SPECIAL FEATURE | Top 10 Manchester Food & Drink Trends for 2013

January 12, 2013


January is the month where we look ahead to the coming year. With that in mind News Manc’s Sophie Hist has put her ear to the culinary ground of Manchester’s food and drink scene to compile the hottest trends of 2013.



Underneath an unassuming office block down a NQ back street is a bar with no wine, beer or spirits to be seen. Only Soda Stream machines adorn the counter tops. 2012 saw numerous bars in East London install the must-have 80s drinks maker for nostalgic cocktail experiences, but Soda Bar is thought to be the UK’s first drinking den dedicated to ‘getting busy with the fizzy’.

We recommend the CO2 Margarita or the Bubbly Spiked Iced Green Tea, both £8.

Soda Bar, 18 Dale Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1EZ


If 2010 was the year of the burger, 2011 was the year of the burger blogger and 2012 was the year of the blogger slagging off the burger blogger. 2013 will be the year of the blogger blogging about the blogger who blogged about how they don’t like burger bloggers.

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good burger and blogging about it”, opined Mark Renshaw, author of one of the many new Manchester blogs which examine the mindset of bloggers who criticise burger blogs.


Brock Street

With the likes of Trof, Common and Odd increasingly being seen as the traditional, reliable, old guard of the Manchester food and drink scene it was always inevitable that new venues would spill out of the NQ and in to new, nearby territories. Establishments such as Bakerie, Kosmonaut, Port Street Beer House and The Whiskey Jar have firmly etched FaQuA (Fashion Quarter) as food and drink destination all of its own in the conciousness of Mancunians.

But 2013 will be all about SoFaQua. Bordered by the eastern end of Tariff Street and Ducie Street to the south, former factories and industrial units are being converted in a thriving area seemingly christened SoFaQua by locals. New ventures include Korean kimchi bar Kim Chee and gourmet cafe Pud, which celebrates new twists on the classic French éclair.



Air popped. Corn infusion. Extra crunch. If these phrases aren’t part of the average Mancunian’s vocabulary now, they will by the end of the year.

In May 2012 popcorn stand Carton quietly opened in the Arndale Food markets. After seven months and daily lines of impressed foodies, creator and owner James Fring decided to branch out with a pop-up popcorn restaurant in a former newsagent on Manchester’s rejuvenated New Wakefield Street.

“Forget the sickly orange rubbish you get in cinemas”, insists Fray. “We do bacon-fat popcorn topped with crispy sage and gruyere, butter-rich buffalo wing corn and mint smashed vodka popcorn.”

Expect to see 2013’s hottest snack ‘popping up’ on menus across the city.

Carton, 8 New Wakefield Street,  Manchester, M1 5NP (1st February – 18th March 2013).


Mill is a simple revelation. A bakery with a difference: you pop in during the morning, mill your own flour and return post-work or shopping to pick up your semi-self-made artisan, fresh bread.

“Above all else, savy bread consumers want to know the authenticity of their flour blend”, said Mill owner Shaun Boswell. “Milling your own flour connects you to the process, the concept and, most importantly, the loaf itself.”

Mill, 11 Blossom Street,  Manchester, M4 5AF. Loaves start from £6.



If you thought the burger movement was sexually aggressive wait until the Manchester hotdog scene puts its hand up your skirt and fondles your flange.

Dogging is an offensive, dirty, in-your-face experience which leaves you feeling almost violated. Setting up wherever possible (recent pop-ups have included a friend’s removal van, Everything Everything’s dressing room and the Manchester School of Art canteen) the dawgs include the 100% Beef Thermometer, a beef dog spiked with Bury black pudding bits, and the Tots Amaze, a traditional kosher sausage dog partnered with tater tots smothered in jalapeño and cheese gravy (pictured).

Follow their Twitter account, prepare to be called a cunt, and get down quick when they disclose their location as they sell out fast.

(various locations around the city)


“We’ve seen the comfort food revolution, why not start the comfort drink revolution?”

That’s the view of Kosmonaut’s head bartender Helen Shaw. With Generation Y heading in to their late twenties and early thirties the pre-clubbing, post-work, creative-thirst drinks crowd are pining for a taste of their youth.

Kosmonaut’s retro comfort drinks menu includes Smirnoff Mule, Metz, Woodpecker cider, Archers Aqua, Lambrusco, Orange Reef, Labbats Ice and Caffrey’s. For a limited time only you can relive your park bench youth in more comfortable surroundings.

Kosmonaut, 10 Tariff Street , Manchester, M1 2FF



If you’re drinking a cocktail out of a Jam Jar then you’re in a suburban pop-up burger joint or Dalston. If you’re drinking one out of a teapot then you might even be in Leeds. All of which couldn’t be more 2012.

Kilner jars are where it’s at. Thought to be first used by Matt Regan at East Williamsburg cocktail behemoth Shot?, expect Kilners to migrate the Atlantic during Q1 2013, and into Manchester via Bermondsey by the Summer.


2013 will see Manchester’s hippest eaters head to the most unexpected of locations in a movement which has been called ‘ironic dining’.

Originating in New York and initially thought to be a reaction to the recession, the strange trend will see Mancunians head for Bella Italia, Frankie and Bennys, Pizza Hut, Chiquitos, Harry Ramsden’s and Harvester in an effort to take the piss out of the things they’re eating.

“Me and the girls went to the Harvester in the Printworks last week”, said Saff Hammond, a 26-year old creative consultant and part-time DJ who lives in the Green Quarter. “It was great. We mocked everything, but especially the salad cart. I mean, really? It’s 2013.”



Can Manchester’s hottest eatery really be in Ancoats?

The brainchild of Anzhi Makhachkala, Floor is essentially a large, empty room aside from a handful of seemingly junk items. Diners come in, pick a spot on the floor, and indulge themselves in the experience.

“I wanted to completely strip back the whole dining undertaking”, said Makhachkala. “And fuck tables.”

The eclectic menu includes flash-roasted aubergine pizza topped with falafel croquettes and crunchy wasabi peas and barbecued duck wings with sriracha slaw.

The ingenious sandwich lunch menu eschews normal bread for more alternative filling solutions. Hungarian boiled ham and paprika spiked barramundi are delivered in Korean baos, Belgian waffles and Peruvian arepas.

The diners waiting in the foyer are given free Japanese kushiyakis.

“We’re blurring the already blurred line between high-end dining, casual-fast food eating and Asian-inspired family gatherings and then slamming that in to Ancoats”, said Makhachkala.

Floor, 62 Jersey Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6JW (no bookings)




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  1. Dry January? Great but how about going dry all year round? | Matter Of Facts - January 10, 2014

    […] As a society, we could perhaps start thinking of less booze sodden venues for socialising. This shouldn’t really be too hard. Many cultures focus on coffee rather than alcohol and of course most us spent the first decade and a bit of our lives managing to hang out with our friends without needing alcohol. We could even hang onto pubs and clubs but have them serve soft drinks instead. […]

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