best of Manchester

Best of Manchester: Ultimate Insider’s Guide with Emma Campbell

We’re bringing you the best local secrets with some of the world’s top bloggers, influencers, and travel journalists in our new City Insider series. From where to find the perfect brew to that little-known bar that plays the best tunes, vintage record stores and green outdoor spaces, consider this your checklist for an amazing city break in Manchester.

We’re diving into all the best spots in Manchester, with a quick-fire interview with Emma Campbell telling you her favourite places and expert tips.  Emma is a lifestyle writer based in Manchester who has a passion for food and travel. Her blog, Powder Rooms, covers everything from restaurant and hotel reviews to skincare tutorials and life hacks. The blog has been running for almost 11 years, which means her life is pretty much based on the internet! Her favourites include Thai food, R&B music, Espresso Martinis, and oat milk lattes, but you’ll find she reviews much more than those…

Best of Manchester: Ultimate Insider’s Guide with Emma Campbell

1. Favourite Overall Restaurant?

Rudys Pizza – best pizzas in Manchester hands down!

2. Best Restaurant for Date Night?

The Ivy – perfect ambiance, touch of class, varied menu.

3. Local Foodie Secret?

For street food style lunches, check out Manchester Arndale market – super affordable and such a wide variety of food vendors! It’s a hidden gem.

4. Best Burger?

Gotta be Almost Famous – an original MCR favourite burger place!

5. Best Place for Coffee?

Ezra & Gill in the Northern Quarter.

6. Best Pizza?

As mentioned above, gotta be Rudys! Second to this is Ciaooo in the Northern Quarter.

7. Best Place for Vegetarian/Vegan Food?

Bundobust in Piccadilly, amazing tapas-style, Indian inspired vegetarian meals. Always a buzz in there and tasty food.

8. Best Place for Brunch?

Ezra & Gill, best place for smashed avocado on sourdough!

9. Where to Get an Amazing Budget-Meal?

Pan-Asian restaurant Umami on Oxford Rd – literally the most affordable lunchtime menus offering ramen, noodle and rice dishes with all your meat/veggies Asian style (popular with students!)

10. Bar for Drinks with Friends?

20 Stories is great – especially in the summer for the views and terrace.

best of Manchester

11. Best Cocktail Bar?

Cloud 23 at The Hilton, slightly pricey but best cocktails! Also Grand Pacific.

12. Bar/Club for a Big Night Out?

Lost in Tokyo or GBA, but I may be biased because I love R&B music!

13. Best Place for a Sweet Treat?

Home Sweet Home, the most unbelievable cakes and shakes!

14. Unmissable Thing to Do in the City?

Book in for afternoon tea at Cloud23 – the views across the city are second to none, and the ambiance is beautiful.

best of Manchester

15. Favourite Place for a Staycation?

Roomzz at the Corn Exchange Manchester is a brilliant place to stay. Splat bang in the center, close to a tram line, with bars and restaurants on your doorstep. Also just in front of Victoria Station.

16. How to get Around the City Like a Local?

Use the number 2 and 3 buses from Piccadilly station – totally free and gets you all around the city.

17. Favourite Outdoor Space for Chilling Out?

St Annes Square. Lots of benches to sit back and relax, usually listening to the many talented buskers you get around that area.

18. Best Market in the City?

It’s actually outside of the city, but still in Manchester – Altrincham market. Easily the best for food and shopping from the independent stores.

19. Top Workout in the City?

Barry’s! Hardcore but has such a great class offering and it’s a place that really motivates everyone who goes. They also offer delicious protein shakes too.

20. Must-Visit Independent Store?

Oklahoma in the Northern Quarter. It has the quirkiest stationary and gifts, along with a cute little cafe. Also MAGMA – a little book and magazine shop on Oldham St in the Northern Quarter. The books it offers are ones you’d struggle to find in any other stores and great for creatives!

best of Manchester

21. Best Things to do with Kids in the City?

Visit the Science and Industry Museum – a brilliant place for kids to explore all about science and transport

Siobhan McKenny