First taste of the Urban Food Market at Unity Place

AD PR Invitation – This was a complimentary experience on behalf of Unity Place. I was under no obligation to post. As always, I remain impartial and share my honest thoughts. Any constructive feedback is always passed onto the team directly.

It’s been a long time coming, but Unity Place is finally opening its doors. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Unity Place is a new dining and leisure destination in Milton Keynes that also happens to be the new home of Santander. Located in Central Milton Keynes right next to the train station, Unity Place has several exciting new additions that are open to the public including event space, community space, a lecture theatre, co-working spaces (including one by x+why), new restaurants and of course, the Urban Food Market.

The team at Unity Place invited me along for lunch at the Urban Food Market so I could get a proper taste of the offering. So if you want to find out more about this new gem in the heart of the city, keep reading.

Every effort has been taken to ensure the information in this blog post is correct, however, I advise referring directly to the vendor websites and social media pages for the most up to date information. If you do see an error or something is incorrect, please contact me via blog@sophieetc.com.

Indoor Street Food in Milton Keynes – Finally!

The Urban Food Market is the first of its kind in Milton Keynes and by that I mean a dedicated indoor food hall with plenty of seating and an array of food choices. The space itself is quite incredible. Vast windows cast plenty of natural light, a bonus in the winter. If you’ve ever been to Box Park in Shoreditch, London, this has a similar kind of vibe.

In the heart of the space is Rye’s Deli which serves a menu of sandwiches, light bites and coffee. Rye’s Deli will be open Monday to Saturday serving breakfast and lunch dishes including fresh sandwiches, soups, boxed salads, in-house baked cookies, cakes and warm pastries.

The coffee at Unity Place is provided by Hej at Rye’s Deli or Change Please, which is a social enterprise. They aren’t Milton Keynes-based roasters, but the coffee is pretty good. 100% of the profits go towards giving people experiencing homelessness a living wage job, housing, training, onward opportunities.

Eventually, the Urban Food Market will become an evening destination as well as a day destination, so by night, Rye’s Deli will transform into Rye’s Bar. You will be able to watch major events on the big screens and enjoy beer from Toast Brewery. I feel like this could really revive the after-work scene in Central Milton Keynes.

“Eventually, the Urban Food Market will become an evening destination as well as a day destination.”

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Foodie Highlights at the Urban Food Market

On the far side of the Food Market are the street food options. Now full disclosure – Restaurant Associates runs the food and drink offering at Unity Place. They’re a big company but given the scale of Unity Place, I don’t think there are many local organisations that could take this on. They have handpicked existing independents like local street food heroes, Bandit and Cantina Carnitas from Hitchen. They sit alongside offerings from Restaurant Associates and the units are very much set up to switch up, so I think there will be opportunities for local indies to pop up here for a limited period of time.

So far, the street food offerings are:

  • Bandit – BBQ
  • Cantina Carnitas – Mexican
  • Meraki Soul Food – Greek
  • Raffaele – Street Pizza
  • Field Tray – Healthy salads
  • Hawaii Poké Bowl – Nutritious poké bowls
  • Campione – Pasta (not open just yet)

I got to try everything except Campione which isn’t open just yet, and Bandit, but as you know I am already a HUGE fan of Bandit. In fact, the Ned Kelly is one of my favourite burgers in MK.

“For me, the highlights were Hawaii Poké Bowl and Cantina Carnitas tacos.”

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For me, the highlights were the poké bowls from Hawaii Poké Bowl and the Tacos from Cantina Carnitas. I sampled the Alaskan Salmon bowl, which was packed with veggies and fresh ingredients. Price-wise, I think this was around £11.

The tacos from Hitchin’s Cantina Carnitas were pretty good as well. We’ve needed a dine-in Mexican in Milton Keynes for some time, so I think this will be very popular. It’s £9 for two tacos which come with nachos and dips. I loved the beef and the pork, and the mango dip that came with the nachos was off the scale!!! Cantina Carnitas also serve churros from local Churro Boyz which are totally delicious.

If you love sweet treats you’re in luck, because they have a fantastic range at Unity Place, all of which are freshly based on site. Expect cookies, banana and rum caramel cake, mocha brownie, and pistachio and rose water semolina cake… YUM.

The Work Café

Good news for business owners and freelancers – There is a fantastic new co-working space at Unity Place. It’s totally free to use and there are meeting rooms you can book (for free!)

I am yet to test out this space for working, but from what I saw, it was excellent and I can see myself heading there often. There is a Change Please Tuk Tuk for coffee and of course, you can grab lunch from the food market.

“The Work Café at Unity Place is a fantastic space for business owners and freelancers to work and connect.”

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Get 50% off your first coffee at Rye’s Deli

Head to Google Play or the App Store to download the Unity Place app. Simply download it, register and then show the home screen at Rye’s Deli and get 50% off a coffee!

The app will speed up the ordering process, providing visitors with menus to browse, access to queue-jump, quick payment options, and loyalty points and promotions throughout the year.

More to come…

Personally, I am very excited about what Unity Place is bringing to Milton Keynes and was really impressed with the space. I will definitely be using it as a business owner but also as a customer. As with any new destination, cut them some slack because it’s early days and a brand new team, but considering they’ve been open a week, it was great to see Unity Place so busy and with positive reviews.

It doesn’t stop with the Urban Food Market either – Still to come is the Unity Sky Lounge and even more food offerings… Stay tuned!

Current opening hours for Unity Place are Monday – Friday 08:00 – 16:00. These are subject to change and it will soon be open evenings and weekends. Parking isn’t open just yet, but there are plenty of surrounding car parks and the best entrance is the Station Side entrance. Find out more at unityplace.co.uk

Have you visited Unity Place yet? What did you think?

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