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The best restaurants in Manchester

From well-established local favourites to the top new places, these are the Manchester restaurants you need to know about right now
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Whatever tickles your culinary fancy – from brilliant burgers to barnstorming breakfasts and brunches – there are plenty of very good Manchester restaurants to get stuck into. And with such a sound selection on offer, it can be tricky to whittle down where to head, which is why we've put together this handy list of what we deem to be the best Manchester restaurants. So whether you're a committed gastronome, a fledgling foodie or somewhere in between, head to these eateries and prepare to have your palate pleased.

Manchester's best restaurants

Hawksmoor, Manchester
Toby Keane
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Hawksmoor

icon-location-pin Deansgate

With dark, panelled rooms and frosted windows, Hawksmoor Manchester is the first branch of the upscale steakhouse to make its mark outside of London. Yet like its southern brethren, it’s a place to blur day with night over ginger cocktails and the country’s finest meat.

Restaurants, Japanese

Umezushi

icon-location-pin Central Manchester

There are two types of sushi: the mass-produced standard kind that can be picked up at supermarkets, and the kind that's lovingly prepared in front of your face by a chef who will only use produce he deems worthy. The latter can be found at Umezushi, and the quality is so good it's a firm favourite with the city's chefs when they're off duty.

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Restaurants, Spanish

Iberica

icon-location-pin City Centre

Bringing tapas to a different level, the Iberica brand comes to Manchester's Spinningfields with its very first restaurant outside of London, and it's tremendous.

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Restaurants, British

The French at the Midland

icon-location-pin City Centre

Manchester’s food lovers are forever fretting over the city’s lack of a Michelin star, and the arrival of Simon Rogan at the French was intended to change all that. Sadly, it didn't happen and Rogan departed some time ago leaving The French in the capable hands of Adam Reid, who had previously worked at the restaurant and been crowned a winner in the BBC's 'Great British Menu' competition. Despite Reid's best efforts and a refurb of the Grade II-listed dining room, we're still waiting for that star.

Restaurants, British

Manchester House

icon-location-pin City Centre

With a sumptuous sky bar and tasting menu by ambitious executive chef Aiden Byrne, Manchester House celebrates the city’s inimitable sense of style with aplomb. As the flagship restaurant and bar of Manchester’s most prolific and showy restaurant group, Living Ventures, no expense has been spared on the sleek industrial-chic design – or on the multi-million-pound state-of-the-art kitchens.

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Restaurants, Steakhouse

The Grill on the Alley

icon-location-pin City Centre

Although restaurants of its ilk are ten-a-penny in Manchester these days, The Grill on the Alley has been filling the bellies of Manchester folk with steak, seafood and cocktails for years with few complaints. Once you've sunk a few passion fruit slings at the bar, you’re led through the closely packed tables by a friendly member of staff. The dining room features a grand, open kitchen; the decor is all wood, exposed brick, low lighting and leather booths, both comfortable and lively when the restaurant is full – which it usually is.

Restaurants, Brazilian

Fazenda

icon-location-pin City Centre

Having splashed out a whopping £2 million on the place, the people behind Fazenda must be confident in their offer. And so they should be. You can certainly see where the money has been spent. There's an impressive bar area and an outdoor terrace with space for 50 – a great location to enjoy a tipple from the award-winning cocktail list. Fazenda offers 15 different cuts of beef, chicken, lamb and pork, while a bountiful salad bar caters for all diners, with options including sushi, smoked salmon, cured meats, hot dishes and traditional Brazilian fare. As you'd expect there's an impressive wine selection, too.

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Restaurants, American

Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn

icon-location-pin Northern Quarter

Brought to you by the folks behind Almost Famous, this contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant located in the Northern Quarter is Manchester’s premier spot for beer, tacos, burgers, burritos, beer, steaks, chilli, cocktails, fries, sides, desserts and even more beer.

Restaurants, Italian

San Carlo Cicchetti

icon-location-pin Greater Manchester

Cicchetti (pronounced chi-ket-tee) are small snacks, designed to be shared and traditionally served in the bars of Venice. Think Italian tapas and you won't go far wrong. You might be familiar with this kind of food from London’s Polpo (and associated spin-offs and imitations), but equally impressive Venetian delights are available at Manchester's San Carlo Cicchetti.

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Restaurants, Pan-Asian

Australasia

icon-location-pin City Centre

With its glass prism-shaped entrance bursting up through Spinningfield’s pavement, Australasia literally takes you ‘down under’ to sample its pan-Asian cuisine. It’s one of the only places in town serving dishes inspired by south-east Asian, Indonesian and Japanese cooking, and despite being an underground restaurant, it's certainly not a gloomy place.

Restaurants, Japanese

Yuzu

icon-location-pin City Centre

Among the colour and noise of Chinatown lies a single Japanese restaurant, Yuzu. It was once one of Manchester’s best ‘hidden gems’, before a glowing review from food critic Jay Rayner let the cat out of the bag. Now reservations are harder to come by, particularly at peak times, but they’re worth the wait.

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Restaurants, Indian

Zouk

icon-location-pin City Centre

The winner of the 2012 Manchester Tourism Award for Restaurant of the Year is an impressive 300-seat space just off the Oxford Road corridor. Modern and sleek and a far cry from the curry mile, Zouk offers Indian cuisine of the highest standard in a large, two-storey restaurant where you can also dine alfresco in the outdoor shisha lounge.

Restaurants, French

63 Degrees

icon-location-pin Northern Quarter

On the outskirts of the hipster-packed Northern Quarter, you can find a little bit of Paris in the shape of family-run restaurant 63 Degrees. The Moreaus have left the glamour of their home city to bring a taste of the French capital to Manchester.

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Restaurants, Thai

Phetpailin

icon-location-pin City Centre

There are plenty of Thai and Malaysian restaurants to choose from in Manchester, some located in swanky million-pound buildings (Vermilion) or high-profile locations such as the King Street area (Chaophraya). One that has none of those things but consistently delivers good food is straight-up, authentic Thai restaurant Phetpailin.

Restaurants, British

The Northern Quarter Restaurant & Bar

icon-location-pin Northern Quarter

While certain other places nearby have been grabbing the limelight, this Manchester stalwart has quietly been turning out quality food in a relaxed and friendly environment for many years. Named after its location, The Northern Quarter Restaurant & Bar (or ‘TNQ’) shares many of the qualities of its namesake and, much like the area, appeals to the artistic, young professionals and creative types with its unique combination of stylish, funky minimalism.

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Restaurants, Chinese

Red Chilli

icon-location-pin City Centre

There are two menus at Red Chilli in Manchester’s Chinatown district. The regular one is perfectly fine, but nothing you can’t get at many other places nearby. But the second, ‘spicy menu’ is definitely worth asking for if you aren't offered it. There you’ll find the dishes that Red Chilli specialises in: the exciting, hot and fragrant food of Sichuan and Beijing.

Restaurants, Italian

San Carlo

icon-location-pin City Centre

If you fancy dining with the stars, look no further than San Carlo. It’s long been the favourite haunt of many a celebrity, something it's clearly proud of, as photos of famous guests adorn the walls. It’s not just a place to see and be seen, though – the food is pretty special, too.

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