Best restaurants in Manchester

Looking for a restaurant in Manchester? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and compiled a handy list of the best. Whatever your budget or taste, SquareMeal is here to help, with a selection of the best restaurants for every occasion. Read on for our pick of the best restaurants in Manchester.

Updated on 30 November 2018

Erst

Erst

9 Murray Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6HS

Industrial-chic Erst is a restaurant and bar from the people behind Trove bakery, whose original site is in Levenshulme with a recent opening nearby in Ancoats.

Erst’s focus is on simple seasonal food, natural wines and craft beers. The decor is stripped back and simple – concrete floors, abstract artworks on the walls and a stainless steel-topped bar with an open kitchen. The concise, confident menu of snacks, small plates and sharing dishes focuses heavily on the grill, while the wine list features vintages from small producers using organic and often biodynamic processes.

Leavened flatbread is made in-house with an addictive char and served with whipped lardo to deliver, crisp, light, chewy and salty mouthfuls. Soft, oozy ricotta dumplings are dressed with Swiss chard, whey and nutty Parmesan and drenched in wild garlic butter.

A larger plate of buttery-soft picanha steak, charred outside and juicy pink within, is full of robust beefy flavours and comes with bitter red chicory leaves dressed with pungent anchovy. Lamb’s heart, flash seared and served in tender slices, comes with earthy beetroot, creamy labneh and mint.

Fish dishes are just as diverting. Anchovies come dressed simply with a woodsy, aromatic Middle Eastern za’atar spice blend and fragrant bergamot. Salt cod is light and healthy-tasting with segments of sharp blood orange, salty olives and capers and oregano.

This bold new addition to the burgeoning Ancoats scene deserves to thrive.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Adam Reid at The French

Adam Reid at The French

The Midland Hotel, 16 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 2DS

Simon Rogan is long gone, but his protégé Adam Reid continues to turn heads at this flagship restaurant within Manchester’s vintage Midland Hotel. Though the grand dining room’s opulent decor hasn’t changed, eating here feels less formal than before – but no less impressive, with Reid stamping his own distinctive mark on proceedings. We’ve had our share of thrilling encounters here – from seared scallop with trout roe and roasted onion broth to a superbly executed dish of salt-aged duck with vivid purple beetroot and pickled elderberries. Other standouts have a noticeable North Country accent – think nibbles of dripping toast with grated tongue or a Lancashire ‘tasty’ cheese and onion pie with lovage and eel, as well as a meat-free combo of ‘tater ash’ with mushroom ‘catsup’, bread and butter. To finish, rhubarb jelly with ginger malt ice cream is one option, but don’t miss Reid’s ‘Golden Empire’ dessert – an award-winner from Great British Menu 2016, consisting of a golden candy apple adorned with hazelnut crumble and meadowsweet custard. Meanwhile, spot-on service ensures a stunning gastronomic experience without any fine-dining stuffiness.

Over £80
British
20 Stories

20 Stories

No 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EB

£30 - £49
British
Bakchich

Bakchich

Unit 4 The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5QS

Under £30
Lebanese
Yuzu Manchester

Yuzu Manchester

39 Faulkner Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4EE

Under £30
Japanese
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza

9 Cotton Street, Ancoats, Greater Manchester, M4 5BF

Rudy’s provides an authentic slice of Naples in the heart of Ancoats, Manchester’s Little Italy. The 14-inch pizzas – made from dough prepared on site twice daily – are cooked for just 60 seconds in the wood-fired oven, resulting in a light, chewy, base. Several choices on the concise menu are available either ‘white’ or with a San Marzano tomato sauce; toppings might include Tuscan sausage and friarielli (like turnip tops), or Napoli salami with olive oil. Our prosciutto cotto pizza contained salty ham matched with fragrant basil, oregano and Parmesan. We also tried the Calabrese option, where soft, pleasingly spicy ’nduja sausage melted into the base. Smaller plates are simple – olives or salads – and panuozzo (warm sandwiches) are offered at lunchtime. Rudy’s decor is sparse and functional, allowing the pizzas to take centre stage. To drink, choose Campari soda, Spritz, Italian beers or something from the short, mainly Sicilian wine list.

Under £30
Pizza
Mughli

Mughli

30 Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M14 5TQ

Indian
El Gato Negro

El Gato Negro

52 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 4LY

Under £30
Tapas
Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill

Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill

The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3AP

Under £30
South American
Brazilian
Sugo Pasta Kitchen

Sugo Pasta Kitchen

22 Shaws Road, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, WA14 1QU

Under £30
Italian
Mackie Mayor

Mackie Mayor

1 Eagle Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5BU

Smithfield’s Grade II-listed Victorian market in Manchester’s Northern Quarter has been overhauled by the people behind Altrincham’s Market House – and the result is equally appealing. Holding almost 500 people, the beautiful structure has been carefully restored to open up the ground and upper floors, with a glass ceiling allowing natural light to pour across communal bench seating. The street-food marketplace is packed with high-class food and drink merchants including Manchester-based Blackjack Brewery’s Jack in The Box bar, Wolfhouse Coffee, Honest Crust, Baohouse (steamed Chinese buns), Nationale 7, Tender Cow and Fin fish bar. The food isn’t cheap, but prices reflect the quality: from tender aged flat-iron steak sandwich with béarnaise on sourdough ciabatta (from Tender Cow) and succulent rotisserie chicken with fragrant tarragon mayonnaise (from French traders Nationale 7), to pleasingly chewy sourdough pizza with spicy salami (from Honest Crust). The venture has breathed new life into this handsome building, opened by Mayor Mackie in 1858 as part of Europe’s biggest fresh-produce market.

Under £30
Bars
International
Alston Bar & Beef

Alston Bar & Beef

Cathedral Street, Corn Exchange, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3TR

£30 - £49
British
Bundobust Manchester

Bundobust Manchester

61 Piccadilly, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2AQ

Under £30
Indian
Wood Manchester

Wood Manchester

Jack Rosenthal Street, First Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4RA

£30 - £49
Modern European
Ibérica Manchester

Ibérica Manchester

14-15 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3HF

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Mr Cooper

Mr Cooper's

The Midland Hotel, 16 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 2DS

“Mr Cooper’s made a difference to Manchester when it opened” – and it still does, according to one local fan. Named after a certain Mr Thomas Cooper (a well-known local gent whose house and renowned gardens occupied the site back in 1819), this classy-looking dining room within the historic Midland Hotel is now an international brasserie with a standout cocktail bar attached. The interior plays to the theme with various areas recreating Mr Cooper’s house, while ingredients are of the highest quality. Visitors are sold on Mr Cooper’s “constantly changing menus”, a host of ideas ranging from buttermilk tiger prawns, Spatchcock spring chicken with a red wine and thyme jus, and sweet potato lentil and coconut curry. Desserts roam around too, taking in everything from caramel tart with mascarpone ice cream, to a clementine, pomegranate and pistachio meringue. With its keen prices, kids’ deals and Sunday roasts, Mr Cooper’s still does the business – even if it’s more conventional than its neighbour, Adam Reid at The French. 

£30 - £49
International
Refuge by Volta

Refuge by Volta

Oxford Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 7HA

£30 - £49
International
Lunya - Manchester

Lunya - Manchester

Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 2BB

Under £30
Spanish
Second Floor Bar and Brasserie

Second Floor Bar and Brasserie

Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1AD

£30 - £49
Modern European
63 Degrees

63 Degrees

20 Church Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1PN

According to chef/proprietor Eric Moreau, 63 degrees is not only the perfect temperature for coffee, but also a touchstone for cooking in the modern idiom – hence the name of this Parisian-style bistro in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Menus are written in French (with English translations) and the kitchen adheres to its culinary credo with the likes of pan-fried scallops, caramelised fennel and vegetable shavings followed by entrecôte steak with béarnaise sauce and vegetable ‘bayaldi’ or chicken breast (cooked at 63 degrees, of course) with gratin dauphinoise and a sauce of morels. To finish, look no further than fraisier revisité (a strawberry cake baked at the aforementioned temperature). Two-course weekday lunches are good value, a five-course tasting menu is available on Tuesdays, and the concise all-French wine list does its job.

French
Kala

Kala

55 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 7AT

Kala is the sixth restaurant in Gary Usher’s Elite Bistros group, which includes Chester’s famous Sticky Walnut. Like his other restaurants, Kala was crowdfunded, becoming the fastest-funded restaurant project in the world with over £100k raised in 11 hours.

Located on smart King Street, Kala is elegant but laid back with 55 covers in the mezzanine dining room and 10 at the bar. The open kitchen has a charcoal grill, a first for the group, and is headed by Jack Huxley, who has joined from Sticky Walnut where he progressed rapidly to head chef.

Dishes include a couple recognisable to diners who’ve visited the other bistros, such as a silky-smooth chicken liver pâté which comes with rhubarb and cider chutney and a thick slab of toasted milk loaf. Our seasonal Wye Valley asparagus, firm and tender, was served with chunky sauce gribiche enlivened by sharp pickles and salty capers, while creamy burrata came with sprouting broccoli, blackened spring onion dressing and salted lemon.

A main of braised beef featherblade with fat golden truffle and parmesan chips was another dish familiar across the bistros, slow-cooked and fall-apart tender and drenched in glossy rich gravy. Meaty barbecued monkfish arrived appealingly charred from the grill, served with shredded red cabbage, mango, crunchy macadamia and sweet, smoky BBQ sauce.

The bistros excel at puddings, and Kala’s banoffee choux bun with whipped cream was comforting and indulgent. Our sticky parkin was superb, served with stem ginger ice cream and sweet butterscotch sauce. The wine list includes plenty by the glass, while beers feature local brewers Blackjack, Runaway and Alphabet.

Homely yet high-end, Kala is a welcome addition to Manchester city centre.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Umezushi

Umezushi

Unit 4, Mirabel Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 1PJ

The definition of tucked-away, this diminutive spot can be found (if you follow Deansgate past the Arena and turn left at the River Irwell) under the arches on the city-centre fringes. Devotees make the trek for sushi and sashimi that has raised the bar in Manchester, by dint of fresh local produce and the clever cuts of the experienced chef. A beautifully illustrated menu features sashimi, nigiri, hosomaki and the rest, with a specials board containing seasonal treats such as uni and snow crab. Tempura is a house favourite, starring in its own tasting menu, and daily hot dishes might include Wagyu beef or Taiwanese pork rice. During the working week, an express menu attracts those in the know, offering donburi bowls and robust futomaki with nothing costing over £6.50. To drink, there’s a solid selection of saké and Japanese beers, plus natural and Koshu wines.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Solita Didsbury

Solita Didsbury

School Lane, Didsbury, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M20 6RD

£30 - £49
North American
Burgers
Yang Sing

Yang Sing

34 Princess Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4JY

 

Critically acclaimed since opening in the early 1980s, Yang Sing has long been synonymous with good Cantonese cookery in central Manchester. The dining room is vast, and the menu similarly lengthy. The restaurant specialises in dim sum, and a sharing platter didn’t disappoint: cuttlefish cake was coated in crisp panko breadcrumbs; steamed Shanghai-style pork dumpling had been enriched with black truffle; and steamed prawn red-root spinach dumpling tasted fresh and light. Appetisers, however, were hit and miss: salt and pepper pork belly ribs seemed under-seasoned, while a steamed scallop with premium soy and green bean vermicelli was salty (although not unpleasantly so). Mains courses delivered bags of flavour: double-cooked crispy chilli beef was chewy and slightly sweet with a good balance of heat; spicy lemongrass chicken was tender and fragrant. With its brisk, understated service, large tables, and good-value banqueting options, Yang Sing is especially suited to larger groups.

£30 - £49
Chinese
Albert

Albert's Schloss

27 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5QR

Under £30
Bars
International
Manchester House

Manchester House

Tower 12, 18-22 Bridge Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3BZ

REOPENS EARLY 2019 WITH CHEF AIDEN BYRNE AT THE HELM

Following Aiden Byrne’s departure, Nathaniel Tofan (his long-term deputy) has taken over as head chef at Living Ventures’ city-centre flagship, which combines a thrilling industrial-lite restaurant with an über-glamorous bar/lounge – located 10 floors apart in a reconfigured office block. The menus are enticing, from a great-value set lunch to multi-course tasting extravaganzas, a carte and elegant afternoon teas. A selection of chef’s snacks – crisp chicken skin with duck hearts, nori rice cracker with cod roe and nasturtium, and creamy foie gras mousse with grated truffle – whetted our appetite for an accomplished, well-executed lunch. Rich pressed confit duck terrine with tender foie gras, leek and pistachio was served with perfectly chewy sourdough and earthy truffle butter, while chicken breast, brined and poached until buttery soft, appeared alongside roasted salsify, artichoke purée and aromatic truffle vinegar. To finish, we liked the combination of sweet, sticky date sponge with parsnip pannacotta and butternut squash ice cream, as well as the skilfully rendered matcha and yuzu teacakes and melt-in-the-mouth mince pie macarons served with tea. A must-visit Manchester destination which continues to impress.

Over £80
Modern European
James Martin Manchester

James Martin Manchester

Manchester 235 , Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4LP

Housed in the Manchester235 casino – though set apart from the gaming floor on its own mezzanine level – James Martin’s Manchester restaurant serves up modern British cuisine in the industrial-chic surroundings of the Great Northern Warehouse.

The seasonally changing menus give top billing to ingredients from renowned UK butchers, fishmongers, game dealers, farmers and cheese makers, and the tasting menu on our visit started promisingly with warm bread served with loads of butter, extra salt and a bowl of hot, hearty beef dripping to dip.

Wye Valley spears come with creamy melted Baron Bigod cheese, like an English Brie, alongside pickled pink Roscoff onion, spicy nasturtium, aromatic dill oil and crunchy malt crumbs that have been through the fryer. XO mackerel is served with smoked crunchy gem lettuce, the smoky flavours from the Josper grill enhanced by coal oil. There’s lightness, though, thanks to chunks of sharp pomelo and citrusy ponzu sauce.

Slow cooked duck egg oozes its golden yolk into grilled grelot onions, meaty hen of the woods mushrooms, watercress velouté and the tiniest new season Jersey Royal potatoes. Plump pink rump of Lake District Herdwick lamb comes with creamy lamb sweetbreads and rosti potatoes cooked in the lamb fat. Wild garlic and ribbons of fermented turnip cut through the fattiness.

Puddings include a banoffee soufflé, light as a feather, with intensely flavoured roast banana ice cream and a sticky-sweet caramelised white chocolate sauce.

Overall, this is a great bet for strong, seasonal cooking in comfortable surroundings.

£50 - £79
British
Hawksmoor Manchester

Hawksmoor Manchester

184-186 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3WB

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Australasia

Australasia

1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3AP

From its entrance via a sparkling glass prism, to its glamorous decor with spacious cushioned booths and discreet alcoves, Australasia’s stylish subterranean restaurant and buzzy bar exude luxury. The menu showcases Pacific Rim flavours underpinned by European techniques, offering sushi and small plates in addition to main dishes. Start with lip-lickingly salty edamame beans and plump pork wontons, followed by sharing dishes such as sesame-crusted tuna (ruby-rare and accompanied by crisp, creamy avocado tempura), or earthy seared pigeon balanced by Thai cucumber and mango. We enjoyed flame-flavoured barbecued lamb cutlets in a sticky-sweet sauce of tomato, soy and peanutty mirin, and a spectacular dish of tender black cod roasted to perfection in hoba leaf. Prices are high, but the accomplished, beautifully presented dishes justify the expense. Also worth exploring is the interactive wine and cocktails menu, which comes complete with photographs and tasting notes. An indulgent treat for special occasions.

£30 - £49
Where the Light Gets In

Where the Light Gets In

7 Rostron Brow, Stockport, Greater Manchester, SK1 1JY

£50 - £79
British
The Ivy Spinningfields

The Ivy Spinningfields

The Pavilion, Byrom Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3HG

£50 - £79
British
Afternoon tea
Grafene

Grafene

55 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 4LQ

£50 - £79
British
Solita NQ

Solita NQ

Turner StreeT, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1DW

£30 - £49
North American
Burgers
The Grill On The Alley

The Grill On The Alley

5 Ridgefield, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 6EG

£30 - £49
North American
Steak
Hispi

Hispi

1c School Lane, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M20 6RD

£30 - £49
British
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