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Archie’s Diner Reviewed

Lynda Moyo visits the new eat-in addition to Nas’ favourite Manchester takeaway

Written by . Published on October 2nd 2013.

Archie’s Diner Reviewed

Category: Casual dining and take-away. Score 15/20 (Full breakdown below. Venues are compared with similar venues and measured against the best examples in their category.)

THE original Archie’s takeaway next to the Cornerhouse on Oxford Road must make a killing.

Perfectly positioned on a busy road with several surrounding bars plus the Palace Theatre adjacent, its bright facade has been reeling in drunken revellers in need of a post-night-out soak up since it opened in June 2010.

Put it this way, you’d never wake up with an Archie’s stuck to your cheek.

There is of course McDonald’s up the road and other takeaways round the corner, but Archie’s has quickly made a name for itself by offering more than four flavours of milkshake and ramping up its burgers.

The Clown, King and Colonel would all agree it has that special something, so it was unsurprising when Archie’s became a daytime option too, taking the small, unassuming takeaway beyond the nocturnally confined category of kebabs and cheesy chips with garlic mayo.

Put it this way, you’d never wake up with an Archie’s stuck to your cheek.

Welcome to pink paradiseWelcome to pink paradise

A close friend of mine actually counts their Good Burger Meal (£4.99) with a Holly-oaks shake (£3.99 for regular) as one of her favourite lunch time meals in Manchester. And she’s French.

In the last few years Archie’s takeaway spot has also caught the attention of many local celebs, sports stars and musicians including, bizarrely, US rapper Nas.

In 2011, Nas actually went so far as to get behind the counter and design his own milkshake before serving bewildered customers himself, clearly taking heed from his ex-wife Kelis who sang ‘my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard’. Indeed, the Naughty Nas (£3.99 for regular) remains one of the most popular shakes on the list.

The proverbial yard has now stretched out further to include an eat-in diner in the expanding Archie’s empire. Twenty or so doors down Oxford Road, opposite All Saints Park, the new establishment looks a lot like the sister site; blancmange pink and resembling a giant Sindy doll box.

Frenchy Belongs In Archie'sFrenchy Belongs In Archie'sOnce inside, you’re led past the counter area, downstairs to the newly kitted out shiny diner, which is like stepping into the Pink Ladies’ summit. Bubble-gum-popping Frenchy would have been in her element.

Space down there on the whole is fairly minimal, but the few wide booths are perfect for groups of six with a menu that leaves no stone unturned nor burger unflipped. If you’re lucky the staff may very well be making shakes on skates too. Archie’s is the archetypal American diner experience.

Burgers make up the majority of the menu and range from the classic cheeseburger, named The Average Joe Burger (£1.49) to the bird in a bird in a cow in a bap, going by the name of The Daddy Burger (£4.99 - see main image).

This one consisted of a 100 per cent all beef patty, grilled peri peri chicken fillet, strips of turkey bacon and all the salad trimmings. The meats (all Halal by the way) don’t actually come inside each other, but towards the last bite had somehow become one sloppily satisfying entity. My other half struggled to contain both the burger and his excitement.

Grease is the wordGrease is the word

Opting for the more demure Portuguese Peri chicken burger (£3.49), which I was told is one of their best sellers, it laughed in the face of the Nando’s equivalent before doing a victory jig into my mouth.

This eye wateringly zingy chicken breast is best washed down with a milkshake, so I went for Nas’ concoction of Crunchie, Oreo and whipped cream. It certainly doused the flame grilled spicy chicken but turned me into that sulky child who can’t finish their tea because they’ve drunk too much pop, or in this case, shake.

Portuguese Peri Chicken BurgerPortuguese Peri Chicken Burger

This milkshake was easily the best I’ve had on this side of the Atlantic though. Thick but not gloopy, sweet but not sickly, with every confectionary addition coming through with a punch. Archie’s has cracked a code I thought only Americans had the key to, hidden away in their fanny packs all this time.

Nutty But Nice (£3.99 for regular) featured Snickers, banana, whipped cream and a Cadbury flake. It’s worth fasting for the rest of the week if the calorie content is your issue. These milkshakes also seem to come with a sound effect that automatically goes ‘Mmmm’ when you slurp. They provide an instant high, with no milkshake shakes the next day but the likelihood of a serious ongoing addiction. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Nutty But Nice and Naughty NasNutty But Nice and Naughty Nas

Desserts have also been given the Archie’s treatment, with huge sundaes (£3.75) looking like the wonderful concoctions you see seven-year-olds carrying unsteadily from the ice cream factory at Pizza Hut. They’re piled high with sauces and sprinkles and come in flavours such as banana split, cookies and cream, or even popcorn brownie with toffee sauce and popcorn toppings.

Photos don’t do justice when it comes to these types of fast food joints where the food doesn’t even come on a plate, so next time you’re feeling carb starved and miserable I suggest you try it out for yourself.

We departed the pink bubble feeling very full and slightly delirious. Nas would empathise, I’m sure.

Follow Lynda on Twitter @lyndamoyo

Archie’s Diner, 115 Oxford Road, M1 7DU.

Rating: 15/20 (please read the scoring system in the box below, venues are rated against the best examples of their kind so Archies isn't rated against fine dining restaurants but against others of its ilk)
Food: 4/5
Drink: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 3/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away.

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Lynda Moyo shared this on Facebook on October 2nd 2013.
AndrewOctober 2nd 2013.

The place looks alot of fun, but those burgers look shocking.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
FoodieOctober 2nd 2013.

I agree, food 4 out of 5? Joke

Cat'o'GoryOctober 3rd 2013.

Foodie did you not read the yellow box?

Alex24October 2nd 2013.

Very pedantic but could Manchester journalists stop writing the word 'patty'! - No one says this in real life if they're normal!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jared SzpakowskiOctober 3rd 2013.


Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on October 2nd 2013.
Jonathan MoranOctober 3rd 2013.

more 'dude food' from a city that is rapidly slipping off the culinary map!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Charlie ButterworthOctober 3rd 2013.

You are a daft bugger you know Mr Moran

AnonymousOctober 3rd 2013.

Jonathan MORON - amirite? hahahaha

MagurdracOctober 3rd 2013.

The hygiene ratings for the main one were horrendous...

Jonathan MoranOctober 3rd 2013.

Care to qualify that comment Charlie?

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 3rd 2013.

Jonathan Moran I'll qualify it for the Charlie person. Twenty years ago Manchester was on no culinary map whereas it is certainly getting cartographical now, but before I carry on, you first. Tell me, which city in Europe you look to of a similar size and profile that is better than Manchester in terms of both range and quality in its cuisine?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 3rd 2013.

Amsterdam is a pretty damn good place to go for food but it is a capital so maybe an unfair advantage? Edinburgh's also pretty good.

John EdwardsOctober 3rd 2013.


Activate!October 3rd 2013.

Lyon :-)

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 3rd 2013.

I said for range and quality not the pursuance of a single regional or national cuisine. More suggestions please. And remember this is 2013.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John EdwardsOctober 3rd 2013.

I had the some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten in Bordeaux... But it is trick question anyway because other countries do stick to their own cuisine and perfect it. Range is not everything...

Jonathan MoranOctober 7th 2013.

range- most capitals- quality- every french city.

Jonathan MoranOctober 7th 2013.

Although that's simply my opinion of which you're welcome to disagree with. You must stop taking peoples opinions and comments so personally Jonathan. I love this city and am proud to call it my home, but I'm not immune to highlighting it's faults. To suggest the likes of Rosso/Artisan and others are culinary meccas is wrong- hence why those venues in particular where (rightly) spanked by the national press. Your reaction to this criticism was to suggest some kind of London-centric bias, which I felt was a poor reaction. Anyway having been on some of your tours in the past I think you're a decent bloke and your heart is in the right place- keep up the good work.

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