Upon first glance, Manchester may seem full of takeaways, burger joints and an array of eateries that promote ‘dirty’ cuisine. It’s not all burgers and chips, however, as there are a variety of healthy eating restaurants all around the city — you just need to know where to look. If you’re counting the calories, or just fancy something a little lighter, these are the 10 best healthy restaurants and cafés in and around the city.
Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, British, $$$
Primarily aimed at gym goers, this healthy eating café focuses on high-protein, low-carb food to supplement your fitness regime. There’s protein-rich versions of your favourite treats including burgers and pizzas (featuring low-carb buns and dough), but it’s the Kettlebell boxes that we recommend. Choose your protein and base (from choices including chicken, tofu, sweet potato mash and quinoa) and fill up with plenty of veggies, nuts and low-fat dressings.
Similar to Kettlebell Kitchen, this Chorlton and Didsbury-based healthy eating café focuses on build-your-own protein boxes packed full of tasty goodness. There’s also an extensive menu of smoothies and juices packed full of vegetables (rather than full of sugary fruit), and they also offer a bespoke food delivery service, offering meal prep packages to help you continue the healthy eating at home.
Located within the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, this small café always has a tranquil environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the Northern Quarter. Vegetarian and vegan options are always plentiful, and gluten and dairy free diners will find plenty to choose from, with even the cakes appearing healthier than usual. There’s a variety of soups and stews, but we’d always recommend opting for the plate of three market salads, made fresh every day.
OK, so not every dish served at this vegetarian restaurant is technically healthy (the halloumi fish and chips taste delicious though!) but the imaginative menu offers a variety of salads, stews and vegetarian mains that will tantalise your taste-buds while nourishing your body. The portions are small, making Bistro 1847 a great option for a fresh and healthy light lunch.
This Levenshulme institution may be most famed for its bread, but it also offers an ever-changing menu filled with fresh ingredients and inventive food pairings. Whether you pop along for breakfast or attend one of their supper clubs, you’re sure to be bombarded by light portions, an array of vegetables and delicious flavours. You’ll be enjoying your meal so much that you probably won’t even realise how healthy it all is.
If you don’t want to give up on fine dining to maintain a healthy diet, book a table at Australasia to ensure that you don’t exceed your daily calories. One of the city’s best restaurants, the menu focuses of sushi, small plates and grills with a loose Asian theme, allowing you to nibble on small portions or opt for protein-rich plates. There’s plenty of healthy and delicious seafood, and most of the menu is low on carbs.
Located just off Oxford Road, this beautifully decorated Lebanese street food restaurant has plenty of high-protein low-carb options on its diverse menu. There are plenty of wraps, grills and salads to choose from, along with delicious hot and cold mezze options that work well as light bites. Although there are burgers and red meat on the menu, there’s plenty of vegetarian, chicken and fish options for a leaner meal.
Tucked away within the Arndale food market, you’ll find the healthiest desserts in the city. Free of refined sugar and butter, all of the treats on display at Simone’s taste just as good as they look but you can enjoy them without the guilt. There’s also an array of vegan and gluten-free options that are packed full of fruit and nuts rather than sugar and carbs.
This popular Vietnamese restaurant may be a chain, but it’s proving to be popular with Manchester’s residents thanks to its healthy and delicious menu. Choose from a variety of soups, curries, stir-fries and salads that are all packed with vegetables, proteins and goodness, safe in the knowledge that their handy nutrition guide will help you to select the healthiest option.
Located in Spinningfields, this healthy lunch spot focuses on takeaways for local office workers (although you can also dine in) with a variety of healthy wraps, salads, pasta dishes and rice boxes that you can create yourself. It’s easy to keep track of calories thanks to their simple menu and plenty of lean protein options and vegetables on offer. If you fancy a drink, they also have low-calorie beers and Prosecco on the menu.