Restaurants in Manchester

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

Outside of England’s overpriced, traffic jam-addled capital, you’d be hard-pressed to find a city containing a better range of restaurants than Manchester. From the repurposed cotton mills of the Northern Quarter to fine dining restaurants in the city’s new cultural district, we’ve got the lot – and all within walking distance of each other (or a £4 Uber, for the lazy).

These are just some of the highlights of Manchester’s ever-growing food scene, boasting everything from hearty British cuisine, to fiery Indian food to delicately prepared sushi. Try them all, Pokemon-style.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Randall & Aubin Manchester

    Randall And Aubin Manchester
    Ian Jones

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

    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.

  • 2. Erst

    erst.

    Erst, 9 Murray St, Manchester, M4 5BN - Visit now

    Erst utilise locally-sourced ingredients in such a way that the end result is effortlessly cutting edge, without resorting to gimmicks and elaborate laboratory equipment. While many up-and-coming restaurants are a mish-mash of ideas from all over the world, Erst is a truly Northern restaurant – full of dazzling ideas and the finest quality ingredients.

  • 3. Gaucho Manchester

    Gaucho Manchester
    Gaucho Manchester

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

    Based in a converted Methodist church, Gaucho is one of the best-looking restaurants in Manchester, with a steak-heavy menu to match.

  • 4. Wood Manchester

    Ian Jones

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

    Wood claim to be ‘unintimidating high end dining’ and this is precisely what you get – from location to decor, right down to the menu. With Masterchef winner Simon Wood at the helm, the food is exciting, forward-thinking but never over-complicated. Despite only opening a few months back, it already feels like part of the city’s furniture, with a steely-eyed focus on dishing out exciting plates that look and taste exquisite, all thanks to a team that are constantly coming up with fresh exciting ideas.

  • 5. Scene Manchester

    Scene

    Scene Manchester, 4a Left Bank, Manchester, M3 3AN - Visit now

    Not only is Scene easily one of the best-looking restaurants in Spinningfields, full of elegant light fixtures and exotic trinkets inspired by the Indian sub-continent, but long-term residents of Manchester should note they have the head chef of the much-missed Shimla Pinks, one of the city’s all-time greats when it comes to Indian food. Thankfully, the food at Scene is just as good, if not better. All the dishes are delicious and wonderfully uncomplicated. And that could be said about practically everything on the menu – each dish has been finessed into the best version of itself, never overpowered by spices, only enhanced. This is Indian food at its best.

  • 6. Bundobust Manchester

    Ian Jones

    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. The food is exceptional, and pushes boundaries all over the place – expect to find mushy peas in there somewhere, alongside an Indo-Chinese sticky sauce you’ve always dreamed of.

  • 7. Restaurant MCR

    Ian Jones

    Restaurant MCR, Tower 12, 18-22 Bridge St, Manchester, M3 3BZ - Visit now

    The latest and greatest fine dining restaurant from the fantastic Aiden Byrne. Based in the former Spinningfields site of his old Manchester House restaurant, it manages to improve on practically all elements of the still-excellent predecessor.

  • 8. Cottonopolis

    Ian Jones

    Cottonopolis, 16 Newton Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2AE - Visit now

    The Northern Quarter has long had a reputation as the go-to place for late-night quick and trashy food, but things are changing. The whole area is developing at high-speed suggesting its restaurant scene will follow suit. Cottonopolis provides the first shot across the boughs, with its classy decor and high-quality Japanese food. The menu is divided into four different elements based on the cooking method for each item: ice, fire, steam and oil. It’s a gimmick but an inventive one, catering for a variety of palates whether they be healthy eaters, grazers or plain old gluttons.

  • 9. Mr Cooper’s

    Mr Cooper’s

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

    Mr Cooper’s House & Garden is primarily a restaurant (one of two in The Midland), but its drinks list is also killer. Savour one in the ‘garden’ under a life-sized tree.

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