priced, while the children's menu is a bargain at £4.95 for a drink, pizza, or pasta dish,
small salad, ice cream, and baby-ccino (frothy milk). Young diners also get drawing
materials and, at the second branch in the trendy suburb of Chorlton in south Man-
chester (500 Wilbraham Rd.; & 0161/881-1117 ), sometimes even the chance to
make their own pizzas.
1-3 Clarence St. & 0161/237-9799. www.cromapizza.co.uk. Reservations accepted only for parties of 6
or more (none on Sat night). MC, V. Main courses £4.95-£7.95. Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10:30pm.
The Gallery Café LUNCH/MODERN BRITISH Though many of Man-
chester's museums and galleries have welcoming eateries, this homely café-restaurant
within the Whitworth (p. 566), operated by award-winning local firm The Modern
Caterer (who also run the café at Jodrell Bank), is worth the trip even if you're not on a
cultural outing—it's been singled out by The Good Food Guide for its fresh, local, often
organic produce prepared in an open kitchen. As befits the venue, you can get everything
from sandwiches, soups, and cakes to hot main courses, though the emphasis is on the
lighter end of the scale—think smoked mackerel wraps; broccoli and pine-nut bruschetta;
pasta with zucchini, sweet peas, Parmesan. and lemon zest; and steak salad with endive,
balsamic vinegar, and Pecorino. Fresh flowers on tables, changing artworks on the walls,
and handwritten chalkboard menus complete the picture. Children are warmly welcomed
with their own healthy dishes and free WAG BAG art packs.
Whitworth Art Gallery. & 0161/275-7497. www.themoderncaterer.co.uk. Mains around £4-£9. Open
Mon-Sat 10am-4:30pm, Sun noon-3:30pm.
Manchester is a shopping mecca, rivaling London in scope if not in size. Much of the
center is made up of pedestrian-only shopping areas or streets full of designer shops,
boutiques, and high-street stores, including King Street and St. Ann's Square, Market
Street, the brand-new Avenue near Spinningfields, and the Arndale Centre, rebuilt as
part of the remodeling of the center after the 1996 IRA bomb. Newcomers are chic depart-
ment stores Selfridges, 1 Exchange Square ( & 0800/123400; www.selfridges.
com), and Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral Street ( & 0161/828-8888 ). Off Pic-
cadilly Gardens, Oldham Street leads you into the hip Northern Quarter, best known
for its indie fashion emporium Afflecks , 52 Church St. ( & 0161/839-0718; www.
afflecks.com), but home to plenty more retro boutiques, record stores, and so on, includ-
ing kitsch gift store Oklahoma, 74-76 High St. ( & 0161/834-1136 ). Also here is the
excellent Manchester Craft Centre, 17 Oak St. ( & 0161/832-4274; www.craftand
design.com), within an atmospheric Victorian market building.
You'll find lots more shops—plus amenities, entertainment, and eateries galore—
west of the center in the Trafford Centre ( & 0161/839-0718; www.traffordcentre.
co.uk), including a smaller branch of Selfridges.
Manchester's Real Food Market ( & 0161/234-7356 ) takes place on the sec-
ond and fourth weekend (Fri-Sat 10am-6pm) of the month in Piccadilly Gardens,
offering products from local farms and producers, from Lake District reared meats
and Lancashire cheeses to curries, plus handcrafted ethical gifts and jewelry. For
other Manchester markets, see www.manchestermarkets.com.
Entertainment & Nightlife
Manchester is rich in the performing arts. Among the major venues is the Lowry The-
( & 0843/208-6000; www.thelowry.com) at Salford Quays, with two main