Manchester is now a place where pavements are for drinking and dining – the city centre a sea of chairs, tables and clinking glasses. The city is coming back to life at last, and it’s a wonderful thing to see. This week features some exciting new openings to try in Manchester, and we’ve picked out some highlights for you to try. Keep reading to discover more.

Big fat fried chicken sandwiches - with a layer of crispy chicken skin crackling

Kong’s Chicken Shop is a new venture by Cocktail Beer Ramen + Bun bar manager Tom Potts. A project born in lockdown, this is Tom’s favourite food – and his passion really shows. Using thigh meat, the chicken in Kong’s burgers is brined for three hours, rolled in a secret spice mix, then double-dredged for a crispier texture. Served on a potato brioche with chipotle slaw, Kong’s chunky burger sauce, iceberg, pickles and a game-changing layer of crispy chicken skin crackling, this might just be our ultimate fried chicken burger. A fried oyster mushroom version on a focaccia bun caters to vegans. Find Kong’s popping up at CBRB this weekend coming, Friday to Sunday. Order via Instagram.

101-103 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW
A South American kitchen from the family behind Chop Chop and Blue Eyed Panda

Opened by the family behind Chinese restaurants Chop Chop and Blue Eyed Panda, Hola Hola is a new opening celebrating its owners’ Venezuelan heritage. Based in Ancoats, here you’ll find a huge variety of stuffed empanadas, patacon (deep-fried plantain sandwiches), pastelltos, arepas, tamales and cachapas (maize flour pancakes). We also like the look of their homemade Venezuelan quesillo, somewhat similar to the French creme caramel. Order to take out or enjoy a seat outside.


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50 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 5AB, Tel: 0161 2282228
A new pop-up Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurant in Ancoats

Following pop-ups around the city, street food trader House of Habesha has moved into a semi-permanent home inside Ancoats wine bar Blossom Street Social. Serving up traditional injera (a sour fermented flatbread with a slightly spongy texture) topped with a choice of authentic Eritrean and Ethiopian stews, find them just off Cutting Room Square throughout the week. If you’re not drinking, they’re also serving proper Ethiopian coffee.

51 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
A new all-day drinking and dining venue on Thomas Street 

An icon is gone from Thomas street. Mr Scruff’s Teacup Kitchen is no more. Now in its place, and with some big shoes to fill, is The Smithfield Social NQ. Its opening received a lot of press thanks to the combined involvement of Liam Fray (The Courteeners), Jobe Ferguson (Liar’s Group and TNQ), and Anthony Fielden (TNQ). From what we hear, it’s already living up to the hype. Head down for top-notch cocktails, all-day brunch and a special nduja lasagne inspired by a creation from Massimo Bottura’s three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana.

53-55 Thomas street, Manchester, M4 1NA
Confetti choux buns filled with cereal milk cream 

Baby It’s Choux is a new micro-bakery focused exclusively on, you guessed it, choux buns. Operating on weekends only, its founder makes them to order and delivers them to your door charging £12 for a box of four. Her signature raspberry choux come topped with white chocolate and raspberry and are filled with a white chocolate ganache. This week’s menu also features a cereal milk cream-filled choux. Each box includes three choux flavours, with order slots open now for the Bank Holiday weekend.


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Mon 26 Apr - Sun 9 May
Georgina Pellant
Published on:
Mon 26 Apr 2021