Higher Ground

Bistro, British, Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Higher Ground

Gold Award

Higher Ground was established at the start of 2020 by hospitality professionals Joseph Otway, Richard Cossins and Daniel Craig Martin. Their initial residency ran for just four weeks before being curtailed by the first lockdown, but in early 2023, the trio relaunched their pop-up restaurant concept as a permanent venue in Manchester city centre.

The laid-back British bistro and bar, from the team behind Ancoats’ critically acclaimed wine bar and bottle shop, Flawd, seats 50, with a dedicated walk-in wine room and a long strip of burnt orange leather counter seats offering a view of the open kitchen and charcoal oven as well as allowing interaction with the chefs. Pale wooden tables and dark leather seats give the rest of the dining room a neat, stripped back feel, with splashes of colour adding warmth.

Summery small plates on our visit included plump, juicy coal-roasted scallops served in the shell with nasturtium and green tomato relish, crisp pea fritters with buttery Quicke’s Cheddar, and vibrant green English asparagus spears with burnt garlic mayonnaise and soft-boiled egg. A tangle of crunchy kohlrabi salad was enlivened with a punchy Garstang blue cheese dressing, while silky hand-rolled pasta was dressed with tender braised lamb shoulder in an inviting pool of rich, meaty juices.

A larger dish of perfectly pink, tender slices of hogget was served with braised green lentils and peppery watercress, while a side of Marfona mashed potato was obscenely rich and addictive with copious amounts of melted charcoal butter; it’s easy to see why this dish is already becoming something of a cult classic among Manchester’s foodies. Desserts included a sensational seasonal strawberry, custard and spelt tart. The wine list, meanwhile, shines a spotlight on small-scale, low intervention winemakers from around Europe.

With its confident, creative and expertly crafted menu and friendly, relaxed and knowledgeable service, Higher Ground has hit the ground running.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Bistro, British, Modern European
Cool, Fun, Lively
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Group dining [8+]
Food Hygiene Rating


In 2016, Joseph, Daniel, and Richard crossed paths while working at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York under the guidance of Chef Dan Barber. Bonding as colleagues and fast friends, they nurtured a collective dream of owning and running their own restaurant. This vision came to life with the inception of Higher Ground, initially introduced as a pop up in Manchester at the beginning of 2020.

The trio's culinary journey includes stints at renowned Michelin starred establishments such as Noma, Relæ, and the influential Blue Hill at Stone Barns. These experiences have significantly shaped their philosophy and approach to both food and service, laying the foundation for the unique ethos that defines Higher Ground and its subsequent ventures.

Discover this British bistro and bar nestled in the vibrant heart of Manchester's city centre, where the kitchen team’s culinary focus revolves around the ever shifting seasons across the UK. Be delighted by the surprise of daily changing menus and dishes, showcasing the team’s dedication to seasonal vegetables, which are primarily sourced from Cinderwood Market Garden, Higher Ground’s trusted partner farm in Cheshire. Indulge in the art of whole animal butchery, enjoy hand rolled pasta, and savour the richness of fresh fish and seafood cooked over an open coal flame. There’s nothing quite like it.

Fuel your curiosity with Higher Ground’s wine list if you fancy yourself a bit of a connoisseur, curated to spotlight small scale, low intervention winemakers spanning the diverse landscapes of Europe.
Lunch and dinner present the choice between à la carte offerings and a seasonal set sharing menu. Walk-in visits are not just welcomed but encouraged by Higher Ground, with seating available in the dining room and at the kitchen bar counter. Drop by at any time to experience the joy of diverse plates and a perfectly paired glass of wine.


Do I need to book?

Booking is advised, and larger groups of over six guests will be served the seasonal set sharing menu.

Helpful? 0


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

0161 236 2931 0161 236 2931


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:30-14:00
Sat 12:30-14:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:30-21:00
Thu 17:30-21:00
Fri 17:30-21:30
Sat 17:30-21:30
Sun Closed


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