There's nothing that hits the spot quite like a good meal out. Whether it's for a celebration, a good time with the pals, or you just can't be arsed cooking; a proper scran is always the answer. But, whilst we all love eating out, it's getting more and more expensive to do so with how things are at the minute.
Whilst there are loads of great cheap things and free things to do in Manchester, sometimes you just want to sit down and eat lovely grub what the people closest to you. So, with that in mind, we want to let you in on all the cheap places to eat in Manchester, so you can still enjoy a good meal without breaking the bank.
Whether you're a student looking to line your stomach before a student night out this freshers week (we also have a list of the best student bars and clubs for you to check out), or just a local looking for a pocket-friendly grub, Manchester has you covered. We've got lunchtime cheesy delights, some of the best pizzas in the world, £1 Tacos and Bao Buns, and even a super cheap cafe that provides jobs and assistance to ex-cons and the homeless. Whatever your price point is, you will find some top scran from in and around Manchester in this list, so get scrolling and try not to salivate on your keyboard!
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese
Where: Unit G20, 21, 44 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA
A staple of the cheap eats scene in Manchester, Northern Soul grilled cheese has quickly evolved from a small store to a city-wide sensation and it's clear why. Their toasties are bloody delicious. From Mac and cheese loaded toasties to their enviable Christmas selection that graces Manchester markets each year, the people in charge of this place are clued up on everything that is cheese, and your taste buds will thank you dearly for dining here, although your arteries may want compensation. Plus, with the majority of toasties coming in well under a tenner, it won't break the bank, but will definitely fill your stomach.
Rudy's Pizza Napoletana
Where: 9 Cotton St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5BF
Best pizza in the country? 5th best pizza in the world? All right here in Manchester? The answer to this is Yes yes, and yes, and the name of the place in Rudys. This sexy pizza establishment has been filling the stomachs of Manc diners for a few years now with its stone-fired pizzas, and their popularity is not unwarranted. They are masters of their craft and awards aplenty have come with their doughy efforts. the pizzas here are all around £10, so it's cheaper than ordering a Dominoes, and the quality is miles clear. An essential cheap eats in the city for lovers of pizza and good food alike.
Wolf at the Door
Where: 30-32 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1ER
Do we hear £1 Tacos? wait, was that £1 tacos AND Bao Buns? If you think that such a price is absurd for Manchester city centre and must come with strings attached, well, your concerns wouldn't be unwarranted. But the owners of Wolf at the Door in the Northern Quarter are here to break your preconceptions. The swanky bar on Thomas Street is one that not only serves up some quality beverages until the early hours but also has an awesome array of tacos and bao buns all for the price of just a quid. You'll struggle to find better value in snacks alongside the booze, it certainly beats peanuts. A must-visit, but just try not to inhale ten of them, as we may or may not have done on occasion...
Where: 61 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2AG
We all love tapas, but whilst the Spanish invented it, the rise in Indian-style tapas over the last few years had made people question what's best. From Mowgli to Dishoom, they've taken Manchester by storm, and one of the latest - and arguably best of the bunch due to its affordability - is Bundobust. The restaurant has been operating for a few years now, and it brings with it an entirely veggie/vegan menu on Indian small plates, all of which cost about the same as a pint (some a pint in London), and every single one is delicious. A real gem of the city that's only getting more popular.
Where: 99 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BQ, and, 3 Newton St, Manchester M1 1HW
Whether you're a veggie or not, we can all agree that Falafel is absolutely delicious. But, finding good falafel can often be tough. Well, in our opinion, the very best place to get it in Manchester is Go Falafel on Deansgate. The shop has been a go-to for many who work in the city centre for their lunch for a while now, and given the absolute state of the food they serve up, it no suppose why. Their Greek bowls filled with hummus, veggies, falafel, and a whole bunch of other tasty treats are divine. Plus, they are very healthy for you! A good change when eating out. So if your fancying a cheap meal that won't make you lethargic afterwards... Go falafel.
I AM PHO
Where: 44 George St, Manchester M1 4HF
Whilst Pho has been a staple of Vietnamese cuisine for generations now, its popularity in the west has only just recently blossomed, and it's blossomed into one ginormous (and bloody tasty) flower. The only problem is, that the dish that consists of meat and noodles served in a divine broth can often set you back a pretty penny. This is where the sensational I Am Pho on George Street comes in. Their bowls of Pho cost around a tenner, and whilst many may think that a lower price point means lower quality, we just want to see what they say after they've slurped their bowl from here clean. Just get yourself down, words won't do it justice.
The Mess Cafe
Where: Harper Rd, Sharston, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 4RG
This one is a bit different, but arguably the one that is worth the most of your time. The Mess Cafe in Wythenshawe is a registered charity with a vision to help vulnerable people rebuild their lives through socially responsible businesses. This means that many of the staff are formerly homeless or Ex-Cons looking to get their life on track. Whilst this side of the business is admirable and necessary, what is also incredible is the quality of the food. Serving up classic lunch menu items like toasties and wraps to a variety of cakes and sweet treats baked on-site, it's a truly incredible place and well worth a visit for a light lunch.
This & That
Where: 3 Soap St, Manchester M4 1EW
If you've never heard of the classic Rice and Three, then we've just got one thing for you to do, get down to this and that! The restaurant tucked away down a back alley in the Northern Quarter has achieved a cult-like following over the years it's been serving up its spiced delights. This is mainly down to the fact that the restaurant is exceptionally affordable. Rice and three veg cost just £6, and rice and three meat cost £8, with variations on the two costs between the two points. When your favourite curry house costs just as much for a single curry, it's clear to see why it's so popular, and if you're after cheap restaurants in Manchester, then this has to be up there on the list.
Where: F Tresco House, Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7EE
Umami may be a word you've heard from professional chefs when describing the punchy flavourful dishes of the East, well, the restaurant in Manchester under the same moniker, brings you just that and brings it in abundance. The Eastern-inspired cuisine on show here is a mouthwatering mixture of dumplings, noodles, tempura, sticky sauces and all the flavours that you associate with that side of the world. Plus, with incredibly affordable prices for their produce, with the vast majority of dishes costing under £10, it's a great place for dinner without breaking the budget and is definitely worth a mention when looking for cheap places to eat in Manchester.
YES (Pepperoni Playboy and Döner Summer)
Where: 38 Charles St, Manchester M1 7DB
YES in Manchester is a big favourite of Skiddle, and whilst many associates the venue with the many gigs they've seen in the iconic pink room, many are unaware of the two sensational options for scran that are found inside. The first is Pepporni Playboy which serves up American-sized pizza by the slice and it's truly great value at a few quid a slice, and is even cheaper if visiting between 12-6, where slices are half price! Also on site is Döner Summer which is a vegans answer to British kebab culture. They serve up entirely veggie kebabs which pair excellently with YES's pints and will have you questioning your choices as a carnivore. Both are great value and really make YES even better than many already knew it was.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.