This trailblazing Manchester cafe is redefining the way we think about free-from food


The old saying “You are what you eat” has become a bit of a cliche in recent years – often repeated, rarely reflected upon.

Whilst it has admittedly done some good work in helping us to be more conscientious about what we’re putting into our bodies and spawned a fistful of documentaries, it’s not totally accurate.

It seems we’ve been sold a mistruth. We should not just be thinking about how we gain nutrition from what we eat, but how well we retain it once we’ve digested it.

What’s more, it turns out that our digestive function deteriorates with age and stress. So your diet may not be as nutritious as you thought. Digestion isn’t exactly the sexiest topic, but it’s something we should be conscious of if we want to look after our health in the long term.

The stress we experience in our everyday lives can be put into two categories: physical and mental. Both have the potential to be dramatically intensified by the food we consume, and allergenic and high sugar foods are considered to be particularly culpable.

Common signs of poor digestive health include bloating, fatigue, low mood and energy slumps. But don’t worry. For every problem there is a solution.

3Squared Cafe – a new addition to The Royal Exchange Arcade – is making it easier than ever for you to steer clear of the ingredients that cause these symptoms.

Using their knowledge of holistic health, 3Squared is challenging us to think about how the food we eat impacts our life experience. They have made it their mission to help reduce our stress levels with wholesome, nutritious food.

With a menu built entirely from natural ingredients using organic and local produce wherever possible, 3Squared is serving up all your favourites – minus the nasties.

The trailblazing free-from menu excludes gluten, dairy, wheat and refined sugar. Every ingredient is there for a purpose.

Hearty breakfast options include a guilt-free Full English, avocado toast or eggs benedict (accompanied by coffee or tea made with painstakingly-sourced creamy and natural varieties of dairy-free milk).

Substantial lunch and early evening meals such as the nourish bowls and grain-led salads featuring organic chicken and sustainably-sourced salmon and sea bass are geared towards keeping you energised until dinner time.

There’s also the option to take out with their easy grab & go meals which are set to give high street competitors a run for their money. They may be slightly more expensive, but this is not the lacklustre box of salad leaves dressed with a few slices of chicken that you’re used to. Instead, 3Squared offer a substantial portion of high quality, nutrient dense food that guarantees to energise you until it’s time for tea.

And forget central kitchen units or delivery vans of pre-made food. Everything is completely fresh and prepared on site with lots of love and attention to detail.

Intrigued? Pop in and try it for yourself. We think you’ll leave feeling less stressed.



Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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