The best pastries in Manchester (according to me) – why the key to living a savvy lifestyle is forking out for one of these best bakes

The below is written on my own personal experience of bakeries in and around Manchester. All opinions are my own. If you think I am missing a trick, let me know on Instagram – @mrdealsmanchester – and I will make sure to go and check out whoever you tell me too!

So as you all know, I absolutely love a good pastry. Whilst some might see me as somebody looking to save money at every opportunity, I actually believe that value is more important than price. This means that there are some things out there that are just worth spending a bit more money on.

Pastries are a great example of this – we are lucky that in Manchester we have some AMAZING bakeries, that can serve you up an artisinal, world-class delicacy in exchange for just a few pound coins. Trust me when I say the places on this list are a bargain!

One of the best things you can do if you want a bit of a boujee lifestyle on a budget is to go to one of these amazing bakeries, get yourself an incredible bake and then just find a nice spot to sit in and watch the world go by. Eating the best food around doesn’t always mean going to restaurants and forking out (though, watch this space for how to save money on that too!).

Companio (36 Radium St, M4 6AD)

So whilst this list isn’t in any particular order, I will say that this bakery does what I believe is the best crossant I have ever eaten, on a purely technical level. They are crisp on the outside, with a tender, buttery interior. They are flaky, more-ish ad you will never look at another croissant in the same way again.

They also do sandwiches at £4.50 and I just cannot put into words how good value that is – I recently got a pepperoni wrap from Costa for £5 (I didn’t pay for it of course – thanks Vodafone!) , and it makes absolutely zero sense to me how Companio can beat that price for a sandwich that is approximately 3,746x better.

The Flat Baker (23 Radium St, M4 6AD)

Just down the hill from Companio, this bakery is making absolute waves in Manchester and rightly so. Not only are all of their bakes absoilutely brilliant from a technical point of view (and I know they regularly test and try to improve their recipes – we love to see it!), they have a wider selection than any other bakery you will see, I believe.

Their pistachio croissant seems to win a lot of plaudits, but they do all sorts of sweet cruffins and croissants – I am a big fan of the malteser croissant. They also do specials, including deliciacies from their home coutnry, Brazil, and the coffee is also fantastic.

Cotarellis (TBC)

Unfortunately, these guys are taking a break right now, but watch this space for when they are back! I will update this post and also write on my Instagram about how you can get your hands on these incredible bakes.

I first fell in love with Cotarellis when I tried their Biscoff Cronut. Like most of you I am sure, I have eaten a LOT of Biscoff desserts in the last few years, but have you noticed how a lot of them are just a bit too biscoff-y (yes – its a thing – I promise). Whereas this cronut had a delicate, light biscoff cream inside. The pastry itself was flaky and crunchy and soft in the middle and just perfect!

They also do other amazing treats though – Alessandro , the head baker, is from Naples and he brings that knowhow and quality to Manchester – you can also get Sfogliatelle, Girelle, Graffe, Bombolini, Maritozzi and Code d’Aragosta and Bricohe – apologies to any Italians if I have mis-spelled any of the above, I tried to do the plurals myself!

Little Blonde Bakes (23 Radium St, M4 6AD and 62 Sunnybank Road, Bury, BL9 8HJ)

So it’s a Friday evening and you’re craving something tasty. What you want more than anything is a really good quality (from a technical point of view) blondie, or brownie, or slice of cake. The problem? All the good bakeries are closed!

Well look no further than Little Blonde Bakes – her treats are amazing, and she is open late as well! The hours vary, but on a Friday night she is available until 9.30pm I think at Ancoats.

The other reason I love her is because she delives via Uber Eats. The prices are a bit more on there (and so they should be! She has said Uber Eats commission is 28%!), but equally she often does amazing half-price on there too. This is a great one to stack with Uber-specific promotions.

When I order from somewhere else close by (i.e Laros Greek or That Burger Place), I have noticed that Uber often gives me the option to add on from Little Blonde Bakes. The other day for example I ordered a couple of gyros from Laros Greek (that was an offer), and I was able to add on from LBB – this meant I got a white choclate and kinder pancake stack delivered for just £4, as that was half price too! So absolutely worth looking to try and deal stack if you can.

Regardless of the Uber Eats deal stacks, Little Blonde Bakes is worth checking out – but I had to mention the above in detail because it isn’t applicable to any of the other bakeries on this list, and sometimes you just need a late night treat! Also, 70,000 Instagram followers and being one of the top-rated restaurants on Uber Eats speaks for itself…

Dghnt MCR (TBC)

It is thanks to Factory Coffee (I will soon be writing a blog post on my favourite coffee spots in and around Manchester – watch this space!) that I finally got the chance to try these, and it was actually at the Manchester Coffee Festival that I first gave it a go.

It was honestly one of the best things I have ever eaten, and I am well and truly converted. One of these doughnuts will set you back £4 to £4.50, but I promise you they are worth every penny. I am 99% certain they are baked rather than fried, and the soft, moist brioche dough is what makes these stand out from the crowd. The creativity of Sulin is unmatched – jobless during lockdown, she started making what ended up being the most Instagrammable and tastiest doughnuts in the city. In fact, they taste and look so good, I actually had to unfollow her because my willpower is so weak and I just can’t trust myself!

You need to give her a follow on Instagram – she has a new menu every two weeks usually, and you will absolutely not be able to resist grabbing yourself a box or getting yourself down to one of the coffee shops she is stocked in.

Hidden Kitchen (158 Stamford St, OL6 6AB)

This is one baker that most of you won’t know about, but if you live in Tameside (Audenshaw, Droyslden etc…) you will have not managed to avoid hearing about her! She started off baking at home – most weeks she would publish a time that her boxes went live, and then it would be first come, first served – let me tell you I am not exxagerating when I say that her boxes sold out within SECONDS.

I was lucky a couple of times to pick up a box that somebody had cancelled and they are unbelievable. She has now ventured out to Ashton and has an actual storefront! As far as I know she is testing the waters, but the long queues in Ashton are a testatment to just how desperate people are to get their hands on her treats! I am hoping as time goes on, she might be able to expand the days she opens – this is purely for selfish reasons, to give myself more of a chance to grab one.

I also love how candid she is on Instagram – she is sharing lots of details on the costs of setting up her own business and breaking it all down. So whether you are a small business yourself and want to know more, or you’re just nosey like me and love the opennness, give her a follow, and then get yourself to Ashton!

Long Boi’s Bakehouse (40 Forest RAnge, M19 2HP)

This is a hidden gem in Levenshulme – its a neighbourhood bakery – literally, its surroudned by your standard residential houses – and its both owned and run by women.

They are only open Weds to Sat, but if you’re in the area, you won’t regret getting yourself down there. Their standard bakes are fantastic, but what I really love is that they have lots of interesting, colourful pastries and cakes that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Pollen (Cotton Field Wharf, New Union Street, M4 6FQ and Kampus, Aytoun St, M1 3GL)

I couldn’t write a list of the best bakeries without mentioning this instutition. They use the best ingredients and also arguably have the best bakers (you might spot that other bakeries show off the fact if their baker is ex-Pollen).

If you rock up here on a sunny summers weekend day excpecting a table for brunch, be prepared to queue for a VERY long time, but it will be worth the wait. Equally, whislt the queue is long even to take away, New Islington is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and a bake and just have a little walk or sit down and try to avoid the geese!

They are also dog-friendly, and given its prime location, expect to see a lot of other pooches here, there and everywhere around.

Gooey (Ducie St Warehouse, M1 2TP and 103 High St, M4 1HQ)

Much like Pollen, I am sure Gooey needs no introduction. They specialise in cookies and doughnuts and they do the simple things right. They also have a cafe now in NQ, but im gonna let this article focus on the bakes.

Whilst the standard cookies and doughnuts are fantastic, what Gooey absolutely excel at is the specials. I still have dreams about their Rolo cookie and also their Eton Mess cookie – so yeah, if you see a special and it grabs you, don’t sleep on it – go and grab it ASAP as they don’t hang around for long.

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Other noteworthy mentions go to:-

Hey Little Cupcake (2 Hardman Street, M3 3HF)

I haven’t been here for a while hence why not mentioned above, but I do love their cupcakes – look out for them on the TooGoodToGo app.

They also had an amazing January offer – their 8″ personalised cake is usually £75, which I would say is a very fair/reasonable price for what you get. However, I managed to get 30% off in the January sale bringing it down to £52.50 AND I got 6 cupcakes thrown in for free too, which would retail for around £18-£20 I think. I know a few of my followers also got this amazing deal so sign up to their mailing list for if they do it again.

I have also had their afternoon tea before and managed to get it on an experience website for just £8 for two people (it was £28 full price, but a £20 off code brought it down to that price) – this was an unbelievable bargain and I would go as far as to say its worth it at full price too – I had a couple of coffees and a couple of Fentimans soft drinks when I went, on top of the cakes and sandwiches!

Trove (5 Murray Street, M4 6HS and 1032-1034 Stockport Road, M19 3WX)

I am lucky to have one close to me in Levenshulme. They are a noteworthy mention because every time I have had them so far, I can’t pretend that their bakes quite match up to the big hitters above BUT they do come extremely close and are in the same price range, so I defintley recommend them.

Tahi (No 1 Circle Square, M1 7FS)

Decent, interesting bakes and I wish them all the best – but they are a bit on the pricier side (£4.50 each) for bakes that , in my experience so far, don’t quite match up to the likes of Companio, Flat Baker and Pollen.

I definitely enjoy their bakes and would recommend them, but given the higher price point, I have to be honest and just say that there is better value around. This isn’t a reflection on the skill or passion of the bakers – just a reflection of the outcome of my personal experience.

Buzzy Bee Bakery (3 Hawthorn Ln, Wilmslow, SK9 1AA)

This is in Wilmslow, so a bit too far away to be considered Manchester, but if you’re over that way, this is a must!

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