Strange times. Especially if you live on your own and just want a hug. Well, don’t despair as they’re giving them out at The Spärrows, Manchester in the form of a comforting and generous portion of their eponymous spätzle (it means sparrow in Swabian).

The Spärrows were getting ready to reopen in their brand-new space when the lockdown was enforced. Kasia and Franco (she’s originally from Poland, he’s from Northern Italy) had moved their wonderful but hard to classify (Is it Tyrolean? Is it Polish? What even is Swabian? They serve Sake so, Japanese?) operation from Mirabel Street near Manchester Arena to a lovingly restored railway arch at number 16 Red Bank in the city’s Green Quarter. Then coronavirus kicked in.

But team behind The Spärrows are no strangers to obstacles. In their old spot at Mirabel Street they were boxed in for months while Network Rail did essential work to a bridge. So they made sure that their opening hours suited the workmen’s breakfast. I am convinced the excellent quality of the work around that part of town owes a debt to Franco’s culinary skills.

You can order online but it’s better to phone because Kasia can talk you through the specials. You’ll struggle not to order more than you intended, but you won’t be disappointed. They specialise in Spätzle and Pierogi served with a variety of sauces including vegetarian options. I had Tomato Spätzle with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil and parmesan followed by a perfect tiramisu. And my top tip: place your order the day before to secure fresh focaccia.  

By Susan Ferguson

Photos: copyright The Sparrows


The Spärrows, 16 Red Bank, M4 4HF. Open daily for collection 3-9pm. Telephone: 07711 300116