Date Places in Manchester

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

Date places are important. Few things are more nerve-wracking than a first date. So many things can go wrong – a bad hair day, a spot on the end of your nose, a fabricated Tinder picture. Well, there’s little we can do about those but we can guide you towards Manchester’s best places to take those first tentative steps into a new relationship – or simply a one-off night of fun and frolicking, whatever takes your fancy.

And it’s not just the footloose and fancy-free who’ll benefit, nothing spices up a steady relationship than date-night. We’ve scoured the city for the best venues, whether you’re looking for a quick lunch break or a full-blown evening of sensual romance. That’s one responsibility out of the way, the rest is up to you.

For more date places, check our latest food and drink recommendations as well as our pick of the best gigs, theatre shows and exhibitions in Manchester and the North.

Our top picks

Pot Kettle Black

Pot Kettle Black, Unit 14, Barton Arcade Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 2BW - Visit now

Pot Kettle Black is based in one of Manchester’s more attractive shopping arcades, the Victorian Barton Arcade – an immaculate mosaic of cast-iron and glass. It’s ideal for those oh-so casual lunchtime meet-ups, craftily giving the perfect opportunity to see how you feel about this person in the cold light of day. And if it’s a no, don’t fret, Pot Kettle Black have an excellent menu for daytime dining. The eggs benedict comes highly recommended.

Pot Kettle Black cafe in Manchester.
Pot Kettle Black - courtesy of venue

Adam Reid at The French

Adam Reid at The French, The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M20 2DS - Visit now

Certainly not first date material, unless you’re really showing off, The French is top of the pile when it comes to romantic high-end restaurants in Manchester. Subdued lighting, wonderful food and cheerful friendly staff combine to make this a guaranteed fuzzy-feeling big night out. Sure, it doesn’t come cheap, but who’d put a price on love?

The French - One of Manchester's finest restaurants - Creative Tourist
Photos by author

Teppanyaki Chinatown

Teppanyaki Chinatown, 58-60 George St, Manchester, M1 4HF - Visit now

Struggle with that all-important first date patter? Let Teppanyaki Chinatown take the strain. Part-theatre, part-incredible food, there’s enough going here on to ensure there won’t be any awkward silences. And if it isn’t working out, you’ll likely be sharing a table with some other people so you can simply flirt with them instead. Don’t judge, life’s short enough as it is.

Teppanyaki

The Whitworth

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now

One of Manchester’s most awe-inspiring buildings, and 2015 museum of the year, The Whitworth is a must for lovers of modern art and moreso for potential modern lovers. Is your paramour a tortured Bacon or a humdrum Lowry? Find out here. Our up-to-the-minute exhibitions guide will help to show you the way.

The Whitworth
The Whitworth, Photo: Alan Williams

Gorilla

Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5WW - Visit now

Prefer your nights out a bit more wild and boozey? Gorilla is your one-stop-shop for all your food and drink needs. A favourite with the city’s students and twentysomethings, the atmosphere is always upbeat and just on the right side of rowdy.

Gorilla, Whitworth street Manchester

Randall & Aubin Manchester

Randall & Aubin Manchester, 64 Bridge St, Manchester, M3 3BN - Visit now

Manchester’s only high-end seafood restaurant and oyster bar. The follow-up to the hugely successful original Soho venture.
Enjoy some of their finest dishes at a bargain price (just £12.50 for a meal and drink from 12 noon to 7 pm). The courses on offer change on a daily basis, taking in everything from roast pork belly to chicken kiev, with a marvellous fish stew available on Fridays. It’s hard to think of a better deal in the city when it comes to quality and price.

Randall And Aubin Manchester
Ian Jones

HOME Manchester

HOME Manchester, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN - Visit now

Of course, a date can be about more than filling your face. And this is where HOME comes in. A superpowered replacement for the much-loved Cornerhouse cinema and cafe, this multi-layered arts venue boasts two theatres, five cinema screens, a large gallery, bar, cafe bar and bookshop. What better way of assessing your date than by their reaction to the latest arthouse film or theatre production? If their knowledge of Wes Anderson and Chekhov passes the test celebrate by nipping upstairs for a bite to eat.

HOME Manchester
Paul Karalius

Flok

Flok, 5 Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DN - Visit now

Laid back and sophisticated – but not too sophisticated – Flok is a good casual option for date-night, boasting a relaxed atmosphere and wide range of quality drinks. Plus it’s fairly new and undiscovered – perfect if you’re all about earning brownie points.

Ian Jones

The Refuge

The Refuge, Oxford Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 7HA - Visit now

The Refuge is a restaurant and bar based at The Principal hotel in Manchester. It’s an excellent choice for either grabbing a couple of drinks or a dinner date.

Ian Jones

Harvey Nichols’ Second Floor Brasserie

Harvey Nichols’ Second Floor Brasserie, 21 Cathedral Street, M1 1AD, Manchester, Manchester, M1 1AD - Visit now

Bringing a touch of class to the dating scene, Harvey Nichols is the number one choice for those who like the finer things in life, but don’t want to come across as trying too hard. However, if you first met your date at the Pig & Whistle in Wigan, you might want to think again.

Harvey Nichols

Where to go in Manchester

Alborz
Levenshulme
Restaurant
Alborz

Much-loved Persian restaurant on Stockport in Levenshulme, reopened after a lengthy lockdown-related hiatus.

Manchester
Restaurant
Jaan

New food concept from the team behind Another Hand, based at Exhibition and serving up exceptional Persian cuisine.

The Rose & Monkey Hotel
Manchester
Restaurant
The Rose & Monkey Hotel

The Rose & Monkey Hotel is one of the Northern Quarter’s best music-led bars, with a truly impressive beer garden. Our new favourite Manchester pub.

Skof by Tom Barnes
Manchester
Restaurant
Skof by Tom Barnes

One of the year’s biggest restaurant launches, Skof comes to Manchester’s Noma district, headed up by star of Simon Rogan’s restaurants, chef Tom Barnes.

Maya
Manchester
Restaurant
MAYA Manchester

MAYA is a stylish new restaurant and bar on the corner of Canal Street and Chorlton in central Manchester.

Manchester
Restaurant
New Wave Ramen

New Wave Ramen is a stylish, friendly Japanese ramen bar and restaurant on Tib Lane in the heart of Manchester.

caprismcr - restaurant
City Centre
Restaurant
Capri’s Cucina Italiana

The King Street area isn’t short of popular Italian restaurants, but none strike quite the same note as Capri’s, where you’ll be greeted like family and served some of the most authentic Neapolitan food in Manchester.

City Centre
Restaurant
Climat

Highly-regarded wine-led, French-leaning wine bar and rooftop restaurant in the city centre.

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UNITOM bookshop
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