5 best budget spots for Manchester foodies

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Featured image: Ruby Qaimkhani

We’re all feeling the pinch this winter, but tell that to the bad habits we’ve formed. Some things are certainly getting more expensive especially in the run up to Christmas so being careful about what you buy right now is crucial.

But let’s face it. Along with breathing and sleeping, food is next on our list of priorities. Even though we’re trying to save money, the real foodies will always sacrifice nights out for culinary adventures.

Whether you’re penny pinching for a purpose or just looking to try new food for less, here are five of the best budget spots for food connoisseurs.

Be aware that grub at these places isn’t for the faint of heart as flavour runs wild. A full meal will cost you under £10, including a drink. Just don’t assume the restaurant will be decorated to the nines.

Street Guys
6-7 Butter Lane, Manchester M3 2PD

Photography: Ruby Qaimkhani

Manchester is overrun with burger joints. According to TripAdvisor, there are 350+ places that sell patties between two buns. So naturally, finding a burger place which satisfies your craving while keeping to the £10 budget is tough. But we’ve done the hard work for you.

To be honest, Street Guys have done that. We’ve just taken advantage of the good deal. An unassuming takeaway located just off Deansgate really hits the spot. A double chicken burger, seasoned fries, a dip and a drink for under £10? Sign us up.

55 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M14 5AW

Jilanis is not just an established family run business since 2013 – it’s a Wilmslow Road institution. Serving everything from paninis, Cajun chicken, lamb chops and peri prawns, it receives rave reviews from customers all over the UK. I first heard about it from a friend in Leeds and let me tell you, the best decision I made was going there. The food is scrumptious with generous portions. 

Now, onto the price. Get a Peri Peri Chicken platter with a side of fries or rice, naan and salad and a drink for under £8. Tell me that isn’t great value for money.

This and That Cafe
3 Soap St, Manchester, M4 1EW

Speaking of well-established businesses, let’s turn our attention to Manchester curry house This and That. Open since 1984, it’s … accessible for those on a budget. With a huge selection of curries that change daily (up to ten to be exact), you can now pop by and get exactly what you like.

Their pricing model is based on whether you’re getting meaty or vegetarian fare. Rice, two meat curries and one veg curry will set you back just £7. Is that a bargain or what?

Here’s a short documentary on the café’s wonderful contributions to the local community.

50 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5EJ

Fill your boots and your burrito with rice, beans, meat or vegetables from as little as £6.95 when you go to Tortilla. Choose from fillings like chicken, beef, tempeh and more with fiery toppings and salsas so you can really make it your own.

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Pho Cue
52a Faulkner Street, China Town, Manchester, M1 4FH

It’s been tough finding Vietnamese food in the UK that is just as flavoursome as it is in Vietnam but on a budget. Cue ‘Pho Cue’ which is serving up authentic fare along with giving us a hilarious name.

At lunchtime, a banh mi sandwich can set you back £6 – £7 depending on your choice of filling. But if you come here in the evening, I’d recommend the sweet and spicy boneless chicken (£6.30) with a side of garlic butter chips (£4). Although it’s over the budget by 30p, you’ll thank me when you taste how good the small plates are.

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Ruby Qaimkhani

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