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Food & Drink

The best spots to celebrate National Burger Day in Manchester

Here in Manchester, we do burgers properly…

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@pattyqueenburgers / Instagram

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: National Burger Day.

Tomorrow, August 26th, we will be celebrating everything there is to love about the humble burger and, of course, every Manchester establishment that offers the tastiest and most unique take on the popular dish.

So, without any further ado, here’s our list of the best spots in Manchester to go and grab a burger on National Burger Day:

Slap & Pickle

Kicking off the festivities is Slap & Pickle – located in Society, these guys don’t mess around when it comes to their burger options. Using only forty day dry-aged, grass-fed Yorkshire and Lancashire beef from Swaledale Foods, quality is guaranteed with every burger sold.

Menu highlights include their signature cheese-overload burger the ‘Personal Cheesus,’ the Baconator burger and one for the chilli lovers, the Hey Hot Stuff burger.

Slap & Pickle can be found in Society, and can also be ordered and delivered online via Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Foodstuffs.

Slap & Pickle, Society, 100 Barbirolli Square, Manchester, M2 3BD.

Almost Famous

@almostfamous / Instagram

This Manc-born brand has long been a firm favourite in the city for our much-needed burger fixes – having two venues here in Manchester, one in Liverpool and one in Leeds, Almost Famous is well ahead of the game with its unique take on the humble burger.

Their burgers boast a whole array of unusual yet delicious toppings and ingredients – we’re talking packets of Frazzles and Cheetos kind of unusual.

And, to celebrate National Burger Day, Almost Famous will be giving out FREE burgers tomorrow. Click here for all the info.

Almost Famous, Unit 2, Great Northern, Peter St, Manchester, M3 4EN
Almost Famous, 100-102 High St, Manchester, M4 1HP
almostfamousburgers.com

Bull & Bear

Bull & Bear, the restaurant brought to Manchester from Marlow by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, offers a wonderfully gourmet burger for those wanting something a little fancier – The ‘Marlow Mix’ Burger with maple bacon and smoked applewood cheddar.

And, to mark National Burger Day, the restaurant will be launching the exclusive ‘Marlow Mix’ Burger, which will feature slow cooked short rib of beef and smoked Applewood cheddar, served with a side of truffle and parmesan fries.

Visit their website to book a table.

Bull & Bear, 4 Norfolk St, Manchester M2 1DW

The Blackfriar 

@theblackfriarsalford / Instagram

Salford’s newly refurbished historical pub The Blackfriar offers fantastic menus boasting both gourmet dining options and traditional pub grub – and some bloody good burgers, of course.

The ‘Blackfriar Burger’ features an aged beef patty with cheddar, little gem lettuce, onion, tomato and a special Boddington’s relish. And, for the Pride weekend this week, there is the limited-edition PINK burger, with £1 from every burger sold being donated to the Terrance Higgins Trust.

Head to their website for more information and bookings. 

The Blackfriar, 41-43 Blackfriars Road, Salford, M3 7DB.
0161 667 9555

V Rev Vegan Diner

@vrevmcr / Instagram

One for the vegans! V Rev has long been a firm favourite among plant-based Mancs, and their burgers are a constant smash hit (even with the meat eaters.)

The restaurant grills to order smashed patties from Beyond Meat for every burger, including the Dirty Little Secret, the Whopper Way to Make a Living, the Barbecue Without the E, and the Tommy Pickles.

They also offer vegan alternatives to hot dogs, burritos, mac and cheese and wings.

Head over to their website to book a table or to order online. 

V Rev Vegan Diner, 20-26 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN.
0161 806 0928

Patty Queen

@pattyqueenburgers / Instagram

One of the newer burger pop ups on the block, Patty Queen promises to dish up the ‘best burgers on this side of Santa Monica.’

And boy, do they deliver.

Located over at Escape to Freight Island, Patty Queen serves up some seriously good burgers, including their classic hamburger, which boasts two ‘delicious and delectable’ patties using aged beef, double American cheese, chopped lettuce, beef tomato, red onion and pickles, all held together with a toasted potato brioche bun.

Patty Queen can be found at Escape to Freight Island and can also be delivered via Deliveroo.

Patty Queen, Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring Street, Manchester, M1 2PZ.

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

Obviously the kings of steak have a banging burger – served with either Ogleshield cheese or Stichelton, the meat in the burgers comes from 100% grass-fed beef from traditional breeds, with small nuggets of bone marrow in there to keep things juicy and meaty throughout. 

The burger was even ranked in twentieth place in Big 7 Travel’s round up of the best burgers in Europe, where it was stated that ‘their classic burgers should be illegal it’s so much fun.’

Head over to the Hawksmoor website for more info and bookings.

Hawksmoor, 184, 186 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WB.
0161 836 6980

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Food & Drink

The Italian restaurant serving up incredible seafood specials and deep-fried pasta

‘Wine is not necessary for flavour if your ingredients are good.’

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An Italian restaurant in Worsley has been keeping customers hooked for more of its authentic fish and seafood dishes.

Vesuvio, on Simpson Road in Boothstown, is a hidden gem amongst an ordinary shopping parade. Set back off the main road and nestled in with a bookies, a corner shop, a Chinese takeaway and an Indian restaurant, you could easily miss this little slice of Neapolitan heaven.

Childhood friends, co-owners and chefs Nico Vanacore and Guiseppe Lombardo, opened their Italian restaurant almost 10 years ago as it quickly erupted and became popular among locals ever since.

“We are very big on fish,” chef Nico Vanacore says, as the menu shows a selection of seafood dishes including, swordfish, cuttlefish spaghetti, mussels and octopus mayonnaise – amongst other oceanic delights.

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Born in Naples, the pair followed in the footsteps of both of their dads, who were also chefs, and started their culinary journey working in Nico’s uncle’s restaurant back home. The friends have been cooking together since they were 10 years old. Fun fact: they even went to school with Gino Di Campo.

On how they keep their customers hooked , Giuseppe says: “We change the specials all the time. It’s a residential area so we have a lot of regulars who come on a weekly basis. 

“If you come two weeks in a row, probably you’ll find mussels or scallops but done in a different way each time.”

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Guiseppe came to Manchester in 1994 and began working at Tiggi’s in Preston before cooking at San Carlo’s in Manchester city centre. He and Nico later launched their very own restaurant Vesuvio to be closer to their homes in Worsley, with the idea that they would be able to spend more time with their families, and do the school runs as they’re closed in the mornings.

The duo are hands-on and get stuck in with the day-to-day running of things, taking it in turns cheffing in the kitchen at the rear, and running the ‘front of house’. The only time they get a proper rest is on a Monday but they love what they do, so they don’t seem to mind – although they joke that their wives sometimes complain that they are married to the restaurant.

Giuseppe explains they use fish stock for the base of many dishes but never add wine, saying: “Wine is for drinking, not cooking. Catering school taught us that if the fish is good and fresh you eat it the way it is, without embellishment. Wine is not necessary for flavour if your ingredients are good.”

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Standing out amongst the dishes, much like the great Mount Vesuvius, is their famous, Mixed Vesuvio — a traditional meal of Naples. This is a hot pan of fish and seafood in a broth, topped with a pizza base for a lid, which absorbs all the flavours of the sea — great for tearing and sharing. This fragrant steamy dish makes an excellent feature for friends and families to enjoy whilst also sampling some more of Naples’ authentic cuisine.

Also on the menu is Vesuvio’s frittelle which is an indulgent fritter of pasta with pecorino cheese sauce, roasted ham and peas battered and deep fried until crisp. On the streets of Naples, you will find these in a cone along with deep fried courgette flowers, hunks of fish and calamari. 

 As well as rolled swordfish fillets stuffed with iron-rich Italian broccoli leaves (cime di rapa), scamorza (smoked mozzarella), anchovies and juicy tangy tomatoes. Unlike other more delicate fish dishes, this one socks you with a LaMotta-worthy flavour punch. And for those who fancy some meat, there’s the tender melting beef cheek reclining on a rich stock-based sauce.

As the drink is as important to Italian’s as their food is, this restaurant also boasts a selection of Neapolitan wines, and you can finish off your Mediterranean visit with some deep fried ravioli filled with chocolate and a glass of grappa to ‘blow the doors off’.

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Food & Drink

Manchester restaurant is hiring a ‘cheese and wine expert’ for £24k a year

Great news for cheese and wine lovers looking for a new role!

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A Manchester restaurant is recruiting an ‘expert’ in cheeses for £24k a year.

If you consider yourself a connoisseur of cheese and wines, this job could be the one for you. 

Master Chef 2015 winner, Simon Wood, is looking for someone to work at his city centre restaurant Wood, in its sophisticated cheese and wine room called Homage.

The job advertisement is for a host but applicants must know their stuff when it comes to cheese and wines. They are on the lookout for a full-time staff member to work four days a week at the city centre restaurant.

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The vacancy reads:This is an exciting and unique opportunity for an individual who has a good knowledge for wine and a love of cheese.”

Other requirements for the prospective candidates for the position include a high level of customer service and attention to detail, experience and knowledge of wine service and a genuine passion and enthusiasm for hospitality at its best.

Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) knowledge is preferred but not essential. The salary for the vacancy is from £24,000 a year (dependant on experience), plus service charge.

For those who wish to apply, you can email your CV and covering letter to Simon@woodmanchester.com

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Food & Drink

The hidden gem serving up Hong Kong’s top rated pork chop curry in Eccles

Stick Popchop on your list of Manchester food to try!

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Chinese takeaway Popchop, in Eccles, serves up a pork curry which has been ranked one of the top ten pork chop rice dishes by Time Out magazine Hong Kong.

From the outside this low-key takeaway, located on Liverpool Road, looks almost indistinguishable from any other. Even the inside is simple and straight to the point, with just a couple of small seating arrangements for the odd person who needs somewhere convenient to quickly demolish their feast.

Owner Samuel serves up the Hong Kong pork chop curry — a 40-year-old family recipe — which made it to the top ten best pork chop dishes in Hong Kong by Time Out magazine.

His dad runs the Sun King Yuen curry restaurant in Hong Kong which is famous for its pork chops, and it’s good news for Eccles, as he passed his wisdom on to his son.

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Samuel keeps framed pictures of his dad around Popchop, and in them, he is busy cooking over his wok. It is from him that Samuel learned the techniques to create the top-rated curry sauce and crispy breadcrumbed pork chops that go with it.

Samuel and his wife moved to Eccles two years ago and opened up Popchop in July 2022. Since opening, locals have been queuing down the street with meals reportedly selling out fast — it’s no surprise when you learn the history behind the food and the love that goes into it.

Of the family classic, Time Out said: “This classic curry house in Wan Chai is famed for its pork chops, and is one of the few tourist attractions in the district that locals still love.”

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Sharing a little of the secret to how it is made, Samuel said: “The pork is first left to marinate for four hours in a homemade spice mix before being breaded and deep-fried.

“The base paste for the curry is what makes the difference,” he added. 

It’s all made using the exact same methods and techniques as his relatives at their restaurant Sun King Yeun in Hong Kong, and once cooked, is served with soft potatoes on a bed of white rice. 

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FYI: for those that don’t fancy pork, there’s also a chicken version of this dish.

Popchop’s menu is simple but effective. It’s the kind of place that does just a few things but does them really well – an excellent addition to Eccles.

Popchop is open 5-9pm Wednesday to Sunday.

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