We’ve been enjoying brunch since the 1890s, when writer Guy Beringer apparently proposed the hybrid meal between breakfast and lunch as a civilised way to deal with a hangover.
Not just a way to calm delicate stomachs, brunch was also a social occasion, perfect for swapping debauched tales from the previous evening. And indulging in a little hair of the dog, if necessary.
“Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” he wrote in his 1895 essay Brunch: A Plea. “It is talk-compelling. It makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings.”
Here’s our pick of the best in town.
All day brunch dishes include smashed avocado and eggs with chilli salt and house pickles with smoked salmon (£11) or bacon (£8.50), as well as Turkish eggs (£8), halloumi with garlic and thyme roasted mushrooms on sourdough (£8.50), and a range of sweet treats from homemade toasted banana bread with vanilla mascarpone (£4) to French toast with berries, white chocolate and almond crumble (£8).
Ezra and Gill
Dishes include healthy options – organic oats prorridge made with almond milk (£5.50), house baked granola (£6.50) or smashed pumpkin on toast with baby spinach, crumbled feta and free-range poached egg (£9.50) – as well as more indulgent options: chorizo and sweet potato hash (£9.50), say, or lemon cheesecake French toast with maple syrup, biscuit crumb and vanilla mascarpone (£10).
The Koffee Pot
A Manchester institution, The Koffee Pot on Oldham Street offers huge all-day breakfasts including fry-ups (from £9.50), fluffy buttermilk pancakes (£9-£10) and a range of Bennies, with vegan options available.
The MancMuffin (£9.50) is piled high with sausage patty, American cheese, smoked streaky bacon, potato rosti, runny egg and bloody Mary ketchup – and there’s a range of bloody Mary options alongside mimosas and boozy shakes. Thursday to Saturday from 4pm you can tuck into incredible ‘hangover tacos’ dunked in gravy from Birria Brothers.
Dishoom has become famous for one breakfast (or brunch) dish above all others: the bacon naan (£7.20, or £9.20 for double bacon). Crisp streaky bacon, smoked over applewood and beechwood chips, is piled high in freshly baked naan bread with cream cheese, chilli tomato jam and fresh herbs.
There’s also sausage, vegan sausage and egg versions, as well as fried eggs on chilli cheese toast (£8.20) and spicy chicken keema with homemade buns (£11.50), alongside breakfast cocktails – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It’s all served daily until 11.45am.
All-day options include homemade fresh potato hash fried on the griddle with meat and veggie options (from £8.50), stacked pancakes with a range of toppings (£10.50) and hot Belgian waffles (from £7.50) as well as a range of Eggs Benedict varieties.
This Bavarian bier palace on Peter Street is a top spot for brunch. The menu features a full Cook Haus breakfast (£12), Salmon Royale (£10), wild mushroom and spinach toast (£9), and the Schlossage Sandwich with a bratwurst patty, crispy Black Forest ham, omelette, Gouda cheese, Frankfurt sauce and pickled chilli on a pretzel bun (£7) as well as a full cooked breakfast (£12).
Breads, pastries, cruffins and kronuts (£4) are all baked in-house every Saturday and Sunday, and drinks include freshly squeezed juice, coffees and teas as well as a selection of breakfast cocktails (from £5) from a Screwdriver to a Garibaldi (Campari and orange juice).
The Smithfield Social
Brunch at this Thomas Street hangout is served from 9am to 4pm, and makes use of top ingredients including Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs and bread from Companio in Ancoats.
As well as breakfast sandwiches, you’ll find shakshuka (£7), spinach and tenderstem broccoli frittata (£7) and truffle and pecorino hash browns (£8.50) on the menu, alongside smoothie bowls with chia seeds (£7.50) and matcha green tea and blueberry pancakes (£7).
Since opening in early 2018, Cibo on Liverpool Road has become the go-to place for authentic Italian food in the city centre, and from 14th January they’re launching a new £600k site in Manchester’s historic Great Northern building on Deansgate – complete with Italian bottomless brunch.
It’s £45 for three courses plus bottomless drinks, with main dishes including risotto with mushrooms and truffle oil, chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce and classic carbonara, and drinks ranging from Prosecco and Mimosas to cocktails such as the Mangiama with vodka, bubblegum and strawberry or the Bevimi with dark rum, mango and passion fruit.
The menu includes poached eggs with pulled smoked brisket and sriracha hollandaise on toasted sourdough and own-recipe fried chicken with baby spinach and kimchi aioli as well as the One Night Stand: a beast of a platter which includes three rashers of bacon, three pork sausages, three eggs, three hash browns, tomatoes, mushrooms, sourdough toast with butter, trays of classic smoked pulled pork and oak smoked pulled brisket, plus fried chicken and gravy. The ultimate hangover cure?
Situated in the railway arches of Deansgate, Atlas Bar has been a Manchester icon for two decades and they also serve breakfast and brunch dishes as well as freshly ground, own blend, premium coffee from 8am weekdays and 10am weekends.
A new bottomless brunch, from £29.50pp, means you can choose a breakfast item and get limitless drinks from their brunch drinks offer, which can be up-graded at an additional cost. Slots are for 90 minutes and must be pre-booked, and they offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
With branches in Ancoats, Levenshulme and Bloc on Marble Street, Trove offers a variety of enticing brunch dishes from sausages with borlotti beans with brown butter on toast (£10) or house made kimchi and grilled cheese sandwich (£5.50) to a full vegan breakfast consisting of smoked jerusalem artichoke, panisse, cavolo nero, mushroom, tahini, harissa beans, seasonal chutney, pickled shimejis and toast (£9.50).
Drinks include teas and coffees, organic juices, turmeric latte and spiced chai, and a punchy kimchi bloody mary (£7).
An independent, female-owned brunch and cake cafe on Oldham Street, Nibble NQ offers an all-day menu which includes meaty, veggie and vegan breakfasts (£9) and toasties (£6.50) as well as the ultimate breakfast bagel with smoked bacon, fried egg, smoked Monterey Jack cheese, pea and watercress guacamole, fresh tomato and spicy red pepper sauce (£6.50).
Sweet specials include toffee apple French toast with sticky toffee sauce and vanilla mascarpone (£7.50) and a raspberry and almond brownie hot chocolate (£4).
In a converted church in the centre of Deansgate, Gaucho’s Argentinian restaurant offers an Electro Brunch menu on Saturdays featuring chorizo sausage sandwiches, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce, smashed avo on toast and maple bacon sandwiches – as well as steak and eggs, naturally.
There are also sweet dishes as well as unlimited bloody marys, aperol spritzes and pornstar martinis, and you can order anything and everything you want from the menu without limit (for 90 minutes) for a set price of £57.50.
Favourites on the menu include Eggs Benedict, which is made with Bloom’s own signature hollandaise sauce (£9.45), the ‘Blooming good breakfast’, which is your classic full English with a few extras (£11.95), and the ‘Blooming vegan’ (£10.95) which contains two vegan sausages, smoky carrot bacon rashers, tomato, garlic mushrooms, beans and toast.