Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Manchester
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Manchester restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 107 restaurants in Manchester and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Manchester restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Manchester Restaurants
1. Indique Indian restaurant in Manchester 110-112 Burton Road - M20
A plush curry house in posh West Didsbury that’s both ‘Indian’ and ‘Unique’ (geddit?). It only attracted limited feedback this year but such as we have continues to declare it as outstanding all-round.
2. Bundobust Indian restaurant in Manchester 61 Piccadilly - M1
“Terrific vegetarian Indian street food” specialist that “wears its shabby-chic location with style” – it’s also “great value”, and the craft beer “isn’t too bad, either”. “Don’t be put off by the service rating as it’s largely self-service – which is part of its charm”. The hit formula has led to branches in Leeds and Liverpool, and most recently a cavernous brewery-restaurant across town in Oxford Street. It’s the “best casual dining space for a single diner” while also catering well for groups through its (almost) everything-on-the-menu-for-£100 deal, that should feed 6.
3. Tattu Chinese restaurant in Manchester 3 Hardman Sq, Gartside St - M3
“A great-looking restaurant” – this glossy Chinese was the first outpost of a glam-looking national chain that hit central London this year occupying a striking building on Oxford Street. One or two reports suggest it can “fall short on food and service” but others acclaim it all-round.
4. San Carlo Italian restaurant in Manchester 40 King Street West - M3
“An Italian classic where lots of local celebs go, especially the footballers” – this Italian stalwart (opened in 2004) is nowadays something of a local stalwart, and is one of the city’s better traditional eateries. “Never letting you down, it is generally packed to the brim with rather inebriated people and decked in fairy lights providing a great atmosphere and where the dress code is ‘dressy’. Food is always of high quality ingredients, many of which are flown in from Italy. There are authentic, typical Italian dishes including pasta, pizza and seafood. All the waiters and staff are Italian and the food comes rapidly. It’s a bit pricey, but you have to pay for quality!”
5. Chez Nous Bistro British, Modern restaurant in Sale 179 Marsland Road - M33
Needing to eat in Manchester’s plush southern ’burbs? – this ‘suburban bistro with urban attitude’ (their words) doesn’t generate huge feedback in our survey, but such as there is rates it as excellent value.
6. TNQ Restaurant & Bar British, Modern restaurant in Manchester 108 High St - M4
“What neighbourhood bistros should all be about!” say fans of this long-established venue, named for its location in The Northern Quarter, which on nearly all accounts “always delivers great food at reasonable prices”.
7. WOOD Restaurant British, Modern restaurant in Manchester Jack Rosenthal Street - M15
“The food is quite stunning and the wines… wow!” – Simon Wood’s “impressive” three-year-old is a “special” venue for all who comment on it, some of whom had their best meal of the year here. “The tasting menu is exceptional” and “most times you go it changes, which is fantastic”. “You can also go upstairs afterwards to Homage where they do matching cheese and wine, which again has an extensive menu”.
8. Tampopo Pan-Asian restaurant in Manchester 16 Albert Sq - M2
This “family fave” has assembled a greatest hits of East Asian cuisine, from satay skewers, spring rolls and gyoza dumplings to nasi goreng, pad Thai, ramen and laksa. They’re “geared up for a great family experience with a top attitude towards children” – who will always find something to eat on the menu. There are now three branches in Manchester and one in London. Top Tip – “love the secret off-menu chicken options!”.
9. Wing’s Chinese restaurant in Manchester 1 Lincoln Sq - M2
“A superior mainstream Chinese” – this large, modern Cantonese in the city centre is eighteen years old and fans say it “shows just how familiar dishes should be done”, and with “excellent service” too.
10. Baratxuri Manchester Spanish restaurant in Manchester St George's House, 56 Peter Street - M2
2022 Review: This celebration of Basque cuisine in a Lancashire former mill town is a sibling to Levanter a few doors away, and the two “brilliant” venues effectively operate as one, offering diners the option of Hispanic bar-hopping. The wood-fired Pereruela oven allows for larger dishes to be served, such as sirloin on the bone from 10-year-old Galician oxen, to go with the smaller pintxos and tapas.
11. Peter Street Kitchen Fusion restaurant in Manchester Free Trade Hall, Peter Street - M2
2021 Review: Part of the Radisson occupying Manchester’s iconic Free Trade Hall, this fusion two-year-old occupies a glossily designed space on the ground floor with floor-to-ceiling windows; and is one of the ‘Kitchens’ run by London’s Edwardian group. Its unusual offer presents Japanese and Mexican small plates on separate menus, but – even if the prices are not bargain basement – all feedback is positive: “the food is so fresh, the tastes are clean and vibrant, I love it!”
12. Adam Reid at The French British, Modern restaurant in Manchester Peter St - M60
“Located in a grande dame of a Manchester hotel” – don’t let the fact that this bastion of the city (where Mr Rolls first met Mr Royce) is situated in the heart of a classic traditional hotel gull you into thinking that its glory days (it held the city’s first Michelin star until losing it in 1975) are behind it. “Once you walk through the doors of the restaurant, you do feel removed from the hotel” – a “delightful” setting – and ‘The French’ is “worthy of a visit for Adam Reid’s tasting menu food that fully delivers on the hit to the tastebuds”. “It’s not all serious plates, with some playful dishes offering something a little different and intriguing” and – though not as commented-on as Mana nowadays – some diners still hail it as “the best culinary experience in Manchester”.
13. El Gato Negro Spanish restaurant in Manchester 52 King Street - M2
“Wherever you sit – the downstairs bar, the rooftop terrace (lovely on the top floor in summer), one of the booths – you can hardly go wrong and the tapas remain excellent” at Simon Shaw’s happening multi-level townhouse, which remains one of the more high-profile locations in the city. “It’s hard to criticise anything, everything is just done really well”, and it helps that “staff are well informed”.
14. Albert's Schloss East & Cent. European restaurant in Manchester 27 Peter Street - M2
2022 Review: Not for the faint-hearted – Manchester's first and only Bavarian-style beer hall (plus bakery), offering what they bill as “mountain frolics” aplenty, i.e. live music, fattening staples like currywurst and copious Pilsner. The hit formula spawned a Birmingham sibling in 2021.
15. Kala British, Modern restaurant in Manchester King Street - M2
“Outstanding food” at sensible prices hits the sweet spot at this “really enjoyable” three-year-old, the sixth venue in Gary Usher’s crowd-funded Elite Bistros group. “The service was excellent and the standards really high” – “I loved being able to watch what was going on in the kitchen”.
16. Tast Cuina Catalana Spanish restaurant in Manchester 20-22 King Street - M2
2022 Review: Multi-Michelin-starred Barcelona chef Paco Pérez was the marquee signing for Pep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, the trio behind Manchester City’s success, when they launched their upscale Catalan restaurant three years ago. The cool interiors – industrial chic for communal eating on the ground floor, minimalist glamour upstairs – are designed to throw a focus on the food, served as ‘tastets’ (small plates with more complexity than tapas). The verdict? definitely Premier League (in both quality and prices), if not yet a Champions League winner.
17. Six by Nico International restaurant in Manchester 60 Spring Gardens - M2
“Such amazing value for a six-course, themed, tasting menu” that changes every six weeks – that’s the USP of Nico Simeone’s national chain, which, over five years, has grown from its Glasgow base to number nine in total (with London having two: in Fitzrovia and Canary Wharf). Of course it’s “slightly gimmicky”, but on the whole it’s “a good effort at a budget experience”: “you get what you pay for, and while not all dishes hit the mark, and service can be a bit hit ’n’ miss (particularly at busy times), it is innovative, has a great buzz and is a lot of fun”.
18. Katsouris Deli Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Manchester 113 Deansgate - M3
2021 Review: “Top breakfast butties” are a good reason to head to this “ever busy” fixture, set in a Gothic-style building; others include filling ciabattas, the carvery and “particularly good value” platters.
19. Hawksmoor Steaks & grills restaurant in Manchester 184-186 Deansgate - M3
Quickly established as a “Manchester institution” since its 2015 opening, this Deansgate branch of the hit London chain offers “quite simply the best steak and accompaniments around” – it’s “difficult to find fault as everything is top notch: the quality and cookery of the beef; the exemplary seafood, be it Salcombe crab on toast or lobster; even down to their sides of mac’n’cheese, bone marrow or Caesar salad”. That said, as with its cousins down south, it’s “best if someone else pays!”.
20. Rosa's Thai Cafe Thai restaurant in Manchester The Old Courthouse, 184 Deansgate - M3
2021 Review: The “lovely Thai food” at these reliable cafés is “impressively authentic given that they are a chain” – “excellent value” and “fast”, if occasionally let down by “iffy service”. Founded in 2008 by Saiphin and Alex Moore, who inherited the name of their first East End site, the group has 18 branches in London and expanded to Liverpool, Manchester, Reading (delivery only) and Leeds following the sale of a majority stake to US investors. The couple also have two spin-offs, Lao Café in Covent Garden and the new Chinese noodle bar Hoh Sek in St Katharine Docks.
View full listings of 107 Manchester Restaurants
Popular Manchester Restaurant Searches
Manchester Restaurant News
Top Manchester Restaurants
Hot Newcomers & Coming Soon
Lucky Cat Manchester
Stock Market Grill
Manchester British, Modern