Eating out in Manchester has never been better. Over the past few years the food scene has flourished: trailblazing indie restaurants have opened across the city, under-the-radar local favourites have been celebrated by national restaurant critics and world-famous chefs are setting up flashy new ventures. But the biggest headline? In 2019 exquisite fine-dining establishment Mana was awarded a Michelin star – the first in the city for more than 40 years. Thus the scenary for the restaurants in Manchester has changed dramatically!
That star may have put this city on the global map, but for locals it just confirmed something they already knew: Manchester’s fledgling culinary scene is growing up, and it’s only going to get bigger and better. From late-night kebabs to fancy fine-dining, hidden curry cafés to mind-blowing tasting menus, here’s our round-up of the best restaurants in Manchester right now.
This unmitigated gem in a thoroughly unassuming spot near the Manchester Royal Infirmary offers life-affirming Korean barbecue and hotpots, served bubbling in cauldron-like bowls. If you can find a space, cram in with the visiting students and order the unctuous galbi ribs or the bulgogi pork belly, lovingly braised, deeply aromatic and coupled with squid. The sweet and spicy fried chicken is superb, as are the jeon, chewy fried pancakes scattered generously with seafood. The set menus for two people represent frankly ridiculous value for money.
Address: Seoul Kimchi, 275 Upper Brook Street, Manchester M13 0HR
A victim of its own success, Rudy’s opened to two-hour waits and hard-to-reconcile queues snaking out of their small premises in Ancoats in 2014 but has since expanded with a second, more spiffy location on Peter Street, doling out blazing Neapolitan pizza with profit margins that are difficult to fathom. A Marinara is £4.90 and a Margherita just a pound more. You half expect the prices to go up before you leave. Properly double-fermented, these pizzas are Naples-good, and certainly the best in town.
Address: Rudy’s, 9 Cotton Street, Manchester M4 5BF
From the chef behind neighbourhood favourite Hispi, Kala brings classic, down-to-earth dining to the city centre. Everything here is cooked to a tee. Dive into creamy burrata with glazed carrots and smoked garlic honey, tender braised feather blade beef with cavolo nero and perfectly cooked truffle and parmesan chips. And the Sunday roast – oh, the Sunday roast.
Address: King Street, Manchester, M2 4LQ
Hot on Hawksmoor’s heels as Manchester’s new favourite London import, Dishoom is winning hearts for homey dishes served in the eclectic splendour of the 1920s Grade II-listed Manchester Hall. The cocktails can hold their own, too, with original takes on classic mixes. Expect Indian street food and traditional dishes inspired by the old Irani cafés of Mumbai. Humble, hearty and spicy, this is comfort food at its best.
Address: 32 Bridge St, Manchester, M3 3BT
Situated on the 19th floor of No.1 Spinningfields, 20 Stories is composed of a glamorous restaurant, lively bar and expansive rooftop terrace with unparalleled 360-degree views of the Manchester skyline. ‘0 Storis is definately one of the best restaurants in Manchester with a view!
The 20 Stories menu showcases the best of the Northwest with an aim to source ingredients no more than 50 miles from outside Manchester. The bar serves cocktails, craft beer and an extensive wine list.
Address: No 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB
With a nod to Manchester’s industrial past, Cottonopolis truly is a gem within the bustling Northern Quarter. Tucked away behind Piccadilly, the venue offers an exclusive experience boasting unique cocktails, delicious bites and some of the best DJs on the Manchester music scene.
“You wouldn’t imagine that a bar that names itself after something so intrinsically Manc as the cotton trade would choose a predominately Japanese menu – and there’s nowt more tailored than Japanese food.”
Address: 16 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 2AE
Tast Cuina Catalana is the taste of Catalonia led by Executive Chef Paco Pérez, a master and ambassador of Catalan gastronomy, with seven operating restaurants and five Michelin Stars (2 Michelin Star Miramar in Llançà, 2 Michelin Star Enoteca in Barcelona, and Michelin Star Cinco in Berlin).
These surprises come in the form of Tastets, which are small tastes of food, more complex than tapas yet smaller than an average plate.
Address: 20 – 22 King St, Manchester, M2 6AG
Having been named as ‘One of the Best Restaurants in Manchester’ by the Telegraph and BBC’s Good Food Guide, and an almost permament fixture in Restaurants Of Manchester’s “Best Restaurants in Manchester” list, the family-run Mughli Charcoal Pit celebrates its 28th year on Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ with a tapas-style menu of ‘Indian Soul Food’ from the road-side cafes & family kitchens of Mughal India.
Address: 30 Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5TQ
Tattu delivers contemporary Chinese cuisine, fusing traditional flavours with modern cooking methods and exquisite presentation to create a unique and exciting dining experience.
The venue, set in Manchester’s bustling Spinningfields district, takes inspiration from body art and its rich history, inviting guests on a sensory journey from East to West, through its award-winning interior design and an astute attention to detail. Relax in stunning, immersive surroundings and enjoy passionate customer service, delivering an experience unlike any other.
Address: 3 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3BE
Best restaurants in Manchester is saved for the last: Mana is Manchester’s first Michelin Star restaurant since 1977.
Opened in an iconic, brand new venue in Ancoats, Manchester, Mana has progressed from an idea to a reality.
An informal dining experience, serving a multiple course menu in quick succession, to showcase the best of our islands produce, at any given time of the year.
Through travel and research, Chef-Patron Simon Martin and his team rediscover our land and our waters, in an attempt to establish a new and delicious identity for the British kitchen with you, the guest, at the forefront of their efforts.
The menu at Mana changes constantly to enable the creativity and evolution of the kitchen.
With an extensive testing and development process, they understand the ingredients and deliver them to you in a way which best represents their identity and essence.
Address: 42 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6BF
Bonus – The Metropolitan
The Metropolitan was formerly a grand Victorian railway hotel and is now enjoying a new life as a fabulous bar and restaurant. Full of style and character, its success is built on quality products served by friendly and professional staff.
Enjoy food that’s freshly prepared and locally sourced in the airy Conservatory Restaurant. The lunch menu suits those with a light appetite and limited time as well as those choosing a more leisurely pace and a hearty meal.Evenings in the restaurant are perfect for celebrating special occasions or just a catch up with friends.
Traditional Sunday Lunch is a fantastic family experience with a lively atmosphere .
To accompany your meal the bar has an exciting range of spirits, some great local cask ales and exceptional wines including a large selection by the glass.
Address: 2 Lapwing Lane West Didsbury Manchester, M20 2WS