Our Man in Milliways: Manchester Meet Special

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Man looking a bit unwell after eating a pot noodle

Our Man in Milliways – Manchester Meet Special

As most of you know, the upcoming h2g2 meet is taking place a mere six miles from my doorstep. This, incidentally, has nothing to do with my reasons for moving further away from the city centre.

If you're attending, chances are that you'll know the meet itself is being held in Font Bar on February 18th, and that Pastey's favourite pub in the whole world (Port Street Beer House) be hosting a pre-meet meet on February 17th.

You'll probably also have your accommodation sorted now*.

But you might not know just where to eat on the cheap in Manchester either before or after a skinful of ale. And that's where I come in.

Here are my tips for eating in Manchester on the cheap:

Our Man in Milliways' Guide to Manchester on the Cheap

Best Daytime Eats – Pancho's

Manchester Arndale Food Market* (Open 8am – 8pm)

Average price for a meal and a drink – £6/7

Eat In (at the food market) or Take Away

People who don't know what they're talking about say that Barburrito (Branches on Piccadilly Gardens and Deansgate) are the best places to grab something hot, spicy and filling. This is absolute carp.

A pork/chicken/beef/veggie burrito from Panchos is cheaper, fresher and tastier. Make sure you load up on the guacamole and the chipotles in adobo sauce, and prepare for burrito heaven.

Tacos, chili con carne and other such Mexican staples are also available.

Best Chippy – Leo's Fish Bar

12 Oldham Street, just off Piccadilly Gardens (Open 8am – 11pm)

Average price for a meal and a drink – £6/7

Eat In and Take Away

The days of putting up with pale, soggy chips from the old bus station are gone, thanks to the lovely folks at the IRA. But Leo's is still here, and it's brilliant.

They do a cracking fish and chips, a full English (before noon), and a passable kebab. And it's the only place in central Manchester where I've bought fried chicken at half past 10 and not ended up with some sort of gastric distress.

Best Kebab – Janam's

78 Portland Street (Open ?? – 4am-ish)

Average price for a kebab and a can – £5/6

Take Away

I have no idea when Janam's opens. It's a kebab house, so you're not going to go sober. But if you really need a kebab after a skinful of ale, then trot down Portland Street to this neon-lit haven.

It's opposite Yates' Wine Lodge, so it can be marginally ropey at kicking out time, but it's nowhere near as bad as places down Deansgate. And the chicken tikka kebab is bloody brilliant, if my drunken memories are at all trustworthy.

Places to Avoid:

Pearl City Chinese Restaurant, 33 George Street

You don't find Pearl City. You fall into Pearl City in a drunken haze because it stays open later than anywhere else. And then you lose all your money and wake up with a hangover and a burning pain in your gut.

The Arndale Food Court, Market Street

At the Food Market, you can visit Pancho's, or fill up on Greek, Chinese or Brazilian fare, washed down with a fine Boggart Brewery Ale from the Microbar. At the Food Court, you can grab a McDonald's "beef-like" burger, a Spud-u'd-like-to-Forget, or if you're really unlucky, Taco Bell. And then some random spod with his trackies tucked into his socks will steal your handbag.

That Hot Dog Cart on Market Street, opposite Marks and Sparks

It's a cart selling hot dogs. What are you, stupid?

Any Holts' Pub

Joseph Holts' beer is an acquired taste. The lager is undrinkable, and the bitter will remind you of the canal. But the beer is far superior to the food, which consists of the sort of sandwiches you don't even find at train stations.

So have fun at the meet everyone, and enjoy some of the best cheap food that Manchester has to offer!

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