Manchester | Eating and drinking | Eating out

Eating out

Foodies are well looked after in Manchester, with lots of scrumptiously good options for eating out. One approach is to mooch around a neighbourhood until you happen on somewhere with just the theme or ambience you’re after. Or, if you prefer, you can hunt down a specific restaurant or style of cuisine and head straight there. Whatever your mood or appetite, we hope you find our guide useful.

Northern Quarter

True to its bohemian ethos, most restaurants in Northern Quarter are coolly independent. We love Cain & Grain, where there’s both a casual Rib Joint & Tap Room and a swanky First Floor Bar, and RBG Bar & Grill for quality steaks and burgers. Infamous Diner offers American-style plates to the sound of jukebox tunes, while European eats include Ply, serving wood-fired sourdough pizzas, and Rosylee, dishing up charcoal-baked skewers. If you fancy a treat, the family-run 63 Degrees uses locally-sourced ingredients with a modern French twist.

Italian

While Ancoats is officially Manchester’s Little Italy, the Italian theme spreads far across the city. Many big chains started life in Manchester (think Piccolino, Gusto, Croma, Pesto, The Olive Press and Est Est Est), but there are plenty of independent ristorantes too. Per Tutti off Deansgate is a fab little place or, if you fancy a touch of glam, head to Rio Ferdinand’s Rosso on King Street. Avalanche near Albert Square cooks superb fish and seafood, and Don Giovanni on Oxford Street does top notch steaks and pastas.

Chinatown

While Manchester Chinatown is the obvious place for Chinese restaurants, it offers a much wider spectrum of oriental food, with some venues tossing noodles into the small hours. The much acclaimed Yang Sing is as popular as ever, and we recommend Little Yang Sing (no relation) for dim sum and other Cantonese fare. Pacific Thai and Koh Samui do stunning Thai food, while Minavina is our pick for Vietnamese, Ban Di Bul for Korean, and Teppanyaki and Yuzu for excellent Japanese.

Vegetarian

Did you know that vegetarianism reached the western world via Manchester? The concept took off in Salford in 1809, and today the city’s acclaimed vegetarian restaurants attract many committed carnivores. Award-winning venues include Greens in Didsbury, run by TV chef Simon Rimmer, and Chaophraya on Chapel Walks, voted The Times ‘Best Vegetarian Restaurant in the UK’ for its meat-free Thai menu (and impressive jellyfish tank). Other places to note are Scene Street Kitchen in Spinningfields, The Greenhouse in Rusholme, Earth Café at the Manchester Buddhist Centre and Pho, a family-run Vietnamese restaurant in the Corn Exchange. 

British

Manchester has produced some of the UK’s finest chefs, and where better to tuck into Lancashire hot pot? Beyond your pub grub, the city has many unashamedly British restaurants. The French at The Midland Hotel is a good, if oddly-named, place to start (it’s a Simon Rogan affair with four AA rosettes), or try James Martin inside Manchester235 casino. Other gems are Manchester House, Quill and English Lounge, but top of our list is Albert’s Shed. This waterside setting on the Bridgewater Canal does everything from bacon breakfast to Sunday roast, fish ‘n’ chips to Welsh lamb cutlet.

French

Home of the UK’s first Michelin star restaurant, Manchester has lots to offer in the way of French dining. Choose from cosy cafés toasting croque monsieurs, intimate bistros flaming steak frites and plush hotels ladling boeuf bourguignon. Our favourite venues include 63 Degrees, which does long ‘n’ low-cooked meat to perfection, and Smoak Bar & Grill, which oak-smokes quality steak and fish at Malmaison Hotel. Popular French chains include Côte Brasserie and Café Rouge, which both hit the spot for lunch, dinner or pre-theatre.

Rusholme

You’ve found Manchester’s curry mile when Wilmslow Road comes alive with a string of neon-lit Indian and Pakistani restaurants. It’s a mix of fine food and fast food, with many curry houses and shisha cafés open until 3am or 4am. The legendary Shere Khan, which pioneered the Rusholme scene in 1987, is still going strong, while the beautiful new Ziya is a more modern take on Indian cuisine. Spicy Mint (once Spicy Hut) has won awards for its sizzling Shashlik dishes, and Mughli Charcoal Pit offers street food-style tapas. 

Spanish & Portuguese

If you’re after a taste of sunshine, Manchester offers a cheerful selection from the Med. We recommend La Bandera, whose traditional Spanish menu keeps things fresh, simple and locally sourced. La Viña is a lovely relaxed place serving home-cooked Spanish dishes and charcuteria sharing planks. Street On First is a new bar and restaurant with a cool vibe and Spanish street food offering. Our pick of the Portuguese is Luso on Bridge Street, while you’ll find Nando’s galore serving piri piri chicken. Another giant is La Tasca, whose Spanish tapas chain was born (and still thrives) on Deansgate.

Looking for a hotel in Manchester?

Whether you want to stay in the city centre, in one of Manchester’s leafy suburbs or in the beautiful Lancashire countryside, we have lots of hotels to choose from. If you need to be right on the doorstep, we have hotels next to Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly, as well as Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium and Manchester Arena