Of all the cities we have visited on our journey, I think Manchester has been my favorite. The people here are friendlier, the architecture is incredible and the food scene is vibrant. Manchester proper, has a population of about 400,000 people. The metro area, though, is comprised of about 2.7 million people, making it one of the largest metro areas in the United Kingdom. This past weekend the Christmas markets opened and I believe about half of those 2.7 million were in town. We had a blast! Between the Christmas markets, the street markets and all the restaurant choices, there was no shortage of dining options.
As we walked through the Manchester Street Food stalls, we were amazed at the choices of food. We had to stop and share an ostrich burger, because we had never tried one before and they were an award winning stall. The burger was grilled to perfection and topped with Jack Daniels onions, sweet chili & garlic mayo and wild rocket. The flavors were perfect together and the burger was a fine, messy meal!
In an area called The Avenue there were multiple food trucks serving wood-fired pizza, BBQ chicken, tacos and adult beverages. There was a wonderful large tee pee, called the Curious Tee Pee, that had a large central fire, a large bar and what looked like some really good frilled foods. There were local artists with booths set up selling art, textiles and food. There was even a wonderful tower slide for kids and adults as well as an open air ice rink with other pop up bars surrounding it.
If I had a choice of where to live in England, I would chose Manchester. The city had a Midwest feel with a large city approach to life.