In this series of reviews, Alfie Mulligan and Harry Warner will be delving into a world of cooked breakfasts and scrutinising Salford’s kaleidoscope of cafés and diners. From Blackfriars to Boothstown, Kersal to Cadishead, in the name of public service (and not for their own enjoyment) they will ultimately crown one of them Salford’s best full English.

After a long cooked breakfast devoid hiatus, we are back with another breakfast review direct from what has felt like, for the last few days, the heart of Salford, Eccles Market.

The entrance to Eccles market. Credit: Harry Warner
The entrance to Eccles market. Credit: Harry Warner

Tucked away into the far corner of Eccles Market and nestled behind a protective barrier adorned with a banner reading “Harold’s Café”, our latest haunt to be put through its paces has all the hallmarks of an atmospheric and friendly destination.

Only a short walk away from Eccles tram stop and a hastened stroll through the Eccles Shopping Centre and we were standing with breakfast bated breath outside the metallic shell of Eccles Market, ready to affront our next long overdue breakfast.

The market has been the centre of attention in Salford in recent days after its future was put in doubt when plans were announced to redevelop Eccles Shopping Centre.

Similarly to us, Eccles Market was still wakening and winding up for the morning, with only a few stalls open and a spattering of people wandering its tilled gangway.

@likwid_media Harold’s Café – 4.1/5 🍳🥓 WE ARE BACK. Yes that’s right your favourite breakfast reviewers have returned for this special Christmas instalment, trying Harold’s Café in Eccles Market. The servers were warm and welcoming (Eccles always is) and the food was a delcious start to our Monday morning. Great tactical plating, solid all round cooking of the elements on the plate and a lovely ambience gets Harold’s Café a 4.1/5 from Salford’s most notorious breakfast critics. 🍳🥓 Merry Christmas! 🎅❄️☃️ #breakfast #salford #manchester #food #foodreview #foodcritic #news #foodie #foodtiktok #foodlover #fullenglish #cookedbreakfast #delicious #haroldscafe #eccles #sausage #egg #beans #hashbrown #xyzbca #foryou #fyp #explore #abcxyz #tiktok #brekkie #review #english #british #2023 #christmas #noel #greatermanchester #roquesantacruz ♬ original sound – Likwid Media

Upon entering we were greeted warmly by the lady in charge and did not delay in placing our orders for two big breakfasts that included two pieces of bacon, two sausages, two eggs, beans or tomatoes, mushrooms, hash brown, two slices of toast, tea or coffee and, normally, two black puddings.

Unfortunately, the café had been unable to get any black pudding in for this morning, an initial jab to the stomach, until we were swiftly offered an alternative that included two hash browns as well as tomatoes with the beans, completing an almost full house full English.

Harold's Café breakfast was hard to resist. Credit: Harry Warner
Harold’s Café breakfast was hard to resist. Credit: Harry Warner

Faster than you can write a complaint to your local councillor about the destruction of Eccles Shopping Centre our breakfast arrived piping hot and ready to be devoured.

The bacon was thick-cut and salty, the mushrooms juicy and the hash browns were the makings of folkloric legend, crispy and golden, hassling the taste buds with a symphony of spudtacular flavour.

The hash browns might be one of the highlights of our entire series of reviewing breakfasts in Salford, along side The Tatton’s smoky Bacon.

However, as many perfectionists know, nothing is ever perfect. The beans were slightly too watery for my own personal liking and the sausages could have had a better sear, however, this is purely nitpicking.

Understandably with the presentation of any cooked breakfast, you wouldn’t hang it in the Louvre, but despite this and the challenge of so much liquid on the plate, the plating-up was expertly executed.

As Alfie described it, “You want your tomatoes and beans to play tennis, not in an orchestra”, truly poignant words from a well seasoned breakfast reviewer.

Another factor at play was the entire ambience of the place.

Christmas music played out from speakers whilst the hardening of the rain from above echoed soothing pitter-patter throughout the high-roofed hall.

All this wrapped up in a warm coat made for a cosy Christmas scene that will only add marks to Harold’s café final score.

Harold's Café inside Eccles Market. Credit: Harry Warner
Harold’s Café inside Eccles Market. Credit: Harry Warner

Back to the food and the name ‘Big Breakfast’ was no understatement as we both had to galvanise our gullets by the end to finish off the final brekkie bites.

With bellies filled and hunger quenched we vacated our seats and made for the exit content with conquering another one of Salford’s breakfast locations.

When all the the factors are shovelled into the cooked breakfast ranking machine and the final digits are spat out, it makes for good reading for Harold’s Café.

Warm hospitality, solid food with those heavenly hash browns and a lovely atmosphere made for a memorable morning at Eccles Market that led to Harold’s Café getting a 4.1/5 rating from Salford’s most infamous breakfast reviewers.

Here’s hoping Harold’s Café will survive whatever future lies in store for the Eccles Shopping Centre.

You can check out below where else we’ve been on the pursuit for the best breakfast in Salford.

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