From barbecue dinners to dirty burgers and deep pizza bars, there are plenty of restaurants in Manchester inspired by the United States of America.
While American food trends may have first been brought to our shores by global chains like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC and Hard Rock Cafe, in recent times independents have thrived by offering their own culinary specialties from California, New York and the Deep South.
Here we take a look at some of the best restaurants in town offering their take on American classics.
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Serving up a taste of America’s Deep South, Blues Kitchen burst onto the downtown hotel scene last summer and proved to be a huge hit with its mix of barbecue and inspired live music. the United States.
The owners have sensitively restored many of the stunning historic features of the Victorian building on Quay Street, formerly an eye hospital (and more recently the Walkabout bar), while bringing in a host of American heritage gems to give it an atmospheric authentic.
Naturally, it’s the American hickory-simmered meats that sell the most here – think the pork rib and St. Louis brisket sandwich with bacon sauce, as well as a range of burgers, including The Big Boss for carnivores, a shrimp burger and two different vegan burger options.
And you can dine with some of the real big names in American music as your backdrop – with stunning murals of Ray Charles, James Brown and Aretha Franklin all around the walls.
Blues Kitchen, 13 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HN | Reservations here
Red’s Real BBQ
Bringing the ‘Church of the Real Barbecue’ to Manchester when it opened to much fanfare in 2014, the Reds have pride of place in the city just off Albert Square.
Inside, there’s all red gazebos and a “twisted fair” theme, while the smoke from that barbecue hangs heavy in the air.
There’s a huge menu of American classics – and with a slogan like “Let there be meat” you can rest assured that if heaps of meat are your thing, then this is the place for you.
House favorites include the seared brisket and ends and pitmaster platters, while those with bigger appetites may be tempted by the whole bin lid of BBQ goodies (minimum two people for that one).
The reds also brought us the unholy marriage of the donut burger with the city for the first time – which is actually disgusting and tasty.
Red’s Real BBQ, 22 Lloyd Street, Manchester, M2 5WA | Reservations here
Ramona has had Instagram a-gog since it launched last year at an old car depot on Swan Street on the NQ/Ancoats border.
The place offers Detroit Deep Pan-style pizzas, reputed to have originated in Motor City auto factories, where they are said to be made in square oil pans.
As such, it’s a deep pan affair, with the cheese crusted all over the side of the pan with devastating, Homer Simpson-gargling effect.
The Jabba, with fennel salami, and the Cali Pepps, with a huge ball of oozing burrata dropped in the middle, are future classics.
Ramona, 40 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JG | Reservations here
Yard and chicken coop
Barely a week goes by without news of another fried chicken restaurant chain heading to Manchester.
But if you want a North End original, then head to Yard and Coop which boasts of being the “home of buttermilk fried chicken” with its own super secret recipe behind it.
The fried chicken plates, where you can also choose from a range of the venue’s house sauces are the big hitters here, along with the OG chicken wings and the range of chicken burgers – those with the biggest appetites can opt for the Massive Cock for £20. I am not joking.
Yard & Coop, 37 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW | Reservations here
The original and, many would say, the best of the ‘dirty burger’ bar brigade that burst into Manchester as a trend around a decade ago.
The burger joint was inspired by an American roadtrip by founder Beau Myers, who decided to bring the idea of huge meaty confections paired with outrageously named cocktails back to the city.
It caused such a stir when it opened that there were regular queues around the block in the North Quarter.
Indeed, the success of the original in Manchester spawned a second, larger site at the Great Northern Warehouse, as well as cities across the UK.
House classics here are the Triple Nom, just as meaty as expected, and the Phoenix – topped with Frazzles and bacon mayonnaise along with their legendary loaded fries.
Almost Famous, 100-102 High St, Manchester M4 1HP and Unit 2, Great Northern, Peter St, Manchester M3 4EN | For reservations click here
Luck Lust Liquor and Burn
After the success of Almost Famous burgers, the owners continued their American odyssey with the launch of the Tex-Mex bar Luck Lust Liquor and Burn in the upstairs space of the North Quarter.
Here, a road trip from California to Mexico was the inspiration for the venue – with a menu filled with SoCal-style burritos and margaritas in the sun.
House favorites including the famous AF burrito and be sure to leave room for Wonder Fries (and churros for dessert).
Luck, Lust, Alcohol and Burn, 100-102 High Street, Manchester, M4 1HP | Reservations click here
American Pies brings us a slice of Chicago to the city.
From the folks behind Brewski comes this calorific festival of a place with epic Chigon-style pizza and an incredible amount of cheese at every turn.
It’s a casual affair inside, plus the famous neon “Pies before guys” to fill your Insta.
American Pies, 58 W Mosley St, Manchester M2 3HZ | Reservations here
Bunny Jacksons/Junior Jacksons
Inspired by New Orleans juke joints, the first Bunny Jacksons came to life on the city’s first street in 2017.
More recently it has been joined by its little brother Junior Jacksons which is a little more hidden as a dive bar on Oldham Street.
Both boast “beer, shots, loud music and sliders” and their famous 20p chicken wings.
It’s also one of the few places you can expect to see the Superbowl live – as it shows American sports throughout the week with opening hours until 3am every night. .
Bunny Jacksons, 1 Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester M15 4RA; Junior Jacksons, 64 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE | No reservations, but site details here
Starting out as a small burger and shake shop on Oxford Road, the Manc brothers behind Archie’s were inspired by the cool American restaurant from an 80s movie they watched at home as kids.
Now it’s one of the top spots in town for a retro dining experience, but in a stylish, Instagram-friendly form with pastel pink and neon decor.
They now have locations in Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Arndale and Trafford Centre, as well as the originals on Oxford Road.
At all, you can expect a loaded range of burgers and fries as well as the signature milkshakes many of which are inspired by the superstars who have so often frequented here.
Archie’s, Manchester Piccadilly, Arndale Centre, Oxford Road | For info click here
Black Dog’s Ballroom
The New York-inspired bar, restaurant, and pool hall are tucked under the iconic Afflecks in the North End.
While New York pizzas were the signature when it launched, these days the food is modern Asian street food from the team behind Manchester’s Salt and Pepper with no reservations required.
Late-night cocktails remain at the heart of this venue’s success, and sure enough, it’s proven so successful that the owners have launched spin-offs at New Wakefield Street and the Dog Bowl bowling alley on Whitworth Street.
Black Dog Ballroom, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
It’s not all dirty burgers and deep dishes – there are plenty of restaurants that are also taking inspiration from more health-conscious California trends in recent years.
Foodwell on New Bailey is inspired by Californian living by combining dining and mindfulness – with a yoga studio next to the bar.
He boasts that even his most indulgent dishes are “good for body and soul”, think grilled meats, lunch bowls and salads and an extensive sushi menu.
At night, the restaurant space becomes the Firefly cocktail bar, where you can also always get a full menu of health-inspired small and large plates and more of that sushi.
Foodwell/Firefly, Suite 2, Ground Floor, One New Bailey, Stanley St, Salford M3 5JL | Reservations here
Health-conscious people will also have plenty to enjoy at Oké Poké, the city’s Hawaiian-inspired restaurant in the North Quarter.
Poké is a traditional Hawaiian street food that is a healthy alternative to Western fast food with a combination of diced raw fish, vegetables, and various other blends.
Oké Poké, 59 Church St, M4 1PD, Manchester | For reservations
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