Last weekend, I met my friend Charlotte, who I used to work with, for brunch at the newly opened Mackie Mayor in Manchester. If you haven’t heard of the quirky-named establishment, it is Manchester’s latest addition to the foodie scene – think rustic-style venue, complete with resident vendors, low hanging lights, exposed brick and paint-splattered walls, and you’ve got it.
Mackie Mayor is the sister project of the popular Altrincham Market, which has been on my doorstep for the last three years, so I was excited to see what it had to offer: I’m a big fan of open-plan markets as well, having a bit of choice when you’re eating out and the whole community feel of these kinds of places so I was up for giving it a go.
Conveniently located at the top of the Northern Quarter (on Swan Street, a couple of doors down from Band On The Wall, to be exact) you could easily walk past this place (unless you’d seen the hoardings up for the past 12-months) but the grade two listed building is somewhat of an industrial-esque spectacle inside.
If I’m honest, I knew what to expect as I’d followed them on Instagram, and had seen a few people’s pictures popping up over the last week, but nevertheless, I was impressed. I walked in from the street entrance, and the first thing I noticed was that there wasn’t a ‘Mackie Mayor’ sign to say I was in the right place – luckily I saw ‘The Snug’ from the inside, and people were arriving at the same time as me.
We met at 11:30am, which was just as breakfast was finishing, and half an hour before brunch was starting at 12pm: That gave us enough time to drop our bags and coats off and have a wander. As I mentioned, I’ve lived near Altrincham Market, since it opened back in 2014, so I kind of knew what to expect food-wise. There were a couple new additions, but it was nice to see some familiar faces.
We got a coffee, which was delivered promptly to our table (I went for the Castlefield brew tea) before deciding on where we were going to eat. I was in two minds about whether to get a pizza dot on 12pm, from Honest Crust, but I refrained as the fish bar, Fin, had caught my eye (no pun intended…)
As we’d been there for about 30 minutes before placing our order, that had given us enough time to have a nosey at what was on people’s plates. As a self-confessed millennial girl, I knew my only option was to get poached eggs, and their option came with sourdough toast (again eluding to my basic-ness) and rainbow trout, which I am a huge fan of, but have never had on a breakfast dish.
We waited about 15 minutes for the food, which I thought was reasonable for how busy it was getting, and it was brought straight to our table. One of the things I love about Alty Market and Mackie Mayor is the fact they keep up topped up with tap water, which, if its the weekend before payday like this one was, is enough to keep you happy and hydrated.
The food itself was delicious – the trout was a welcome accompaniment, and a nice alternative to smoked salmon, which I usually would have gone for. The whole dish came with a side salad, and the portion size looked quite big when it was put in front of me, but it was actually just the right amount.
As we were leaving, we had a quick look upstairs where there was more seating available and took some pictures before wandering into Manchester.
Compared to Altrincham Market, I like the fact that it is bigger and there is more seating, and also that you don’t have to leave the building to go to the toilet. Although there are most of the same food stalls, there were a lot fewer families here, and it was more for the twenty and thirty-something market. There were also people starting to drink wine and beer from the two bars that occupy a stall there, and I can only imagine it is a lovely place to go for a drink after work or on the weekend.
Overall, I would highly recommend coming here because the atmosphere was great, and the food was delicious – definitely, go to Fin if you’re looking for something a little bit different. Although Altrincham Market is a lot closer to home, I would 100% make the effort to come into the city centre to go here again.
Have you been to Mackie Mayor? What did you think?