The North of England has a global standing when it comes to food and drink. And there’s plenty to choose from. Look around 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 chefs and mixologists in the country, and equally, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and Lancashire all have their own must-go destinations.
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. This list is updated each month, so keep checking back for the latest and greatest places to eat and drink.
Here are our picks
Moor Hall, Prescot Rd, Ormskirk, L39 6RT - Visit now
Ormskirk is a small market town, a few miles from its noisy neighbours Wigan, St Helens and Southport. While pockets of West Lancashire are easy on the eye, with rolling countryside and ancient churches, it hasn’t been known as a culinary destination. Until now. Moor Hall is the brainchild of Mark Birchall, former executive chef of one of the UK’s best restaurants, L’Enclume. And Moor Hall more than matches up to his acclaimed alma mater.
Beastro, Irwell Square, Leftbank, Manchester, M3 3AG - Visit now
Not only is this the best named restaurant in Manchester, it’s probably the best handle of any restaurant in Britain. As you’d expect, the menu is heavy on the meat – backed up by the reassuring presence of at least one seasoned butcher, chopping away in the open kitchen. The food? World class. Each dish consists of time-honoured ingredients combined in such a way that the end result is effortlessly cutting edge – without resorting to gimmicks and elaborate laboratory equipment.
Rafters, 220 Oakbrook Rd, Sheffield, S11 7ED - Visit now
When it comes to fine dining in the North, Sheffield rarely gets a look in, regularly skipped over in favour of its more media-savvy neighbours in the Lake District and Manchester. There’s no reason why this should be the case. The city is surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside and its fast-growing economy has it primed to become a leading destination for high quality dining. Rafters is precisely that. A charming history-packed restaurant, with some of the finest food for miles around.
Manchester House, 18-22 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BZ - Visit now
Manchester House is the pet project of Kirkby-born chef Aiden Byrne, the youngest chef to win a Michelin star, when he was just 22. Sorry Merseyside, your loss is our gain. Firstly, the name doesn’t do it justice. If this Spinningfields venue is a house, then my pet sausage dog is a brutal killing machine. Rather, it’s one of the city’s best-looking spaces, a cavernous artfully-lit room, straight out of a James Bond villain’s mansion. The menu delivers a unique, often dreamlike experience – shamelessly extravagant and completely unforgettable.
Suri, 20-22 King Street, Manchester, M2 6AG - Visit now
Suri hit King Street with a bang this spring, commandeering the venue previously held by the ahead-of-it’s-time Quill. Just a few doors down from El Gato, they also specialise in tapas-style dishes, although the theme is Middle-East meets Mediterranean, rather than Spanish small plates. As you’d expect from a restaurant on the city’s most moneyed shopping street, the venue is beautifully laid out. All whirling tungsten lightbulbs and huge watch-the-world-go-by windows over two stunning floors.