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‘Manchester’s best burgers’ are coming to Escape to Freight Island as part of exciting new line-up

Big changes are coming to Freight Island…

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Manchester's Finest Group & @escapetofreightisland / Instagram

Escape to Freight Island has unveiled its new line-up of traders for spring, and there are some seriously impressive new additions.

The open air food hall has experienced massive success since its opening in 2020, and has established itself as one of the city’s most popular food and drink haunts. 

But now, its selection of food traders is having a major shakeup, with Escape to Freight this week unveiling a brand new line up for the spring season. 

And among the new faces is Burgerism, a place known for serving ‘the best burgers in Manchester’. 

@escapetofreightisland / Instagram

Burgerism is the ultimate lockdown success story; born as a dark kitchen in Salford, the takeaway service boomed in popularity throughout 2020 when people were stuck at home and growing increasingly bored of their own home-cooked meals.

They became well known and loved for their (you guessed it) their burgers, which have even been proclaimed as ‘the best burgers in Manchester’ by Mana’s Michelin-starred Head Chef, Simon Martin.

Their menu is wonderfully simple and consists of just a handful of options, with the most popular including the ‘cheesed’ burger – two smashed beef patties, American-style cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and Burgerism’s house burger sauce.

The ‘Free Bird’ is also a huge hit, with it being made up of deep fried chicken breast, house-made spicy oil, comeback sauce, fresh slaw and pickles.

@burgerism / Instagram

Burgerism also offers a range of chicken wings, as well as tasty fries and a selection of drinks, both soft and alcoholic. 

Though Burgerism isn’t the only exciting new addition to Freight Island this spring; Carnival will be taking over the grill of what was previously Baratxuri, where they will be dishing up fine cuts of premium rib, porterhouse and T-bone steak, as well as pork chop with apple tamarind ketchup, lobster with wild garlic, smoked beef short ribs, and crispy fried scampi.

Another exciting food concept of deep fried and charcoal grilled chicken will come courtesy of Lucky Foot, who will be serving first class birds and showcasing modern cooking techniques using the best chicken.

And those with a sweet tooth can look forward to seeing Manchester’s iconic dessert parlour Gooey, who have become city-famous for their colossal donuts and cookies. 

@gooeyco / Instagram

Also offering sweet treats will be local bakery Batard, who will be pitching up outside the Plant Room with their brand-new Diner.

Notably, Batard will be working in partnership with Wildfarmed, a community-led farming system on a mission to fix soil through regenerative farming, co-founded by Andy Cato of Groove Armada.

A brand-new roller skate rink Good Life Skates will also be opening this spring along with the launch of an all-day Sunday festival series Better Days, which will see renowned DJs and local legends every Sunday. This will be arriving with a huge launch party on April 17th.

The new traders will be arriving at Freight Island throughout April and May. For more information and for the full list of new additions, visit the Escape to Freight Island website.

Food & Drink

Restaurant famed for ‘cheese wheel pasta’ and ‘towering lasagnas’ looking to come to Manchester

A taste of la dolce vita could be coming to Manchester

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Big Mamma Group & @bigmamma.uk / Instagram

The ‘OTT’ group famous for its pasta served in a wheel of cheese and 10-level lasagnas is reportedly looking to open a new Italian restaurant in Manchester city centre.

French-based Big Mamma Group, which owns over-the-top Italian restaurants in London – Gloria, Carlotta, Jacuzzi, Ave Mario and Circolo Popolare – will open a new venue in Gary Neville’s under-construction St Michael’s development off Deansgate.

Its restaurants are known for their flamboyant, retro interiors, resembling vintage maximalism Italian eateries, as well as US-style red sauce joints.

Big Mamma Group

The regularly changing menus feature a variety of Italian classics, including fettuccine alfredo al tartufo, spaghetti with meatballs, a famous ’10 level’ lasagne and carbonara served in a huge cheese wheel.

The Manchester restaurant will be the first UK venue to be located outside of London and will – sit alongside the also announced Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte, also to be built at St Michael’s.

The move follows a host of other operators in the capital choosing to open new sites in Manchester.

Big Mamma Group

Soon to arrive in the city will be the likes of Caravan, Flat Iron, Soho House and Blacklock.

Big Mamma – which was founded in 2013 by French entrepreneurs Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux – has more than 20 restaurants across Europe including Paris, Monaco, Milan, Madrid and Berlin.

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Food & Drink

High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU offering 30% off in March

Take advantage of vibrant Japanese dining experience

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High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU is offering 30% off in March for customers who sign up to its new free rewards programme.

The contemporary Japanese eatery, nestled in the heart of the city centre on Bridge Street, is launching its own membership rewards programme.

The scheme is free to join and will give members 30% off their food bill throughout March upon signing up.


Rewards customers can enjoy discounted prices on menus including the Omakase – the theatrical, educational sushi experience which is served individually to diners at the restaurant’s six–seat omakase counter. 

This also includes the full Land of the Rising Sun tasting menus, which take in a range of cooking styles from all over Japan, devised by chef-patron Mike Shaw.

Then from April, members of the programme will be able to take advantage of a series of other rewards, including 30% off any food bill when dining at lunch time, 10% off when dining at dinner on any menu, and a 10% discount on private hire and private dining.


The restaurant has a closed-off area for its private dining experience for guests to enjoy, which is regularly used by celebrities and food critics alike.

On top of this, members celebrating their birthdays at MUSU will receive a complimentary drink, and every reward programme member will be entered into a monthly prize draw to win a 12-course Land of the Rising Sun experience, complete with wine pairings.

You can get early access to the restaurant’s special events, like its live tuna cutting experience, where a whole bluefin tuna is carved in front of diners, while its expert sushi chefs talk you through the provenance of the fish and the skills displayed in this ancient craft.

You can sign up to MUSU’s free rewards scheme, HERE.

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Food & Drink

A Manchester Tiki bar is giving away free cocktails for life

Free Zombies for life!!!

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Gerald England / Geograph & @hulatikimcr / Instagram

One lucky winner can win free cocktails for life at a Manchester Tiki bar to celebrate 15 years of being open.

This April will mark 15 years of Hula – the Northern Quarter’s basement 1950s-style beach bar lounge – and to celebrate, the venue wants to offer one lucky winner a life-long prize to say ‘thank you’ for supporting them over the years.

Many Mancunians will have memories of being in this vibrant late night party hideout at some point, even if they are a little sketchy through a cloudy cocktail ridden haze.

Gerald England / Geograph

April 12th and 13th will be the bar’s official birthday weekend and they have some exciting plans for their guests.

As a special treat, Hulu is running a competition online where one lucky winner will be treated to free zombies for life.

All you have to do is visit @hulatikimcr on Instagram, like the post, follow the page and share to your stories for an extra entry.

In a post on Instagram, Hula wrote: “So… April will mark 15 years of Hula. I know crazy! Every one of us has memories of being in Hula at some point (some we’d probably like to forget)

“It may have gone through some changes throughout the years but Hula remains standing.

“April 12th & 13th will be our official birthday weekend and we have some exciting plans in place… more on that later. So as a special treat to celebrate, we thought why not give back to those who have kept us here all these years.

“We are giving one lucky winner free zombies for LIFE! Like FOREVER!”

Stay tuned for further details of Hula’s 15th birthday celebrations across April 12th and 13th. You can find Hula hidden below Quarter House and The Fitzgerald at 11 Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter.

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