Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Manchester
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Manchester restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 324 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. San Carlo Italian restaurant in Manchester 40 King Street West - M3
“A see-and-be-seen venue” – this “vibrant and longstanding Italian” is one of the most successful in the national chain and one of the city-centre’s key “glitzy” haunts. But whereas fans praise “great food, it at footballer prices”, mere mortals can feel ignored: “staff are disinterested unless your face fits (i.e. you’re a footballer or some other celeb!”).
2. TNQ Restaurant & Bar British, Modern restaurant in Manchester 108 High St - M4
This “excellent, reasonably priced neighbourhood spot in the Northern Quarter always delivers” with its “surprisingly affordable and beautifully presented high-end food” – “everyone should have a reliable, high-quality local like this in their area!”
3. Tattu Chinese restaurant in Manchester 3 Hardman Sq, Gartside St - M3
“A great see-and-be-seen atmosphere” – Adam and Drew Jones’s expanding, Chinese, national chain is characterised by “superb surroundings” and as a result its Manchester branch (the chain’s first, which opened in 2015) is “understandably one of the most popular venues in town”. But there’s a general feeling that “it’s nice looking but could do better” – “surroundings set an excellent first impression but I expected more of the food” (“on our visit, we couldn’t spot anyone Chinese in the kitchen, and it showed”); “and it’s pricey too”. “Overall there are better Chinese restaurants in Manchester… they’re not as striking though”.
4. Indique Indian restaurant in Manchester 110-112 Burton Road - M20
An “exquisite menu” of “subtle and refined” Indian dishes goes down well at this “buzzy” modern outfit in West Didsbury. But perhaps they should “ditch the smoke-filled cloche: good theatre, but not sure what it did for flavour!”
5. WOOD Restaurant British, Modern restaurant in Manchester Jack Rosenthal Street - M15
MasterChef winner Simon Wood’s debut venture occupies a “loud and buzzy” modern unit, complete with open kitchen; it opened in September 2017, not far from Home Manchester. Fans “love Simon's food – especially the blind tasting menu” (all 10 courses of it), but a fair number of those drawn by his name and early hype felt that “everything was OK, but we were expecting a lot more… especially for the high prices!”
6. Bundobust Indian restaurant in Manchester 61 Piccadilly - M1
“What a feast… you won’t even notice it’s vegetarian!” – “great street food and a cracking selection of craft beers” have won fame for this “atmospheric, slightly studenty haunt”: “essentially a beer hall, but one in a chic post-industrial setting”, and with Indian bites to soak up the brews. Mostly it copes well with its phenomenal popularity, but misfires (“looked better than it tasted”) were a bit more common last year.
7. Adam Reid at The French British, Modern restaurant in Manchester Peter St - M60
“Adam has put his stamp on this place now, and it keeps getting better”. This grade II listed chamber – somewhat funked up, with yellow leather banquettes and massive lights, within what is, in essence, a very traditional space – has had many culinary ups and downs over the decades, but, after three years at the helm, Adam Reid is now settling into a “fabulous” stride here, with his selection of “totally desirable” four, six or nine-course menus. The cuisine is “not so challenging that you don’t want to come!” – “flowing wonderfully and generously, with notably well-executed dishes that simply delight”. And you eat to a “terrific soundtrack too (Buddy Holly to Arctic Monkeys to the Beatles)”. Until Mana triumphed at last year’s Michelin awards, The French was the only Manchester restaurant ever to have held a Michelin star (most recently in 1974) and was a hot tip to be the first to regain the prize for the city. “How other places in the region can have a Michelin star and The French doesn’t is utterly inexplicable (apart from Michelin’s pig-headedness of course)”.
8. El Gato Negro Spanish restaurant in Manchester 52 King Street - M2
“Deservedly Manchester’s top destination” – this “vibrant” operation (which made the move into town from Ripponden three years ago) delivers a superb all-round experience. “It’s the buzzing ambience of this multi-level townhouse and the great cocktails that really seal its appeal” though: “their sherry-tinged takes on an Old Fashioned and Espresso Martini make for a heady evening and the bar operation is slick, further boosting the vibe”. Quibbles? – service under pressure can be “slightly chaotic”. And although many diners say the tapas “is to die for”, one or two reporters feel its repertoire is “classic” rather than utterly inspirational.
9. Australasia Fusion restaurant in Manchester 1 The Avenue Spinningfields - M3
“From the same group as Grand Pacific but a major cut above in terms of food quality” – this “superglam” colonial-themed basement venue, off Deansgate, turns out some “scrumptious” Aussie/Asian-fusion sharing plates (plus afternoon teas, etc). “Given its rep as a ‘beautiful people’ hangout, in an act of inverse snobbery I’d been avoiding it – more fool me!”.
10. Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill Brazilian restaurant in Manchester The Ave - M3
2018 Review: “Incredibly succulent meats carved onto your plate are complemented by an amazing array of salads” at this outpost of the Brazilian ‘rodizio’ (’eat-as-much-as-you-want-buffet’) chain; “normally the expectation would be vast quantities of indifferent food; but not here.” Also with branches in Liverpool and Leeds.
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