Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Manchester
Hardens guides have spent 15 years compiling reviews of the best Manchester restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 315 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
Indian restaurant in Manchester
32 Bridge Street - M3
“There aren’t many restaurants where I will queue for nearly two hours to get a table but it’s worth the wait!” – This “madly popular” Mumbai-inspired chain “has taken London by storm” and is now the capital’s most mentioned chain. Even if the heady days of its Covent Garden debut are long gone, criticisms that it’s “too popular for its own good” are most notable by their absence; and instead its “a firm favourite” for its massive army of fans who feel “it never fails to impress”. The “buzzy, Indian, faux-retro vibe” (“I felt transported to the Parsi eating houses of Bombay in the 1960s”) helps set up a “crazy, frenetic atmosphere”; and even if the “noise levels are pretty bad”, “somehow it all comes together”. It helps that service is “always punctual and friendly” (respect: it’s such a busy chain), and the tapas-y food – though no longer as bleeding edge as it once seemed – still feels “vibrant”, with a selection of dishes that’s “far from run-of-the-mill” (“recommended by all our Indian friends!”), plus “an exceptional list of drinks”. Breakfast here is unexpectedly “a true thing of beauty” too: “so different” in a brilliant way. “You can book during the day, but not at night” – “the wait is tedious, but the buzzer system works well” and cocktails at the bar help blur time. In mid 2019, the chain acquired the former Jamie’s Italian site next to its original WC2 branch in order to expand its footprint. Top Tips – “black dahl is still the best” and “the bacon naan is the greatest restaurant breakfast dish of all time!”.
. San Carlo Cicchetti
Italian restaurant in Manchester
42 King Street West - M3
“Don’t be fooled by its prominent location, just off Piccadilly Circus, that it’s just one for the tourists” – this “bustling, noisy and so-atmospheric” Venetian brasserie (which also has a similar sibling, more tucked away in Covent Garden) “looks like a tourist trap, but offers an authentic culinary experience” with its “delicious small plates” (cicchetti) – “a format that caters to all appetites”, all at “reasonable prices”. Staff are “enthusiastic and professional” and “feed off the buzz of the place”, which “feels smart, even if tables are very close together”.
Steaks & grills restaurant in Manchester
184-186 Deansgate - M3
Huw Gott and Will Beckett “do the ‘casual excellence’ thing very well indeed” and their still über-fashionable steakhouse chain (founded in 2006) occupies a niche in the hearts of London’s fooderati like no other, with its “distinctly clubby” (“big, loud and busy”) style, its “to-die-for cocktails” and its “top steaks”: British-bred and “char-grilled to perfection over wood fires, with deliciously indulgent sides”. Ratings for such a phenomenon have sometimes seemed middling in comparison to its renown – a reflection of the very full pricing that’s always been their policy. That said, despite some accusations that “it’s all gone downhill in recent times”, its grades actually bounced back significantly this year, and remain in line with its past best. The City branch in particular shines. “Dark dens and out-of-this-world quality beef are the cornerstones of dealmaking. What deal would not reach a happy ending fuelled by a perfectly cooked rib-eye, grilled bone marrow, and beef dripping fries? Throw in a bottle or two of bordeaux and that IPO is around the corner!” Top Tips – “£5 corkage on Monday BYO is an incredible deal” and starting the day at the Guildhall branch: “if anyone can do a better breakfast I’d love to try it!”
. Ibérica, Spinningfields
Spanish restaurant in Manchester
14-15 The Avenue - M3
From its first branch, on Great Portland Street, which opened in 2007, these “buzzy”, “authentic” and relatively stylish Spanish tapas-haunts have grown into a national chain, boosted by their “consistent standards, fair quality and sensible prices” (although “service is a bit uneven”).
. Five Guys
Burgers, etc restaurant in Manchester
Intu Trafford Centre - M17
“When all you want is an old-school burger”, these US-based arrivals of recent years really “hit the spot” – you can “build your own”, with “tons of accessories”; plus “seriously addictive fries”, “thick milkshakes”, and “more soda flavours than is reasonable”. “The eat-in experience is as depressing as McDonald’s”, though, in fact perhaps more so – “some branches have a strangely gloomy ambience” – but fans feel that “if you don’t mind 1980s-rock, a trip can still be surprisingly fun”.
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