Best restaurants in Manchester

With its world-famous football teams, rejuvenated central district and a glut of fantastic Indian restaurants on its aptly named ‘Curry Mile’, Manchester has more than earned its place as England’s Second City (the area’s beloved nickname, for those not in the know). Manchester’s restaurant scene is swiftly catching up with its other big city counterparts too, with outstanding venues opening all the time to join the myriad fine and casual dining restaurants that make the city such a cosmopolitan place to eat out. To help you seek out the best restaurants in Manchester, we have put together our pick of the cream of the crop.

Updated on 11 December 2023

Manchester is one of the largest, busiest and most visited cities in the UK and the reason for its popularity depends on who you ask. Maybe it’s because the city is home to two internationally renowned football teams, with many high-profile footie stars owning homes in the ‘Golden Triangle’ at the city’s edge. Or perhaps the attraction of Manchester is its plethora of shopping opportunities, ranging from high-end fashion boutiques to multi-floor high street chains? If you ask us though, there is only one real reason to head to Manc - because of the city’s dynamic and varied food scene. Nowadays, there are hundreds of restaurants in Manchester which span every possible cuisine, style and budget. 

Whether you are a long-time resident of Manchester looking for the best restaurants in the Northern Quarter, or you find yourself here on a city break and want to try one of the Michelin star restaurants in Manchester, you'll be glad to know that there is almost certainly a restaurant out there to suit your taste. We're covering a fairly wide geographical area here too - plenty of this list could be counted among the best restaurants in Manchester city centre, but there are some options as far afield as Stockport and Prestwich. 

We’ve picked the best places to eat in Manchester and compiled them all in the handy list to make it easier for you to choose one (or two, or ten) to try. Click on the name of each restaurant to read more and book online.

The Alan

The Alan

18 Princess Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4LG

The restaurant in The Alan hotel is a little cracker, serving a flexible menu of snacks and small plates which are easily shared amongst a group. Case in point, a dish of barbecue mushrooms, yeast and black garlic that provides a serious umami punch.

Under £30
British
Hotel Bars
The Sparrows

The Sparrows

16 Red Bank, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 4HF

This beloved modern continental spot has a burgeoning reputation for fantastic dumplings and pasta. This is not the pasta you’re used to, though - The Sparrows serves spätzle, and traditional Central and Eastern European dishes like pierogi, Russian pelmeni, and, yes, the occasional ravioli too.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Italian
SquareMeal UK Top 100
This & That

This & That

3 Soap Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1EW

Despite a little price hike (from six to eight quid), This & That remains astonishingly good value for a proper curry. This legendary spot has been going since 1984 now, and though it doesn’t grab the headlines, it remains an important part of Manchester’s culinary fabric. 

Under £30
Indian
Another Hand

Another Hand

253 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4EN

Another Hand is an intimate 24 cover restaurant that focuses on a veg-led menu, with natural wines and hand crafted cocktails. This hidden gem is worth keeping an eye out for when heading into the city centre.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Namii Kitchen & Cocktails

Namii Kitchen & Cocktails

City Tower, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4HN

Conveniently located, Namii brings authentic Vietnamese food like summer rolls, pho and bun cha to Manchester city centre - and the cocktail selection is pretty special too. This is a great spot for a night out with friends that’s full of fun and full of flavour.

£30 - £49
Pan Asian
Vietnamese
Vegetarian
Vegan
Szechuan
South East Asian
Halal
Mana

Mana

42 Blossom Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6BF

The lofty title of Manchester’s only Michelin star restaurant is reason enough to visit Mana, but the accolade is backed up by a stunning menu which showcases only the best of produce from the British Isles.

Over £80
Modern European
British
One Michelin star
Wood Manchester

Wood Manchester

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

Opened by former MasterChef winner Simon Wood, this is a large, welcoming venue. Whether you opt for the fine-dining a la carte, good-value set lunch or tasting menu, the kitchen allows fresh ingredients to shine.

Over £80
Modern European
British
Higher Ground

Higher Ground

New York Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4DY

Higher Ground is a buzzy restaurant and bar that originated as a pop up and is now firmly amongst the best restaurants in the city. Serving seasonal small plates alongside excellent wines, this is not one to be missed. 

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
Bistro
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Where the Light Gets In

Where the Light Gets In

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

Ex-L’Enclume chef Sam Buckley’s curiously named gaff is a loft-style space with views across the rooftops. Diners eat small plates inspired by what has been foraged, fermented and butchered by the team - thrilling combinations abound.

£50 - £79
British
Tattu

Tattu

Gartside Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EB

Instagram-friendly interiors are bolstered by a delectable menu of dim sum and Asian-inspired small plates at this ever popular restaurant and cocktail bar. Don’t forget to snap a pic underneath the pink cherry blossom tree.

£50 - £79
Chinese
Erst

Erst

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

This chic restaurant focuses on seasonal food, natural wines and craft beers. The pared-down menu relies on bold flavour combinations to deliver superb dishes such as salt cod with blood orange, olives, capers and oregano.

£30 - £49
International
SquareMeal UK Top 100
63 Degrees

63 Degrees

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

Coffee lovers know that 63 degrees is the perfect temperature at which to serve it, but chef-proprietor Eric Moreau applies the rule to poultry and cake as well. Don’t miss the set weekday lunch either.

French
Mackie Mayor

Mackie Mayor

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

This street food marketplace is so jam-packed with food merchants you’ll struggle to choose just one. It’s housed within Smithfield’s grand Grade II-listed Victorian market - grab a seat, pick a stall and get stuck in.

Under £30
Pizza
Noodles
Mexican
Vegetarian
Tapas
Steak
Bars
Italian
International
Fusion
20 Stories

20 Stories

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

Sky high 20 Stories is the first Manchester project from D&D London. The glamorous restaurant and casual grill offer distinct menus, alongside a cocktail bar and roof terrace boasting 360-degree views of the city.

£30 - £49
British
Tast Catala

Tast Catala

20-22 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 6AG

You’ll be hard pushed to find anywhere that does Spanish food quite like Tast. Paco Perez, the Spanish chef who has five Michelin stars across his restaurants in Europe, knows a thing or two about Tapas and Catalonian cuisine, and judging by the cocktail and wine menu he’s a dab hand with drinks too.

£30 - £49
Mediterranean
Tapas
Spanish
Bars
Wine Bars
Kala

Kala

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

Part of Gary Usher’s mini empire, homely yet high-end Kala is found on King Street and offers up superb fairly priced modern European cuisine, along with a wine list that includes plenty of by-the-glass options.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
Hispi

Hispi

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

The Didsbury bistro of barnstorming chef Gary Usher has a relaxed, homely feel. It’s a convivial place for sampling the confident and concise menu of European fare. Superb-value lunch and early-evening offers also attract locals.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
10 Tib Lane

10 Tib Lane

10 Tib Lane, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 4JB

This unfussy yet elegant restaurant located in a Grade II listed building in Central Manchester serves up elevated classics alongside a standout drinks menu. Be sure to head down on a Sunday for the raved-about roast.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Bistro
SquareMeal UK Top 100
El Gato Negro

El Gato Negro

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

At this stylish tapas bar, you are treated to top-flight charcuterie, cheeses and a cavalcade of flawless plates. Make sure to visit the Black Cat upstairs too, a beautiful cocktail bar with a retractable roof.

Under £30
Tapas
Black Friar

Black Friar

41 Blackfriars Road, Salford, Greater Manchester, M3 7DB

With its striking black and white tiled flooring, and equally bold plates, The Black Friar is certainly one to remember. More than just an old school boozer, you can expect proper pub grub, as well as carefully curated beer snacks and even something a little more refined in the main dining room.

Pubs
Gastropub
OSMA

OSMA

132 Bury New Road, Prestwich, Greater Manchester, M25 0AA

OSMA is the brainchild of Sophie Stoermann-Naess and Danielle Heron, the latter of whom has worked at the likes of two Michelin-starred L’Enclume and three star Maaemo in Oslo. This small plates restaurant is eager to feed from breakfast through to dinner, and offers some top tier cocktails too.

£50 - £79
Scandinavian
British
Bundobust Manchester

Bundobust Manchester

61 Piccadilly, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2AQ

Indian street-food specialists Bundobust have ventured across The Pennines to open this spacious Piccadilly branch. Inside, seating is canteen-style with the enticing menu of snacks and sharing plates being equally informal, and entirely vegetarian too.

Under £30
Indian
Climat

Climat

Blackfriars House, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 2JA

If you’re looking to enjoy food with a view, few places do it better than Climat. Head out on to the terrace at this wine-led restaurant and tuck into a glass of something special whilst working your way through the Parisian inspired menu.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Vegetarian
Vegan
French
Wine Bars
Adam Reid at The French

Adam Reid at The French

The Midland Hotel, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 2DS

Adam Reid has kept The French at the top of Manchester’s restaurant tree for many years, and while the grand dining room is opulent, the vibe feels less formal and the food continues to impress.

Over £80
British
Hawksmoor Manchester

Hawksmoor Manchester

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

You know the Hawksmoor drill: great steaks, banging cocktails, friendly staff and the epic dessert that must not be called a giant Ferrero Rocher. This Manchester outpost also boasts a separate bar for pre-prandial sips.

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

15 Lower Hillgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, SK1 1JQ

This offshoot of renowned Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In is a triple-threat of bakery, deli and pottery. In the evenings, Yellowhammer switches gears to become a pizzeria, pairing pizzas with natural wines and live music on vinyl.

£30 - £49
Pizza
Mughli

Mughli

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

Street-inspired comfort food is the order of the day at this popular Indian. Snacks such as pau bhaji are the warm-up act for mains like dum biryani and dhal makhni that promise intense flavours.

Indian
Shoryu Ramen Manchester

Shoryu Ramen Manchester

1 Piccadilly, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1RG

Shoryu Manchester is the first venture outside the capital for this ramen bar, serving up everything from a classic tonkotsu to sides like chicken karaage and yakitori. We love this for a laid back dinner that still feels like a treat.

Under £30
Noodles
Japanese

Did you know there are a ton of great vegan restaurants in Manchester these days? It’s not just London that's hot on the trend for plant-based dining, and you can now find a wealth of really good vegan spots, from fast food to healthy cafes. 

The city is also famous for its Curry Mile, so it makes sense that Manchester's best Indian restaurants are some of the best in the country. Here, you'll find everything from hole-in-the-wall curry houses and street food, to refined fine-dining establishments.

Heading out this weekend? Discover our pick of the best bottomless brunches in Manchester, where the bubbles, beers and cocktails flow freely.

Join SquareMeal Rewards

Collect points, worth at least £1, every time you book online and dine at a participating restaurant.

Start Collecting Points

Already a member? Sign in