There’s a huge variety of organic food shops and farmers’ markets in Manchester, so you don’t have to look far to shop local. No excuse not to eat healthy, seasonally and Mancunian then. Here’s our roundup of the best.
Like a Spar run by hipsters, Ancoats General Store has a strong focus on selling and supporting locally made produce, products, coffee, street food and alcohol from its cosy Ancoats store. What the venue lacks in size, it makes up for in options. The drinks counter serves up coffee made from Ancoats Coffee Beans; the fridge is packed with beers made by locals, including Runaway Brewery and Shindigger; and you’ll often find street-food retailers dishing up fresh grub during the regular Scran-coats food take-overs. They love locals, and locals love them.
You’ll find McCall’s Organics in the small shopping units opposite Manchester’s Arndale centre. For years, this family-run store has been purveying organic food, drink and toiletries from their market-style stall. Besides locally sourced fruit and vegetables, customers can also pick up chilled items such as vegan cheese spreads and dairy-free mozzarella, alongside tinned goods, loose-leaf teas and organically made soaps and toiletries.
Opened in 1970, on Oxford Road in the heart of the city’s student district, the 8th Day is one of Manchester’s longest-running health food stores. Today, the store – decorated in muted, earthy tones – features an onsite cafe serving vegetarian and vegan breakfasts and a shop stocking ecofriendly everyday essentials. Beans and pulses, grains, fruits and nuts and fair-trade spreads sit alongside chilled and frozen meals and a range of biodegradable cleaning products.
Mossley Organic and Fine Foods, outside Manchester city centre, is dedicated to supporting local growers, with much of its produce coming from farmers in Lancashire and Cheshire. The shop prides itself on having more than 3,000 lines of different products spanning organic fruit, vegetables and dairy-free ice cream, as well as around 60 varieties of organic wine. Fresh bread is available daily – all dietary restrictions catered to – alongside advice from staff on how to create wholesome meal recipes at home.
Popular with locals and those visiting from further afield, Altrincham Market is primarily a food hall that houses 10 independent food vendors serving everything from coffee to pies. Altrincham itself is a market town, and attached to the food hall is a covered market that sells flowers, gifts, locally crafted beers and a selection of sourdoughs and cheeses. The market takes place each weekend, with some instalments focusing on a different theme such as vintage wear, regional food and home and garden.
The city’s largest commercial retail space may not be the most obvious place to look for organic and locally sourced food, but this food market is a great place to find exactly that. At the back of the complex near the Arndale’s High Street entrance, this mix of restaurant stalls and independent stores lets customers pick up fresh food at great prices. Strawberry Garden features seasonally stocked fruit and vegetables, and the fish market is one of the best places in the city to buy fresh seafood.
This artisan butchers, cheesemongers and tasting room sells meat and cheese that’s sourced locally – with an emphasis on working with one-off organisations and family businesses. The meat, from two farms in Cheshire, is often combined with other local produce to create bespoke flavours – such as coffee-coated bacon. Fresh breads and eggs are also available.
Ashton’s outdoor market, open seven days a week, come rain or shine (don’t worry, it’s covered), includes a farmers and producers section that sells a variety of local goods. Strawberry Garden sells dried fruit, nuts and lentils; fresh meat is supplied by the Ashton-under-Lyne-based Pearson’s Butchers; while seafood suppliers SeaKing delivers fish, sushi and shellfish fresh from the Lancashire seaside town of Fleetwood.
Radcliffe Market in Greater Manchester, run by and for the local community, focuses on ethical trading and providing opportunity to regional retailers, so it’s a great place to do your weekly shop. Traders Lynn and Ian stock their Market Garden with the ethical fruit and veg, while Bell’s Eggs is the place to go for owner Dominic’s pies, sausages and cooked meats. They’ve even got takeaway meals available onsite provided by local street food vendors.
Salford Rum, freshly baked pastries, colourful cakes and meat from regional butchers – it’s all here at Manchester’s Maker’s Market. These popular outdoor events invite visitors to browse rows of stalls selling gifts and artwork, food and drink – and take place at different spots across the city on different days. Check the website to discover where they’ll be during your visit to Manchester – but make sure you arrive with plenty of time to browse. There’s lots to see – and eat – at these local shopping spots.
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