Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

The North of England can’t be beat when it comes to food and drink. And there’s plenty to choose from. Visit, and you’ll find a new place to eat and drink on every corner, from high-end cuisine to smash-and-dash dining, street food and pop-up bars. You could eat and drink somewhere new every day for a year, and still be left wanting.

Of course, some venues are better than others. Despite the Michelin star squad’s suspicious aversion to the Manchester’s food scene, the city contains some of the best restaurants and bars in the country, with Liverpool and Yorkshire also making a strong case for a visit.

Whether you’re a born and bred local or visiting the North for the day, here are five of the best places to spend your money, fill your belly and wet your whistle as we enter these warm summer months.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Manchester House

    Ian Jones

    Manchester House, 18-22 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BZ - Visit now

    Despite new contenders, such as 20 Stories, Manchester House remains at the top of the city’s fine dining tree. Young chef Nat has brought a raft of innovative ideas to the table, and the odd forgivable misstep aside, is the perfect person to breathe new life into this venue.

  • 2. Tattu

    Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

    It’s hard to find fault with anything Tattu do. Over time they’ve finessed the menu, weeding out any of the more mundane dishes, leaving a roster of top-drawer dishes. The food is often unusual, using plenty of out-there ingredients, but the end result is almost always a complete success. This is event dining at its best.

  • 3. Bundobust Manchester

    Lennox Paul David

    Bundobust Manchester, 61 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2AG - Visit now

    Since opening their restaurant on the edge of Piccadilly, the team behind Bundobust have built one hell of a buzz around Manchester. For the unaware, this underground restaurant serves up tapas-style small plates of vegetarian and vegan Indian food, along with an exhaustive – and somewhat exhausting – list of beers and craft ales.

  • 4. Grafene


    Grafene, 55 King Street, Manchester, M2 4LQ - Visit now

    Grafene is one of the many highly-regarded restaurants on King Street. It has lofty ambitions, evidenced by the recent hiring of new head chef, 29 year old Ben Mounsey, who comes from a long line of Michelin starred and AA rosetted restaurants in the North.

  • 5. Mr Cooper’s

    Mr Cooper’s, The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 2DS - Visit now

    Mr Cooper’s is often overlooked in favour of its showier elder sibling, The French, but this shouldn’t be the case. It’s a perfect place to drop in for a bite to eat, less formal and more relaxed than it’s near neighbour, but, thanks to Head Chef Rob Taylor, with just as high quality dishes.

More in Food and Drink

Festivals 29 June–1 July 2018, from £6.00

Summer Beer Thing 2018

The Pilcrow Summer Beer Thing is a three day festival taking place at the start of Manchester Beer Week celebrating the great beer scene and culture in the North.

The exterior of The Pilcrow
Food and Drink 31 March–31 August 2018, FREE

Spring & Summer at The Pilcrow

The Pilcrow Pub is taking charge of Manchester’s warmer months, with a whole host of events

Just So Festival picnic courtesy TenEight
Families 17–19 August 2018, from £20

Food and drink at Just So Festival

Pack your picnic blankets for artisan food and drink, literary inspired midnight feasts and Custard Catwalks.

Culture Guides

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North


Proto-feminism, the secret lives of birds, and the darkly satirical images of one of Britain’s leading political artists – we look forward to some of the top exhibition highlights coming up this month.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Open air performances, off-site productions and hotly anticipated world premières – we’ve got it all covered in our theatre guide.


Salford-born actor, Albert Finney is celebrated with a career retrospective at HOME, whilst director Stanley Kubrick gets the same treatment at FACT. Elsewhere there are one off screenings of classics, both new and old.

Manchester Day


It’s family festival fever. The National Trust Children’s Book Festival, University of Manchester Community Festival, Manchester Histories Festival and that’s just for starters.

Poet Amy McCauley. Credit Francesca Sophia.


There’s plenty of poetry and a fantastic flash fiction workshop and showcase to catch, book launches and new collections coming out of our ears, and experimental wordage a-go-go from writers of both prose and pomes. And if you don’t like sitting still, there’s even a literature trail or two on their way…


While this summer’s festivals – including bluedot, The Good Life Experience and Festival No. 6 – provide a welcome distraction, the likes of the RNCM and The Stoller Hall continue to provide adventurous programming.

Things to do right now

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