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Blue Daisy Café, Northern Quarter, Reviewed

L'Oréal Blackett is charmed by cute 'cooky' clutter in this quaint NQ café

Written by . Published on July 22nd 2014.

Blue Daisy Café, Northern Quarter, Reviewed

CUTE is not a word I like to use often. 

Depending on who is on the receiving end, ‘cute’ can suggest you’re a little juvenile, not fully matured, naive. If we’re going down the monosyllabic route, 'hot' is much preferred. Or fierce. That works for me too.

 ... two girls in Blossom-esque smock dresses stumble upon Blue Daisy Café and make rather audible ‘cooing’ noises. 

But for Blue Daisy Café, 'cute' is the most appropriate word to describe its quaint stature on 36 Oldham Street. Next door to vintage clothes haunt, Pop Boutique, it’s easy to miss.

Blue Daisy Easy To Miss

Next to Pop Boutique, Blue Daisy Café, is easy to miss on Oldham St

Inside consists of an impossibly tiny kitchen, four tables and a breakfast bar – it’s not that much bigger than a city centre studio apartment. And it feels suitably homely.

The café’s beaded cushions, mismatched light shades, sock puppets, tin can plant pots filled with sunflowers and other odd tid-bits make me feel I’ve stumbled into the teenage bedroom of US TV show from the 90s, Blossom. 

In fact, in coincidental serendipity, two girls in Blossom-esque smock dresses stumble upon Blue Daisy Café and make rather audible ‘cooing’ noises. Hand on heart.

Img_6960Stumbled into Blossom's bedroom? 

It's certainly busy. Customers eagerly cram in at lunchtime and many spill outside to sit out on Oldham Street. Seats operate on a ‘grab it while you can’ policy, and I had to circle nearby Stevenson Square before one was made available.

The service is relaxed and the small team's approach to dining is leisurely with a slight air of cool nonchalance.

The place seems most popular for its brews, all day brekkies and veggie friendly menu. Par for the course here in the NQ, the little café is stuffed to the brim with halloumi, hummus and chickpea salads.

Img_6956Cluttered but cute

Img_6957They do salads well at Blue Daisy 

Img_6953Chicken and hallumi (£4.20)As Confidential is currently compiling its list of cheap eats, the aim was to stick around the £5 mark. A simple feat as everything on the menu is under a tenner. I went with a chicken, halloumi and sweet chilli sauce offering on white granary bread (£4.20).

As I ate my simple, yet satisfying sandwich it was clear I hadn’t picked the most thrilling (or visually appealing) option off the menu. Typical to my usual carnivorous style my pick was a carby, functional and filling eat - perfect for a lunchtime refuel.

I got jealous though as everyone else’s lunchtime picks were dished out. A group of ladies tucked in to colourful leafy green salads with antipasti (£4), some were ‘mmming’ over little quiches, hot soups of the day.

A waiter whizzed past with massive plate of baked beans on toast (£2.90) – a happy classic. You could make this at home for less than a £1 but seeing it in Blue Daisy sort of made me hanker for it once more.

Outside A Blue DaisyOutside with sunflowers at Blue Daisy

As I’m attempting to boycott big coffee giants, this little café helps wean me off the money guzzler, Starbucks - as long as I'm going to the Northern Quarter.

While a purse friendly feed is always appreciated, it’s Blue Daisy Café’s off-the-wall charm that has secured my return.

I once described Manchester as catering to a nostalgic generation. You know, the kids born in the early 90s who filter their digital images with a grainy film? A subculture of sentimental types. That’s the feeling at Blue Daisy Café and I embrace all its happy cooky clichés. 

Blue Daisy Café: 36 Oldham Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1JN


Rating: 14/20 (remember venues are rated against the best examples of their type - see yellow box below)

Food and drink: 7/10  (The coffee was outstanding, the sandwich ok)
Service: 3/5 (Relaxed and leisurely. Only a few smiles)
Ambience: 4/5 (Cute, charming and great for people watching ... just a little crammed)

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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AnonymousJuly 23rd 2014.

Looks cool

AnonymousJuly 24th 2014.

Rubbish chicken sandwiches, staff that don't smile, 'kooky' interior... One to miss I feel!

DanJuly 24th 2014.

What did this USED to be called? I have been meaning to try it for many years... maybe I will tomorrow.

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