I’m back with another eating establishment review… who remembers my love of coffee? I wrote a whole post dedicated to my favourite coffee shops in Cardiff.
Since I’ve moved to Manchester, lots of exciting things have happened and I mostly drink my own coffee from my espresso machine (it’s also so much cheaper!).
However, back in the summer saw across social media that a friend’s cafe had opened in Primark in Manchester Piccadilly Gardens. The Central Perk Manchester is only a 5-minute walk from my house, so I decided to head over and explore the friends cafe.
I have been a massive fan of friends for years, but it did take me until I was 16 before I actually watched them all in order. Since then, you have watched some episodes over 80 times. (The one in Vegas and the one with Ross’s wedding anyone?) Therefore it made so much sense that I decided to treat myself to a coffee in Central Perk Manchester.
Long queues at Central Perk Manchester?
For the first couple of weeks it was open, the cafe had ridiculous queues. From some social media accounts, people queued for over an hour to get into there.
I’m sure on weekends it does get busy, but so do other places worth eating at across Manchester.
There was an organised queue section, surrounded by the friend’s t-shirts, mugs and other merchandise that Primark have been selling.
A guy was directing people to tables and making sure that people weren’t just sitting down randomly in someone else’s seat. (This did happen once)
After being seated, you have to go up to the counter to order and then the coffees/cakes/waffles are brought over. Compared to most cafes, there just seemed to be something confusing about the process. Normally it’s entirely waitress based or all counter-based and not this interesting hybrid.
It caused a lot of confusion at Central Perk Manchester with people joining the queue without a table and waiting for their coffee after paying.
There was only one till working and the cashier was lovely but definitely not the fastest person at processing orders.
The board displays all the different prices for coffee and for snacks. It was pretty cheap, slightly lower prices than Costa (the cafe that was in that part of Primark before)
Filter coffee was 99p and espresso-based coffees ranged from £2.25 upwards.
The cakes and biscuits were slightly lower than most cafes across town. Especially the rainbow cake which was £2.85 per slice which I thought was reasonable compared to everywhere else that sells similar cakes.
This was really nice to see – it isn’t identical to the TV series. Trust me, I’ve watched the 10 seasons over 15 times…. I know what central perk is meant to look like!
However, I think they had a great attempt at recreating the coffee shop for central perk Manchester. There are a few posters around on the walls, sharing memorable moments from the series.
My favourites included the lobster images, the nametag for Regina Phlange and Marcel!
I can’t say it was the best coffee I’ve ever had. In fact, it was one of the worst coffee blends that I have ever tasted in a coffee shop.
It was bitter and unpleasant. I understand that I am a coffee snob and I do get really picky about which coffees I drink on a regular basis. Although, I think most people go to this place for the experience and the Instagram opportunities rather than the great quality coffee.
I thought that Central Perk Manchester is a great new addition to the city and a must-see for die-hard friends fans.
There is a replica sofa outside the coffee shop for the photo opportunities, but on a Tuesday morning, it had become a ‘men’s refuge’ – the sofa where exhausted other halves go to escape the stress of shopping in Primark.
The coffee was underwhelming and the ordering system was confusing. For that reason, I’d give it a ⅗ and only recommend it for the photo opportunities and experience.
Hope you enjoyed this review of Central Perk Manchester and let me know if you’ve been to visit.
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