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REVIEW: Dinner at Escape to Freight Island in Manchester

By Sarah Kowalyszyn – 13th May 2021

What I loved about Escape to Freight Island:

I loved the lively atmosphere, the vibrant décor and of course, the delicious food!


Worth paying a babysitter?:

Definitely, but kids can also dine at Escape to Freight Island and they’ll love exploring this exciting venue.



Colourful and fun design, good music, relaxing vibes and impressive food.

Setting the scene:

Arriving at its humble entrance on a quiet, unassuming side street in the city centre, you wouldn’t know there was a huge, exciting venue right behind it if the music coming from within didn’t give it away!
Kov and I were invited for dinner at Escape to Freight Island during September 2020, when all seating was outdoors and it was a gloriously sunny day. I was heavily pregnant so could eat like a small horse, which was great for food tasting but meant I had to leave the alcoholic beverages to Kov. You win some you lose some.
We were seated on a sunny table right in the middle of the venue where we could view everything this place had going on. It was a real feast for the eyes; a mash of different types of colourful seating areas on different levels and terrains, canopies and colourful lights and modern architecture set against the industrious backdrop of the old Mayfield Railway Station Depot towering above. Escape to Freight Island has been dubbed as Manchester’s nod to New York’s Coney Island, and I definitely got that festival vibe.
A great choice of restaurant and food vendors were set up around the venue where we could go and have a peek at what they were cooking up, and decent, upbeat music was playing through speakers dotted around. It smelt and sounded amazing.

The food:

Using a QR code to order from the table was already well established by then, so we got to work on choosing what to treat ourselves to with the help of our friendly and knowledgeable waiter.
Escape to Freight Island has lots of great choice, including a plant based grill restaurant, and we were lucky to be able to sample a dish from most of the restaurants there which I was very excited about!
From the wonderful Baratxuri we ordered the Basque sheep’s milk cheese and honey to start, which arrived looking humble but was still a perfectly tasty appetiser. I love it when that happens.
We ordered mains from here too and I’m STILL drooling over what I had; the 30-day aged short rib chop with cider braised carrots. It was melt-in-the-mouth excellence, and plenty of it. I didn’t know carrots could be cooked so wonderfully.
Next up were two chicken tacos from Madre and they were a delicious combination of juicy, well-filled and rich in flavours. If you’re a fan of Mexican food like us I fully recommend trying Madre.
I didn’t stop there.
Next in line was a massive slice of pizza by Voodoo Rays, and I would have ordered more than one slice if we weren’t sampling other delights from the menu! I ordered the “Full Moon” which was perfectly stone-baked with some interesting toppings.

I finished the meal with a vegan “Vanilla Brûlée” doughnut from patisserie experts Krum, which again was unpretentious in appearance but impressive in flavour and texture – that crunchy burnt sugar coating was so good.

I definitely could’ve eaten more, even without the pregnancy.

Escape to Freight Island is something for everyone which is what I love about it. Whether you just fancy a coffee and a doughnut, lunch with the kids in tow, just drinks with your mates or a big dinner with the family to celebrate, this place has got your back.

For more information visit: https://www.escapetofreightisland.com/

Like what you see?

Check out my other reviews and recommendations here and follow me on Instagram at Girl About Manchester for more Mancunian content!


Sarah x


This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management to dine at their restaurant free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

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