The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Review: Cafe Football

A tasty change of pace from a trip to your local Spoons.

By

The cafe opened its doors in June of this year and follows on from the existing Cafe Football in Hotel Football, located next to Old Trafford. Situated in the National Football Museum, you will struggle to think of many other venues that can offer as much history as Cafe Football can.

A short trip to the bathroom is accompanied by a wall of footballing memorabilia from signed shirts to signed boots and the amount of footballing royalty on display is impressive.

Upon entrance, you are greeted by the cafe’s unique aesthetic. Football themed menus, slogans, and table decoration make the café seem befitting of its name. With nine screens located around the venue, you would be hard-pressed to find a seat that does not have a good view. On these screens, you can see the face of Phil Neville, one of the owners of the cafe, along with the four other members of the Class of ’92: Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

At the launch of the cafe, Scholes was present and said: “It’s very much an English menu and it serves burgers, pies, all that kind of easy stuff which is probably not great for the diet but it’s comfort food and it’s what the people of Manchester like to eat.”

The food has adopted names to fit its style. The ’66, The Special One and Mara Donna are just a few of the dishes on offer. At £6 for the cheapest burger, it was very much a step above the student’s favourite of Wetherspoon’s and the quality of the food in all fairness was matching. The burger was thick with plenty of salad to go with it as well as a portion of chips, unlike the standard you expect at the majority of football grounds across the country.

The hosts were welcoming throughout, greeting guests at the door, as well as being open for a chat about that night’s games. With an Ipswich, West Ham, and Wigan fan present no one had any particular favoured side in the Manchester United — Burton Albion game that we came to watch but that didn’t stop any chat from blossoming. Talk of how it could be a long night for Burton only increased after United’s first of four goals went in.

During the second half, a game that was becoming increasingly predictable was enlightened by a glance at the dessert menu. The sweet treat of a strawberry sundae complete with chocolate brownie chunks had me bordering on the edge of a food coma, as the clock ran down at Old Trafford.

The game ended 4–1 to the home side, and as we entered back into the rain-filled Manchester night it was easy to see the appeal of watching the match here.

A chance to sit surrounded by relics of footballing past and actually have a relaxed, more comfortable viewing experience is there. But students may have to pick and choose which matches to go to as frequent visits could make a sizeable dent in your wallet.

Students can get a beer and burger for £10.00, on presentation of a valid student card. Subject to availability, only available at Cafe Football National Football Museum, not available in conjunction with any other offer.