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Pie hard: where to get the best pies in and around Manchester

Celebrate British Pie Week or any other week with the city's best pies, from pub classics to pies by post

“Meat and potato pie,” said poet John Cooper Clarke, without missing a beat, when we asked him what he missed most about living in Manchester and Salford.

“You can’t get them south of Birmingham. There’s a warning for any readers who might be thinking of going south. Take your own meat and potato pies.”

Savoury or sweet, hot or cold, the pie is a British institution.

The average Brit eats a whopping 2,160 pies over their adult lifetime, according to a recent study – whether it’s a meat pie or a pork pie – that’s 36 a year. It’s around £1 billion worth.

And we take pies seriously. In 2015, a petition was started to make it a criminal offence to describe a casserole with a pastry lid as a pie. It gained nearly 6,000 signatures.

Here are some of the city’s best pies.

Manchesters best pies

Classic fillings at Great North Pie Co


Launched by former Manchester policeman Neil Broomfield, Great North Pie Company has received numerous national accolades including the Supreme Champion of the British Pie Awards.

“I think the pastry – butter is always best for me, and I prefer it thin and crisp so it’s not too heavy,” says Neil about what makes the perfect pie.

“Fillings-wise, just keep it simple. When we started we used to play about with different fillings and try and do something different, now we’re a lot more traditional. You can’t beat the classics.”

They have settled in to their city centre site at Kampus, with a wonderful pie and mash cafe.

You can also find Great North Pie Co pies at Altrincham Market and selected farmers’ markets. They’re also available for delivery, in boxes of four or eight (£17 – £32), to heat at home.

Daily specials at The Black Friar pub


Following a rave review from, The Black Friar pub in Salford is now serving up to five special pies every day of the week.

The new menu includes gourmet game creations such as duck and orange, classic fish pies, and modern twists like chicken nduja and lamb tagine.

Each is cased in the trademark fresh, flaky pastry and served with sides of mash, gravy and more.

The daily pies are £10 during the week, before 6.30 pm – the perfect winter lunch plate.

We went down this week and tried an incredible Lamb Kofta pie special. It was outstanding.

Find out more on their website here

Nalli nihari biryani pie at Dishoom

Dishoom, based in Manchester Hall, the 1920s Grade II listed building originally used as a Freemasons’ Hall, pays loving homage to the old Irani cafés of Bombay.

There’s a special dish just for Manchester – and it’s a sort of pie: a decadent nalli nihari biryani (£18.90).

A tender shank of slow-cooked lamb is layered with rice and caramelised onions then sealed beneath a pastry blanket, served with a rich spicy gravy and enriched with chicken liver raita on the side.

It may not be entirely enclosed in pastry, but it’s a spectacle of a dish, with a shank bone sticking out of the top.

Lift the bone out through the crisp pastry and the heady aroma of the filling hits the senses.

The gravy packs a punch, too.

Pie and a pint at Edinburgh Castle

The Highland beef oxtail & bone marrow. wow

The Edinburgh Castle in Ancoats is all about good pub food.

The seasonal menu includes a homemade pie of the week for two,  £40 – Highland beef oxtail & bone marrow. It looks serious.

You’ll also often find a Wellington – not a pie, but a treat for pastry lovers.

Steak pudding at Sam’s Chop House

Sam’s Chop House is back – and with it, a classic steak and kidney pudding and gravy (£16.50).

There’s also a vegan-friendly hen of the woods mushroom pithivier (£14) – a round, enclosed pie – served with vegan turnip gratin and port gravy.

Perfect pork pies at Mettrick’s

At the British Pie Awards 2019 in Melton Mowbray, Glossop Butchers Mettrick’s beat all the competition to be crowned the makers of the best pork pie in the country.

The secret recipe includes their own free-range pork, which is specially selected with their own seasonings, and a traditional hot water paste for the pastry.

You can find the award-winning pies in their Glossop shop, or they deliver locally.

Baldy’s at Wigan

Baldy’s in Wigan may have recently bid farewell to its customer-facing shop, but fear not – the pie legacy lives on.

From late March onwards, Baldy’s will be delivering their delectable pies straight to your door from their new ‘dark kitchen.’

These pies are not just a meal; they’re an experience you’ll want in your life.

Baldy’s doesn’t shy away from culinary creativity, infusing traditional pies with innovative flavours that elevate the pie-eating experience. Some must-try pies include:

  • Chicken Kiev Inspired Pie: Featuring free-range chicken, buttered leeks, herb béchamel, and a garlic and parsley crumb topping. This pie pays homage to the classic Chicken Kiev, reimagined in a pastry masterpiece.
  • Three Cheese and Truffle Pie: A symphony of three types of cheese and the luxurious aroma of truffle. This pie is a heavenly blend of rich, savoury flavours that will satisfy any cheese enthusiast.
  • Fisherman’s Pie: A seafood lover’s dream, this pie boasts a mix of cod, salmon, smoked sea bass, prawns, lemongrass, and capers. It’s a flavorful journey through the bounty of the sea, encapsulated in a perfect pastry.

Though Baldy’s customer-facing shop may be closed, the anticipation for their pies remains high. Late March marks the commencement of pie deliveries from their new ‘dark kitchen.’

Prepare your taste buds for an adventure, as Baldy’s promises to bring joy to your doorstep with these exceptional, imaginative pies.

As Baldy’s invites you to savour their culinary creations, make sure to secure your pie order and relish in the gourmet experience that only Baldy’s can deliver.

It’s not just a pie; it’s a taste of Wigan’s culinary artistry, conveniently brought to your door.

Vegan and gluten-free pies at Pie & Ale

The pies at this Lever Street favourite are handcrafted on-site, and there’s something for everyone including meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Meat eaters will love the jerk BBQ oxtail pie (£11.95) which combines oxtail in a spicy rich sauce with celery, onion and garlic, while vegans can go for a beetroot and dahl pie with fragrant spices (£9.95).

On Sundays, there’s even a Sunday roast pie topped with a Yorkshire pudding (£10.95).

Michelin standard pies at The Pack Horse Hayfield

A contemporary gastropub at the heart of the Peak District national park, this Hayfield pub has recently been added to Michelin Guide 2022 – and named one of country’s top gastropubs.

Just a few miles from Manchester, muddy boots – and indeed muddy paws – are welcome at the Pack Horse. And the food is exceptional.

There’s often a pie on the regularly changing seasonal menu, and they’re well worth checking out.

Pies in the post from Lord of the Pies

These are the sort of pies your body craves on winter days – and now you can get the Macclesfield favourites delivered nationwide (£28 for six).

Look out for fillings such as British beef and stout, confit pork and Bury black pudding, or pulled chicken balti.

Veggie options include sweet potato, spinach and goat’s cheese, while a vegan pie has a superfood stew filling packed with edamame beans and kale.

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

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