Farmers' Markets in Manchester: 14 Spots to Shop Local

Manchester boasts a large array of farmers markets, health food stores and organic retailers
Manchester boasts a large array of farmers markets, health food stores and organic retailers | © Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Simon Bland
19 August 2020

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.

Ancoats General Store

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, American
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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.

Unicorn Grocery

Shop, Store
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Organic fruit and veg at Unicorn Grocery Workers Co-operative Manchester, England. UK
© david pearson / Alamy Stock Photo
Unicorn Grocery has long been a favourite destination for wholesome and organically sourced produce. Based in Chorlton, south Manchester, the co-operative sells fair-trade and locally grown fruit and veg with an ethos aimed towards helping customers reduce salt, sugar and additives in their meals. Home-made bread and a range of deli foods and organic alcohols are also available – and their fair pricing and extensive range have seen them take home the title of Best Food Retailer at the BBC Food and Farming Awards – twice!

McCall's Organics

Shop
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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.

Levenshulme Market

Market
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Open most Saturdays, Levenshulme Market takes over a railway car park in South Manchester and fills it with local food and produce traders. It was the winner of the Best Outdoor Market at the 2020 Great British Market Awards – and rightly so. They sell takeaway foods such as wood-fired pizzas, sticky cakes made by local bakers and locally sourced craft beer, as well as fresh produce. Best of all, Levenshulme Market exudes a real sense of community – so you can leave, safe in the knowledge that you’ve helped support the local economy.

The 8th Day Co-Op

Cafe, Grocery Store, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
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The Eighth Day
Courtesy of The Eighth Day

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.

Healthy Spirit

Shop
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Didsbury’s Healthy Spirit opened its doors in 2003 with mental wellbeing and good health at the core of its business. Besides food and drink and unusual comestibles – its organic apple-cider vinegar is a bestseller – they also sell toiletry items such as biodegradable toothbrushes (just £3.99) as well as vitamins and supplements. Staff are on hand to offer advice on which homeopathic remedies could improve your day-to-day health.

Mossley Organic and Fine Foods

Shop
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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.

Altrincham Market

Market, Authentic
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Market House Coffee stall in the Grade II listed Market house in Altrincham town centre, Cheshire. A busy and exciting food destination
© Mark Waugh / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Arndale Food Market

Shop
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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.

The Butcher's Quarter

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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 Market

Shop, Market
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Ashton Market.  Ashton under Lyne, Tameside, Manchester, England, UK
© lowefoto / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Urmston Market

Market
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This pop-up farmers’ market, in the historic market town of Urmston, takes place on the first Saturday of each month and features around 100 different stalls selling artisan goods. Cheese fanatics will love resident trader Crackers About Cheese, with flavours such as chilli and lime cheddar, Lancashire with horseradish, and mango and ginger Stilton. Sweet treats and cakes are available from Southport’s Just Desserts, and there are plant and homeware traders here, too.

Radcliffe Fine Food Market

Shop, Market
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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.

Manchester Maker's Market

Market
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The Lowery Outlet at Salford Quays 'Makers Market'
© Mark Waugh / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

These recommendations were updated on August 19, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.