I SHOULD start with the caveat that as I only eat and drink in places which support the organisation I work for, Action Against Hunger,
I may be a little biased. These venues and chefs do so much for the most vulnerable people around the world that in return I want to do my bit by supporting them. That said, it still leaves a hundred or so places to choose from, and arguably the best restaurants in Manchester.
My favourite place to eat out in Manchester is… To me eating out is about experiencing exceptional food, so Hawksmoor and Tast Catala stand out. Hawksmoor because, well, it’s just fantastic, isn't it? No-one can argue otherwise – the service, food and ambience are all just perfect. Their dripping fries with a side of stilton hollandaise is my happy place. At Tast, known for its surprising and sensational Catalan flavours, I love sitting at the bar, having a glass of cava and some nibbles like the red pepper croquettes (above).
The best dish I’ve eaten in Manchester recently… The sticky toffee pudding at CULTUREPLEX. Wow. It’s salty, it’s sweet, it is absolutely FINE to order two for yourself and not share them. My friend and I have a running challenge to find the best Sticky in the world. I may have come to the end of my quest.
My favourite dining room in Manchester is… Dishoom, the Grade II listed former Freemason’s lodge transformed into a love note to Bombay’s Iranian cafés. It’s stunning.
My favourite lunch spot in Manchester is… The Creameries. Mary-Ellen McTague is an actual genius. She takes the seemingly simplest of ingredients and magically turns them into the most moreish, delicious dishes I’ve eaten – from the split pea chips with mushroom ketchup to their Cornish mussels cooked in cider, burnt butter, garlic and parsley. You can taste the love in every bite. They also work extremely hard to source their menu sustainably. Plus it’s beautiful in there – I’ve gone ‘The Creameries’ in my front room and now you can’t move for pot plants.
If I had to eat only one thing for the rest of my days it would be… Pizza. I worked in Italy and did just that. My top pizza spots in Manchester? Double Zero for a takeaway, Rudy’s for a date, Crazy Pedro’s to soak up a 4am situation. Yum.
Caroline Dyer works closely with the food and drink industry to raise money and awareness for Action Against Hunger, campaigning to save the lives of malnourished children globally. In her spare time she runs an open-mic true storytelling event called Heard on the last Sunday of each month at CULTUREPLEX.