• Megan Kate

The 15 Best Cheap Eats In Manchester | Budget Food Guide

Manchester is the best city in the world to me because it's home. If you ask people what their favourite thing to come from our great city is, you'll get a different answer from everyone: The Suffragettes, our great musical history, football clubs, Vimto? Manchester is loved for so many things, by so many people, but what you might not know is that we've got the fastest growing food scene in the UK. From boutique cafes to Michelin star menus, we have something on offer for everyone; but if you speak to the locals, they'll all tell you the same thing:


The best food in the city is served at our budget friendly and independently owned restaurants.


And so today I'm here to tell you about the best of the best, the places to go for some incredible food that won't hurt your bank account. We're so lucky here as we have such a huge variety of different cuisines available to us even on a lower budget, so if you're visiting Manchester fear not, you'll definitely be able to purchase your favourite food for a reasonable price.



Crazy Pedro's Pizza Parlour

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £5-£10

Specific Deals: Lunch Deal 12-3pm Monday-Friday (2 slices and a drink for £5) or Happy Hour 5-9pm Sunday-Thursday (£2 slices, £10 pizzas, 2-4-1 cocktails, reduced price booze)

Details: This one is no secret but it's one we have to talk about none the less! Crazy Pedro's have some of the best pizza you can find, and the prices are ridiculously cheap even before you consider the deals they have on throughout the week (standard prices are £3 per slice or £16 per pizza)! They have vegan and vegetarian options available and a huge selection of standard and unique pizza combinations, from pepperoni to chicken, waffles and syrup- it works I promise! They now have 2 locations in Manchester and 1 in Liverpool, visit their website here.


My Thai

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £10

Specific Deals: Sunday Buffet deal 12-5pm (Unlimited food served buffet style for £8.95 per person)

Details: My Thai is the place to go if you want a taste of the food you actually eat when you visit Thailand. They have a huge menu, and most of their main meals have a choice of different meats, seafood or tofu, so you can cater them to be perfect for you. They have a great selection of vegan and vegetarian options at no extra cost, and the menu is great for ordering a mish mash of dishes and sharing them out in a group as the portions are huge. My Thai currently have locations in Manchester, Bradford and Leeds, check out their website here.


Northern Soul Grilled Cheese

Meat & Vegetarian Options

Average Meal Price: £6

Details: This place has been beloved by Mancunians ever since it opened, but was made famous around the world when Adam Richman (of Man Vs. Food fame) listed it as one of his favourite restaurants ever! Starting at just £4.95 for a huge grilled cheese with a side of crisps and a pickle, you can't get much better budget food anywhere in the city. They have a huge menu of grilled cheeses, mac n cheese, fries, nachos and more, all at incredibly low prices, with plenty of choices for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. They currently have 4 locations around Manchester city centre, check out their website here.


El Capo

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £10

Specific Deals: Taco Tuesday 4pm-Close (All tacos £1) or Wing Wednesday 4pm- Close (All wings 50p)

Details: In true Northern Quarter style, this dimly lit and dingy looking venue is hidden away on Tariff Street. Once inside you'll find that it's a heaven of tequila and tapas, with a great priced menu and even better weekday deals. They have a great selection of burritos, wings, tacos and small plates with plenty of options for meat lovers, veggies and vegans. They currently just have the one location, check out their website here.


Doner Haus

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £10

Details: This is one nobody would really expect to have great budget options due to it's slightly more higher end location inside the Corn Exchange, but the food here is available at a really great price. They are a Berlin 'Kebap' house, serving a variety of meat, veggie or vegan options, and the portions are huge. From bratwursts, to kebabs to schnitzels, there's something on the menu for everyone. Check out their website here.



Matt & Phred's Jazz Club

Meat & Vegetarian Options

Average Meal Price: £8

Specific Deals: Happy Hour Monday/ Wednesday/ Thursday 6-8pm and Tuesday 5-9pm (Buy 2 alcoholic drinks get a pizza for free, or 2-4-1 cocktails)

Details: A truly one of a kind venue, Matt & Phred's has live music every night. Specialising in Jazz and soul performances has made the atmosphere here like nowhere else, it's the perfect place for a relaxed evening of booze and music. The music begins at 9pm, so make sure you head down a couple of hours earlier to grab some food, and then keep your table for the rest of the night. They currently have just the one venue on Tib Street, and be aware that a weekend visit will cost you £5 at the door. Both meat and veggie pizzas are available, visit their website here.


Manchester Arndale Market

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £8

Details: This colourful hub of street food vendors is the perfect place to grab a bite on a budget. Pancho's Burritos hold the award for 'Best Burrito in Manchester', the newly opened Wholesome Junkies have made their name by serving incredible vegan dishes, and stands such as Viet Shack and Salt & Pepper are local favourites, as well as many many more. Prices from store to store will differ slightly but you can get a meal from each place for well under a tenner.


EatGoody

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £7

Specific Deals: Lunch Specials for £4.45 Tuesday-Friday

Details: If Korean or East Asian food is what you're craving, you'll find none better in the city than at EatGoody. We only discovered it quite recently and have become absolutely obsessed. Their wide menu serves everything you could think of, from meat to veggie to vegan, with dishes starting from as little as £3.95. They're located out near Manchester University and are also now available to order on Deliveroo; you visit their website here.


This & That

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £5

Details: This family run curry house has been serving the locals of Manchester since 1984, I used to go here with my grandparents! You would be forgiven for thinking that this place was just another grotty takeaway, as the decor is nothing to look twice at, but that's because all the time and effort is put into the food rather than the way it looks. The place is really simple: just choose your curry, bang it with some rice and take a seat, then let the flavours do the talking. A huge plate here starts at just £4.50 for a mix of any 3 curries, and they have meat, veggie and vegan options on the menu every day of the week. They have just the one, long serving location on Soap Street at the moment and you can visit their website here.


Jerk Shack NQ

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £7.50

Details: Bringing a taste of the Caribbean to the heart of Manchester, Jerk Shack is another classic that is beloved by locals and tourists alike. Whether it's Jamaican patties, coconut curries or jerk chicken you fancy, they have it all; they even do jerk jackfruit and other vegan delights for those of us who don't eat meat. You can find this street food heaven on Church Street right next to Northern Soul, or click here to find out more.



Hatch

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £8.50

Details: Hatch is the best place in town to visit as a group, with the tables in the courtyard being served by each individual bar and restaurant allowing you to all order from different places but eat together. This quirky collective of street food vendors and independent bars house some of the best food and drink in the city. Why not try some vegan dishes at Herbivorous or The Veggie Deli, while sipping on cocktails from Clubhouse? Or maybe you're more into Abeja Tapas, or fancy some Cypriot Mezze combined with a coffee from Takk? Whatever it is you're after, hatch will have something, and this gorgeous location made from shipping containers is the perfect place to sit and enjoy it too. Visit the website here for a full list of vendors, as well as the list of boutique shops available to visit while you're there too.


Rudy's

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £8

Details: Rudy's serve the absolute best traditional, wood fired, Neapolitan pizzas you can find outside of Naples itself. Possibly the best budget portions in the city, entire pizzas here start at just £6 and all of their dough is slow rise and completely vegan. They have a selection of different toppings for meat lovers and veggies, and can serve them all Marinara style (cheeseless) for anyone dairy free or vegan as well. You can find them at 2 Manchester locations as well as in Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool, or visit their website here.


Trof

Meat, Vegetarian & Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £12

Specific Deals: 50% off all food on Mondays (groups of up to 6 people)

Details: Okay so the restaurant itself isn't strictly a 'cheap eat', but they do have a really bloody good deal on a Monday! Trof is home to one of the best breakfast/ brunch menus in the city as well as some incredible burgers and a great selection of main meals ready for an evening visit. On Mondays it's 50% off the entire menu, all day, suddenly making this gorgeous place the perfect spot for a budget bite. Head over to their (beautifully decorated) spot on Thomas Street to try it for yourself, or browse their website here.


The Font

Meat & Vegetarian Options

Average Meal Price: £7

Details: Known citywide for it's (unbelievably) cheap drinks menu, The Font is also a great place to stop by for a budget meal. With a selection of wraps, burgers and Mexican inspired dishes starting at just £5.25 with a side of fries included, you can pair whichever you choose with one of their £3 signature cocktails and have a great time for less than a tenner. They have locations in Manchester and Chorlton, or you can read more via their website here.


Go Falafel

Vegan Options

Average Meal Price: £6

Details: For a delicious and filling meal on the go that won't put you out of pocket, head over to Go Falafel. Their middle eastern falafel recipe is one of the best in the business, and their huge range of (completely free) extra fillings make this one of the best value for money options you will find in the city. The whole menu is vegan friendly, and their wraps start from as little as £5. They have 3 locations around Manchester as well as 1 in Liverpool, read more on their website here.



And there we have it, the 15 absolute best places you can visit in Manchester for some delicious, locally owned, budget meals. Have you visited any of these places before? I'd love to hear about your experiences. Make sure to follow my Instagram for more budget food and activity ideas from around the world, and I'll speak to you soon.


Meg x

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