Here at Mankind we’ve had the most terrible of tasks. Oh, it’s been awful. We’ve been sent on a mission to find the top 3 places to eat in Manchester. Can you think of anything worse? What an absolute nightmare…. erm, JUST KIDDING! This is the best thing… in the world…ever! Eating and drinking to our hearts content, all in the name of research? Sign us up!

If you live in Manchester or are just passing through, you NEED to try at least 3 of our top 3 (see what we did there?) You’ll see why below.

1. Red’s True Barbeque (22 Lloyd Street, Manchester, M2 5WA)

Calling all meat lovers. Wait, let’s rephrase that. Calling all meat AND doughnut lovers. Yep, you heard us (read on if you’re intrigued). If you don’t already know (and if you don’t than you’re obviously much healthier than us here at Mankind…) Red’s True Barbeque on Lloyd Street in Manchester is a testosterone testing, self-proclaimed barbeque heaven, offering meat smoked low ’n slow with rubs and glazes so glorious they make angels weep (don’t look at us like that, they said it!)

Any joint that compares their arrival in Manchester to a lightning bolt from heaven has our vote.

Picture sourced from redstruebbq instagram

Kitted out to the max with industrial style wire fencing, pipes and bench tables, make sure you fully prepare your senses for an overload.  Red’s has it all, seriously. Whether you fancy a cheeky British steak, 24 hour dry-rubbed ribs, an overloaded sandwich or just a little plate (of some BIG tasting food) you won’t be disappointed. But, let us tell you the real reason why Red’s has made our top 3 in Manchester. Since you waited so patiently, we shall finally reveal to you a dirty, BIG secret we’ve been dying to spill. Two words: Donut Burger. OH YES. YES! YES! YES! We think all of our dreams combined have been realised before our very eyes; and it comes in the form of something round, sweet and savoury. An actual burger, with an actual doughnut bun. We’re finding it really hard not to use swears in our excitement here (don’t worry mum, we won’t). You want to hear more? Here’s how Red’s describe it: ‘Two-house made 100% steak burgers flame grilled over hickory melted double cheese, smoked peppered bacon dirty sauce and deep fried crispy onions, all between two sweet glazed donuts. Served with hush puppies and skin-on fries.  It shouldn’t work, but sweet Red above. It’s incredible.’ Couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

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redstruebbq instagram                                                                  redstruebbq instagram

They sell a load of sexy sides, ales, beers and desserts too.

How are you still reading this? GO, NOW!

2. Luck Lust Liquor & Burn (100-102 High Street, Manchester, M4 1HP)

Have you ever been sitting at home, alone, and randomly started to crave American grease with a dose of Mexican spice? Well, we have, and that’s how we found ourselves at Luck Lust Liquor & Burn on Manchester’s bustling High Street. It’s the only place worthy of fulfilling such a strangely specific craving.

You can kindly thank a road trip from Vegas to Mexico for bringing you the wonders of LLL&B.  Specialising in all things manly, expect gut busting burritos, authentic street tacos, and foodie fave burgers. They do salads too if that floats you boat.

With a cool vibe inside and a sign that tells you ‘Jesus loves tacos’, the guilt of over eating will soon subside as you find yourself ordering the ‘Tap Out Burrito’. Described in one word, this is MAMMOTH. A whopping thirty quid, the ‘extremos food dreamos’ burrito is packed full of BBQ pulled pork, chicken, crispy beef and ‘every sauce and good god damn thing under this roof’. Or, ask yourself ‘WWJD’ and try the Taco Roulette. Yep, it’s exactly as it sounds. You’ll be presented with 6 beef and chicken tacos, but one little blighter will be loaded with ‘damn hot sauce’. Who’s gonna be the (un)lucky one?

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Tap Out Buritto sourced from LuckLustLiquor&Burn Twitter

Not forgetting their enhciladas, steaks and sliders, the foodie’s heaven also serve up a mighty range of sides including ‘Winning Fries’, refried beans and beef shin chilli. Nom.

3. This & That (3 Soap Street, Manchester, M4 1EW)

Tucked away down an unassuming alley on Soap Street, This & That is a no frills hidden gem. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably walk straight past it and shrug it off as a city soup kitchen or employee canteen. But how wrong you are. Oh, how wrong. Yeah okay, the interior is basic and fitted with plastic chairs…BUT the home-made style curries are spot on and the portions are generous – and that’s what you’re there for right? Truly immense.

With a really stripped down menu offering you the choice of four meat or three veggie dishes, you won’t be overwhelmed by a load of pretentious dishes you can’t even pronounce; which means you can quickly choose what you want and get down to business, fast! All you have to do is join the queue (it’s popular) grab your curry, a few bhajis and Bob’s your uncle. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Splendid food in a simple setting.

So what do you fancy first? Better make it quick, next week we’re sending you to Liverpool.

Watch this space for next week’s Top 3 Big Eats in the City: Liverpool

Writer and expert