curry – Oat coated chicken breast, homemade katsu sauce, white rice and super RAW slaw.
Kettlebell Kitchen, 5 Great Ancoats Street, M4 5AB also 11 Jack Rosenthal Street, First Street, M15 4RA and Unit 1, Irwell Square, Leftbank, Spinningfields, M3 3AG
Okay so in terms of something healthy Bundobust might not be top of the list of places in Manchester but if you manage to stay away from the craft beers and fried stuff you can get a deliciously healthy lunch for not too much at all. They have a lunch deal – 2 dishes for £7 which includes a small but perfectly acceptable selection of their dishes that will fill you up and not break the scales. All their food is vegetarian and mostly vegan so grab yourself one of their chickpea or lentil curries and enjoy.
What to Order: Bhel Puri and Tarka Dhal & Rice. (£7 Monday – Friday 12pm – 4pm)
Bundobust, 61 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2AG
Hidden down a back street in the Northern Quarter it may be easy to miss Earth Cafe and entirely dismiss it as a valid option for a healthy lunch. You’ll be missing out on some fantastic vegetarian and vegan dishes though, all of which are cooked fresh each day from a menu at changes all the time depending on seasons and availability of ingredients. You can expect the likes of Dhal curries, Cajun Bean Stew, Stuffed Peppers & Caribbean Stir-Fry – all for a very reasonable price each day. Be sure to grab a Smoothie too – they’re fantastic.
What to Order: The menu changes daily so just pop in and pick what you like – I’ve never been disappointed in here.
Earth Cafe, 16-20 Turner St, Manchester M4 1DZ
Bosu Body Bar
If you work or live down Didsbury way then you don’t need to stick to a Pot Noodle or Greggs for lunch, you can hit up Bosu Body Bar on your way to or from the gym and keep that tummy flatter than an ironing board. You can pop in for one of their mega healthy lunch boxes or shakes or give them a wad of bunce to make your lunches for you with their Meal Prep Menu. You’ll get yourself a varied range of dishes each day so you don’t get bored and want to throw yourself head first into the nearest KFC. There’s one in town too.
What to Order: Build a Box with a choice of protein, base (rice etc) and veggie sides. There’s a million combinations to choose from really.
Bosu Body Bar, 42 Cross Street and 741 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 6RN
Tucked away in that massive glass building at the front of Spinningfields, Wahu manage to satisfy the healthy hunger pangs of many a Spinningfields office worker with their selection of wraps, salads and rice boxes. Pretty much everything comes stuffed with either chicken or salmon but who cares – they’re both proper tasty and proper healthy – especially when teamed up with a ton of fresh veg and sauces. They also bash out a brilliant brekkie menu with plenty of eggs flying around for that all-important protein.
What to Order: Teriyaki Salmon Rice Box – Salmon, Green Veg and Wholegrain Rice smothered in a glorious Teriyaki sauce.
Wahu, 1, The Avenue, Manchester M3 3AP
Another extravagance you might think but luckily for everyone Australasia have a dedicated Lunch menu which makes it rather affordable for all. It’s plenty healthy and very filling too. Monday to Friday before 5pm you can get 2 dishes for £12, 3 for £16 or 4 for £21 and there’s a load to choose from both healthy and perhaps not so healthy. If you steer clear of the fried Tempura Spiced Pork Dumplings and the lovely dessert offerings then you can have a very healthy lunch which looks and tastes sublime. There’s so many fresh vegetables knocking around that you’ll feel like Alan Titchmarsh at a green grocers.
What to Order: For fresh sushi dishes I’d recommend the Temaki Seaweed Rolls and the Tuna Fukomaki. The Tuna Poke is also fantastic.
Australasia, The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AP
Heading to Evelyn’s for your lunch on a weekday might seem like a bit of an extravagant treat but they offer a massive menu of treats, many of which are good for the old arteries. Their Salads menu is extensive with some Tuna Poke, Roasted Squash and Indonesian Chicken to choose from – all of which are fresh and will provide your body with some much-needed vitamins after a weekend of eating Twiglets and drinking cider. Their Brunch Menu additionally features some proper nice healthy choices which you won’t be disappointed with. Again, it’s a bit pricey for lunch but you won’t regret it.
What to Order: Indonesian Chicken Salad with chilli, lime, coconut and rice.
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, G18 Tib St, Manchester M4 1NB
Black Dog Ballroom
Surely a place famed for its big burgers, loaded fries and massive pizzas shouldn’t be on this list? Well it probably shouldn’t you’re right, except some bright spark decided to add a Superfoods Salad to their Lunch Menu and so they subsequently managed to nip on the list like Indiana Jones squeezing under a closing door. During the week for £6 you can choose from a variety of dishes, one of which is the aforementioned Superfood Salad. It’s much better than you think it would be too – I was very impressed with the large bowl of greens, peppers, beetroot, tomatoes, pomegranate and mixed seeds and scoffed it up quick time. I also managed to not fall asleep at my desk that afternoon so it must be good for you.
What to Order: The Superfood Salad – duh!
Black Dog Ballroom NQ, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
Black Dog Ballroom NWS, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP
Scene Indian Street Kitchen
Spinningfields Indian street food legends have come up with a fantastic idea for those people who worry that with curry comes a lot of calories. Their lunch menu features an definitive choice of Thali options but for some real calorie counting head to their Rajmah Chawal that is so healthy that you could probably put it in front of a Yoga class and it’d spend the next hour teaching people how to put their legs over their head. It’s a curry with kidney beans, onion and tomato and spiced with fenugreek and tastes divine without destroying your waistline. Just stay away from the Onion Bhajis and have some rice or a salad on the side and you’ll be fine. They also have a rather extensive Superfoods menu available in the evening but seeing as this is about lunch – I didn’t mention it.
What to Order: The Rajmah Chawal obviously.
Scene Indian Street Kitchen, 4 New Ct St, Manchester M3 3AN