Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Manchester
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Manchester restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 316 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
British, Modern restaurant in Manchester
Sawmill Court - M4
“You know as soon as you enter that this is going to be something special”; Simon Martin guaranteed his place in the history books in October 2019 when this dazzling newcomer secured the city’s first Michelin star in 40 years. “In part of Ancoats which has risen from waste ground in recent years, Mana looks like an anonymous office from the outside, with double (triple?) height net curtains over the large windows, and almost imperceptible signage”. The interior itself is “beautifully designed” (by Chester design practice, James Roberts): “light and modern, with a breathtaking, completely open kitchen – you can actually walk between the work stations as the chefs are plating up”. “The chef trained with Rene Redzepi and brings back to Manchester some of his magic” – “Nordic-style” cuisine from a choice of 15-course or 18-course tasting menus that’s “challenging in parts” but little short of “exquisite”. “Contrary to fears that everything might be covered in moss, what’s striking is how many dishes seem like ‘real’ food – there’s a real flow to the menu, enhanced by excellent service, both from the actual front of house, and the chefs who come forward to serve some dishes”.
. 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 this 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)”.
Chinese restaurant in Manchester
1 Lincoln Sq - M2
“High-end traditional Chinese cuisine at its best” and “exceptional service” win a chorus of praise for Wing Shing Chu’s smart city-centre Cantonese, which has welcomed millions of pounds-worth of United and City players, their WAGs and other celebs through its doors over the past two decades.
Steaks & grills restaurant in Manchester
184-186 Deansgate - M3
“The stuff meaty dreams are made of!” – this “vibrant yet relaxed” outpost of the hipster steakhouse chain (which opened in 2015) is arguably the classiest all-rounder in Manchester. “The bar area may be a bit overwhelmingly clubby, but the main dining area is – at least at lunchtime – light and airy”, occupying an impressively converted Victorian space, and with comfortable seating. Steaks are “amazing”, “all the sides are also faultless” (not least “the best chips in the north west!”), and also “what is surprising is the quality of the seafood in what is a carnivore’s delight”. “Service is always top notch and the wine list is a dream”. Sadly, though, the special offer whereby you can buy £4,500 bottles of wine for £300 has now finished!
. Randall & Aubin
Fish & seafood restaurant in Manchester
64 Bridge Street - M3
“Still good despite recent changes”: this Spinningfields spin-off from London’s foodie hub shares the “metropolitan”, “fin de siècle” style of the original – “with high tables and bar stools” – and is still “an ‘in’ place to eat”, having been bought out of administration in 2018 by founders Ed Baines and Jamie Poulton. It’s famous for its “brilliant seafood” (“oysters are especially lovely, as are the lobsters”) but the “eclectic menu” roams beyond the sea – and “even ‘ordinary’ dishes are done with flair”.
Indian restaurant in Manchester
32 Bridge Street - M3
“An outstanding addition to Manchester” – JKS Restaurants and Shamil Thakrar’s phenomenal Indian street food chain is creating just as much of a stir up north, as it did in the big smoke, with its “refreshingly different, tasty and interesting” street food and “sumptuous” interior which makes “stylish use of an interesting space” (a grade II listed former Freemasons’ lodge). The “very unusual breakfast” goes down well too.
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