The pie is an icon of British cuisine, and British Pie Week is a great excuse to indulge in a piece of pastry-clad perfection. Not that any excuse is needed.
From traditional rare breed meat or game to comforting cheese and onion, there’s a pie for everyone in our pick of Manchester’s finest pie experiences.
All you need to decide is chips or mash.
No-nonsense Northern at Great North Pie Co
Neil Broomfield has worked in Michelin starred restaurants, but his passion for pies led him to set up the Great North Pie Co. Previously crowned supreme champion at the British Pie Awards. Neil’s perfect pies use an all-butter pastry, with the finest ingredients sourced from the north – think Swaledale rare breed beef mince with roast onion puree, peas, Bovril, beef dripping, cinnamon and white pepper; or pressed spinach with Cheshire cheese, white sauce, nutmeg, black and white sesame seeds. You’ll find them daily at Market House Altrincham.
Match day pies at Cafe Football
Over at the National Football Museum, Cafe Football’s pies are, unsurprisingly, inspired by match day treats – though they’re much better than what you might find on the average terrace. The beef and gravy pie comes with mash or fat cut chips and gravy, while the chicken curry pie comes with chips and curry sauce. Or try Scholesy’s steak suet pudding with chips, mushy peas and gravy.
Vegan-friendly options at Pie & Ale
From the stable of BAKERIE bread & wine bar, Pie & Ale on Lever Street specialises in freshly-baked pies alongside award-winning real ales. Homemade pies range from traditional fillings to more unusual game as well as specials and several vegan options. There’s British beef steak and vegetables steeped in a rich house Yippee Pie Ale gravy, spicy Sichuan pork mince, and vegan-friendly Cuban style pulled jack fruit, all served with homemade mash and red wine gravy.
Goat or guinea fowl at Abel Heywood
You can get hot pork pies with mushy peas and hot brown sauce as a starter or snack at this classy pub and boutique hotel, but the main menu is where the real pie action is. The award-winning pies are served with mash and buttered greens, with a choice of fillings from guinea fowl with chicken, mushroom and tarragon to curried goat with ale onions. A veggie option pairs creamed goats cheese with squash, roasted shallots and fragrant rosemary.
Classic fare at The Chop Houses
Sam’s and Mr Thomas’s Chop House were established in 1872 and 1867 respectively, so you’d expect them to do the classics well. In the restaurants you’ll find the Great North Pie Company’s legendary cheese and onion pie, consisting of Dewlay’s Tasty Lancashire cheese with caramelised white onion, served with buttered cabbage, chantenay carrots and a rich herb butter sauce. Over at The Albert Square Chop House, you’ll find a traditional homity pie with potato and Lancashire cheese.
Pub pies at Bay Horse Tavern
This modern take on a Victorian pub offers a range of pies, all served with creamy mash or thrice cooked chips and gravy. Fillings include traditional steak and ale or chicken and broccoli, with a vegetarian option of mushroom and leek. There’s also a cheese and onion pasty on the bar snacks menu. And since a pasty is fully enclosed in pastry, it’s technically a pie, so we’ll take it.
Posh pies at 20 Stories
Pies go posh at Aiden Byrne’s swanky restaurant with a view in Spinningfields. Split into a formal restaurant and more casual grill, you’ll find a hearty braised lamb hotpot pie served with red cabbage to share between two on the 20 Stories grill menu. And though not pies in the traditional pastry-encased sense, the menu also serves an elegant cottage pie with roasted celeriac and garlic puree, and a comforting fish pie.
Award-winning deliveries from Lord of the Pies
Founded in Stockport in 2011, and with a branch in Macclesfield, award-winning Lord of the Pies opened a restaurant on Barlow Moor Road in Chorlton last year. The menu features all Lord of the Pies’ classic bakes, including confit pork and Bury black pudding, beef and ale with roasted mushrooms (a British Pie Awards gold winner), and roast chicken and mushroom with soft herb sauce, as well as regularly changing specials and vegetarian options, to eat in or take away. They’re on Deliveroo, too.
A starter pie at Albert’s Shed
Castlefield favourite Albert’s Shed has a mainly Italian-inspired menu, but there are also pies on the menu. You can even have a little pie for a starter – a slow cooked short-rib of beef in shortcrust pastry served with mushy peas and red wine gravy. If you fancy another pie for a main course, try the Lancashire cheese and onion pie with cheese and chive sauce.
Gourmet takeaway at Pieminister
Pieminister has been making great tasting pies in Bristol for 14 years, and the Church Street branch sells gourmet pies to eat in or take home. They only use 100% free range British meat for their pies, which include venison with bacon, red wine and green lentils, or beef steak with chorizo, olives and butter beans, and there are several vegetarian and gluten-free options alongside a range of craft beers and ciders.
Seasonal treats at 1761
1761 Restaurant pays homage to Manchester’s great past and draws inspiration from the warm Mancunian spirit, and the menu includes a couple of traditional pies alongside the classic hearty dishes. Chicken and mushroom pie comes with baby cabbage and chicken gravy, or a seasonal spring vegetable pie has a light vegetarian gravy – which surely makes it a healthy option? Add beef dripping chips or buttery mash to make it less so.