Ancoats fave Edinburgh Castle named in Top 50 pubs in the UK

Chef Shaun Moffat has nailed it for Manchester

By Natalie Rees | 23 January 2024

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The Edinburgh Castle has officially been named as one of the best gastropubs in the UK.

The Ancoats institution has taken the 24th spot in the coveted Estrella Damn Top 50 Gastropubs list, and is the only one in Manchester that made it.

First pouring pints in 1811, the Edinburgh Castle went through major refurbishment and re-opened in 2019 after being bought by the team behind NQ bar Cottonopolis. 

The pub has firmly succeeded in rooting itself back into the fabric of the neighbourhood with a stellar booze and carefully curated food offering, thanks to Shaun Moffat, who landed in Manchester to take over the kitchen in 2022 as the group’s executive chef.

Moffat’s CV includes stints at celebrated restaurants in London including Manteca and Berber & Q, which he co-founded. He quickly caused a stir at the EC with first rate burgers, excellent grills and a premium chip butty.

The announcement took place during a special party at 2023’s number one The Parkers Arms in Lancashire, which has come in at number seven this year. 

The Unruly Pig in Suffolk took the top spot, with The Cornish Arms in Devon and The Mariners in Rock making the best three.

Sitting amongst the best pub operators in the business, other Northern inns on the best-of-the-best list include Freemasons at Wiswell (9), The Star Inn in York (8), The Angel at Hetton (13) and Heft in Cumbria, which was this year’s highest climber at number eleven.

The list is now in its 16th year and is voted for by food experts, industry figures, writers and journalists from across the UK. It aims to recognise and celebrate the UK’s gastropubs and all those behind them.