Knowing where to get a great value meal in the city can be tricky, but here’s a selection – from fast food favourites to hearty and healthy – all with options at a fiver or less.
This & That
This is one of the city’s most authentic curry houses, a family-run business established in 1984 and home of Manchester’s ‘rice & three’ with the option of a plateful of three homemade curries and rice coming in at less than a fiver – slightly more for meat options. The curry options change daily with favourites including keema (minced lamb), vegetarian lentil daal, and bombay potatoes. Tucked away on Soap Street, it’s worth searching for and though no-frills, gives plenty to fill.
This co-operative health food shop and basement cafe serves homemade and healthy meals. There’s a salad bar where a small salad of your choice is just £3.10 and large £4.10, whilst a daily stew or curry special for under a fiver. Other choices include smoothies, juices and a range of cakes. All options are vegetarian and many suitable for vegans – with a deli counter great for grabbing their homemade bakes on the go. It’s open till 7pm weekdays.
If you’re tired of the usual bland, soggy, sandwiches and fancy a fresher, healthier alternative, Pita Pit could be the answer. Making Mediterranean-inspired food since 1995, Pita Pit’s motto is “fresh thinking, healthy eating,” with many of their pitas under 350 calories and an extensive choice of vegetarian and vegan options. Grilled and made fresh to order before your very eyes, with the option to customise, the dining ‘experience’ is a lot more theatrical than beeping through your pre-packaged, high carb meal.
With the Hulme Street branch ideally close to the universities and Oxford Road, this is a Japanese style sushi and noodle bar with set menu lunch offers, many under a fiver. With select sushi at £1 per plate and more elaborate sushi options not exceeding £3.50 (red plates), its fantastic value. Salmon sashimi is £4.75 and just 160 calories, seaweed salad suitable for vegetarians just £4.50, and the brilliant hirata buns £3.50.
Enjoy a range of authentic Lebanese food including mixed mezze, piled-high salads, and wraps – many of which are under a fiver. The menu is massive and there is the choice of eating in or take-away, with favourites including manakeesh aka Lebanese pizza, shawarma wraps served with pickles and garlic sauce, and you’ve just got to try their homemade hummus. Light on your wallet as well as your waistline, suitable for lunch and evening.
A new restaurant serving award-winning Indian street food and craft beer. Tuck into a range of brilliant beer snacks for £3 or less, and a number of small plates under a fiver. These delicious dishes include unique okra fries coated in chickpea batter, a range of soups and their popular biryani bhaji balls, arancini meets biryani these are fusion food at its finest. Vada Pav is an authentic Mumbai burger of mashed potato served in a brioche bun with chutney and chillies at just a fiver.