Spanish Restaurants in Manchester
1. El Gato Negro Spanish restaurant in Manchester 52 King Street - M2
“The hype is justified!” – This “dazzling addition to the Manchester restaurant scene” (which moved into town last year) is THE destination in the city-centre right now (and Manc’s most commented-on venue in this year’s survey). A three-floor operation incorporating bar and rooftop level, it serves Simon Shaw’s “creative small plates, in Spanish style and with Moorish influences” and despite the odd quibble that “it’s not as good as the smaller, tighter set-up it was in Ripponden” most reporters feel its tapas is “some of the best ever”. All this popularity also brings a few negatives though – at peak times service can become “disorganised”, you run the gauntlet of “inhospitable door nazis”, and “some diners have a touch of the Harry Enfields about them: ‘I am considerably richer than yow’!”
2. Bar San Juan Spanish restaurant in Manchester 56 Beech Rd - M21
“Pound for pound one of the best nights out in Manchester”; “it really feels like you have stepped into Spain” at this “always bustling” and notably consistent Chorlton spot – where, refreshingly, “no matter how important you think you are, Juan and the team are fair” with table waits (“dream on you BBC lot!”).
3. Evuna Spanish restaurant in Manchester 277 â€“ 279 Deansgate - M3
“Fantastic tapas” boosts the appeal of this atmospheric Deansgate bar and wine importer, although some reviewers feel that “TBH, the great wine list overshadows the food”. It also has a Northern Quarter sibling (which inspires little feedback).
4. Ibérica, Spinningfields Spanish restaurant in Manchester 14-15 The Avenue - M3
“Manchester is spoilt with good Spanish restaurants” of late, with this “vibrant” two-year-old – a spin-off from the expanding national chain – a notable addition to the party. Both food and service have a “curate’s egg” quality to them, but the “more inventive” fare is generally a hit, and seems “heartier than when it first opened (presumably in reaction to Mancs moaning they had to stop for chips on the way home”).
5. La Bandera Spanish restaurant in Manchester 2 Ridgefield - M2
Basque maestro Josetxo Arrieta’s funky looking three-year-old off Deansgate, lined with eye-catching yellow leather booths, again divides opinion – one former fan feels it’s “lost the plot”, but others vaunt the “excellent” Spanish cuisine (primarily “very good tapas”).
6. Lunya Spanish restaurant in Manchester Barton Arcade, Deansgate - M3
“New outpost of the popular Liverpool venture” – a “buzzing and vibrant deli and tapas bar in an arcade off Deansgate”. Most reports are of “a successful transfer” with “quality tapas” and “an interesting range of Spanish wines”, but even fans say “it doesn’t reach the giddy heights of El Gato Negro or Evuna” and – in this more competitive restaurant city – critics feel it “lacks any notion of finesse”, or is “OK but nothing special”.
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