A new ‘must try’ spot in the Northern Quarter

One of the biggest perks of living in the Northern Quarter is definitely living five minutes away from tons of restaurants, and since this side of the city is always growing and reinventing itself, new places keep popping up every once in a while. This time we’re talking about Fress.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already saw my Instagram stories showing you a bit of the place and I think we can all agree that this is #goals when it comes to getting Instagram worthy shots. Yes I know, how lame is it that I’m talking about a place and describing it based on the shots I can get, but what I mean is that the place has a really chill vibe, while still looking super cool. To me, it’s an amazing spot for either brunch, lunch, dinner, or even some drinks! (and I haven’t even started talking about their amazing desserts!), so it’s definitely a must try if you’re ever in the area.

Another thing that I loved about Fress is the fact that they make absolutely everything themselves. So you can rest assured that what you’re eating it’s completely fresh and not store bought. Gotta love the opportunity to support businesses like this one!

But yes, I know you’re here for the food.

Lunch at Fress, Manchester.

Marinated olives, padron peppers with garlic mayonnaise, and pork glazed chorizo.

We started with a trio of ‘bar snacks’ but the first thing we really need to talk about here is their presentation. Everything they do at Fress looks so incredibly pretty, you can tell how much effort they put into taking care of the details, and that to me means everything.

The pork glazed chorizo was insanely good. I mean, you guys know they had me at ‘chorizo’, (which is probably why they brought this for us, tbh) but we’re talking about something completely different than other chorizo starters that I’ve tried before. It was great to have a different version that was more on the sweet side but still maintained the chorizo flavour.

The padron peppers have always been a favorite of G, and this was no exception to that rule. I’m not usually the biggest fan because sometimes they can be spicy and you know that I don’t tolerate spicy food that well. But that wasn’t the case with these. Believe me, even if you’re not the biggest fan, you’ll love these. The combination with the garlic mayonnaise made all the different for me, and even G was surprised at how much I liked them. Thumbs up!

The marinated olives are a classic, and you can’t go wrong with these. There’s no surprise here, you know what you’re getting.

Lunch at Fress, Manchester.

Grilled Halloumi: Marinated in honey and chili, on top of Baba Ganoush.

We’ve had Halloumi before, and we’ve always liked it, but we’ve never tried anything like this.

The combination with the baba ganoush was incredible. The fact that it was marinated in honey and chili gave it an interesting twist, and the sweet honey touch paired exceptionally with the eggplant flavor. If you love fried or grilled halloumi, you need to try this!

Lunch at Fress, Manchester.

French onion soup, and grilled halloumi.

I know this is going to sound terrible coming from a food blogger, but I’ve never had onion soup before, and now that I tried it, I feel like I was missing out something exceptional for this whole time. I regret all those days where I said no to this yumminess.

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It was the perfect balance of onion flavour (strong enough to feel it, yet not too strong to get tired of it), and the cheesy baguette dipped in it was also wonderful.

Gabe was the biggest fan, he was completely amazed and had a hard time sharing it with me.

Yes, it was my first time trying French onion soup, but it won’t be my last.

Lunch at Fress, Manchester.

Fress burger: Homemade donut bun, 6oz beef patty, bacon, Mrs. Kirkham’s smoked cheddar, Skin on fries.

I know you might be thinking that this is yet another burger, but these guys meant business when they put their name on this amazing burger.

The beef was exceptionally juicy and the flavour of the donut bun complemented the salty smoked cheddar and bacon in the best way possible. Yes, maybe a donut bun sounds a bit excessive, but let me explain this to you: they don’t take store bought donuts and use them as buns, they make their buns fresh every day so you’re getting a burger bun that has a donut base flavour and is just the right amount of sweetness to complement the dish.

Also, this burger is GIANT, so make sure you’re really hungry when ordering this.

Lunch at Fress, Manchester.

Fress burger.

And just to balance it out, we tried their vegan plate as well! Not that we’re vegan or even vegetarian (duh, you already know that) but it’s nice to try a bit of everything to get a better taste of what the restaurant menu is all about.

Lunch at Fress, Manchester.

Stuffed Baby Aubergine, stuffed with spiced giant cows cows, tabbouleh and charred figs.

Lunch at Fress, Manchester.

More on this vegan goodness (and a peek at their gorgeous floors!)

This plate was terrific (as everything else we tried, tbh!). We’re not vegans, and G isn’t even a big fan of vegetables and greens in general, but we both fell absolutely in love with everything you see here.

The aubergines filled with the giant couscous were TO DIE FOR, and I think that’s an understatement. Also, am I the only one that had never tried giant couscous before? I was amused by the size and felt like I had been missing out of something great for a big part of my life.

Moving on, the aubergines were wrapped in crunchy goodness and that added a different texture that made the whole dish even more interesting. And finally, figs are always a great idea. I don’t know why, but I love how they pair with saltier options, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this next.

And then it was time for dessert.

Dessert at Fress, Manchester.

Fresh oreo wonder cake.

Dessert at Fress, Manchester.

I can’t help it. These floor tiles are too pretty!

We were pretty much stuffed by now, but you know what they say. Dessert doesn’t go to the stomach, it goes to the heart. And so we lived by these words.

At Fress they have a dessert menu that includes things from Lemon Tart to Lychee Pannacotta (more excuses to come back, yay!), and they also have some cakes and desserts made by their pastry chef on display, which change constantly, calling your name when you walk past by.

If you know me, I’m really visual, so I went for that option and I don’t regret it for a second. Saturday’s cake was an Oreo Wonder Cake, and it lived to its name in the best way possible.

It was a dark chocolate cake that paired perfectly with the oreo and cream cheese frosting. I feel like these latter two sometimes can be too sweet, but when you have a base that isn’t as sweet, there’s room for more sugar to be added to the mix, so these two made a perfect pair.

Even though the piece of cake looks massive, it had the right amount of frosting so you could grab a little bit of cake and frosting in every bite, achieving the ideal balance.

Yes, I take my desserts really seriously.

Overall, this lunch exceeded our expectations and I’d recommend pretty much anyone in Manchester to try Fress ASAP. If you haven’t been there, you’re missing out. I know we’ll be back sooner than later, and next time we’ll be doing brunch! Because yes, we’re brunch people now.

Have you guys been to Fress? Do you have any other recommendations when it comes to new restaurants in the Northern Quarter? Let me know either here, on Instagram or Twitter. I always like to know your recommendations and ideas!


That’s it for today, guys. I hope you’re having an amazing week filled with tons of yummy treats. I know I’m already thinking about the food I’ll be eating this weekend. But enough for now.

Michelle’s out.