Italian Restaurants in Chorlton – Eat and Two Veg Guide

From sour-dough pasta to rustic oven baked pasta dishes, there are enough Italian restaurant options in Chorlton to keep anyone happy. Read below for our top choices:

Double Zero (00)

Doubling down on Pizza, Double Zero offers sourdough pizzas cooked to perfection. Whilst the decor may not be to everyone’s taste (it’s rustic to a point with bags of Italian flour and battered benches the theme), the pizzas are unlikely to disappoint. Expect a lively atmosphere and tasty wood-fired pizza goodness.

For starters I would recommend the garlic bread with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to share, easily one of the most appetizing I’ve had in a long time, with the garlic oil really setting it off.

For main, you really can’t knock the classic Margherita: San Marzano tomatos, mozzarella, basil and olive oil. My other favourite is the Partenopea.

If you’ve got a big appetite I’d recommend the Calzone, the veggie version containing roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sundried tomatoes.

Tips: It can get busy during evening and weekends so it’s best to pop down earlier and request a table. There’s plenty of bars nearby to grab a drink in whilst you wait for a table (Strange Brew is our favourite suggestion). If you can it’s best to sit closer to the entrance than at the back. That oven can get hot!

For those trying to save some money, Double Zero allows you to take in your own alcohol too, with a 10% corkage charge added to your bill. The Co-op across the road is fully stocked if you need to grab some drinks.

Croma Chorlton

Situation on Wilbrham Road, Croma Chorlton has been serving outstanding Italian cuisine since 2005. Suitable for family, friends and couples alike, the menu offers a variety of delicious pizzas, salads and pasta dishes. Seasonal food and drinks menus ensure that there is always something new to try. It’s probably the restaurant I’ve been to most in Chorlton and it never fails to impress.

My starter of choice is the baked mushrooms, oven roasted and covered in garlic butter and Worcester sauce. Never fails to impress.

For those after pizza, you really are spoilt for choice at Croma. My to-go pizza is the Courgette & Goat’s Cheese, served with caramelised onion (probably my favourite ingredient on a pizza), mozzarella, goat’s cheese, rocket and balsamic glaze. It’s a pizza for those who love strong flavours and I love it every time.

Salad lovers should go for the Goat’s Cheese and Roasted Red Onion Salad. The baked cheese is served on French bread and the spicy tomato relish really sets the dish off.

Tips: If you can I would recommend going for their early bird special. It’s runs 3-7pm weekdays (10pm Mondays) and offers a choice of starters main and a drink for £12.95. If you are in the mood for dessert, that’s also available for just an extra £3.

No need to book for groups under six but if you can I would recommend that you ask for a table in the front conservatory. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy the food and watch the world go by.

Other Options in Chorlton

We’ll be listing other restaurants in the near future. If there’s any that you would like to add please get in touch

The Pasta Project – Italian Startup reinventing the Manchester Italian Fast Food Scene

Pasta Project Cooking

The Pasta Project is the latest addition to the rapidly growing Italian Fast Food scene in Manchester. Started in 2016 in Harpurhey, the Pasta Project intends to change people’s perspective on what ‘fast food’ can be. The team invited us to a bloggers event last month to sample a selection of their dishes and to have a go at cooking some ourselves.

The dishes served are a vibrant and wholesome mix that caters to all tastes. At first glance what grabs you is the simplicity of the menu; no overflowing dining options replete with unnecessary ingredients and additives here. Take, for instance, the San Marzano, their key dish: spaghetti served with San Marzano plum tomatoes & basil. What may sound a little unadventurous really works, which is testament to the quality of the ingredients and the level of cooking. It’s a dish I could eat every day without getting bored.

Pasta Project Menu Board

Whilst The Pasta Project is focused on fast takeaway service, the company has brought the highest quality ingredients to the table, often sourcing them all the way from Italy. Creating the meals with such high-quality produce means each mouthful bursts with flavour. Every order is finished in front of the customer, which means adding extras to your dish (whether that’s a touch of garlic, chilli, or a dash more spice) is no problem.

Pasta Project Cooking the Pasta

The pasta used by the team isn’t bought in bulk and hasn’t come straight from a factory floor. Instead, it’s freshly made by the staff on the premises at the start of each day. As The Pasta Project use egg pasta, the dishes they serve are not only filling but also high in protein. So while the portion sizes may initially appear a little smaller than you’d expect, they’re surprisingly satisfying.

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For those dining at lunchtime, our recommendation would be the Genova; Fusilli pasta with basil pesto dressed with pine nuts and olive oil, the pine nuts adding a pleasing crunch the dish. Compared to the shop bought sandwich deal, or overpriced pre-packaged salad, there really is no contest. Paired with a drink you are looking at around £6 all-in. An absolute steal.

If you’re not in the mood for pasta, the Pasta Project have expanded their offering via a newly installed wood oven, which cooks perfect pizza every time. Full pizzas start at a frankly unbelievable £4.50, with a variety of toppings available. Our recommendation would be the Pizza Tricolor: a true veggie classic of basil pesto, cherry tomatoes, and baby spinach. It’s got to be one of the best value pizzas in Manchester.

Pasta Project Pizza

3 Things we learnt at the Pasta Project

Cooking Fresh pasta is quicker than using shop bought ingredients

Once we got behind the stoves and started cooking, it came obvious that the pros were far better at it than we were ☺. However, with the help from the chefs (who were all excellent) it wasn’t long before our dishes were ready. So fast, in fact, that I haven’t used any pre-prepared sauces since the event.

Pasta Project

When cooking pasta dishes, less is more

When putting together dishes on the spot the temptation can be to throw as many ingredients together as possible and hope that it comes together. However, the cooks at the Pasta Project were at pains to stress that it’s best to go for three main ingredients rather than complicating dishes with too many components. Allowing each ingredient space should allow the flavours to come out.

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Pasta needs to be cooked al dente

Gone are the days where people would boil pasta to within an inch of its life – at least we hope so. For the real taste of Italian pasta you need to cook it al dente.

As we were using fresh pasta, the chefs were able to instruct us on the exact cooking time for the perfect al dente pasta – any longer and the pasta becomes too soft and loses much of its bite (in fact al dente is Italian for ‘to the teeth’). Once cooked, adding the pasta to the sauce allows the pasta to take in some of the flavours of the sauce.

Finishing cooked pasta

How to get to the Pasta Project

The Pasta Project is currently situated in Harpurhey, about two miles out from Manchester city centre. The location has allowed them to refine and their model before hopefully expending into new sites in 2017.

For directions and more details click here

We would like to thank everyone at the Pasta Project for putting on such a great night. We would surely be back to try more delectable veggie pasta dishes.

A selection of the dishes we cooked on the night

Cooked Meals

Pasta Project

Pasta Project

Pasta

Terrace NQ Manchester – Eat and Two Veg Breakfast Review

Terrace Manchester NQ

Situated on Thomas Street right in the middle Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Terrace offers a mix of craft beer and cocktails served by friendly and attentive staff. It’s not the first place you’d think of for breakfast, yet after trying the venue twice I’m happy to report that it’s one of the best vegetarian breakfast places in the area.

Breakfast is served 10am – 3pm on weekends (11am weekdays) with enough tables inside that it’s rarely an issue getting a seat; in the morning at least. Due to being a bar as well as a restaurant, it is a little dark, especially for those sat away from the windows. However, for those nursing hangovers or still haven’t woken up yet that may not be a bad thing.

The veggie breakfast is served with veggie black pudding (a mixture of herbs and spices) veggie sausage, poached eggs, hash browns and home made beans, tomato, mushrooms and hot buttered toast. You couldn’t really ask for more.

Terrace Manchester Veggie Breakfast

I opted for the deluxe breakfast, which for an extra £2 not only do you get extra sausage, eggs and black pudding but your breakfast also comes with a brew, so there’s no reason not too. It’s enough to keep anyone going until dinner.

What really made the dish were the poached eggs – super fresh, cooked perfectly and a real joy to eat. For me they are the best I’ve had in Manchester.

For those without such a big appetite there are other options including Eggs Florentine and Rarebit, a grilled cheese sandwich concoction of sourdough bread topped with Monterey Jack cheese, stout, Worchester sauce and mustard. If that sounds perfect to you I’d also recommend you give the Grilled Cheese Sandwich Company NQ a try – great for quick lunchtime eats.

Overall, I would recommend Terrace as the ideal Northern Quarter venue for vegetarian full English breakfast. Not only is it excellent value at less than £10 all in, but it’s also simply one of the best.

Real Junk Food MCR aiming to open the first waste food restaurant

Plans are being put together to open the first café serving free food to the people of Manchester – utilising ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away. The project aim is to open Manchester’s first waste food pay-as-you-feel cafe, to stamp out food waste in the city and provide hot nutritious meals for all.

The Real Junk Food Project intercepts food that would otherwise go to waste from supermarkets, restaurants and a number of other sources, turning the food waste it into healthy and nutritious meals for anyone and everyone. Meals are priced on a pay-as-you-feel donation basis.

As well as stamping out food waste, they also aim to make the food system fairer and more sustainable and help support some of Manchester’s most vulnerable residents.

Real Junk Food MCR

How you can support Real Junk Food MCR

To support this project go to the Real Junk Food MCR Crowd Funder Page. There you will find further details on the project plus options on how you can support them – starting from just £5.

What will the money be used for?

The money raised will pay for the design and build of a mobile kitchen, work on a new site they are setting up as well as some new furniture and equipment that is urgently required.

Don’t forget to check out their Crowd Funder page at and donate – Eat and Two Veg has already made a contribution and we hope you do too!

Moose Coffee Manchester Review– American Style Breakfast Outgrows its Original Venue

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Moose Coffee opened in 2006, bringing a taste of the American Breakfast culture to the heart of Manchester. Since then they’ve expanded to three venues in the North West area. Since I first came here three years ago, it’s probably the place I recommended for breakfast in Manchester more than anywhere else and has become one of the best breakfast haunts in Manchester.

My to-go dish here is the classic Veggie Mighty Moose – New York Style homemade potato hash fried on the grill cooked with garlic, onion and Dijon mustard. It comes topped with two fried eggs, tomato and slices of chunky toast. Paired with an espresso it’s £8 all in, great value and should keep you going until dinner.

img_1023If you are hoping to visit at the weekend, it’s best to get there early or expect a hefty wait. Due to the size of the venue, it usually involves waiting outside for a table to come free; fine in the summer months but on a cold December morning it’s hardly ideal.

Despite how much I love this place I did have issues with this particular visit. Firstly, due to the venue being so busy (it was only a few days before Christmas to be fair) the food was coming out fast and hot. Too hot in fact for you to hold the plate without burning your hand. However, when the waitress served it to me she handed the boiling plate right into my open hand… not a great start to my breakfast. I could still feel it on my way out of the restaurant.

Then the dish itself, usually so consistent just wasn’t quite on the button this time. The lack of mustard made the dish feel a little too heavy, which is a great shame. Luckily, the eggs where cooked perfectly as always.

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My fellow diner tried the veggie Monolito and loved it. The dish is two tortillas topped with refried beans, eggs salsa cheese and sour cream. Perfect for those looking for something different at breakfast time.

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Despite my issues with this particular visit Moose Coffee I would still highly recommend it – there’s no where else quite like it in Manchester and at less than £10 per person it’s excellent value. Avoid the queues and get there early for the best experience.

Breakfast in Monton – The Blind Pig Review

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After moving to the area in the summer we’ve been looking for a great vegetarian breakfast place within walking distance of the house. After a few false starts (not every bar or restaurant in Monton sadly bothers to caters to vegetarians) I think we’ve found the place.

Based in the heart of Monton Village, The Blind pig offers a relaxed family friendly environment suitable for both the morning coffee and afternoon drinks crowd.

Breakfast is served from 10am-12pm and the venue offers plenty of table space, plug sockets and free wi-fi for those working away from the office or with family

The ‘Big Veggie’ breakfast comes with veggie sausages (Linda McCartney’s) tomato, mushroom, fried egg, sautéed potatoes, baked beans and a slice of toast- enough to get anyone’s day off to a good start. Total price is £7, served with coffee or tea you are looking at less than £10 per person.

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For those requiring a lighter bite, The Blind Pig offers a selection of croissants, muffins and even cheesy beans on toast.

If you are going for lunch I’d recommend the Veggie Burger, a spicy chickpea and veggie burger with chilli dip with a side of Mac and Cheese Balls. A choice option if not exactly the most healthy.

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Overall The Blind Pig in Monton, Manchester is a great place for light bites, breakfast eats and afternoon drinks.

Fancy Breakfast closer to the City Centre? Why not try Moose Coffee Manchester or Terrace NQ?

Hard Rock Cafe Manchester Ups it’s Vegetarian Game – More Than Just Burgers

Hard Rock Café Manchester, now in its 16th year, offers classic American dining with large entrees and authentic ‘dirty’ burgers. Clean Living this is not. But don’t hold that against it.

As a bar Hard Rock is well worth the trip, especially for classic rock fans. On the walls at the moment include a David Bowie suit from the 80s, a jacket worn by Elvis Presley in the 50 and iconic memorabilia from the likes of the Beatles and Oasis. Attentive staff members are more than happy to give you a guided tour of what they have on the walls (quick fact: because they have so much in their vaults about 80% of their total stock is in storage). I did spot a dress by Natasha Beddingfield – can’t imagine too many Mancunians queuing up to see that.

Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Café have recently updated their vegetarian options and now have a specialised Vegetarian menu that makes ordering food quick and simple – safe in the knowledge that everything you are ordering is vegetarian. I wish more places followed suit.

Hard Rock Cafe

On the back of the new Veggie menu are a selection of ‘Bold Sips’, a selection of Jam Jar (will this trend ever end?!) based cocktails. I went for ‘Rush on the Rocks’, a whisky-based cocktail with maple syrup, apple, sweet and sour mix with spiced sugar: a great winter warmer, if a little sweet for me. Lizzie opted for the ‘Spiced Cinnamon Mule’ that includes vodka, Whiskey and Cinnamon, easily the best cocktail out of the bunch. Kleptomaniacs everywhere can rejoice! You even get the keep the glass ☺

Hard Rock Cafe

The first thing we ordered were Califlour ‘Wings’; crispy Buffalo Style Bread Califlour with a blue cheese and hot sauce dips. These were simply fantastic! In fact, so impressed with the dish that I’m trying to replicate the recipe at home this weekend. They also be great for those who are trying to cut their meat consumption or a #meatfreemonday. A must try for all.

Hard Rock Cafe

One thing I would like adding to the Vegetarian menu is a section for sides and starters. I assume these will be listed in the main menu, but it would make sense to get it all on one for ease of ordering. Hopefully they will update this in the future.

After the starter we went for the ratatouille flatbeard and Grilled Ratatouille Wrap. Both were great options, especially the wrap. It included grilled eggplant, assorted veg and baby arugula and side salad.

Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe

I’d also recommend that you try the Califiour Vegetarian Burger – I superb option for those bored by the ‘Spicy Bean Burger’ served at most places in Manchester. The home-made patty comes with garlic, egg, goats cheese oregano and seasoned fries. Guaranteed to please any Vegetarian burger lover.

Once our plates had been cleared we decide to share a dessert – A Oreo Cheesecake. Oreo fans need to give this dish a go. Well worth it!

Hard Rock Cafe

Overall the Hard Rock Café has really upped its game when it comes to its Vegetarian options – offers classic American dining with a twist. The perfect choice for any American Burger fan.

Hard Rock Cafe