Blue Caribou and Holy Crab have opened in the Arndale Market – and lunch just got a whole lot better


With two new additions this week, the Arndale Market has become the place to go for some of the best street food in town.

Poutine, Canada’s national dish of French fries, squeaky fresh cheese curds and gravy, is the ultimate comfort food. And nobody does it better than Blue Caribou. They’re delighted to be in their permanent new home.

“We wanted to embrace the snack bar culture of Québec and expand our menu to include other diner classics from the province,” says co-founder Graham Gartside-Bernier, who hails from Bolton and runs Blue Caribou with his partner Vincent, from Québec.

New menu items for the Arndale Market include Montréal-style hot dogs, hot chicken dipped sandwiches, craft beers from Québec, maple syrup sodas and other products from the region.

They only opened this week, but the menu is already going down a storm with hungry punters.

“We’ve been so busy!” grins Graham. “We just can’t believe it.”

As well as la classique poutine (fries, cheese curds and gravy) for £5.50, other toppings for the dish include a Reuben with pastrami, pickle and mustard; roast chicken and petit pois; and sriracha aioli, Japanese mayo, tempura seaweed, kimchi and spring onions (all £7.50).

Other dishes include ‘le hot chicken’, which sees roast chicken sandwiched between artisan bread, drenched in poutine gravy and topped with petit pois (£6); and Montréal-style steamed hot dogs with traditional cabbage ‘choux’, pickles and mustard (£4).

If you can’t decide, try half and half – a small serving of the gravy dipped chicken sandwich and the steamed hot dog are available with a half portion of poutine for £7. It’s a belter.

There are polenta battered hot dogs on sticks, too, served with maple chipotle mayo (£4.50), and maple butter skin-on fries dusted with smoked chilli salt (£4).

If fish is more your thing, the other new addition to the south side of the Arndale Market this week is Holy Crab.

For co-owners Hannah Eddleston and Lou Henderson, it’s a perfect home after three years’ dishing out the fish across a wide variety of pop-ups including GRUB, Runaway Brewery’s supper clubs, IMBC, Hatch, and the YES launch.

Their stall is also proving popular. “We’ve sold four times more than we anticipated!” says Hannah.

Hearty snacks include brioche buns (from Robinsons bakers) stuffed with crayfish tails and chipotle mayo or Runaway brewery beer battered smoked haddock with curried tartar sauce and lettuce (both £6).

Fans will be delighted to see that the sweet and salty crab fritters (£5) are still on the menu. Think brioche pockets stuffed with crab and dipped in batter, deep-fried until golden, served with rich brown crab mayo.

Kind of like hot, crisp, fluffy crab doughnuts, they’re absolutely delicious.

There are fresh Colchester oysters, too, served with your choice of shallot vinegar, soy and ginger, bloody Mary or hot sauce (three for £7).

The south side of the Arndale Market just  became the place to go for lunch. Now all you have to decide is, seafood or poutine?

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