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Guide

50 of the best Italian restaurants in Greater Manchester

4 months ago

Neapolitan pizza at Rudy’s, Sicilian pasta at Sicilian NQ and Venetian cicchetti at Cibus in Levenshulme. Manchester is fully packed with Italian treats just waiting to be gobbled. The classics are clear – good old San Carlo is doing its thing in style, Rosso is keeping the top of King Street nice and toasty with its taste of luxury and Sugo is putting Puglia on the map.

But what about the rest? You’d be surprised how many styles of pizza you can fit in one city and how many types of pasta The Pasta Factory can make in a day. Read on to see fifty of the best and most popular Italian restaurants in Greater Manchester.

  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Rosso

    Restaurant - Italian

    If it’s a stylish lunch date destination you’re after or some suitably chic eats for dinner à deux, Rosso might be the one, resplendent in clean white suffused with natural light and with plenty of Italian-inspired vegetarian, pescatarian and meat-lover options on the menu.

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  • The exterior of San Carlo Manchester with its distinctive orange awning.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    San Carlo Manchester

    Restaurant - Italian

    San Carlo is Manchester’s most famous and, some say, best Italian restaurant. Run by the Distefano family, it’s said to have one of the largest turnovers in the UK. It’s also the place to be papped and there’s usually a bank of photographers outside to prove the point.

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  • Book Now Levenshulme

    Cibus

    Restaurant - Italian

    Ah, those awkward encounters when you bump into someone at a party and can’t recall their name or where you know them from. This is how the conversation goes. “Cibus – you remember, stall at Levy Market. No? OK, pop-up pizza place above Fred’s Ale House…”

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  • Floral outdoor display at Sicilian NQ Manchester
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    Sicilian NQ

    Restaurant - Italian

    Based in the Northern Quarter, this friendly neighbourhood bistro and bar is the place to avanti if it’s a taste of traditional Sicily you fancy – from authentic street food snacks through big plates of pasta to desserts and holiday memory gelato, eat in or take away.

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  • Fresh tomato and olives on a Neapolitan-style pizza at Tre Ciccio - an Italian restaurant in Altrincham
    Book Now Altrincham

    Tre Ciccio Altrincham

    Restaurant - Italian

    Translating as ‘three chubby friends’ (a self-effacing reference to owner Francesco Scafuri and a pair of his portly pals from back in Campania), Tre Ciccio Altrincham doesn’t look much from the outside, or even the inside, at first.

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  • The buzzy restaurant floor at San Carlo Cicchetti in Manchester city centre
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    San Carlo Cicchetti

    Restaurant - Italian

    As the first San Carlo Cicchetti, the Manchester restaurant had a lot to prove on opening in 2010. Over a decade and several awards later, it’s still going strong. Why? We think it’s attention to detail. Founder Carlo Distefano is a stickler for quality and you’ll find the same passion for produce and impeccable service at every San Carlo. Let’s just say it runs in the family. 

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  • Neapolitan-style pizzas being prepared at Rudy's Pizza in Ancoats, Manchester
    Book Now Ancoats

    Rudy’s Pizza Manchester Ancoats

    Restaurant - Italian

    Listed amongst the world’s best pizzerias in international pizza guide, Where To Eat Pizza, Rudy’s Pizza has grown from a pop-up project into a full blown word-of-mouth phenomenon.

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  • Salvi's Italian Restaurant Northern Quarter
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    Salvi’s Manchester Northern Quarter

    Restaurant - Italian

    Salvi’s NQ is the baby of what claims to be Manchester’s first independent Neapolitan restaurant, and if traditional, authentic southern Italian cuisine is on your mind, this is definitely a place to sniff out.

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  • A dish of pasta with a glass of red wine at Sugo Pasta Kitchen Altrincham, a Confidential Guides recommended restaurant
    Book Now Altrincham

    Sugo Pasta Kitchen Altrincham

    Restaurant - Italian

    Another Altrincham success story, the Puglian-inspired Sugo Pasta Kitchen opened on Shaw Road – right by the transformative Market House – in 2015. Their simple and uncompromisingly authentic Southern Italian dishes soon won them fans, as good ole word-of-mouth momentum brought diners piling in from across the region. Accolades and glowing reviews soon followed, as did further restaurants.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

    Restaurant - Italian

    Set in a Grade II-listed Charles Heathcote-designed Edwardian Baroque building, all that marble provides the perfect backdrop to a family-owned Italian restaurant and authentic pizzeria that combines traditional and modern, with an open kitchen and Pink Cocktail Bar.

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  • Book Now Bury

    Hide Away

    Restaurant - Italian

    Authentic Italian food is what’s on the “surprise” daily-changing four-course menu at Hide Away, cooked fresh from scratch by former head chef at Ramsons in Ramsbottom Lu Varley, who spent several months in Italy learning about all different kinds of dishes to bring to Bury.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Franco Manca

    Restaurant - Italian

    Pioneers of sourdough Neapolitan pizza and natural Italian wine purveyors, Franco Manca started out as a small concern in Brixton Market in 1986. Now it’s all over London like a rash and has footholds outside the capital, including further north in Edinburgh and Leeds.

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  • Book Now Sale

    Mano A Bocca

    Restaurant - Italian

    “Roma è arrivata a Sale!” – Rome has arrived in Sale – proclaims the website, which is a slight exaggeration, although is at least true of the Roman-style thin-crust pizzas served at Mano A Bocca. Meaning “hand to mouth”, this pizzeria advises ditching the cutlery, the base not unlike focaccia.

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  • Pizza from Luisa's - a family run Italian restaurant in Radcliffe Market Hall, Greater Manchester.
    Book Now Radcliffe

    Luisa’s

    Restaurant - Italian

    Run by brother and sister team Dom and Stef, Luisa’s pizzeria in Radcliffe Market is named after their Nana Luisa, who loved to cook for her large Italian family and whose original recipes live on in their unique hand-stretched, wood-fired sourdough pizzas.

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  • A pizza served at La Casa, an Italian restaurant and bar in Astley, Greater Manchester
    Book Now Wigan

    La Casa

    Restaurant - Italian

    A new addition to Astley’s dining options is classy Italian restaurant and bar La Casa.

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  • Black Spot Pizza Restaurant Stockport
    Book Now Stockport

    Black Spot Pizza

    Restaurant - Italian

    There is no shortage of floppy, fold-it-up Neapolitan pizza in Manchester these days. Like the bee symbol, it has descended over the city in a swarm: there’s probably a slice creeping up behind you right now. But it’s not a bad thing – particularly if it means you’ve got a place like Black Spot Pizza in your neighbourhood. 

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  • cuckoo prestwich door
    Prestwich

    Cuckoo

    Restaurant - Italian

    Like the interloping bird that gives it its name, Cuckoo was an odd-one-out when it first opened in Prestwich back in 2013. Since then a whole flock of likeminded, indie cafe-bars have landed in this suburb, but Cuckoo is still the favourite for many.

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  • A cocktail and a bouquet of roses at Rosa, an Italian restaurant in Westhoughton, Bolton
    Book Now Bolton

    Rosa

    Restaurant - Italian

    Cicchetti, bar, grill. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Rosa’s food is inspired by Italy, and the menus are updated regularly to reflect the changing seasons in this smart-looking restaurant complete with sheltered garden – also perfect for soaking up some sunshine and a cocktail or two.

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  • Pappardelle al ragu’ bianco di agnello e crema ai funghi
    Book Now Salford

    Vero Moderno

    Restaurant - Italian

    Another fab addition to the clutch of good, independent Italian restaurants in the city is Vero Moderno. Situated on the regenerated Chapel Street just inside Salford, it joins Salvi’s, Pasta Factory, and Lupo on our list of ‘proper’ Italians which swerve the standard carbonara and bolognese in favour of something a little more considered.

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  • Dine in at Tre Ciccio, Ramsbottom
    Book Now Ramsbottom

    Tre Ciccio Ramsbottom

    Restaurant - Italian

    Tre Ciccio’s Ramsbottom restaurant does much the same thing as Tre Ciccio in Altrincham – and that’s no bad thing. 

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  • On the menu at Tre Amici, Bury
    Book Now Bury

    Tre Amici

    Restaurant - Italian

    Tre Amici is Bury’s own Neapolitan-style pizzeria, complete with 48-hour rested dough for that fold-it-up and shove-it-in experience.

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  • The Pasta Factory, Manchester
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    The Pasta Factory

    Restaurant - Italian

    The group of friends behind The Pasta Factory’s story originally hail from Turin in the northern region of Piedmont, so this is the place for authentic Italian food full of flavour, with dishes created from scratch using only the best fresh ingredients in season.

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  • Sugo Pasta Kitchen Ancoats
    Book Now Ancoats

    Sugo Pasta Kitchen Manchester

    Restaurant - Italian

    With a menu plugging a passionately regional style of south Italian cooking, the second Sugo Pasta Kitchen sits happily in what was once known as Manchester’s Little Italy, Ancoats, famed for its Madonna del Rosario procession and ice cream makers.

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  • San Carlo Gran Cafe Manchester, Raspberry Tart
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    San Carlo Gran Cafe

    Restaurant - Italian

    Head to any of the ristorantes in the acclaimed and award-winning family-run San Carlo Group and you know you’re in for exceptional ingredients, artfully prepared, and served in super chic surroundings. Gran Cafe is perfect for ladies who brunch and famous for afternoon tea, featuring its own signature cakes, including pistachio tart and mille feuille.

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  • San Carlo Fumo Dinner and Wine
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    San Carlo Fumo

    Restaurant - Italian

    Head to any of the ristorantes in the acclaimed and award-winning family-run San Carlo Group and you know you’re in for exceptional ingredients, artfully prepared, and served in super chic surroundings. Fumo’s speciality is its vast choice of Venice-inspired cicchetti small plates to share and swap with friends or family, along with its cocktail bar.

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  • San Carlo Fiorentina, Charcuterie Platter
    Book Now Hale Barns

    San Carlo Fiorentina

    Restaurant - Italian

    Head to any of the ristorantes in the acclaimed and award-winning family-run San Carlo Group and you know you’re in for exceptional ingredients, artfully prepared, and served in super chic surroundings. Fiorentina (what the Italians call Florence) specialises in the meat dishes of Tuscany, grilled over charcoal, particularly steak, and also fresh fish and seafood.

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  • San Carlo Bottega Selfridges, Seating and view
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    San Carlo Bottega

    Restaurant - Italian

    Head to any of the ristorantes in the acclaimed and award-winning family-run San Carlo Group and you know you’re in for exceptional ingredients, artfully prepared, and served in super chic surroundings. Bottega, with its views of the historic Corn Exchange, is the place for Champagne and cicchetti-style medium-sized plates that are tailor-made for sharing.

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  • The Corn Exchange Manchester, Salvi's restaurant
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Salvi’s Manchester Corn Exchange

    Restaurant - Italian

    Salvi’s – or Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar & Restaurant, to give it its full name – claims to be Manchester’s first independent Neapolitan restaurant and deli, and it is certainly somewhere to head if traditional, authentic Italian cuisine is on your mind.

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  • Pasta and pizza from PLY restaurant and bar Manchester
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    PLY

    Restaurant - Italian

    Describing itself as a “hangout” and “creative space”, PLY is in the beating heart of hipster Northern Quarter, benefitting from a bit of outside space on the corner of Stevenson Square. Inside it’s all stripped walls and industrial-chic columns, with a mirror-tiled, woodfired pizza oven in prominent position.

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  • The outdoor dining space to Piccolino Restaurant overlook Albert Square in Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Piccolino Manchester

    Restaurant - Italian

    With its large alfresco terrace facing Manchester Town Hall, Piccolino Caffe Grande is perfectly located for an Aperol Spritz in the sun or a full three-course meal inspired by the diverse cuisine from all of Italy’s regions, making best use of the finest seasonal ingredients.

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  • Noi Quattro Pizza Northern Quarter Manchester
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    Noi Quattro

    Restaurant - Italian

    If it’s a taste of Italy you’re after, think NQ for proper pizza – Noi Quattro, to be precise. Meaning “us four”, Noi Quattro is owned and run by four friends from Turin who wanted to share their proud Italian heritage through the food they put on your plate.

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  • Produce from Lupo caffe Italiano
    Prestwich

    Lupo

    Restaurant - Italian

    Patiscerria and small-batch Italian hand-roasted coffee that’s the name of the game at the award-winning Lupo Caffe Italiano.

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  • Honest Crust Sourdough Mackie Mayor Pizza
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    Honest Crust Sourdough Pizza Manchester

    Restaurant - Italian

    “On a mission to make really great sourdough pizza” since a pop-up in rainy Ramsbottom back in 2013, Honest Crust’s Northern Quarter outlet in the Mackie Mayor food hall is its second, sandwiched between Market House Alty and the more recent Picturedrome Macclesfield.

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  • Croma Didsbury Manchester Small Plates
    Didsbury

    Croma Didsbury

    Restaurant - Italian

    The newest addition to the Croma family, the Didsbury restaurant has all the features that make its south Manchester sister in Chorlton so popular. Namely, a reliable combination of quality pizzas, accessible pricing, and good service. 

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  • Ciaooo Kitchen Manchester Pizza
    Northern Quarter

    Ciaooo

    Restaurant - Italian

    Cult pizzeria Ciaooo may not be as well-known as some of its beautifully blistered-based brethren, but that’s all to the good. At least there’s a chance of getting a table. As it is, it’s often full of savvy locals who know just where to get some of the best pizzas in Manchester – on Swan Street at the top of Great Ancoats Street it transpires.

    Service is excellent and the pizzas are even better. There is a wide selection with a mix of classics and modern inventions. Most importantly, the dough rises above its competitors. It is puffed-up pillowy perfection.

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  • Interior seating, Borrello restaurant, Sale
    Sale

    Borrello

    Restaurant - Italian

    Borrello is a slightly old-school Italian restaurant in Sale. You won’t unearth obscure regional delicacies or discover new ingredients but you will enjoy dishes like cannelloni filled with spinach and ricotta, mushroom risotto, spaghetti Bolognese, plenty of steaks and some pretty good pizzas.

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  • A tavola new mills
    Book Now Greater Manchester

    A Tavola

    Restaurant - Italian

    A Tavola has an offbeat charm. Don’t be put off by the exterior. Sicilian delights await within.

    Inside, it is a bit of a squeeze. Intimate, as they say. It will be even more of a squeeze after you’ve stuffed yourself silly on authentic Sicilian food. And the food is the thing.

    From the look of the place, you might be expecting a few simple pizzas and not much more but you’d be wrong. Pizzas are most certainly on the menu but there are all sorts of dishes, from Sicilian street food to decadently alcoholic tiramisu. What links them is the quality of the ingredients, with many shipped over from respected Italian suppliers.

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  • Vegan Pizza at Proove Pizza, Didsbury
    Book Now Didsbury

    Proove Pizza

    Restaurant - Italian

    Proove Pizza has proven itself to be a success which is fortunate because there’s no shortage of eateries slinging out Neapolitan pizzas from their disco ball of a wood-fired oven. It’s up there, flinging around its fior di latte and spreading its San Marzano tomatoes with the best of the authentic slow-proved pizza pack and even if it’s not numero uno, it’s definitely a contender.

    The interior is cool and sleek if a little lacking in character but the personality is all in the pizza. The bases are made with 00-grade Caputo flour and proved for 20 hours before being transformed into pure pizza pleasure.

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  • Orecchiette ’Nduja and Taleggio at Casa Italia, Didsbury
    Didsbury

    Casa Italia

    Restaurant - Italian

    Casa Italia Didsbury is an Italian restaurant but there’s not a pizza in sight. The focus here is on quality pasta dishes with a few other main dishes thrown in for good measure. Expect classics like lasagne and cannelloni as well as specialities such as orecchiette with ‘nduja and taleggio or tortelloni filled with scallops and prawns.

    The real highlight, though, comes via the deli side of the business with platters of Italian cheeses and cold cuts as well as beautiful olives, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and the like.

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  • Neapolitan-style wood fired pizza at Double Zero in Chorlton
    Chorlton

    Double Zero

    Restaurant - Italian

    An authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria, Double Zero in Chorlton has been lauded as one of the best in the UK.

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  • Book Now Castlefield

    Salvi’s Deansgate Square

    Restaurant - Italian

    Bright and airy, with white and pale sage tiles, dusky pink and gold rose barstools and booths, and even a private dining room – Salvi’s Deansgate Square brings a breath of fresh air to one of Manchester’s most famous and favourite restaurant brands.

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  • italian restaurants manchester - don marco
    Castlefield

    Don Marco

    Restaurant - Italian

    “A little Italian gem in the heart of Manchester”, Don Marco says it “recreates the atmosphere of neighbourhood brasseries found in other big cities such as Milan and New York” and its authentic food menu and wine list, and unique outside-inside space certainly push that button.

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  • Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza Sale Manchester
    Book Now Sale

    Rudy’s Pizza Sale

    Restaurant - Italian

    Rudy’s mission is simple: to put proper Neapolitan pizza on your plate. Following the traditions and artistry of pizza-making from Naples – the birthplace of pizza – Rudy’s pizzaiolos reckon to have found the perfect technique to recreate the light Neapolitan classic. 

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  • Outdoor terrace at Piccolino Italian Restaurant in Didsbury
    Book Now Didsbury

    Piccolino Didsbury

    Restaurant - Italian

    With its large alfresco terrace, complete with fully retractable roof, Piccolino Didsbury is perfectly located for an Aperol Spritz in the sun or a full three-course meal inspired by the diverse cuisine from all of Italy’s regions, making best use of the finest seasonal ingredients.

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  • Croma Prestwich pizza beer
    Prestwich

    Croma Prestwich

    Restaurant - Italian

    As Manchester’s own, independent (and we would say, superior) version of Pizza Express, Croma was always going to feature strongly in our guide. 

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  • ramona pizza with a burrata on top with salad and tater tots in the background
    Book Now Ancoats

    Ramona

    Restaurant - Italian

    Predominantly a pizzeria, Ramona incorporates a bakery, margarita bar, coffee counter, stage and Firehouse restaurant, and is found in the rollershuttered ex-E & A Auto Services garage depot on Swan Street, complete with a tree-lined forecourt, now the campfire beer garden.

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  • Book Now Northern Quarter

    Terrace NQ

    Restaurant - Italian

    Terrace NQ has really grown into its name over the years. Instead of just one terrace up on the roof, it now has four outside seating areas: there’s a gorgeous courtyard at the side, seats at the back on Edge Street, and more at the front on Thomas Street. Plus that original, leafy rooftop garden which has its own bar. This is as well as their light and airy interior which you get to through ‘the prettiest ginnel in Manchester’.  

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  • Book Now Sale

    Sugo Pasta Kitchen Sale

    Restaurant - Italian

    With a menu plugging a regional style of south Italian cooking, Sugo Pasta Kitchen Sale joins two sister outlets (Altrincham and Ancoats) as well as being one of the businesses moving in to the newly regenerated Stanley Square, aiming to revitalise the town centre.

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