The hottest location at the moment, everyone seems to be wanting to open up shop in Ancoats, and so this guide will probably have to be updated every few months or so.
Until loads of people come flocking though, now is the perfect chance to head on down and check out some of the fantastic bars, restaurants and pubs all within around 3 minutes’ walk of each other.
Seven Brothers Beerhouse
Back in the 50’s a man and a woman got married and ended up having 11 kids. Perhaps it was because there was nothing to do in the olden times, or maybe they really fancied each other. Most likely it was a combination of both, but whatever the reasons, they ended up with 7 boys and 4 girls of which the boys have opened up a brewery while the girls have opened up a gin distillery. The Seven Brothers Beerhouse in Ancoats is where you can have a sip of their locally brewed ales, as well as tuck into a little bit of grub if you’re hungry. As a man with a very commercial palette, I tend to go for their excellent Lager, but their Watermelon number is pretty decent too. Give ‘em all a try actually – they’re all good.
Seven Brothers Beerhouse, The Ice Plant, 39 Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AF
Ancoats General Store
Don’t head towards the Ancoats General Store expecting a Spar where you can pick up some bog roll, bleach and a box of matches. Oh no. This place is much more of a foodie haven than a supermarket with a fantastic range of local food and drink available as well as a little coffee shop and bakery. You can get your mitts on some mouth-watering doughnuts in one aisle, some locally made BBQ sauce in another, some Moss Side Cider in the next and finish it all off with a little pork pie that was cooked that very day by a housewife in Beswick. It’s brilliant. Even if you’re just popping in for some booze – their selection is legendary and you’ll be sure to find something you want. You can probably buy bog roll, matches and bleach too – I was only messing about.
Ancoats General Store, 57 Great Ancoats Street, corner of Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AB
The quintessential sports bar, Second City have a range of massive screens in their arsenal, perfect for anyone wanting to watch the footy on Sky Sports 1, golf on Sky Sports 2, wrestling on Sky Sports 3 or midget tossing on Sky Sports 4. They’ve got a great range of drinks including some decent cocktails as well as an extensive menu of American-style grub that goes perfectly with sports. Burgers, Nachos, Butties and loads and loads of fries – you can’t go wrong if you fancy getting tanked up and full up. They’ve also got a brilliant bit of terrace outside too for when the sun is out.
Second City, 37 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6AJ
With all these new places opening up in Ancoats, with all of their bells and whistles and hippos and rainbows and fireworks, you should give ultimate respect to traditional Irish boozer The Shamrock over on Bengal Street behind Mustard Tree. It’s exactly what you want from a proper pub including fizzy lagers, creamy Guinness, hearty pub grub, live music nights and plenty of characters. They have some brilliant Irish Music on Sundays and if you can get your hands on some of their Irish Stew – you’re living the dream.
The Shamrock, 17 Bengal St, Manchester M4 6AQ
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
There’s not much that I can say about Rudy’s that hasn’t already been said about a million times in the past. They do what many people in the city say are the best pizzas in Manchester, and although that fact is always up for debate, there’s no denying that they are damn tasty. The prices are very reasonable too and if you grab yourself a Margarita, a couple of Campari Sodas and pop on some Gucci sunglasses, you could fool yourself into thinking you’re all the way in Napoli, instead of a slightly manky old industrial area of Manchester.
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, 9 Cotton St, Manchester M4 5BF
Ca Phe Viet
A brilliant little hidden gem on Oldham Road here, Ca Phe Viet is one of the best Vietnamese places in the city, perhaps the best – so keep it quiet and don’t tell anyone unless it gets ruined. I must admit I’m not the biggest fan of Vietnamese food, but I found myself really enjoying the food here. Grab one of their Bahn Mi sandwiches on your lunch break or on the way to another boozer and you’ll be well satisfied. You can also expect the traditional soups including the lovely (and extravagant) Pho Dac Biet Special which contains Steak, Chicken, Brisket, Pork Belly, Pork Roll and King Prawns. Wow.
Ca Phe Viet, 74-86 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 5EB
The Crown & Kettle
One of the city’s best pubs, The Crown & Kettle is famed for its fantastic roof, which was designed by Leonardo Di Vinci when he was on the piss one Saturday afternoon in 1976. Its Grade II listed which means that if anyone tries to mess around with it the Queen will come down and batter them. If you manage to drag your eyes away from the ceiling though you’ll find a brilliant pub with a range of beers that will bring a tear to your eye. Not only that but they also have an extensive range of ciders (which are usually stronger than lighter fluid) and they also serve up some rather tasty pies. A great place for a prolonged afternoon of boozing.
The Crown & Kettle, 2 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 5FE
0161 235 0978
Elnecot hit Ancoats last year with its unique range of dishes and small plates, offering a varied menu of British classics including the amazing Manchester Egg, some Saddleworth Blue Cheese Parcels and even Lancashire Pulled Pork Arepas. The food is always on point and the restaurant is a fantastic place to relax and have a bit of grub and some wine. I could pretty much eat everything on the menu, as Tim tried to do when he reviewed it last year. Check out what he said and be sure to give it a try.
Elnecot, 41 Blossom Street, Cutting Room Square, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
Offering a different 6-week only Tasting Menu experience, Squid Ink has made a bit of a splash (Joke of the Day) since opening in Ancoats. They’ve started a bit of a rumbling of voices, as well as bellies, with their approach to dining, which looks at offering quality, seasonal ingredients and self-grown produce – typically with a very seasonal menu offering. I’ve yet to eat here but my colleague assures me that it’s fantastic and offers a bit of a change from the usual restaurant experience. It’s more relaxed and they provide some top quality dishes for very reasonable prices. Definitely one for the list.
Squid Ink, 4, 67 Great Ancoats St, Manchester M4 5AB