The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Review: Friska

This hidden cafe could be the best place to eat on campus


Let’s admit it, lunches at uni predominantly consist of a basic meal deal or a quick bite from one of the many university cafes dotted around campus. I have therefore been on a mission to discover somewhere where I can eat something new, in nice surroundings and for a reasonable price. Friska delivers just this and although you may not have heard of it, it can be found only a few feet from the University of Manchester Main Library!

Situated in the Science Park, which is just behind the library, Friska is a treat for the eyes as much as the tastebuds. It is an open plan area with big windows, Scandinavian-style decor, and a multitude of seating arrangements. This makes it an ideal place to chill out with friends during a lunch break or even to study, as it is a fairly peaceful and quiet environment.

Photo: Daisy Tolcher

Photo: Daisy Tolcher

The menu offers a range of sandwiches, salads, and phos as well as a delectable selection of ‘hot-boxes’ and ‘hotpots’. These hot offerings include options such as Lebanese Meatballs, Chicken and Chorizo Gumbo, and Butternut and Blackbean Dopiaza, all of which are around £5 in price. A more recent addition to the menu has been traditional Asian bao’s, which are steamed buns filled with either Sriracha chicken, pulled pork, or vegan sweet potato. These buns are currently being individually sold for £3.50, or you can purchase two for £6.50.

Photo: Flikr @ Lauren Topor

Photo: Flikr @ Lauren Topor

On my most recent visit I tried the Halloumi and Roasted Pepper Wrap as well as a Sriracha Chicken Bao, both of which were delicious. The bao was light yet filling so two will definitely be enough for lunch. The wrap tasted really fresh and was filled with veg and a generous portion of halloumi. When I have previously visited I have often gone for the Lebanese Meatball Hotbox, which I highly recommend as it comes with salad, rice, saucy meatballs, and nacho style chips.

Overall, I predict that Friska will soon become a hot spot for students, especially as they are currently offering a free meal on their app. If you refer a friend to the app you get a voucher for a whole free lunch, which definitely makes this spot worth the visit. Furthermore, you can pre-order your lunch for collection on the app if you are on a tight schedule, which makes eating here a really flexible experience.

Friska can be found in: The Bright Building, Manchester Science Park, Pencroft Way, M15 6JJ