10 Meals for Around a Fiver in Manchester
Whether you’ve spent all day shopping or slogging away at work, sometimes you just want something to silence those stomach grumbles for the spare change in your back pocket. Here at Lovin’ we’re totally bored of those meagre supermarket meal deals and lacklustre Gregg’s pasties, so we’ve set ourselves the challenge of seeing just how far a five bob note can go around Manchester centre.
1. Northern Soul
Set up in a quirky looking shack 2 minutes from the Arndale, Northern Soul brings the classic American grilled cheese sandwich all the way from Down town New York to Northern Quarter Manchester. Chunky bread oozing with three kinds of cheese and grilled to perfection, it's basically an upmarket toasty- oh so simple, yet oh so delicious. Pick up their speciality sandwich and you’ve got yourself a bangin’ meal for a neat five bucks.
2. Katsouris Deli
Katsouris Deli is one popular lunch spot that we just had to include in our list. If you want a sit-in meal at peak times, expect to be knocking elbows with all the weird and the wonderful people Manchester has to offer. With a nod to their Greek origins, Katsouris is all about home made bread, succulent meat and tasty cheeses- and all in gargantuan proportions. They have a wide range of meat and (huge) sausages being cooked up at their deli counter and the biggest, meatiest paninis you’ve ever seen. In fact, the only thing they’ve kept modest-sized here is the price.
3. Crazy Pedro's
This laid back pizza bar is the perfect place for a mid-day chill-out and some classic fast food that’s been injected with a little fun. And at £5 (or £6 if you fancy a beer), the Crazy Pedro’s lunch deal is too good to resist. Their wacky pizza flavours have definitely earned them their “crazy” title. Get there quick to catch their new ‘Back to School’ special: a turkey dinosaur, potato smiles and spaghetti hoops fusion which takes us right back to a time of school bells, wooden benches and pinafored ladies (and before Jamie Oliver and the health-nut brigade came and sucked the life out of lunchtime).
Students across Manchester are swapping their staple of Super Noodles for the pan-Asian delights of Umami. Based on Oxford Road, the casual atmosphere, extensive menu and cheap booze make this noodle bar a hotspot for university-types. Umami translated is “great flavour,” and we’re inclined to agree. Whether you opt for a plate of Japanese noodles, Pad Thai, or Malaysian curry, the fresh ingredients and exotic aromas will have you ditching the chopsticks and slurping ‘em up with the rest of us. At £5.95 for 2 courses at lunchtime, it’s a little over budget (will you ever forgive us?), but that’s cracking good value that we just couldn’t ignore.
5. V Revolution
Being a vegan, it can be hard enough to get exciting food. On a budget, it’s almost impossible. Overpriced fruit salad and fistfuls of couscous, anyone? V Revolution is an American-style vegan café with a mission to change all that. Real ‘dirty’ burgers piled high with cheese and bacon are the order of the day, smothered in BBQ sauce with a side of nachos. Proper comfort food that will leave the most religious meat eating fast-food junkie licking their fingers clean, and nothing on the menu over £5.
6. Cafe Marhaba
You could easily walk past this alley-dwelling Asian takeaway under the assumption that is was one of the more dodgy kebab joints in town, probably best avoided. But beyond its unkempt exterior, Cafe Marhaba’s pans are fired up with some fierce tasting curries, made completely from scratch. We know that the calibre of Indian food can be a bit hit-and-miss sometimes, but you won’t get any nasty surprises here. It's just real good quality home made curry and an absolute steal with a plate of rice n’ three at just £5.
7. Linda’s Pantry
A mecca for the hungover; if you're feeling a little rough or need a hard earned post-gym refuel, Linda will sort you out. Forget your fiddly canapés and microscopic Michelin star portions, this greasy spoon is all about big slap up meals overloaded with carby goodness. Pie n’ chips, chilli n’ rice and an infamous full English, you’ll be fit to burst for a fiver or less.
8. Arndale Market
You’ll know the Arndale Market as that odd little collection of stalls you pass while swiftly making your exit from the main shopping centre, towards trendy NQ. Who knew that lying beyond that deli counter and veg stall is one of the more buzzing cosmopolitan quarters of the town? Just past their unassuming façade is a maze of street food stalls, serving up pretty much anything you can think of: Vietnamese, African-caribbean, Greek, Mexican, the list goes on. Every one of them does something within our budget, so the only thing you have to worry about is making your mind up which compelling cuisine you’re going to try first.
Real traditional mexican food at Pancho's pic.twitter.com/Gh1xTfhEuQ— Panchos Burritos (@PANCHOSBURRITO) September 23, 2016
9. Pita Pit
Canada’s answer to Subway, we predict that this franchise will soon begin popping up all over the show and gain the reputation of yet another cold, corporate high street mainstay. But until then, Pita Pit’s Manchester flagship stores (one in a hidden corner of Piccadilly and the other on Deansgate) have all the friendly atmosphere and generous portions you’d expect from one of the smaller independent food places in town. Choose your filling and stuff your warm pita pocket with as many extras and lashings of spreads as it can structurally withstand, with prices starting at just £3. It's all fresh and healthy as well, so you can stuff your face the guilt-free way.
10. Dougy’s Caribbean Take-Away
If you live just outside of town in the Hulme area, count yourself lucky. You’re 2 minutes away from this hidden gem of a takeaway that’s been Jamaican’ us crazy. Juicy jerk chicken and curried lamb that just falls off the bone, we can almost hear the steal drums as we tuck in to this deliciously authentic grub. £5 will get you a small (and we say small, is that the whole lamb they’ve given us?) with a mountain of rice and peas. Now that’s some good eats!