Featured image: Faye Byrne & Snehal Dhanwate
aAh! reviewer Isobel Bates checks out the best burger joints in town.
Manchester has a wealth of show-stopping restaurants. From the Philly Cheesesteak Combo at FAT PAT’S to Chicken Gyros at What The Pitta, there are thousands of infamous dishes to try in the city. But where do you begin?
When we think about staple dishes, our minds always go to the humble cheeseburger. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay once said, ‘The best burgers are simple, juicy, and messy.’ While burger joints can strive to create unique patties with truffles, eggs, and chorizo, if they can’t master a simple cheeseburger, they are not worthy of calling themselves a burger restaurant.
We review the top burger restaurants and takeaways in Manchester (with bonus sides included).
A visit here is never disappointing. Maybe I’m a bit biased on the location due to the aesthetic of this part of the city, but I think the Northern Quarter Almost Famous is the best site in the AF chain. The staff are friendly, and there’s an amazing selection of bars like Wolf at the Door right outside for a post-burger beverage.
We went for their Famous burger, which was juicy and simple. All of the components complimented each other perfectly: the meatiness of the burger, creamy cheese and salty sauce paired with the fresh salad was unreal! We also ordered the Winning Fries (without sweet potato mixed in, as I think the sweetness can ruin the flavour when paired with a cheese sauce), which topped off our meal.
For our bonus side, we opted for the Blasts, boneless buttermilk chicken tenders with creamy bleu cheese sauce. If I could, I would drink the sauce. The chicken seasoning could put KFC’s spices to shame: it perfectly coated the meat, and the saltiness complimented the sauce perfectly.
Good vegan restaurants are few and far between, but Wholesome Junkies could be the best all-vegan restaurant in Manchester. Tucked away beside the AO Arena, this is the perfect spot for a date or a casual hangout with a small group of friends.
It’s very rare to find a quality vegan burger, which made me wonder if their Classic Burger was actually vegan – it was! I inhaled it in one go. The only reason I’m giving it nine out of ten instead of top marks is due to the burger being a bit pricey. The fries were seasoned to perfection; I only wish there was more cheese sauce and no jalapenos.
The creamy Classic Mac ‘N’ Cheese bonus side was insanely good but pricey, especially for the portion size. However, I’m really glad I tried it.
Archies was made in Manchester. And it’s definitely a Manc institution worth a visit, particularly when their maiden store is located right outside the university. Their Royale with Cheese burger was juicy and filling. There’s something nostalgic about eating a cheeseburger wrapped in paper, it takes you back to the first cheeseburger you ate.
I am biased when it comes to burgers that have been smashed: smashing seals the flavours of a burger, by creating a crust. The process uses a meat press or spatula to press on a ball shape of beef after a few seconds on the grill.
My review for their Crinkle Fries might also have been influenced by the fact that these take me back to my childhood too. The texture and cheese sauce together could make Archie’s the best, and I will battle anyone who disagrees with me. That clown, Ronald McDonald, can keep his fries.
While I have tried to choose a different bonus side each time, I was disappointed with the Mac and Cheese bites. They weren’t anything special, and it wasn’t a bonus for the meal.
Online bonus review
Slap and Pickle
Tonight was my vegetarian night. Society (where Slap and Pickle are) has a large variety of food venders as well as a bar, it’s a great place to go in a group with different food preferences, it has something for everyone.
The burger review for Slap and Pickle is low, mainly because there wasn’t a bonus side, and while the Veggie Personal Cheesus burger was alright, it was missing something. I am a big fan of vegan/vegetarian burgers, but the patty didn’t really taste of anything special, it was just a bit boring.
The chips were the wow factor of the meal. I ordered the Cheesy Fries, which were perfectly seasoned and complimented the cheesiness of the sauce.