Hungry, and looking to treat yourself to one of the best restaurants in Manchester? Good news – when it comes to mouth-watering cuisine, the Manchester restaurant scene is unlike any other!
Kampus was established by Mancunians who are knowledgeable about all aspects of Manchester – including, naturally, its restaurant scene. After all, when living in a city as large and cosmopolitan as Manchester, it would be a waste not to take advantage of its plentiful culinary attractions.
So, how exactly do Manchester restaurants compare in their food and drink offerings? Well, we have to say: this has been a particularly fun (and tasty!) one to investigate – and so we’ve meticulously prepared the ultimate guide to not only local food but also the best restaurants in Manchester.
Here, we’ve traipsed through both the city itself and the wider Greater Manchester area to find the best spots for avid foodies.
A taste of Spain
Too often, Spanish food is associated with little more than paella or – less accurate – tacos, which are much more of a Mexican thing (though, yes, Mexicans do speak Spanish).
In reality, each region of Spain has its own culinary specialities – and there’s a way you can try many of these without having to travel between Spanish regions or even to Spain at all. To do this, you could stop at the Manchester-situated Spanish restaurants detailed below…
El Gato Negro Tapas
As you might have gathered from this King Street restaurant’s name, El Gato Negro Tapas offers no shortage of tapas. However, there’s a lot more than that to this high-end establishment, which Yorkshire-born chef Simon Shaw has fashioned from a three-storey townhouse now featuring:
- Al fresco pavement dining on the ground floor
- A restaurant table with seating on the middle floor
- A stunning top-floor terrace with retractable roof
The Basque food importers Joe and Fiona Botham have founded two restaurants in the Greater Manchester market town of Ramsbottom.
The first of those eateries to have taken root is Levanter, which offers authentic Spanish dishes along with an impressive wine list. Levanter is, however, more of a ‘classic’ tapas bar compared to Baratxuri – the Bothams’ follow-up venture in the town.
Joe and Fiona Botham have acted carefully when sourcing meat and fish for this exquisite restaurant (now in a new location at Exhibition, Peter Street), where the menu includes:
- Wood-fired roasted meats
Nonetheless, the Bothams aren’t afraid to shake up this menu pretty regularly – meaning that, on every visit you pay to Baratxuri, you could spot something new among the food options. Meanwhile, the drinks available here include:
- Mencía wine
- Xixarito Pedro Ximénez sherry
The Curry Mile reveals Indian discoveries
Wilmslow Road is pretty long – so much so that part of it running through Manchester’s Rusholme area has even been given its own colloquial name, ‘Curry Mile’.
That nickname is derived from the abundance of outlets selling South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine in the area. Even if you are only looking for Indian delicacies, you have all of the following Curry Mile restaurants to enjoy checking out…
This Indian street food restaurant is one of the Curry Mile’s most popular establishments, and has been visited by TV chef Nigel Slater and actor Jared Leto.
The chefs at Mughli have access to a charcoal pit and clay oven that help to give the food it’s undeniably authentic taste. The team have certainly had plenty of time to practise, too – with this restaurant having been serving diners since 1991.
Shere Khan has been around for even longer than Mughli, having first opened in 1987. Shere Khan has been something of a local trailblazer in serving traditional Indian food to the backdrop of modern decor. The specials on offer here include:
- Hyderabadi biryani
- Chicken tikka
- Hara masala
If you would like to smoke shisha during your time at Shere Khan, rest assured that the establishment has its own dedicated lounge for facilitating that.
The MyLahore restaurant chain originated in Yorkshire but has since extended to the Manchester food scene, where it has become particularly renowned for its curries. Those on the menu – at least at the time of writing – include:
- Aloo palak
- Palak paneer
However, there remains plenty else to tuck into, too – like seafood, samosas, pastas, flame grills and burgers.
Delicacies from Italy
Don’t be fooled by the stereotype – there’s much more to Italian cuisine than just pasta and pizza, tasty though both of those Italian delicacies are.
Italy has been responsible for a staggeringly large range of food treats, not least as Italian regions differ from each other in their specialities. With our help, your diet could soon be even more Italian than that of Michelangelo (both the painter and the turtle).
Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana
Since 2015, the pizzaiolis at Rudy’s Pizza have been earning a crust (sorry, we couldn’t resist the pun) making fresh Neapolitan pizza for the masses in Manchester’s Ancoats area.
You can easily book a table through the Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana website. That booking stage is when the fast broadband internet upgrade available at Kampus can come in handy, helping you to secure your table well before you even leave your home at our apartment block.
Sugo Pasta Kitchen Altrincham
Sugo Pasta Kitchen is responsible for two of the best restaurants in Manchester: one in Ancoats (it hasn’t been hailed as Manchester’s ‘Italian Quarter’ for nothing) and another in Altrincham.
However, whichever of these Sugo outlets you visit, you will be able to choose from quite the range of starters, pastas, desserts and even vegan and gluten-free options. The emphasis, however, is very much on homemade pasta – pizzas aren’t a thing at Sugo.
The Spärrows Continental Pasta & Spätzle
‘Spätzle? What’s that?’ The word is used for pasta or dumplings made with eggs. Spätzle features in the cuisine of various countries and regions – including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and Alsace.
The Spärrows also serves food heavily influenced by the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy.
A Taste of Turkey
No, we’re not helping you to prepare for Christmas here – we mean the taste of Turkey, the country, not the namesake bird.
It’s pretty easy to underestimate the extent of Turkish cuisine’s variety, given that discussion of Turkish food outside Turkey itself can too often centre around kebabs. Don’t get us wrong, those are great – but they shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your Turkish eating habits.
Etçi Mehmet Steakhouse
The Etçi Mehmet restaurant chain also operates steakhouses in Liverpool and Birmingham, but you can find the Manchester outlet in the city’s Quadrangle on Chester Street.
This restaurant dry ages all of its steaks for 28 days before serving them with rock salt and a sprig of rosemary. The steaks in question include:
- New York steak (sirloin)
- Fillet steak medallions
- Fillet mignon
Mercifully, this doesn’t have to be too tricky for you to find, as it sits on Deansgate, the longest road in Manchester city centre. To be more exact, Topkapi Palace is situated at 205 Deansgate, in the Manchester M3 postcode area.
For the succulent taste of the traditional Turkish dishes served at this family-run restaurant, you can thank its highly regarded head chef Seref Dursun.
Café Istanbul Restaurant & Bar
Café Istanbul is located just off Deansgate – on Bridge Street – and routinely prepares meat and fish before cooking them to order on an onsite coal fire grill. The other amenities on the premises include pizza ovens for use in making Turkish pizzas and breads.
All of that, and Café Istanbul also boasts an extensive wine list with red, white and rosé wines.
A Promise from the East
‘Go West, where the skies are blue,’ Neil Tennant famously sings. However, next time there is a Pet Shop Boys gig in Manchester, maybe he should switch to the lyric ‘Go East, where it’s nice to chew’, since Mancs can easily enjoy Eastern grub without even having to leave their home city.
Here are just a few of the local eateries that live up to their Eastern promise – all easily accessible from our luxury 1 and 2 bed apartments.
They say that good things come in small packages – and it’s a mantra that Tokyo Ramen certainly seems to follow, judging from its modest size.
Confidential Guides reports that this restaurant in the Manchester M4 postcode area ‘only accommodates 20 walk-ins’. However, if you do get yourself a seat at Tokyo Ramen, you can choose from multiple ramen dishes. There’s even a mushroom dashi option for vegans!
Tattu serves Chinese food, but not as you know it. Forget sweet and sour pork – Tattu is about infusing Chinese cuisine with Western flavours. Tattu’s luxury dining establishment in Manchester’s busy Spinningfields district has the following menus:
- À la carte
- Large party
- Vegetarian tasting
The enchanting cocktails available from Tattu are especially convenient for use in washing down any of the exquisite meals the chefs here are thoroughly skilled in preparing.
As you step into this Thai-inspired barbecue restaurant at 30 Oldham Street, you could quickly come to see the District name as very appropriate.
The building’s interiors have been given a look reminiscent of Blade Runner, with Bangkok streets represented in a stunning neo-futuristic fashion.
The menu, meanwhile, weaves many different Far Eastern influences that are consequently likely to leave quite the impression on your tastebuds.
It’s grill time!
It’s hard to overlook the recent rise of veganism; the number of vegans worldwide is estimated to have reached at least 79 million. However, judging from YouGov survey findings published in December 2022, about three-quarters of the British public remain meat eaters.
If you are one of them, take heart that Manchester continues to have plenty of eateries where various meaty products are served.
The ‘Schloss’ can be translated from the original German as ‘Castle’. We reckon that Queen Victoria’s German husband Prince Albert, who this restaurant was named after, would be fond of how much it is influenced by his native land. The drinks alone at Albert’s Schloss include handpicked:
Meat eaters could be especially enchanted by the crispy Bavarian pork knuckle that forms a major part of the varied dish known as Schweinshaxe.
When it started out in 2018, Oystercatcher focused predominantly on – as you probably would have guessed – oysters. However, since then, this restaurant in Manchester’s Chorlton-cum-Hardy suburb has injected appreciably greater variety into the seafood selection it has available.
The mains you can choose from at Oystercatcher include:
- Flat iron steak
- Halibut steak
- Swordfish burger
- Seafood stew
The range of starters is pretty enticing, too – and includes tiger prawns, crab arancini, scallops and chargrilled octopus.
If you have ever been in a New York City grill house, you can rekindle the feeling by paying a visit to Volta.
Volta, located on Burton Road in West Didsbury, is particularly noteworthy for offering tasty steaks – not to mention puddings that change on a seasonal basis. Volta can even cater for your vegetarian friend!
Best of British
Whether you consider yourself more British than a Bulldog wearing a Union Jack hat or – at least for the time being – are simply struck by a ‘fear of the unknown’, you might want to stick to conventionally British food when trying to figure out which Manchester eatery to check out next.
So, where in the area can you find a great British – and, ahem, Great British – menu?
The Hispi bistro restaurant located in the south Manchester area of Didsbury is just one part of a restaurant chain owned by chef Gary Usher.
The man obviously has great taste, as Hispi sells not only chunky British dishes but also bespoke brews made by Manchester’s own Blackjack brewery.
The lovely spot of Deansgate Mews is home to the casual dining restaurant of Another Hand, where the breakfast options served from 10am include:
- Homemade granola with local honey
- Skyr yoghurt
- Wild mushrooms on toast with hazelnuts and sherry
Though Another Hand often revises its evening menu, you can expect to see an array of veggie-led dishes – plus meats – responsibly farmed and conjured into an immersive intimate dining experience.
Ducie Street Warehouse
Ducie Street Warehouse is only a few minutes’ walking distance away from Kampus – and, despite having opened as recently as 2019, comes well-recommended due to the wide range of modern dishes served in the restaurant.
It helps that Ducie Street Warehouse is not literally just a restaurant; it’s also a vibrant meeting place where you can, for example, watch films and listen to talks and music.
Here at Kampus, we can easily accommodate families – such as with our two-bedroom rental apartments, which are each large enough for four people.
However, the larger the family, the larger the range of dietary requirements you may also need to account for when planning a night out. For this reason, we have rounded up details about three of the Manchester restaurants we would most eagerly recommend to families.
OSMA combines culinary flavours from Manchester and Norway – making for food you could call ‘Manchwegian’, perhaps, or ‘Norwegcunian’.
Anyway, enough with the silly portmanteaus – perhaps we should settle for such words as ‘classy’, ‘seasonal’ and ‘sumptuous’, as these would befit many of the modern dishes making up the enticing menus here.
This north Manchester establishment’s two founders hail from Oslo and Manchester – hence the memorably distinctive ‘OSMA’ name.
The Black Friar
According to legend, The Black Friar gastropub was originally built by Benedictine monk the Blessed Benedict Farcire – who, after arriving in Salford in 1886, had the epiphany that he should be happy with what he already had rather than constantly searching for more.
Today, this genteel tavern located on Blackfriars Road and the Manchester/Salford border offers gourmet mains and desserts as well as a Sunday roast.
Bistro food is very much the name of the game at KALA, where the chefs are fastidious about the quality of seasonal ingredients they use.
However, there is not only a bistro menu but also a Sunday menu and a kids’ menu at KALA, which you can find on King Street in the Manchester M2 area. That leaves the building only about a five-minute walk away from Kampus.
Romantic evenings for couples
If you have a significant other, setting aside time for special occasions to spend with them – and only them – is important.
Here at Kampus, not only do we like to keep our residents entertained with community activities to enjoy, but we also have an array of independent bars and eateries in our Neighbourhood that make for charming date spots. The following Manchester restaurants can make great places for couples to enjoy romantic time together.
Erst, a natural wine bar and restaurant in Ancoats, could make you and your lover feel like stars on a magazine cover. Yes, that’s how glamorous this place looks – but, of course, the most important thing is the food and drink.
The dishes made on the establishment’s open-flame grill vary with the seasons. If you struggle to decide between the natural wines, ask the staff for their recommendation.
The Refuge is housed in the stunning terracotta Grade II-listed building that is Kimpton Clocktower Hotel on Oxford Street. The dishes available range from small plates to Sunday roasts – including of the vegan variety.
This lavish venue spans over 10,000 sq ft, all under one roof, giving you a choice of atmospheres to sit in: from private dining to the public bar, the den to the opulent Winter Garden.
The Lime Tree
This family-run restaurant in Didsbury has been around since 1987. While the menu at The Lime Tree might regularly change, it remains focused on high-quality seasonal produce often sourced from Macclesfield Forest in Cheshire.
A little goes a long way, so the saying goes – which, of course, probably helps to explain the showbiz success of Syd Little, who grew up in Manchester before forming part of the comedy double act Little and Large.
Besides, what are you supposed to do on those occasions when you are a little peckish but don’t have enough room in your stomach for a three-course meal? You could check out these places…
Nell’s New York Pizza & Bar
If you can excuse us being a bit cheeky, we are now going to highlight a restaurant of our own: Nell’s New York Pizza & Bar, which comprises a corner of North Block here at Kampus.
As the restaurant overlooks our garden and canal, you can admire these while nibbling on 22” pies and slices. The Nell’s menus include:
- Focaccia-based snacks
- Signature cocktails
- Wines and beers
Sorry, but we are doing it again – mentioning a restaurant that is on our doorstep! It could soon be on yours, too, if you take up residence at Kampus – the neighbourhood of which is home to Yum Cha, a Chinese restaurant reputed for its bite-sized dim sum.
This Indian restaurant has quite a few distinct advantages for Kampus residents. It is, for a start, only about a five-minute walk from our accommodation site situated in Manchester city centre.
Furthermore, Bundobust’s takeaway service would allow you to collect Indian small plate dishes to eat in the comfort of your 1 or 2 bed Kampus apartment.
Dinner and drinks
There’s nothing like a good dinner for making you feel full, which is why we give Kampus residents access to a private dining room where they can even enjoy a dinner party if they wish.
However, we also know that, when living at Kampus, you might occasionally want a complete change of scenery for your dinner. Here are details of just some spots in Greater Manchester where you can get served a nice dinner and drinks combo.
Greens isn’t just a great vegetarian restaurant – it’s a great restaurant, full stop. One big reason why is that, since a pre-fame Simon Rimmer set up Greens with friend Simon Connolly back in 1990, a big focus has been placed on how the food here tastes rather than just how it is made.
You can even sip vegan wines in the down-to-earth atmosphere of this Didsbury-situated eatery.
Adam Reid at The French
Adam Reid at The French (Midland Hotel) was the most recent restaurant in the city of Manchester to have received a Michelin star until 2019, when the fine dining outlet mana (below) picked up the same accolade.
The French, however, got its own Michelin star as long ago as 1977 – and is today run by the acclaimed Manchester-born chef Adam Reid, who has preserved this consistently popular restaurant’s reputation for excellence.
Where the Light Gets In
Now here is a restaurant with a difference – a simultaneously innovative and eco-friendly one. Where the Light Gets In occupies the first floor of a Victorian-era coffee warehouse in Stockport and sources many ingredients from a farm in the local area.
The way this all works means that the menu is fluid in its contents – but Where the Light Gets In promises they can accommodate almost any dietary requirements.
Fine dining establishments might sometimes be dubbed ‘white-tablecloth restaurants’ – but, these days, white tablecloths are hardly what define a truly prestigious fine dining experience.
So, we’re going holistic, zeroing in on not just fine food but atmosphere and service too. Here are some of the most highly rated Manche eateries that have been put in the ‘fine dining’ category.
If your culinary tastes are far from vegetarian, you could ‘meat’ up with some like-minded friends (yes, we are rightfully ashamed of ourselves for that pun) at Hawksmoor Manchester.
This Deansgate-located steakhouse serves a delicious array of grass-fed meat, including cow meat – and cocktails are also in good supply. On the dessert side, we particularly like the peanut butter shortcake with chocolate sauce.
As we have previously highlighted, it was in 2019 that mana became the first restaurant in the city of Manchester to have been awarded a Michelin star since 1977.
So, why not drop by mana yourself to see what the fuss is about? There is a strong focus on creativity with mana’s dishes, which have developed a reputation for incorporating unjustly overlooked British ingredients and produce. Reindeer moss, anyone?
James Martin Manchester
If you have often seen the celebrity chef James Martin on TV, you might reckon that he comes across as more Yorkshire than a whippet wearing a flat cap. However, since 2013, he has become a big name on Manchester’s restaurant scene (Martin has, we mean, not the dog).
That year, Martin opened the Watson Street restaurant that, today, continues to operate as James Martin Manchester – and offers both British and European cuisine.
Sometimes, you don’t want to spend too much time preparing for a night out. It’s fortunate, then, that the Manchester area is also resplendent in restaurants with more of a laid-back vibe.
The following choices take it easy with both their menus and decor. Basically, if you want a quick bite to eat without feeling under pressure to slip into swanky attire beforehand, Manchester has you covered.
Honest Crust Sourdough Pizza
It’s debatable whether Honest Crust should be strictly considered a restaurant rather than, say, a market trader. However, if Time Out calls Honest Crust Sourdough Pizza a restaurant, we reckon that we might as well follow suit.
You can fetch Honest Crust-prepared Neapolitan-style pizza from the Manchester food hall Mackie Mayor – with top-quality toppings, including San Marzano tomatoes and fennel sausage, coming as standard. It all makes for arguably the best pizza in Manchester.
Habesha Restaurant & Bar
This Ethiopian restaurant is located above a spiral staircase leading from the Istanbul Express takeaway on Sackville Street.
Typically, at the heart of Ethiopian cuisine is injera, a flatbread reminiscent of a crepe or a crumpet. At Habesha restaurant, injera is used in place of a spoon for scooping up the meaty stews also available from this restaurant, which provides excellent value for money with its dishes.
If you have recently been dining in the UK capital (you heathen!), you might have already sampled some of the succulent Lebanese dishes served by Comptoir Libanais across its 11 eateries based in Greater London.
However, Comptoir Libanais now has a restaurant in the Manchester city-centre area of Spinningfields, too – allowing you to easily sample Middle Eastern cuisine including mezze and mana’esh. Breakfast options like granola and pastries also abound at this outlet.
Why make Kampus your next home?
Renting one of the modern 1 or 2 bed apartments at Kampus would give you easy access to not only all of the above restaurants but also a range of useful onsite amenities, including co-working spaces and a private gym.
We also have a programme of events for Kampus residents and the wider community – and our Neighbourhood enables Kampus residents to make ready use of onsite independent eateries and shops (please keep in mind that these change regularly).
Our unparalleled neighbourhood connections and close proximity to Manchester city centre further explain why you could immensely benefit from booking a viewing of Kampus apartments.