Ready, Steady, Eat: Best Food on the go

We defeated the object of you nominating your Best Place on-the-go by taking an entire four hours to visit them all, and going nowhere else. That's just how we roll

Feature by Jamie Faulkner | 07 Jan 2015

Last year we combined everyone's favourite search engine and your favourite places to snaffle summat when you're in a hurry to create a sort of Tour de Food – using various forms of transport. Call it laziness or a tribute, but we thought we’d just do the same again this year. So tough.

We start by dropping our little yellow Street View person, or Pegman (who’s had a makeover it seems since we last saw him), from a not inconsiderable height onto Stevenson Square. Set your stop watches now.

We spy the mustard- and maroon-striped awning of our first winner: Slice Pizza & Bread Bar, or just Slice to you and me. This is Rome-style Italian pizza by the slice (al taglio) so don’t expect blistered pillowy crusts; rather, rich, crispy bases and generous toppings. We get a broccoli, sausage and chili and a smoked mozzarella with mushrooms: two minutes warming up in the oven, two minutes eating.

Next stop: Viet Shack in the Arndale Market. We steal a bike from a hipster (calm down, it’s not real!) and cycle there in three minutes flat but it takes us a couple more to push through the lunchtime rush. The queue is unfortunately rather large as they’ve not been open long when we pay our imaginary visit: seven and a half minutes. We get a Bahn Mi (it’d be rude not to) from the most preened staff this food court has seen, and a side of summer rolls. Eating time: six minutes.  

The Skinny Food and Drink Survey 2015:

• The best of Scotland's on-the-go spots and shops... in one big sandwich

• Your favourite places to eat, drink and be merry across the Northwest

From here it’s quite a trek to the next place: Fallow Cafe. We ditch our wheels and walk to the bus stop (five minutes) and then hop on the 142 down to Fallowfield. Another 33 minutes. Thankfully, many of the regulars are out of sync with our mealtimes – as are our tummies, frankly – so we grab a table and soak up the ambience. The budget’s a bit tight now so we take advantage of the fact that brunch is served until 4pm and order beans on toast, then stare at the menu, wishing we could afford that rack of ribs and the fish finger butty.

After this, we’ve a big decision to make: how best to get to Liverpool from South Manchester? Oh, wait, Google Maps will tell us! Two buses and a train later (one hour, 42 mins) and we are stood on Smithdown Road looking at the moody stylings of Evil Eye Beer and Burrito Shack. Thankfully, the journey has refreshed our appetite otherwise the prospect of over-stuffed tortillas would be very unappealing. We decide on an adobo steak burrito with Mexican rice, spicy veg, refried beans pico de gallo. To share. We're not animals. Oh, and a couple of Brooklyns to ease the whole process along. 

Now, we're sluggish to say the least. And the last place on our list seems so far. Another world away, almost. West Kirby and Aubergine cafe. But we muster the strength and roll ourselves into a cab. We avert our eyes from the meter and wait an excruciating 38 minutes. It's Friday and en route we put in an order for a takeaway panang curry from their guest chef May's Oriental Kitchen – so no waiting – then walk towards the River Dee to consume it, thinking never, ever, again. The travelling, that is. 

Total time: three hours and 55 minutes.

The Skinny Food and Drink Survey closes on 28 November 2015; the results will be announced in January 2016

Please note, our love of the Pegman is in no way sponsored or endorsed by, or otherwise affiliated with Google Maps. He's just so dapper.