Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

Welcome to the midsummer edition of the guide to Food And Drink in Manchester and The North. Yes, the nights are getting shorter but we’ve got plenty of sunny weeks left before dreaded autumn comes along. In the meantime, why not work your way through this month’s edition of our quad-weekly food guide. The weather might be all over the shop, but the restaurants below are all wonderfully high-quality and well worth a visit, or two, or five, over the next few weeks.

This month, we have fantastic cocktails in Liverpool, new market halls, incredible steaks in Manchester, perfectly-formed tasting menus at one of Manchester’s best fine-dining restaurants, a Crown Court-themed menu in Knutsford, plus new menus and revamps from a host of other worthy inclusions.

So take a deep breath, check your bank balance and join us on a trip through the best places to eat across the North this month. The list covers everything from traditional Italian cuisine to unforgettable Chinese food, with more than a couple of flamboyant British restaurants along the way. Unbuckle your belt and prepare to add a couple of well-earned inches.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Gaucho Manchester

    Gaucho Manchester

    Gaucho Manchester, 2a St Mary’s Street, Manchester, M3 2LB - Visit now

    The steak scene in Manchester has hit fever pitch in recent years, with countless newcomers trying to make their mark. But Gaucho takes a more elegant approach – nothing too pompous or macho, just top-quality produce prepared beautifully, with countless subtle touches that most competitors couldn’t even imagine.

  • 2. Aether

    Ian Jones

    Aether, Liverpool One, 8 Kenyons Steps, Liverpool, L1 3DF - Visit now

    Whether you’re looking for drinks or a quick bite to eat, Aether delivers the goods, and more. The place is a delight, the staff superb and the food is flawless.

  • 3. Wood Manchester

    Ian Jones

    Wood Manchester, Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester, M15 4RA - Visit now

    If you like beautifully-presented, but understandable food, this is the place. WOOD never disappoints.

  • 4. Banyan Bar & Kitchen

    Francesca Wilson

    Banyan Bar & Kitchen, Exchange Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3TR - Visit now

    Banyan is the easy-going, fail-safe that will keep your gin topped up and your belly full – what more could you really want?

  • 5. Duke Street Market

    Duke Street Market

    Duke Street Market, 46 Duke St, Liverpool, L1 5AS - Visit now

    Liverpool’s new market hall is a thoughtfully beautiful venue, with equally as considered vendors within.

  • 6. Rosso Restaurant & Bar

    Ian Jones

    Rosso Restaurant & Bar, 43 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 2BG - Visit now

    Rosso has always been one of Manchester’s most elegant restaurants, moreso after the stylish upgrade back in early 2017. Owned, famously, by Rio Ferdinand, it caters for the more discerning diner, with food to match.

  • 7. Barristers Restaurant & Bar

    Ian Jones

    Barristers Restaurant & Bar, The Courthouse, Toft Road, Knutsford, WA16 0PB - Visit now

    Barristers treads a fine line between fascinating fine dining and traditional hearty fare – much like the venue itself, which proves a lot more interesting than most places in this neck of the woods, even a little macabre, while still serving as a beautifully classical place to stay when visiting this neck of the woods.

  • 8. 20 Stories

    Ian Jones

    20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

    Brian Hughson was appointed the new Head Chef at 20 Stories back in February and we were given a sneak preview of the kind of forward-thinking dishes he has planned for the future of this beautiful restaurant. Spoiler alert, they’re all stunning.

More in Food and Drink

Activity 26 March–23 July 2019, from £9.50

Taste of The Monastery at Gorton Monastery

Discover this Victorian neo-Gothic gem just outside the city centre in Gorton. Taste the Monastery is a guided tour followed by lunch in the Victorian Pantry.

GRUB Mayfield
Families 3 May–29 September 2019, FREE

Grub Food Fair at Mayfield

GRUB’s Food Fair returns to Mayfield Depot, with a bigger site and a huge array of top-class local food traders.

Families 22 May–3 November 2019, FREE

Get Your Body Tudor Ready at Little Moreton Hall

Throughout the year discover Tudor attitudes to health and food, with a different activity to try each month from making butter in a churn to creating a Tudor pinch pot to keep your remedies in. Explore the way in which the Tudors looked after their health and wellbeing, and get your body Tudor ready! This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.

Families 26–28 July 2019, FREE

Festa Italiana

Festa Italiana Manchester is the country’s biggest festival designed to celebrate Italian food, drink and culture. Transforming Manchester city centre’s Cathedral Gardens into Little Italy once again from the 26th to 28th July.

vegan super club
Activity 26 July 2019, from £45

Vegan Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

For those eager to expand their Vegan culinary repertoire the Vegetarian Society Cookery School’s new Vegan Supper Club is a must. With easy to follow instructions from expert tutors you can create sumptuous vegan meals which are then enjoyed as a group.

Vintage by the Sea courtesy Emma Sudall
Families 31 August–1 September 2019, FREE

Vintage by the Sea in Morecambe

Celebrate the brilliance of 20th century design, fashion, vehicles and entertainment at this award-winning festival set around Morecambe’s famous art deco Midland Hotel.

Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019
Festivals 26 September–7 October 2019, FREE

Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019

The biggest food and drink festival in the North is back, and this time it’s a brand new location: the picturesque Cathedral Gardens.

Food and Drink 6 October 2019, from £139

Chocolate Craft for Vegans at The Vegetarian Society Cookery School

A new course from the Vegetarian Society Cookery School. Learn the essential skills for any chocolatier with Chocolate Craft for Vegans.

Culture Guides

BSL Led Gallery Tour: David Lynch My Head is Disconnected


It’s all about David Lynch this month, as the cult artist and filmmaker brings his inimitable brand of surreal menace to Manchester as part of MIF19.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the north


Like the 58th Venice Biennale which opened earlier this May, our latest pick of exhibitions across the north also has a strong ecological bent.

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade


We can smell the summer and have sniffed out the best family things to do in Manchester and across the North.


We’re in full festival swing with both Manchester International Festival and Refract festival’s first focus on live literature, the welcome return of some old favourites, and plenty of poetry and prose.


Some of the world’s most exciting producers are heading to Manchester and the north in the coming months. Read about them here.

Theatre in Manchester


You’ll find award-winning adaptations, experimental pieces and outstanding open-air performance in our theatre guide this month.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Challenge yourself to try something different this summer with our guide of Manchester based tours and activities. You’re bound to find something new to do in the city.

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink

Things to do right now

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Activity 26 March–23 July 2019, from £9.50

Taste of The Monastery at Gorton Monastery

GRUB Mayfield
Families 3 May–29 September 2019, FREE

Grub Food Fair at Mayfield

Summer Holidays at Quarry Bank
Activity 20 July–12 September 2019,

Summer Holidays at Quarry Bank

Daily Tours: Nature, power, conservation & cotton at Quarry Bank
Families 10 July–30 October 2019, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Daily Tours: Nature, power, conservation & cotton at Quarry Bank