Where to buy the best fresh fish in Manchester.

A common question our food tour guides are asked is “Where to buy the best fresh fish in Manchester?”
One of the many benefits of the UK food scene is that as an island we have a fantastic array of seafood to enjoy. Fish and chips is probably our most famous dish and us Brits eat a whopping £1.2 billion worth per year of the dish.
Over time our tastes and expectations in the kitchen have evolved. Now Brits are not just diving for the cod and haddock but more exotic species such as bass, skate and sole. Many people are understanding the healthy benefits of eating more fish and TV chefs such as Rick Stein and Mark Hix are showing the nation how to easily cook and enjoy the catch of the day.

Whales Fish Market in Manchester’s Arndale

On our food tour of Manchester we explore a small corner of Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre. This is a real locals spot, away from the glitzy and fashionable shops. The fish market has been here since most of us can remember. Growing up it was always the best place to visit as it was full of noise, smells and sights you’d never seen. City chefs would come here early in the morning to bag the best fish but there has always been plenty left for us home cooks.

Whales fish market sits right in the middle of the market and has what seems like an ever increasing supply of seafood. Fresh crabs, lobsters, scallops are all displayed over the ice cubed counters. Huge salmon from Scotland, fresh trout and mackerel are all available alongside dozens of other species. This is where to buy the best fresh fish in Manchester.

Explore Manchester’s food scene

If you’d like to explore more of Manchester’s food scene why not join one of our unique food tours. Over 3 hours we’ll traverse the back streets of the city, stopping in at some of our favourite local businesses. Try dishes representing Manchester’s past, present and future and meet the chefs and owners that feed the city. You can book your food tour here www.manchesterbites.com/tours.
Each tour supports the local food industry as well as our local tourism community.

A wide shot of Whales fish market in the Arndale centre

Explore the Northern Quarter. Manchester Craft and Design.

If you explore the Northern Quarter you might come across the Manchester Craft and Design centre. We all know how important it is to support our local small businesses. From food to fashion and everything in between, small businesses are the backbone of the UK. Well the Manchester Craft and Design centre is the place to go and support your local craft artists. In the very words of Elbow front man Guy Garvey, “If you like to give personal gifts then there is nowhere better in the North West. I’m proud to be a patron.”

Hidden in an old Northern Quarter Fish Market.

The first thing that will strike you when you visit the centre is the actual building it is housed in. The building is a former Victorian fish market. Inside you can still see some of the old fish shops that would have plied their produce to people across Manchester (see main picture). It really adds an atmosphere to the place. Left derelict, like a lot of the Northern Quarter in the 70’s, the building wasn’t resurrected until 1982 when the craft community took over. Since then it has been one of the main catalyst for the regeneration that has taken part in the Northern Quarter.

An Oasis of calm right in the city

The centre has until recently housed a great little cafe called The Oak street cafe which did some of the best soups in Manchester. Sadly due to covid the cafe has closed but they are looking for pop ups to take its place with a view to a more permanent fixture when the world gets back to normal. It is still a really unique and beautiful place to visit. You can walk around the 2 floors and pop in to the artists studios and stores. From bespoke jewellery and ceramics to abstract paintings and glass works, the centre is a perfect place to buy that gift for someone who has everything. Have a look at a list of their residents here.

Another great reason to visit is that there is always an exhibition on. Supporting local artists and encouraging all of us to appreciate their work a bit more.

Explore the Northern Quarter

If you’d like to learn more about Manchester and explore some of its hidden gems like the Arts centre, book a tour with Manchesterbites. We run tasty food tours around our city. Showing you not only the best parts of the world’s first city but also eating some amazing locally produced dishes as we go. Check out www.manchesterbites.com/tours for more details.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Housed in a Victorian fish market

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 https://manchesterbites.com/our-tours/the-food-that-feeds-the-city-tour/
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 info@manchesterbites.com and we will arrange a private food tour just for your group.

Traders at the Arndale Food Market.

Tour of Manchester. Some recommendations of the best tours.

Taking a tour of Manchester is a must do for any new visitor to the city. Here in England we love our story telling and Manchester is full of some of the best. It’s also an ever changing city so even if this isn’t your first trip here, a tour is a perfect way to get underneath the skin.

A few reasons to book a tour of Manchester.

Like many of the UK’s cities, Manchester can be tricky to get around. We don’t rely on the grid systems that are commonly seen in more modern city centres. Some of our streets date back to Roman times. A tour of Manchester is a perfect way to get your bearings when you first arrive here. It will save you a lot of time and effort for the remainder of your stay.

Another reason to tour the city is that it is full of ever changing shops, bars, restaurants and other businesses. Meaning that if it’s your first visit to Manchester for a while, it has definitely changed. Our food tours of Manchester are a prime example of this. We are constantly keeping pace with new restaurants and eateries popping up, moving location or closing. Our food tour will show you places you may never have known existed. Or even places you knew before but have since moved.

But of course the main reason to take a city tour in Manchester is for the history and culture. Manchester has one of the most fascinating stories of any city. From our Roman beginnings, through the Industrial revolution to the modern metropolis we are today. We are a city that explodes with passion when it comes to music. Our sports teams are (sometimes) the envy of the world. We have changed politics on a global scale and invented more things than we can remember. Taking a tour of Manchester is always going to be full of amazing facts and stories.

Some of the best Manchester tours.

Well most visitors to Manchester flock to the footballing Mecca that is Old Trafford. You can enjoy a stadium tour that also takes in the museum and trophy room.
John Costerdine runs Manchester taxi tours. You can hire him and his taxi and do his rock and goal tour which takes in some iconic music and football sites.
If you really want to go deep into the music side check out https://manchestermusictours.com/. They were set up by the drummer of Inspiral carpets Craig Gill.
And of course our Food that feeds the city tour is a must for all you foodies whether visiting or locals. You can find our more details here.

If you’re planning a trip to Manchester and need some help, drop us an email at info@manchesterbites.com.

And on the sixth day god created Manchester mural.

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 http://foodanddrinkfestival.com/
If you’d like to explore Manchester and it’s incredible food scene on one of our food tours head to www.manchesterbites.com

A crowd enjoying the food at the Manchester food festival

Manchester’s favourite buildings. The Midland Hotel.

One of the most well known buildings in Manchester city centre is the Midland Hotel. Opened in 1903 the hotel was built by the Midland railway company. In those days the major train station in Manchester was Central station. Central was right behind the Midland hotel. We now know it as Manchester Central Convention Complex. The hotel was built to house passengers of the service who had come to Manchester from all over the country. The building was designed by architect Charles Grubshaw. It is Edwardian Baroque in style and cost more than a million pounds to complete.

Famous stories of the Midland Hotel.

As well as being one of Manchester’s finest hotels the Midland is know for a few other reasons.
During world war two the area around the hotel was spared heavy bombing by the Luftwaffe. It is believed that Adolf Hitler was a big fan of the Midland. He allegedly wanted to use it as his base in the UK when he successfully invaded.
The hotel is also the place where Mr Charles Rolls first met Mr Henry Royce. The two later started up Rolls Royce which is still going strong today.

Another famous tale of the hotel involves their flagship restaurant The French. Known for decades as one of Manchester’s best restaurants, the doorman of The French once denied access to the Beatles for being inappropriately dressed. One of our tour guides believes that this was also because they were from Liverpool.

Can I visit without being a guest?

You can walk into the lobby area of the hotel to take a look. There are two great places to eat here. The French which we have already mentioned. This was Manchester’s first michelin starred restaurant. The award was given back in 1974. SInce then the restaurant closed down and re-opened in 2013. Adam Reid is now the chef patron there. He uses seasonal, local ingredients and has been drawing in the crowds every night.
For a more down to earth bite the Mount street Dining room and bar promises to serve local classics with a twist. Coming soon.

If you would like to explore Manchester in a unique way, book a food tour with us. Our small group tours take you off the beaten path as we visit some of our favourite food haunts. www.manchesterbites.com

The Midland Hotel in Manchester