If Morrissey was right and every day really is like Sunday, that means we’d have to have a roast dinner every 24 hours. No bad thing, unless you’re an athlete or a vegetarian. Nut roasts get very boring very quickly.
But he wasn’t, it isn’t and we don’t. But even at a ratio of one in seven, a Sunday roast has to be right. Nothing is more disappointing than a soggy Yorkshire pudding. NOTHING.
What makes a good Sunday dinner anyway? A juicy joint of meat, great roast potatoes, proper gravy like your Grandma used to make, your weekly allowance of veg, all for a decent price. And don’t rule out a carvery – there are still some crackers out there.
Here’s our pick of the city’s finest (and some a little bit further away, but worth the trip all the same).
The Blue Pig
How much? From 11.95
Sundays will never be the same once you’ve been to the Pig – they claim to be knocking out the best roast dinners in the Northern Quarter. It’s a bold claim but they’re not far away on current form. Try slow roasted, garlic studded lamb or succulent slow roasted pork shoulder with the crackliest of crackling and roast apples. Vegetarians need not worry – wild mushroom and truffle wellington with all the trimmings has become a firm favourite with the meat-free masses.
69 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1FS
Book: 0161 832 0630
Beef and Pudding
How much? From £12.95
The New Moon Pub Company is reinventing the gastropub and Beef and Pudding is their first foray into the city centre. The portions are massive and the food is as honest as the day is long, despite calls for a bit more refinement from some quarters.
Every Sunday, Beef and Pudding offers a set ‘Sunday Service’ menu with a two or three course roast option, along with traditional roast specials.
A Sunday lunch your Mother would approve of.
37 Booth Street (off Fountain Street), Manchester M2 4AA
Book: 0161 237 3733
James Martin (Manchester235)
How much? £20 for 2 courses
What would you expect from a man for whom the Yorkshire pudding is less of a food stuff and more a way of life? He even drinks goose fat for breakfast, a fact which is not at all true. Sublime food and excellent service in the casino’s reinvented restaurant space.
Manchester235, Great Northern, 2 Watson St, Manchester, UK M3 4LP
Book: 0161 828 0345
How much? £12.95 for 2 courses
The Oxnoble is a traditional gastro pub/hotel serving excellent, modern English food. Named not after a sort of cow, but actually a potato, and as far back as 1804, potatoes were shipped in by the nearby canal. More modern methods have been adopted since then and the Sunday roast is fantastic. Especially the beef.
71 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NQ
Book: 0161 839 7760
Oddest Bar, Chorlton
How much? From £10.50
Oddest Bar boasts an eclectic menu that reflects the mix of clientele. Generously portioned and delicious, Oddest now serves the best roasts this side of your mum’s house. Family friendly, Oddest is a hot pot of quirky people. Options include: Slow Roast Rolled Pork in Organic Cider & Crackling, 12 hr Ale Braised Beef Brisket, Very Slowly Roasted Cheshire Lamb Shoulder, Wild Mushroom and Lentil Wellington, French Dip Roast Sandwich.
Try a dark & stormy, one of their top cocktails, to wash it down. Or if you fancy an ale, you must try the Plum Porter.
414-416 Wilbraham Road, Manchester M21 0SD
Book: 0161 860 7515
How much? From £15.95 for 2 courses
Albert’s Shed and sister bar Dukes 92 form the food and drink heart of Castlefield. Albert’s does a set Sunday Lunch menu from £15.95 for two courses. Roast beef, pork, special fish and a Lancashire cheese and onion pie all feature.
For parties of ten people or more (popular!) you can order a whole suckling pig. Their pork is supplied from a speciality producer located in Garstang (Lancashire). It’s carved at your table and served with all the trimmings from Â£24.95). Impressive.
18-20 Castle St, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4LZ
Book: 0161 839 9818
How much? From £12
Every week Trof in the Northern Quarter have the following roasts as well as a guest roast (normally lamb or duck):
- Roast Beef Slowly roasted, dry aged Cheshire topside of beef with horseradish sauce
- Roast Chicken breast, roasted with garlic & thyme served with sage & onion stuffing & homemade cranberry sauce
- Crispy pork Cheshire pork belly slowly roasted served with crackling & apple sauce
- Veggie roast Freshly made veggie special (these change weekly)
All roasts are served with seasonal veg, crispy potatoes with red onion & rosemary, freshly baked Yorkshire pudding & proper gravy.
All roasts are £12 with the exception of their guest roast which varies depending on the meat.
8 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU
Book: 0161 833 3197
How Much? From £12.95
The new Sheriff in the town they call Castelfield. The Wharf desires up a mighty fine Sunday lunch paired with a great selection of real ales and a solid wine menu. On a sunny day, try and bag a table on the upstairs terrace and enjoy the view of everyone in the beer garden of Dukes getting sunburn.
6 Slate Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester M15 4ST
Book: 0161 220 2960
How much? £15.95 for 2 courses
Velvet has always brought a touch of refinement to the village and it’s Sunday lunch offering is no different. Available with all the trimmings until 4pm. If you can get out of bed by then.
2 Canal St, Manchester M1 3HE
Book: 0161 236 9003
How much? From £11.50
We’re big fans of this Whitworth Street West hangout – a great range of ales backed up by good food and a cracking gig venue to boot. Their Sunday roasts are none too shabby either. Beef, chicken or port for the meat eaters, sweet potato, apricot and chestnut roast for the veggies. And the best bit – it’s served until 10pm.
Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW.
Book: 0161 437 0301
How much? £23.00 for 3 courses
Yes, it’s a bit of a drive to Rochdale, and yes, he’s the mad bloke off the telly in the Union Jack suits, but don’t be deceived. Andrew Nutter is one of the finest chefs we have and his Sunday lunch is an absolute knockout. For around £23 a head, you’ll get three courses of gastronomic invention cleverly disguised as hearty British cooking. In stunning surroundings too.
If you’re looking for Sunday lunch with a sense of the special occasion, Nutters should be on your list.
Edenfield Rd, Rochdale OL12 7TT
Book: 01706 650 167
The Northern Quarter (TNQ) Restaurant
How much? From £12.00
This is the Northern Quarter’s restaurant for grown ups, if you know what we mean. Tucked away opposite the old Shude Hill Market, you’ll oregularly find some the best of independent Manchester cuisine here. It’s family run and that spirit runs right through the food and service. It’s operated with much love and affection for fresh Northern produce.
The ever improving menu changes every week but what you can count on is a choice of lovingly-roasted chicken, lamb or beef accompanied by crisp garlic & duck fat roast potatoes, honey roasted parsnips, greens, cauliflower cheese, carrot & swede mash, lashings of homemade jus (posh gravy). Not forgetting some amazing Yorkshire puddings. They also have generous vegetarian option
108 High Street, Manchester, M4 1HQ
Book 0161 8320 7115
Albert Chop House
How much? From £14.00
This place gets on the list for the meat – absolutely bloody delicious and as succulent as you like. The beef is roasted through the oven at 54 degrees centigrade for 14 hours and left to mature in its own liquor before they give it a final seal. Their pork is prepared the same way, but at 72 degrees, slowly overnight, then they score the skin and rub celery salt and thyme all over and roasted again at 210 degrees until the crackling is ready. They sous vide the lamb leg over night at 55 degrees then roast quickly in the morning. Amazing stuff.
The Memorial Hall, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5PF
Book: 0161 834 1866
How much? From £12.95
Annie’s was love at first sight for us, but I assure you this is not bias. Their Sunday lunch is among the most flavoursome we’ve had. Beautifully presented with all the trimmings and bouncing with rosemary flavours. So peaceful, humble and comfortable; the perfect setting for a lazy Sunday roast. The menu changes weekly.
5 Old Bank Street (just off St Ann’s Square), Manchester M2 7PE
Book: 0161 839 4423
How much? From £18.50
Don’t let the picture of the sparse plate deceive you. Once all the sides have been spooned onto your plate with gusto and smothered in rich gravy, it makes for a very large and colourful lunch. But it doesn’t overface you. The gravy is oh so rich and smooth. Wash it all down with a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy the large dining space and floor to ceiling glass walls. Posh nosh can be filling.
Hilton Manchester, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ
Book: 0871 230 5343
Grill On The Alley & New York Street
How much? From £12.50
A fantastic joint of meat, loads of real roast potatoes, tonnes of proper gravy, carrot and swede mash, buttered shredded cabbage and before you have to ask…massive Yorkshire puddings.
Used to be better when it was a sharing board. But it’s still winning.
Grill On The Alley, 5 Ridgefield, Manchester M2 6EG
Book: 0161 833 3465
Grill On NYS, New York Street (believe it or not) Manchester M1 4BD
Book: 0161 238 9790
The Angel Pub
How much? From £10.00
A real gem. The exterior and surrounding surface of this much-loved pub can be deceiving. Once inside it’s a special, intimate little place with a love for unplugged music and honest grub. The upstairs dining area is particularly comfortable and cozy with its open fire and candles. The landlord is an artist with very nice handwriting, which filters into the menus, ale labels and place mats. Obviously we drew all over it with heart shapes. The Angel is indeed a heavenly spot for lunch.
6 Angel St, Manchester M4 4BQ
Book: 0161 833 4786
How much? From £13.95
The team at this established city favourite go to great lengths to bring you ‘truly amazing’ beef, they say. There are better options available in the city, but the crushed butternut squash and sage is truly amazing, along with the roasting gravy. Piccolino Manchester may be an old timer but it still has the potential to pull off the odd surprise.
8 Clarence Street, Manchester, M2 4DW
Book: 0161 835 9860
The Alchemist Spinningfields &New York St
How much? From £12.95
Choose from honey glazed chicken or beef cooked pink as you watch the weekend drift by in Spinningfields or on New York Street. Worth it if you fancy a decadent Sunday that involves cocktails as well as a huge feed.
3 Hardman St, Spinningfields, Manchester
Book: 0161 817 2950
1 New York Street, Manchester M1 4HD
Book: 0161 228 3856
Feel free to add your own in the comments below if we’ve missed any winners…