The countdown is officially on to the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show 2020! #NRB20 will be the twentieth edition of the show, taking place 17-18 March 2020 at Manchester Central.

NRB provides an opportunity for leading operators, suppliers and industry figures to meet, do business and sample the best hospitality that Manchester has to offer.

As the third most visited city in the UK, Manchester is notable for its culture, musical exports and (of course) food! If it is your first time at NRB this year (or you’re new to the North), here is our top-5 list of regional delicacies to help you eat like a local.

Black Pudding

Breakfast of traditional black pudding, fried eggs and tomatoes.

Black pudding is a delicacy typically associated with Bury (around 30 minutes north of Manchester). Not for faint hearted; black pudding is a sausage typically made from pigs blood and fillers such as barley, oats and suet. It can be purchased in a hot boiled form on many local markets, and is eaten locally as a takeaway snack dowsed with malt vinegar out of paper wrapping.

Eccles Cake

Eccles cakes on black stone background

Sometimes referred to locally as ‘squashed fly cakes’ (don’t let the name put you off), Eccles cakes are small round flaky pastry cakes filled with currants, sugar and spice. Named after the English town of Eccles where they were first produced, these are available at all good bakers in the area and are perfect with a strong brew.

Manchester Egg

scotch manchester egg quail egg covered in black pudding and breadcrumbs

The new kid on the block of regional delicacies is the Manchester Egg. The brain child of web designer and enthusiast amateur cook Ben Holden; who came up with the idea whilst enjoying a couple of pints at The Castle Hotel, Oldham Street. The idea was refined in 2010 and consists of a pickled egg in a sausage and black-pudding coating, wrapped in breadcrumbs. If you want one you’ll need to be quick as batches of the eggs sell out fast from retailers around the city.

Manchester Tart

Traditional Manchester tarts for sale

A school dinner favourite up and down the country, Manchester tart consists of a shortcrust pastry case, spread with raspberry jam, covered with a custard filling and topped with desiccated coconut. What once was a staple dessert in the 1940s and 50s, this is now more of a retro classic. You may be lucky enough to spot it on a specials menu at one of the many British restaurants or gastro pubs in the city.

Pasty Barm

Bread roll with meat and potato pasty filling in stainless steel basket

We had a go at making our own pasty barm and served it in a Stainless Steel Classic Basket (code 123471)

A Bolton speciality consisting of a floured barm (otherwise known as a roll, cob, bun, bap, or bread cake) filled with a meat and potato pasty. Head to any good bakery in Bolton to try it for yourself; and let’s not get started on the ‘what do you call a bread roll’ debate.


And to wash it all down, you really can’t go wrong with Vimto. Created in Manchester in 1908, it is a drink traditionally made of a blend of fruit, herbs and spices, originally known as Vim Tonic. Now sold in over 40 countries worldwide and available at most supermarkets. Not to be confused with the student favourite ‘Cheeky Vimto’ which is in fact, a cocktail of port and ‘blue flavour’ alcopop.

For the more mature palate a Boddingtons Bitter (Boddies) may be more appropriate. A straw-golden bitter originally produced by Boddington & Co at their Strangeways Brewery in Manchester. Still available all over the UK.

You can get trade-only tickets for NRB here.

Rebecca Redden

Author Rebecca Redden

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