Epic Manchester Halal restaurant food tour 2022
Our trip to Manchester had a lot to live up to following our incredible Halal food tour of Birmingham a month earlier in February.
Although its Muslim demographic isn’t quite that of its more populated neighbour, the city’s variety and quality of choice would have you think otherwise.
Just take Manchester’s Wilmslow Road, aka the ‘Curry Mile’, as an example. This long stretch boasts just as many exciting Halal restaurants as Birmingham’s famous Ladypool Road; and it is here that our Mancunian adventure began.
Sponsored by the UK’s leading Halal-certified beverage company Azanti, which specialises in non-alcoholic drinks and has been at the forefront of advocating a ‘Sober Lifestyle’, we visited the established dessert brand, Heavenly Desserts (25 Wilmslow Rd, Rusholme, M14 5TB).
With a sumptious interior of floral walls and neon lights, complimented by carefully crafted desserts like the croffle (a cross between a waffle and a croissant), creme brulees, pancakes, crepes, cheesecakes, cookie dough, the popular milk cakes, and so much more, this luxury dessert parlour is packed in the evening.
We then visited immediately next door the best fully Halal smokehouse we’ve ever encountered in Pitmaster (31 Wilmslow Rd, Rusholme, M14 5TB).
This restaurant took four evidently passionate partners two years of market research, involving lots of travel followed by 18 months of fine tuning, before deciding to launch.
With each and every item – ranging from smoked ribs, burgers, and even inhouse cookie doughs – being as good as the next, this was arguably the strongest 5/5 restaurant we’ve ever reviewed.
If you’re looking for something different, then Halal Mexican cuisine at Don Tacos (61-63 Wilmslow Rd, Rusholme, M14 5TB) might be the answer. It was for us.
Although a small joint, this had plenty of character, with colourful TexMex paraphernalia being complimented by a mouth-watering collection of freshly made, quintessential Mexican dishes.
This vibrant little restaurant presented us Mexican staples such as birria quesadilla, enchiladas, as well as their best-selling four-corn birria tacos.
Seeking after something sweet, we travelled farther down the same road and to the charming, family-run dessert restaurant BISKITS in Withington (478 Wilmslow Rd, M20 3BG).
Even before tucking into their selection of sweet treats, the seductive interior alone, with plenty of floral detailing and comfy bronze-cushioned seating, captured our imagination.
From there, it was just a matter of choice with well-known classics like waffles, crepes, stacked pancakes, sundaes, gelato ice creams, and BISKITS Special Shakes, to nostalgic luxury puddings that include apple crumble, corn flake tart, jam roly poly, Manchester tart, and even a school pudding with custard.
A world beyond Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’
Venturing out to the city’s centre will bring you face to face with the opulent steakhouse Ribeye (Unit 1A, Number 8, First St, M15 4FN), which holds the distinction of introducing the Manchester’s first dry bar.
Having visited them in 2019 when they first launched, they thoroughly impressed by being voted #FtLionAwards ‘Best Restaurant’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ that year.
Fast forward to 2022 and the fact that we ended up rating them (and their steaks) another perfect 5/5 should give you an indication of how strong Manchester’s Halal restaurant scene is.
For breakfast, it had to be the UK’s leading Indian street food brand Chaiiwala in Cheetham Hill (74 Bury Old Rd, M8 5BW), who aren’t dubbed the ‘Indian Starbucks’ for nothing.
Here we didn’t just enjoy chaii latte, garam chocolate, and karak coffee, but also an item exclusive to this particular branch and one that’s their own invention: butter chicken omelette bun.
After a desi breakfast of omelette and roti with spicy beans or lentils, we finished off with a pair of classic Indian sweets of gulab jamun and gajar halwa.
If you’re looking for a more homely-style breakfast or brunch, then we’d recommend seeking out Brunchville in Salford (1st Floor, 184 Monton Rd, Eccles, M30 9PY).
Situated above the curry house, The Naz, and with plenty of parking space in the car park behind the premises, these guys offer breakfasts with exciting South Asian and Middle Eastern twists.
All in all, Manchester has a very impressive Halal food scene which, while perhaps not in the league of London’s, is up there with any other city in the country.