The Manchester Egg: A Manchester Food Innovation

At Manchester Bites, we naturally like to talk about Mancunian food innovations. One such dish is, of course, the Manchester Egg. Never one to be left on the sidelines when something good happens, Manchester has developed its own savoury egg snack, a spin-off of the more famous Scotch egg.

If you like learning about the origins of different foods and the various cultural influences that impact our cuisine, you would love our Manchester food tours! Come join us for a walking tour of the city. You’ll learn about the different people and places that have helped create the eclectic food scene we enjoy today.

A Manchester Egg cut in half to show the pickled egg inside a case of pork and black pudding.

What exactly is a Manchester egg?

Let’s just jump right into it: A Manchester egg is a pickled egg wrapped in pork meat and black pudding (another Manchester favourite!). The egg is then dipped in breadcrumbs and fried. It’s served warm, generally as a pub snack.

If you haven’t yet tried a Manchester egg, then you’ll need to seek one out during your visit to our fun city! You’ll find them quite easily. But if you want to know where to find the best Manchester egg, then you really do have to ask the locals.

When we get talking about local foodie favourites, we just don’t stop! So come join one of our tours to learn more about the city and to ask our expert foodie guides about the best places to try a Manchester egg…or any other foods you want to try here in the city!

The Story Behind the Egg

As with many great foodstuffs, the story of the Manchester egg begins in a pub. 

A Mancunian called Ben Holden was enjoying a few pints with his mates in The Castle Hotel pub on Oldham Street. As we all often do, Ben enjoyed a few snacks to go along with his pint. His choice on this occasion: a pickled egg, a scotch egg, and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps. 

It was then that the (glorious) idea hit Ben. What if he could create a hybrid of his three favourite snacks?

Well, Ben being true to his roots and being an industrious sort of lad, took off to the kitchen, and before long, he had perfected the original Manchester Egg. 

We like to imagine Ben shed a prideful tear when he hit upon the recipe, then took himself out for a few celebratory pints. 

A few weeks later, the egg was introduced to the regulars at The Castle. The dish was an instant success (Mancunians being people of discerning taste). Ben was quickly selling no fewer than 30 eggs a week. He knew he needed to get some help to satisfy demand. 

At this point, Ben persuaded a local chef to lend him some kitchen space, and the eggs began to be made in larger and larger batches. Ben had cemented his place in the prestigious ranks of great Manchester innovators. And we certainly have our fair share since the industrial revolution started in Manchester!

How to Make a Manchester Egg

While we do claim to be experts in all things Manchester food scene, that doesn’t mean that we ourselves are chefs. In fact, we have great respect for the art and science that go into excellent cooking!

That said, we all like to dabble in the kitchen. So here’s a Manchester egg recipe we found in The Independent that looks to hold fairly true. Of course, you’ll have to be the judge yourself after you make it!

Mr Holden’s Famous Manchester Egg

Makes 5

  • 300g premium sausage meat
  • 200g Bury black pudding
  • 5 free-range pickled eggs (ideally pickle your own, but shop-bought work just fine)
  • Japanese panko breadcrumbs (from the Chinese supermarket or easily ordered online)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beaten egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying

First, take the Bury black pudding and the premium sausage meat and remove the skin. Mix them together at a ratio of 60-40 (as per measurements above) with your hands (you have to boil the black pudding for a minute to soften it up; alternatively, ask your friendly local butcher to grind them together for you).

Next, wrap the mix around a pickled egg. The best technique is to flatten the mixture into a patty about 12cm in diameter and place the egg in the middle. Then fold the mix up around the egg.

I find Pandora’s is the best pickled egg brand you can get from the supermarket – and the right amount of mix is around 100g per egg. Roll the mix into a perfect ball around the egg.

You then dip into the egg mix and roll it in the breadcrumb. (I also add a secret blend of my own Mr Holden’s spice mix into the crumb. I can’t tell you what the ingredients are, but have an experiment with spicing it up a bit. You can’t go too wrong by just making sure the crumb has a good amount of top-quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper added). 

Press down to make sure as much crumb is coating the egg as possible. For extra crunch, try double-dipping in egg and crumb for a really substantial bite.

Deep fry at 170C for 7-8 minutes and give it a moment or two to cool before tucking in.

Easy peasy.

Learn Manchester’s Story Through Food

The Manchester egg is just one example of the many culinary delights you can thank our fine city for sharing with the world. There are plenty of things Manchester is famous for, including being a leader in the UK vegetarianism movement! 

We love the Manchester egg, but our diversity of tastes and culinary preferences is as wide as the diversity of our people.

If you’d like to learn more about Manchester and its fantastic food scene, join us on a food tour. We love to share the hidden Manchester that’s too often overlooked. We showcase our local food heroes and the stories behind the people that feed the city. Come join us!

This article was originally written in August 2020 and updated in February 2022.

Manchester egg cut in half

Food Tour of Manchester. Helping communities.

A food tour of Manchester not only takes you to hidden gems and places in Manchester. When you do a food tour you are also helping heaps of local businesses along the way. Think about it. A normal walking tour of any city is full of fun facts and interesting stories. During the experience your tour guide points out cool things and you learn a thing or two. But once the tour is over you have not actually impacted anyone along the way.

Taking a food tour not only gives you all of the fascinating stories, interesting facts and shows you hidden gems. A food tour also supports all of the local food businesses that you visit.

Helping our local food community

On our “Food that feeds the City” tour we visit 6 different food heroes. At each stop our guests are treated to a tasting (all included in the price). Each tasting tells a part of Manchester’s story. For example we visit an Italian cafe and learn about the Italian community that thrived in and around Ancoats after the war. We will try one of their home made bites and the chef tells us about her family history and how they made it in Manchester.

Manchester has so many different ethnic communities and we are blessed with some serious food heroes from them. West Indian patties, Chinese dumplings, South Asian curries and our very own Mancunian creations can be found all over the city. It’s our job to showcase the best of these to you on your food tour.

We often find that guests enjoy a certain place along the tour route. They will sometimes go back or even tell friends about this place This way we are not only helping the restaurants when we drop by during the food tour but also afterwards as well.

Constantly changing Manchester

Manchester is an ever changing city. Area’s that were once derelict and run down are now buzzing with new apartments, exciting businesses and artisan eateries. Just look at Ancoats. Whether this is your first trip to Manchester or you’re a local Mancunian there’s always new things to see and do.

Taking one of our Manchester food tours keeps you in touch with the latest new places. Our guides are walking, talking fountains of Mancunian knowledge. We are always updating our food tour routes to keep up with the changing times. If you’ve never done a tour of Manchester before come and try us out. We promise you not only heaps of Manchester’s best food but also tonnes of stories, facts, and some secret tips along the way.

How to book your Food tour of Manchester

You can easily book our food tour of Manchester by going to
We are also not charging any extra fees at the moment for a private tour (minimum 2 people maximum 5). If you’d prefer to stay in your social bubble send an email to and we will arrange a private food tour just for your group.

Traders at the Arndale Food Market.

Chinatown Manchester. Where to eat and some history.

Chinatown Manchester is the second biggest in the UK after London. It is right in the middle of the city, between Piccadilly gardens and St Peter’s square. A great place to eat and shop for exotic groceries, it’s a must visit when you’re in Manchester.

A little bit of Chinatown history

In the early part of the 20th century Manchester welcomed it’s first Chinese settlers. Many of whom worked in the laundry industry.This was the birth of Chinatown Manchester. After the second world war Manchester experienced a lot of immigration. People came from around the world taking advantage of the British Nationality Act. Britain needed more people for it’s post war workforce. One group of people who came were the Chinese. Most came to Manchester from Hong Kong, the Cantonese region of China. As a result a lot of us locals refer to Cantonese food as Chinese food. In fact Chinese food comes in many different regional forms.

Manchester’s Chinatown today

The most striking thing about Chinatown is Paifang archway on Faulkner street. This huge Chinese arch was built in China and shipped to Manchester in 1986 in 3 seperate parts. The arch is a gift to the Chinese community from Manchester City Council.
There are a lot of different restaurants to eat at around the area. You’ll notice that it’s not just Chinese restaurants. There’s Thai, Vietnamese and even Japanese here. One reason for this is the local Asian grocery stores. You can buy things here that you can’t find in normal grocery stores in the UK.

Where to eat in Chinatown

For many of us Mancunians we have our favourite go to places to eat in Chinatown Manchester. Old school restaurants like The Yang Sing on Princess street have been serving us for decades. Manchester’s palate has matured over the years. We now have many speciality Chinese restaurants such as Hunan on George street. Here the food is from the Hunan area of China, so spicier than Cantonese food. There’s also Red n Hot on Faulkner street for those looking for that Szechuan spice kick. Yuzu is a popular Japanese spot with a great sake bar.

Weird fact about Chinatown Manchester

On George street there is a small building called the Guardian Telephone Exchange. This was built in the late 50’s and sits at the entrance to a 4 mile network of underground tunnels. The tunnels were to house officials and workers in the event of a nuclear attack during the cold war. Similar tunnels were in place in London and Birmingham. Apparently, the tunnels were dug by Polish workers. The Poles couldn’t speak any English so there was less risk of anyone knowing they were there.

If you’d like to explore Manchester book on one of our food tours. Our food tours take you around the city centre on a 3 hour walking and eating adventure. We’ll tell you the story of Manchester’s communities and eat their food. Go to for more details.

The arch in Manchester's Chinatown

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival is back.

Good news. The Manchester food and drink festival is back. The festival will take place from 24th September to 5th October. With all that has happened this year there will obviously be some changes to what we are used to. Praise must go to the organising committee for not giving in. And for keeping Manchester at the forefront of the UK food scene.

About the Manchester food and drink festival

More good news is that the festival will remain a free event. You can come along and enjoy the fun and food any day. Also a special app is being created to enhance your eating experience.
The Manchester food and drink festival hub will be at cathedral gardens. There are new social distancing measure in place and the site will be made up of 2 sections. The feasting quarter and the festival market. If you’d like to book a table there is a small charge of £5 per guest. This way you will not have to queue for any of the delicious food on offer. You can enjoy table service and only ever need to get up to loosen your belt.

More music, more local brews

Beer lovers are catered for again this year with the MFDF beer bar. There’ll be a whole host of ales, lagers and stouts on offer from across the region. The festival’s music stage is concentrating on acoustic this year. Some of the area’s best bands and musicians will be entertaining the crowds as they eat and drink. Over 40 different traders will have stalls at the festival market. You are guaranteed to take some fresh regional produce home with you from the festival. Of course, this years market is the biggest one yet. And yes, there’ll be plenty of hand sanitizers and space for everyone to enjoy in safety and comfort.
Across the 12 days of the festival look out for special menus, cocktails and events at Manchester’s bars and restaurants. It’s been an incredibly tough year for the food and beverage industry in Manchester. This autumn we can all show some support and enjoy some of our regions best dishes together.

How you can enjoy the festival

For more information about the Manchester food and drink festival you can visit
If you’d like to explore Manchester and it’s incredible food scene on one of our food tours head to

A crowd enjoying the food at the Manchester food festival

Pancho’s Burritos. Manchester’s Mexican street food.

Mexican street food is some of the best in the world. In Manchester we have one of the best Mexican street food joints in the whole of the UK, Pancho’s Burritos. Pancho’s can be found in the Arndale food court, just near the food market. We talk quite a lot about this hidden gem of a market in Manchester. It is tucked away at the back of the Arndale centre and as a result a lot of locals don’t even know it exists. We go there on our food tour of Manchester and it’s always a firm favourite.

How Pancho’s burritos came to Manchester

Enrique Martinez is the man behind Pancho’s burritos. He was born in Mexico city and was surrounded by some of the best street food in the world from an early age. Enrique had the opportunity to study in Manchester in 2006. It was then that he met his now wife Collette a local girl. After a few years living back in Mexico they both decided to move back over to Manchester and start a Mexican street food business. Pancho’s was born.

Unlike a lot of small food businesses that have to move around the city, Pancho’s has been in the Arndale since day one. Now ten years later they have a great reputation in the city. They now have a catering business and are busy every weekend with private events.

Their secret is to keep everything fresh. Salads, salsas, guacamoles, even the breads are made fresh daily. The UK public is now more aware of what authentic Mexican food is compared to Tex Mex gimmicks. Places like Pancho’s are giving us that authentic experience and Manchester is a better place for it.

How you can enjoy Pancho’s

You can find Pancho’s at the Arndale food market in Manchester. Go in using the high street entrance.

If you’d like to learn more about Manchester, come and explore it on our food tour. Manchesterbites food tours tell the story of the city and the characters that feed us. for more info.

Panchos burritos in Manchester Arndale Market.

Altrincham Market House: Things to Do in Manchester

A Community Revitalised…

The revival of the Altrincham Market is nothing short of remarkable. From 1290 (yes, 1290!) the market had been at the centre of community life in Altrincham. Throughout the centuries, the market would have been where townsfolk gathered to buy goods, make a living, and spend time in the company of their neighbours.

And yet, the second half of the 20th century brought a period of stagnation. With the fortunes of the town on the downturn and the population size decreasing year over year, the historic market was being run by the council with little love or care. In fact, around a decade ago, Altrincham was voted as having the worse high street in Britain.

So, what has changed?

Well, Nick Johnson came onto the scene. Nick was a property developer and saw something in Altrincham that others failed to spot. In 2013, he won the contract to run the market and quickly set about changing the face of it and in turn Altrincham.

Listen to Nick’s fascinating account of how he came to the project in the excellent documentary below.

YouTube video

Nick gave the Victorian building a makeover. Cleaning it from top to bottom and restoring some features that had been neglected. He then got to work contacting some of the area’s best, local food vendors. 

Nick did the same in Manchester city centre with the Mackie Mayor food hall, the big sister of Altrincham Market House. We previously wrote about Mackie Mayor here

Food and Drink at Altrincham Market House

Since it reopened in 2014, locals and visitors have filled the food hall week after week, and it should come as no surprise – the food on offer is second to none!

Market House is home to 10 indie food stalls, including Honest Crust, Wolfhouse Kitchen, Tender Cow, Jack in the Box, Reserve Wines, Great North Pie Co., Sam Joseph, and Market House Coffee.

Jack in the Box is an award-winning producer of real ale and cider that operate across the Mackie Mayor and Altrincham Market Houe locations. Serving tasty beers from the Blackjack Brewing Co. and other guest breweries, Jack in the Box is the perfect place to catch up with a friend while enjoying a locally-produced brew.

Meanwhile, Honest Crust serves up magnificent sourdough pizzas cooked in a tiled oven imported from Italy. While there is now a wealth of options for great pizza in Manchester, Honest Crust has proved themselves to be stalwarts of the scene. If you fancy eating a perfectly cooked pizza in an atmospheric setting, look no further than Honest Crust at Altrincham Market House. 

Looking to eat some traditional northern fare while in the Manchester area? You can’t go wrong with the Great North Pie Co. at the Alty. Having started in a residential kitchen, the Great North Pie Co. has bloomed into one of England’s best producers of pies, having amassed several awards and nominations along the way. Cold day out? There’s no better English comfort food than a serving of pie and mash!

Shops and Events at Altrincham Market  

A big part of Altrincham market’s success story is in how the market has really brought a fresh buzz to the town. In fact, Altrincham was recently voted as one of the best places to live in the UK and the market has surely played a part in that.

Throughout the week, you can buy food from local food suppliers, including award-winning butchers, greengrocers, bakers, and fishmongers.

Additionally, there are other regular stalls selling clothes, hand-crafted jewellery, furniture, and much else besides.

Each weekend, Altrincham Market has a different theme, providing locals and visitors alike with plenty of variety throughout the year. Themes include craft and design, vintage, and food (similarly, focused themes apply to the days of the week too) – head to Altrincham Market’s Facebook page for the latest events listings. 

Getting to Altrincham Market 

Located eight miles outside of Manchester, the Altrincham Market is well connected and easily accessible. 

The fastest and most convenient way to get from Manchester city centre to Altrincham is by tram. Altrincham is on the Metrolink’s A and B. The journey from Manchester city centre will take around 30 minutes.

If you prefer to take the bus from Manchester city centre, the 16, 41, 108, 263, and 264 services all head to Altrincham. The journey will take you around an hour.

Trains are also fairly regular, with departures taking place each hour from Manchester Piccadilly on the Mid Cheshire line.

Finally, if you are driving, the journey should take no more than 30 minutes. 

When is Altrincham Market Open

The Altrincham Market House (Food Hall) is open Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 10 pm, and Sunday 9 am – 6 pm.

Alty Market (Outdoor Market Section) is open from 8 am to 4 pm on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. 8 am to 3 pm on Thursday. 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

This brings an end to our short guide on Altrincham Market House. If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Altrincham market House