Finding a good breakfast in Manchester can seem like a tricky feat when you first begin your journey, but make just the tiniest scratch to the surface and this city will reveal a whole clutch of delicious brunch and breakfast spots. With its achingly cool vibes born out of its history as an industrial hub, Manchester’s food scene matches the general inviting, innovative and untiring attitude of its people.
Aside from the spaces themselves, which range from beautiful Grade II listed factory buildings to cosy cafes, the food on offer is as far-reaching and all-encompassing as anywhere else you’ll find in the UK. Thanks to the wealth of students residing in this northern city, you can also always find a bargain brunch in Manchester, or a cheap breakfast to start your day with. If it’s something more substantial you’re after there are lots of places which dial up breakfast in Manchester to new heights, providing surprising and delightful dishes for your first meal of the day. For Indian enthusiasts there is Dishoom’s signature bacon naan, while Cottonopolis deals solely in Asian-inspired brunches that fuse the flavours of poached fruit, 5 spice and mascarpone, for instance, for an east-meets-west melody.
Not that we want to jump to conclusions, but if your search for a breakfast or brunch in Manchester is fuelled by a little too much to drink the evening before then there are plenty of plates on this list that will help you fight to see another day. Gaucho do a killer brunch of steak and eggs, while small independent restaurant Volta dishes up a lamb shawarma hash with pickles that eloquently helps you relive the night before, only with a little more finesse.
To read our full round up of the best breakfast in Manchester, keep scrolling.
Why: Opened by a husband and wife team, this (once) small artisan bakery has grown into a mini franchise across Manchester offering up homemade bread and great British baking to the good people of the north. Stick to simple with a bagel slathered in ham or treat yourself to a decedent start to the day with French toast made with a homemade croissant loaf, topped with strawberries, earl grey crème fraiche, malt crumble and syrup.
Where: 5 Murray Street, Ancoats, M4 6HS
Why: Once reserved for London dwellers, Dishoom has spread its wings and brought its killer breakfasts to Manchester. The cult-status bacon naan is a no-brainer, but there are other jewels on the menu that aren’t to be missed. Chilli cheese toast is as good as it sounds while the special appam pancakes are light and lacy and toped with fruit, coconut flakes, syrup and a creamy shrikhand concoction.
Where: 32 Bridge Street, M3 3BT
Why: Best know of course for their steaks, Gaucho also serve up their Argentine menu at breakfast time come the weekends. Pop in between 11-4 every Saturday and you’ll be treated to the Electro Brunch in Manchester, which sees them put a Latin spin on dishes like salt beef or Eggs Benedict, and accompany them with music from a live DJ.
Where: 2A St Mary's Street, M3 2LB
Why: Traditional breakfast dishes grace the menu at Bill’s, with a full English and stacks of pancakes featuring. For something a little healthier there’s a whole section on eggs (yes, including of course eggs with avocado toast) and a garden plate which includes eggs, roasted tomatoes, charred peppers, smashed avocado, mushrooms and more.
Where: 8-12 John Dalton Street, M2 6JP
Why: Serving up an Indian-inspired brunch menu at the weekends, Zouk brings something a little bit different to Manchester’s breakfast scene. There’s a Bollywood Benedict which sees hollandaise mixed with the flavours of a tikka sauce for an interestingly spicy, creamy sauce and elsewhere there are dishes like a masala omelette or spicy French toast.
Where: 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, M1 5QS
The Koffee Pot
Why: This popular spot gets filled up quickly, so it’s worth planning an early breakfast if you have your heart set on dining here. Having been open for over a decade this small cafe has maintained its popularity by serving up good, hearty breakfast dishes. Think fry ups, pancakes and even a breakfast poutine which combines beef dripping chips with sausage gravy, cheese curds, baon, poached eggs and hollandaise. Try not to think about the calorie count on that one.
Where: 84-86 Oldham Street, M4 1LE
The Ivy Brasserie Manchester
Why: As with all of the other Ivy restaurants, this Manchester site is dripping in glitz and glamour, so breakfast here is as much about the surrounds as it is the food. Pastries and toast kick things off, while there are full English options for both vegetarians and meat eaters. If you fancy something a little more virtuous there is an extensive section dedicated to eggs and a light and healthy selection too, which features the likes of smoked salmon on rye bread and dairy free coconut yogurt with berries.
Where: The Pavilion, Byrom Street, M3 3HG
All the Shapes
Why: Housing a café and bar as well as an event and exhibition space, this trendy Manchester breakfast spot serves up tasty plates of crowd-pleasing combinations. The works of art on the walls are reflected on the plate with pretty presentation coming as standard. Tuck into toasted banana bread with butter and house-made chocolate spread or take things up a level with green eggs that see two crispy fried eggs served with griddled avocado, spinach and sourdough toast. If it’s the hair of the dog you’re after, then you might like to know that All the Shapes serves a good selection of craft beers too.
Where: 8 Warwick Street, Prestwich, M25 3HN
Oak Street Café
Why: For a wholesome start to the day you don’t get much better than enjoying a feast at a café that is perfectly placed in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. For breakfast you can expect American style pancakes with either yogurt and fruit or crispy bacon and maple syrup, or for something simpler plump for the toasted teacakes with peanut butter, jam or marmalade. After setting yourself up for the day why not take a wander through one of the exhibitions on show, which are an ever-changing selection of contemporary art and design.
Where: 17 Oak Street, M4 5JD
Why: The Alchemist found fame in the north through its winning combination of theatrical cocktails and Instagrammable interiors, but it’s not just late-night jars this spot is good for. Breakfast is a strong suit too, with everything from full breakfast fry ups to coconut yogurt and granola on the all-encompassing menu. For aesthetics the calming bright, light interiors make for a relaxing atmosphere and offer up picture-opportunities-a-plenty.
Where: 3 Hardman Street, M3 3HF
Why: Situated in the heart of the trendy Northern Quarter, Common is a bakery, café and bar which serves Manchester’s creative customers all day and night. Its breakfast offering has won numerous awards and features modern-day classics like avocado on toast and eggs Benedict alongside slightly more left-field options, including crunchy fried Mexican tostadas and steak and eggs. Common also does a great line in fry ups, where you can get a meaty, veggie or vegan option.
Where: 39-41 Edge Street, M4 1HW
Why: Focusing on nutritious fare, this deli, restaurant and bar deals in saintly plates that don’t sacrifice flavour in favour of eating healthily – happily combining both. Expect feel-good food that spans dishes like chia pudding and plant-based breakfasts. There is also a build your own option that gives you a choice of toppings – from halloumi and bacon to avocado and spinach – to add to toast. If you’re mainly here for the health merits, you might like to know that FoodWell also puts on regular yoga classes.
Where: Suite 2, Ground Floor, One New Bailey, Stanley Street, Salford M3 5JL
The Counter House
Why: Eclectically decked out, the dining room here is as pretty as the street name The Counter House sits on. When it comes to breakfast, you’ll be hard pushed to find anything that is truly sinful, with acai bowls and tofu scramble the order of the day. However, if you don’t count breakfast as breakfast unless it’s above a certain calorie count then you can find solace in the full fry, which includes eggs, sausages, bacon, a potato fritter, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans. We challenge you to finish one.
Where: 35 Blossom Street, M4 6AJ
Why: Sugar Junction was born from a passion for baking, so expect sweet fluffy buns and tempting cakes to try and vie for your attention if visiting at breakfast time. If you can resist the allures of the sweet counter, then you’ll be rewarded with a well-rounded breakfast menu that features simple plates, like sourdough with jam and butter as well as homemade baked beans on toast with hash browns. If you still can’t shake the thought of a sugary start to the day then you could always indulge yourself with a plate of banoffee pancakes or baked banana and berry French toast.
Where: 60 Tib Street, M4 1LG
Why: This small independently owned restaurant is family-run by a team who are passionate about bringing authentic American and Canadian dishes to the heart of Manchester. If you’re indecisive, be warned, the breakfast menu is extensive. There are hearty dishes like ham and eggs, potato hash and cheese pancakes, as well as healthier classics like granola and porridge. As you might expect, portions are generous in line with the theme, and Moose Coffee serves a good cup of Joe.
Where: York House, 20 York Street, M2 3BB
Why: Breakfast at Cottonopolis is only served on the weekends (making it one of the best brunches in Manchester) between 10am-3pm, but we think it deserves a spot on this list regardless, if only for the variation it brings. In keeping with the restaurant’s Asian main menu, the breakfast dishes offered combine influences from the east and west with interesting results. Try sake cured gravlax or poached apricots with 5 spice mascarpone to begin (we’re assuming if you’re breakfasting at the weekend, you’re doing it properly and plumping for multiple courses), before tucking into a confit duck croquette with a crispy duck egg on waffles. To make things a little more fun you could always add bottomless prosecco, or white peach bellinis, among other options, for £15 per person.
Where: 16 Newton Street, M1 2AE
Why: There isn’t just one breakfast option at Mackie Mayor, which makes it great for groups who want to eat together but may want different things to eat (just like your mother said, it’s our individuality that makes the world so beautiful). The space itself is a grand grade II listed market building, with incredible original detailing and a buzzy atmosphere, and houses multiple food traders with communal seating laid out in the centre of the space. When it comes to the food offering you could find yourself enjoying anything from fruit and granola to shakshuka or avocado on toast with eggs.
Where: 1 Eagle Street, M4 5BU
Why: If your breakfast quest is in aid of a hangover cure, rejoice, we think we’ve found the one for you. Fress serves up the usual feel-good plates of nutritious fare like avocado on toast and veggie fry up breakfasts for those who behaved themselves last night, but also goes all in on things like a stack of pancakes with crispy belly pork, spicy siracha maple syrup and fried eggs, as well as rich and smoky homemade baked beans with fresh chilli, coriander, poached eggs and the option to add chorizo (which of course, unless you’re veggie, you always do). Consider that sore head, healed.
Where: 62 Oldham Street, M4 1LE
Why: A Bavarian beer hall in Manchester might not scream breakfast or brunch to you, but this venue in fact houses its very own bakery, meaning fresh bread and pastries whenever you visit. Each day brings its own unique artisan loaf, with the weekends being reserved for an olive and thyme fougasse on Saturdays, and Sundays seeing a roasted fig and hazelnut loaf on offer. For a sweeter start to the day indulge in a morning bun which is made from croissant dough doused in cinnamon sugar and hot chocolate sauce. If you’ve in fact spent the evening before in the very same beer hall you may fancy something even heartier, which is where steak and eggs, brioche French toast and crayfish eggs Benedict all come into their own.
Where: 27 Peter Street, M2 5QR
The Bay Horse Tavern
Why: This modern gastropub serves up a confidently concise menu that champions high-end produce. Tuck into a plate of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or mushrooms on toast to kickstart your day, washing it all down with one of The Bay Horse Tavern’s ‘posh coffees’ or ‘posh teas’ which include choices like chamomile and peppermint. For those who have their feet well and truly planted in the ferment-loving-years of recent times, there’s also iced kombucha on offer here, as well as a selection of juices.
Where: 35-37 Thomas Street, M4 1NA
Why: All wood and glass and petrol-blue leather, Volta brings a good deal of cool to Manchester’s breakfast scene, all before you’ve even got to the menu. Once you have the food offering in your hands you’ll find things that fit with the setting, like Serrano ham, avocado and poached eggs, as well as lamb shawarma hash with pickles and a poached egg. Bread here is made by the guys at Trove Bakery, featured on the list above, so even if you go for the very simplest iteration of eggs on toast you can guarantee robust, chewy bread with real flavour.
Where: 167 Burton Road, M20 2LN
Fancy trying something new without breaking the bank? Our round up of the best cheap eats in Manchester promises delicious plates without a huge price tag