Mackie Mayor Food Hall: A Manchester Must-See
Manchester’s food scene has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. And one of the key players in the city-centre dining is the Mackie Mayor Food Hall.
Housed in an 1858 grade 2 listed building that was one a part of the bustling Smithfield Market area, Mackie Mayor today houses an eclectic mix of food and drink vendors. From top-notch pizza at Honest Crust to amazing beers at Blackjack Brewery and Brewtap and quality, locally-sourced meat at Tender Cow, there’s really something for everyone in at Mackie Mayor.
Sometimes we visit the food court on our From Canals To Canapés walking food tour of Manchester’s Northern Quarter and sample some of the tastiest dishes on offer while exploring the history of the area.
Read on to learn more about this awesome food hall that blends historical charm with inventive, modern cooking.
The History of Mackie Mayor
The building itself was once part of the Smithfield Market area. This neighbourhood of market halls and stalls ran from the early 19th century. Smithfield was a huge market site on the edge of the city that brought a whole community of consumers and producers together. And that’s what the Mackie Mayor aims to do today.
During the market’s heyday, the mayor of Manchester was called Mackie, so one of the market’s buildings was inscribed with his name.
Originally used as a meat market, the building ran into disrepair during the 1970s and its future seemed to be in grave peril.
However, the building was one of the only surviving remnants of the former Smithfield Market. So its significance was thankfully recognised and developers Muse set about restoring and developing the site.
The Mackie Mayor Food Hall Today
Today, Mackie Mayor has become an anchor point for Manchester’s food and drink scene.
Throughout the week, it’s a popular meeting point for office workers looking to grab lunch or some after-work dinner. While at weekends, the food court is busy from morning to night with shoppers, diners, and those out for a drink.
The strength of any food hall lies in the quality and diversity of the food being served. Mackie Mayor is home to a great mix of vendors. You’ll find exciting drinks, healthy foods, international cuisine, and indulgent, comforting choices.
A well-brewed morning pick-me-up can be found at Atkinsons Coffee Roasters. And if you’re feeling thirsty the Water Station offers sustainable, locally sourced and bottled waters.
Enjoy craft beers from the Black Brewing Co. microbrewery, or explore a menu of wonderful wines at Reserve. If you’re stopping for lunch, Pico’s serves delicious tacos! They’re perfect for sampling, with the chefs recommending you try about 3 tacos from the menu.
Elsewhere, New Wave Ramen, Chilli B, and Mumma’s Fried Chicken are excellent options for a hearty dinner before a night on the town. All three vendors offer exciting vegan and veggie options, too.
Meat-lovers can be assured of quality from the guys at Tender Cow who prepare delicious burgers and steaks. And if you’re looking for pizza, look no further than the long-running Honest Crust. You can’t miss their sourdough pizzas.
Other Manchester Food Markets
Looking for similar food court options around Manchester? The owners of Mackie Mayor also own the Altrincham Market House, a short train ride from Manchester city centre.
Like Mackie Mayor, you’ll find great beers and wine, and food that caters to a wide range of tastes. And whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or perhaps just plain fussy, you’ll have plenty to choose from.
It’s also worthwhile checking out the latest news from Altrincham Market House. It’s regularly home to themed weekend markets covering regional food producers, vintage fashion and furniture, contemporary craft, and much else.
Elsewhere, you can visit Society MCR, the city’s latest food hub. Offering exciting international street food and first-rate craft beers, there’s plenty to explore in this new addition to the city’s cultural scene.
Again, variety is everything in a market. At Society, you’ll find a marvellous selection of foods, from snacks to accompany your beers to satisfying meals from the likes of Slap & Pickle Burgers.
Another famous option is the Arndale Market, conveniently located within the massive Manchester Arndale shopping centre. The market offers plenty of tasty street food options and makes for a nice, vibrant place to take a break from shopping.
Finally, we want to give a shoutout to Hatch, an amazing confluence of creative Mancunian businesses (including more tasty food!).
At Hatch, you’ll find 30 independent retail, food, and drink traders that embody Manchester’s famous creative brilliance. Grab something sweet, chat over a coffee or beer, and peruse locally-made crafts.
Several of these spots feature on our list of the best places to visit in Manchester, with plenty more suggestions as well!
If you’d like to learn more about Manchester and its amazing food scene, book one of our foodie walking tours of Manchester today. Manchester bites food tours take you to our favourite hidden food gems of the city. Great for visitors and locals alike.
If you have any questions for us about this blog or any of our tours or services, get in touch.
This post was originally written in June 2020 and updated in March 2022.