A comprehensive list of where to eat in Fallowfield
These reviews are VERY professional
We’ve all been there. You’ve pulled a worldie at Fifth and you don’t know where to go for the inebriated chicken aperitif to your night of fumbled carnal exertions. Or maybe you’ve had three tepid dates of all-Netflix-and-no-chill since, and you don’t know the best and most economic eatery in which to attempt to rekindle your quickly dying romance without brutalising your dwindling overdraft. And then, it’s two weeks later and you just want a brown paper bag of deep-fried, artery-clogging anything to try to cloak the bittersweet tang of Diego/Isabella that still hangs on your lips, and you don’t know where best to quench this need. Well fear no more, with Valentines firmly in the rearview for some 360 more days, here is a definitive list of the best places to gorge yourselves silly in Fallowfield in order to be better prepared for your next fleeting romantic tryst and/or house feast and/or awkward biannual meal with the visiting parents.
Whilst Wetherspoons may be synonymous with phrases like “lowest common denominator” or “bog standard”, and whilst Manchester’s Nobel Prize to Wetherspoons ratio may be tipping evermore in the pub chain’s favour, it is difficult to hold this against them. You know exactly what to expect with a Spoons and to expect anything more is pure folly. Spoons can cater to more needs than most other eateries: Be it a £4 full English with the flat after your 9th rager in a row, or a quiet few on a Thursday evening to kick off that long weekend you’re treating yourself to, Spoons has your back and won’t break the bank.
Vibes 3/5: Old lonely alcoholics and faux wood panelling, charming in its tackiness
Food 3/5: Expect nothing and you’ll be pleasantly surprised
Overall 3/5: Cheap and just functional enough to be be worth it sometimes. Like an off brand condom
Either you unironically adore dropping three hours of minimum wage on a lacklustre plate of overhyped chicken, or you were just out of ideas on where to go for your tinder date. As divisive as this opinion, nay, this fact may be, Nando’s is a damp squib of an eatery for a cavalcade of reasons. Whether you’re an entrenched disciple of the peri-o-metre’s teachings, or a Nando’s newbie, don’t believe the stories. It’s at least 10 of your finest British pounds for a plate of just chicken and chips, with a spice level ranging from a docile lemon and herb to a fiery extra hot. Except McDonald’s does better chicken nuggets, KFC spices them more deftly, Chester’s does better peri salt chips, and as bottomless as Nando’s can make their drinks, you’ll never drink more than the two litres you would buy from any takeaway in Fallowfield. Don’t be fooled by their savvy marketing and black card legends and that one time Example and Ed Sheeran waxed lyrical about their menu in a trashy car park, it’s just not that great.
Vibes 4/5: A kitschy, Portuguese masquerade that is difficult to dislike
Food 2/5: Half the price would still be steep, and another point lost for the mere existence of fino sides
Overall 2/5: Nandos is a nand-no, but points for the chicken facts on the wall
You’re here because you’ve realised Nando’s is a bit shit, or its your sports team’s social and they’ve got a little bit of money in the kitty. A broad range of cocktails and drinks, genuinely tasty food, and an almost generous assortment of discounts afforded to you by their dedicated discount card, whose only drawback is that it takes up one of the few card slots in your wallet. Centrally located, reasonably priced for the quality, and respectably edgy, it lacks only in ambience and atmosphere.
Vibes 2/5: Relatively dark inside, probably raining outside
Food 4/5: Pretty great food if you can fork out the extra couple of quid
Overall 4/5: Akin to receiving slightly unenthusiastic head – it just needs that last little je ne sais quoi to push it to greatness
Chronically empty to the point where I have to assume that it only continues to exist because it is a money laundering front. Which is a shame, because if they are just a front, they’ve also created some absolutely tippity-top pizzas. The same price as any other pizza takeaway, but at 20 inches, each pizza is actually more than twice as large as the biggest offering from Dominos or Papa John’s. If you eat in, there’s a kooky vaguely American decor complete with jukebox and motorcycle, plus the freshly made pizza is orgasm-inducing. Not just orgasm-causing, but INDUCING. Their fresh pizza actually forces you to climax. Goodness me it’s getting me hot and bothered.
Vibes 4/5: Clean and modern and a random motorcycle
Food 5/5: The pizza is amazing with a decent array of sides
Overall 4/5: Would be perfect if it weren’t for the abysmal delivery service. Just take a visit instead
Sainsbury’s meal deal
There are many reasons to get a meal deal. Not many of them are good ones, especially since Lord Sainsbury heartlessly dispensed with many of the top choices available to us punters, but they will sell out without fail on the daily. The sandwiches and pastas leave a lot to be desired but they will provide carbohydrates which your body can convert to energy, which, after all, is the point I suppose. If nothing else, these factory-produced, factory-packaged glimpses into the depressing abyss of capitalism will furnish your physical being with enough calories to make it to dinner, and will help turn the empty, nihilistic wheel of existence another furtive revolution closer to the eventual heat death of the universe. On the other hand, £3 for an only slightly bland main, a drink, and pack of Walkers or bar of chocolate really is a good lunch deal.
Vibes 2/5: You’ll probably eat this on a nearby wall or bench, so at least you can people watch
Food 3/5: Value you can only beat with a packed lunch, and you’re much too busy for that
Overall 3/5: Just, fine. Y’know? Just like, fine
This one will always boggle my mind. I’m not entirely sure of the demographic that would end up eating here. Did you suddenly become so hungry in your foray through the aisles that you couldn’t briefly satiate yourself with a snack or make it home to cook? Were you passing by all the slightly dogged eateries in Fallowfield for the first time looking for a safe bastion of middle-classery in which to chow down? Or do they just do a really bang up ham, egg, and chips? Do let me know, because whilst it would be entirely true to say that I cannot review this place fairly without having ever eaten there, I’ve also never been anally fisted, and I feel secure in saying that I probably wouldn’t enjoy that either.
Vibes 2/5: Smacks vaguely of a school cafeteria with droves of pensioners
Food: Who can honestly say?
Overall: Basically, you do you. I can’t tell you it’s wrong
Chances are you’ll have overlooked this noodle house unless you’re a staunch proponent of oriental food. Nestled next to Tesco Express, it makes a goshdarned delightful range of noodles and Thai curries, is never busy, and isn’t extortionate. The seating and ambience is communal and clean, and I don’t have many mean things to say about it. My only gripe is that Asian food is my least favourite cuisine, and it seems cruel to penalise them for this.
Vibes 4/5: Benches, stools, kooky and vaguely oriental decorations
Food 4/5: Way above average noodles and whatnot
Overall 4/5: Simply nice, tasty food, although I’m no connoisseur
That one Greek place
I am reliably informed that that one Greek place is actually called Kosmos. There are a few things I know about Kosmos. They make one of the top ten tzatzikis I’ve ever had, they serve affordable and authentic Greek food, and they have a framed photo of Richard & Judy circa 1993 adorning their wall. Science has so far drawn a blank on whether this is a good or a bad thing.
Vibes 3/5: If authentic means a bit run down, then it’s authentic
Food 4/5: Affordable, rather tasty mediterranean range
Overall 3/5: If Greek food is your thing, choose Kosmos. You don’t have a lotta choice as it is anyways
There is nowhere else within a mile radius that you can get curried goat, so they’ve cornered that market. Much like their Disneyfied namesakes, their equipment might not be the best but they pull off some surprisingly good food. However, much like Disney again, there’s a seedy underbelly behind their cheerful front that their history of 1/5 food hygiene ratings exposes.
Vibes 2/5: Like, its a chicken shop guys, don’t expect much
Food 3/5: If you don’t mind the occasional short n’ curly in your curry, the food is good
Overall 3/5: Just pray the short n’ curly is a beard hair and not from elsewhere
It’s Friday, you and the flat have resigned yourselves to the sofa cus the roof fell on you at Factory Thursday, and you just need some salty fatty carby goodness to cram in your food hole. There aren’t many meals more purely satiating and filling than a proper good chippy, and Battered Cod do it best. Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution went into creating those deep, primal cravings for deep fried fish and potatoes, and who are you to square off against Charlie Darwin?
Vibes 2/5: Generally mopey staff but you’re eating this at home so you can deal
Food 4/5: Hunger-busting and plentiful for a fair price
Overall 4/5: Fish, chips, and a portion of all their profits going to charity
For whatever intangible businessy reasons, this Mickey-D’s still refuses to open 24 hours a day or set up a delivery service – both of which would significantly impact the average student’s balance sheet come hangover days – but the ubiquitous symbol of the West’s decadent lifestyle is generally decent enough. The brief release of happiness neurotransmitters that precedes the self-loathing phase after a meal here is just enough to make you come back again and again throughout your life. One per cent of people on Earth are served by Maccy’s every single day and that number is no doubt higher in Fallowfield, so clearly they’re doing something right.
Vibes 3/5: Complete lack of play area and constant smell of lingering heart disease
Food 4/5: Look, your body wants what’s in the meals, whether you embrace that or not is up to you
Overall 3/5: It’s McDonalds, the review is moot, you’ll eat there and probably hate yourself for it
Yep, when they’re not filled with toga-toting rugby lads or Baywatching medics sporting a thin veneer of chunder, they also serve food. It’s cheap and cheerful and somewhat decent pub food with some of the more modern stuff and the odd avocado for good measure. Think a low-rent version of Revs with a bigger beer garden that’s not a bad place to spend a tipsy summer afternoon enjoying the occasional bouncy castle or ball pit.
Vibes 4/5: Can’t complain, usually busy and borderline scenic in Summer
Food 4/5: Again, the grub ain’t bad and the booze is cheap
Overall 4/5: A begrudgingly nice place for cheap and cheerful times
A Fallowfield institution for at least as long as I’ve been here and a pretty standard place for a tepid post-exam cocktail and lunch with all your course mates. Here you can get the benign “oh that question three was a corker” chat out the way before going off to meet your actual friends somewhere to celebrate. Or you’ve got a tinder date and you didn’t want to take any culinary/alcohol risks so you suggested Font. You’ll probably enjoy three to five minutes of lights-off, missionary-position intercourse after three cocktails loosen you both up a bit. 2.4 kids and a labrador and a Volvo and a semi-detached in Hampshire later and you’ll find yourself purchasing a motorcycle you’ll never use to distract from your ever-expanding bald spot and wilting sexual desires. And that’s when you’ll realise; it wouldn’t have been like this if you hadn’t gone to Font with Eleanor/Bernard all those years ago.
Vibes 3/5: Lukewarm and a bit dark and dull
Food 3/5: It’s just good. Not bad, not great, just food
Overall 2.5: So average that it gets exactly half marks
You had three Guinnesses and a 12 gins last night and now anything with a flavour will cause you to spew forth a plume of partially digested kebab? There’s a sub for that. You want to pretend that there’s any way that you can eat a foot of bread and still be healthy? There’s a sub for that. You want a heaving behemoth of cured meats and streaming sauces crammed with salad and double cheese toasted to a delicate lava? There’s a sub for that too. Subway is the biggest food chain on earth for a reason. Their highly trained sandwich artists (yes, that’s the job title) will make you a sandwich to your exact specifications, and the only person to blame if it’s not what you wanted is probably yourself. The onus is on you, you made this. Yes, their hands crafted it, but you ordered it that way, and you must bask in your sandwich’s reflective grow, or deal with the consequences of poor ordering. Little bit expensive but, eh.
Vibes 2/5: Very standard. You’ll be there for fifteen minutes, suck it up
Food 4/5: Get this right and don’t get it wrong
Overall 4/5: With time and training, you’ll eke the full potential out of the meagre ingredients
King Rivulets of jaegerbomb-fuelled dance sweat flank your face as the 3am 142 magic bus pulls into Owens Park. You disembark with a garbled “cheers pal” to the driver, and will your clumsy limbs in an anything-but-straight line towards Kebab King. You are alone, but you are ready. You push the door open, and the bell rings. Your drunkenness subsides and turns to fervent anticipation. Heart quickening, skin prickling, you pivot your glassy eyes upwards to a beautiful, brown figure busying himself behind the high counter. Your breath catches in your throat, your face flushes red, and a gentle waft of gurgling fat and frying chicken seeps into your nostrils. Your excitement builds to an exquisite torment, and then… “ANYONE ELSE WAITING TO ORDER?!” The shout appears to be for everyone around you, but you know it may as well have been a delicate, private whisper in your ear, and your ear alone. Paz’s dulcet, gravelly tones shoot waves of rippling pleasure down every nerve of your being, and a saccharine sense of release and warmth envelops you. “Chips and cheese, Paz,” comes your meek reply, “chips and cheese”.
Vibes 4/5: Comforting and familiar, if a little worn
Food 5/5: Delicious, freshly prepared morsels of a standard befitting its namesake
Overall 4/5: Best enjoyed intoxicated. Don’t check its hygiene rating