Manchester is one of the largest and busiest cities in the UK and, surprisingly, has a vast range of fantastic places to eat to cater for locals and visitors alike.
As it’s one of the best city breaks in the UK for couples, individuals, and families, it’s worth planning where to eat ahead of time so that every meal out feels special.
You’ll find all the big chains in and around the city too, but if you’re visiting the city you’d be missing out if you didn’t try out some of the best local places to eat in Manchester.
Whether you’re living in Greater Manchester or planning a trip here, make sure to check out this list of the best restaurants in Manchester.
Dimitri’s is a beloved Greek family-run restaurant in Manchester, known for its incredible variety of dishes. At Dimitri’s, you can indulge in a delightful selection of small plates that combine the best of Greek mezes and Spanish tapas.
It’s especially an ideal choice for couples looking to share a meal together after a day exploring some of the most fun things to do in Manchester for couples, but larger groups can also enjoy mix-and-matching the many different dishes.
What makes Dimitri’s even more appealing is its covered courtyard, equipped with heaters. This means you can enjoy the pleasure of alfresco dining throughout the year, regardless of the weather.
2. Rudys Pizza
Rudys Pizza, with its multiple locations in the UK including three in Manchester, has garnered a strong following in the city due to its impeccable pizzas.
When it comes to authentic Neapolitan pizza, Rudys Pizza never fails to deliver, solidifying its position as one of Manchester’s finest Italian restaurants.
The menu boasts a delightful variety of pizzas, ranging from the timeless Margherita to the spicy calabrese with nduja.
Whether you’re looking for something new or just want to stick with your favourites, Rudys Pizza will never disappoint.
3. Adam Reid at The French
Located in The Midland Hotel, The French is known for its elegant fine dining experience and has received critical acclaim for its innovative and modern British cuisine.
For one of the fanciest meals out in Manchester, the set menu from this multi-award-winning restaurant is always a top pick.
Served in a Grade-II listed dining room, the tasting menu shows off a delicious British cuisine crafted by Adam Reid, one of Manchester’s best chefs.
4. Lucky Cat
For a truly unforgettable dining experience on a special night out in Manchester, Lucky Cat is the perfect choice.
Being one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, Lucky Cat guarantees a culinary adventure that is sure to impress, offering some of the city’s finest dishes.
The menu features a variety of Asian-inspired small plates, including delicious sushi, along with a fantastic selection of cocktails and wine.
Plus, it’s set within an old bank, making it one of the most interesting and unusual places to eat in Manchester too.
Mana is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manchester, known for its exceptional dining experience. Led by talented chefs, Mana offers a unique and creative approach to contemporary British cuisine.
With a focus on seasonal and sustainable ingredients, the restaurant showcases culinary innovation and delivers dishes that are both visually stunning and delightfully flavourful.
When you reserve a table here, you’re treated to a series of dishes which reflect the season that you visit, so there’s always something different all year round.
Hawksmoor is known as one of the best steak houses in Manchester and has earned its reputation for offering an exceptional dining experience.
Known for its focus on high-quality meats and British cuisine, Hawksmoor offers a menu that has something for everyone. If you’re not after steak, you can enjoy one of the other tasty options, such as burgers or oysters.
The restaurant is also located in a former Victorian courthouse, so the style and atmosphere is one-of-a-kind.
With several locations in cities such as New York, Dublin, and London, the Hawksmoor in Manchester is among a selection of premier places to eat.
7. The Refuge
The Refuge is a highly regarded restaurant situated in the Principal Hotel in Manchester. With its inviting atmosphere and diverse menu, it offers a memorable dining experience.
The standout selling point is the various spaces inside, including a dining room for more formal eating, the public bar for chilled drinks and relaxing music, and the winter garden where you can enjoy feeling like you’re sitting outside.
The restaurant’s focus on small plates and sharing dishes allows guests to explore a variety of flavours and share between a group.
Tattu is another of the best restaurants in Manchester, with a dazzling interior and an incredible a la carte menu.
It’s also one of the best Chinese restaurants in Manchester, although with a much more premium feel.
Here you can enjoy small dishes like Szechuan rock shrimp or sweet and sour pork, or you can try one of the different menus, with each course referred to as a wave. Combining modern Chinese cuisine with stunning interior design, Tattu offers a visually striking atmosphere that perfectly complements its flavorful dishes.
9. El Gato Negro
Along with locations in Leeds and Liverpool, El Gato Negro is one of the top Spanish tapas restaurants in Manchester.
Set within a historic three-storey townhouse, the eatery has a vibrant atmosphere that offers a memorable dining experience for guests, whether you sit inside or try the al fresco dining.
With a menu that showcases a blend of traditional and contemporary tapas dishes, El Gato Negro delivers a delightful array of flavours, from jamon serrano to harissa spiced chicken.
Dishes are prepared and cooked as soon as your order gets to the kitchen, so they’re served as soon as they’re ready, meaning you can enjoy them fresh as they arrive.
Bundobust is another popular place to eat in the city and one of the best Indian restaurants in Manchester.
While it’s not a traditional sit-down menu, Bundobust specialises in vegetarian and vegan Indian street food, so you can try a range of dishes served informally from small pots.
It’s also a bar just as much as a restaurant, serving a range of beers on tap, cocktails, wine, and soft beverages that you can savour along with a few tasty snacks.