San-Carlo-Cicchetti
Guide

Manchester’s Best Restaurants For People Watching

A restaurant that is good for ‘people-watching’ is not an easy thing to define. Because they’re not just fancy schmancy celeb-spotting spots – even been to a curry house in the early AMs? And what is ‘people-watching’ anyway? The observing of people, yes, but we do that all the time. Somewhere where you can go, alone, order some food, kick back and watch the world go by? Perfect. Somewhere you can go with mates and talk about people’s shoes? That works. Somewhere with lots of good-looking people to ogle? Yes. Somewhere full of weirdos? Even better.

Anyway, here’s our pick of Manchester’s best restaurants for people watching… for some reason or another.

  • tattu
    Book Now Manchester

    Tattu

    Chinese

    Located in the heart of Manchester’s gleaming business district (and also on East Parade in Leeds), Tattu is an Instagrammer’s dream. Think penumbral lighting, body art-inspired cocktails and a full size cherry blossom tree with hand sewn silk petals. You’d be forgiven for expecting such opulent surroundings to outshine the food. Not so.

    More details
  • San-Carlo-Cicchetti
    Book Now Manchester

    San Carlo Cicchetti

    Italian

    As the first San Carlo Cicchetti, the Manchester restaurant had a lot to prove on opening in 2010. Seven years 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. 

    More details
  • 7 Book Now Manchester

    Hawksmoor

    British

    The best steakhouse in the North. Opening on Deansgate in 2015, the first Hawksmoor steakhouse outside of London is a confident affair. Steak and attention to detail have created a branch like no other, whose beef is among the world’s finest. Sourced from Yorkshire’s Ginger Pig, choose from huge sharing cuts such as T-bone, Porterhouse and prime rib, with solo steaks available if you’re not into sharing. Starters such as Caesar salad with airy Doddington shavings, an artisan burrata made in Wiltshire or sticky, rare breed Old Spot belly ribs are meals in themselves, while seafood is a strength. Ethically sourced scallops bath in white port and garlic butter, or try the UK-sourced monkfish, grilled over charcoal. Side orders such as triple-cooked chips, creamed spinach, anchovy hollandaise and bone marrow gravy are reason enough to visit, and the location is lovely.

    More details
  • 27 Book Now Manchester

    El Gato Negro

    Spanish

    Upmarket Manc-Spanish fusion, that really, really works. Originally from Yorkshire, chef Simon Shaw has created an indulgent, three-storey church to his passion for the best in Spanish food and wine with El Gato Negro. Top floor is a bar and dining, complete with retractable roof, fine wines, bespoke g&ts and cocktails, while wedged in the middle of the upmarket tapas bar on the ground floor is the restaurant proper, complete with open kitchen, exposed brick walls, comfy booths. Be warned however: there’s seldom a spare seat anywhere in the building. Both sexy and moreish, this Spanish restaurant is far greater than the sum of its parts.

    More details
  • Book Now Manchester

    The Refuge

    European

    Winning small plate fusion in an iconic and glamorous setting. Housed in Manchester’s iconic The Refuge Assurance Company dating back to 1858, this DJ-run restaurant and bar is large and sassy. There’s a Winter Garden; an enormous bar; a restaurant; and subterranean ballroom. The venue (as opposed to the wider Principal Hotel, of which it is a part) is run by Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford AKA DJ duo The Unabombers who were given the job on the coattails of their success with West Didsbury bar and restaurant, Volta.

    More details
  • Book Now Manchester

    Australasia

    Pan Asian

    Pacific rim fusion fare for the fashion set. The undeniable theatre of the place, the approach of the staff and the craft of the food make any occasion feel like a million dollars at Australasia. Sashimi with edible flowers, served on a hand-thrown ceramic bowl of ice chips is a great place to start, while fine wines (rolling right up into the £1000s) hint at the high flying regulars that Australasia attracts.

    More details
  • Book Now Manchester

    Albert’s Schloss

    European

    A Bavarian-inspired fun palace of extraordinary dimensions and clever design. Behind the glistening tiles of the former Manchester and Salford Wesleyan Mission building (est in 1910) you’ll discover a vast bar, real fires, perfectly preserved original plaster, and a wall stuffed generously with flowers by floral artists’ Frog. You’ll also find a stage, DJ booth and network of beer pipes and tanks serving unpasturised Pilsner Urquell to hordes of adoring punters.

    More details
  • Book Now Manchester

    20 Stories

    European

    Manchester’s highest – and possibly finest – restaurant, bar and grill. D&D restaurant group’s flagship Manchester restaurant, 20 Stories bar and grill, has been the opening of 2018. Floor to ceiling windows (and a huge, outdoor terrace, the same size as the entire restaurant floor), afford breathtaking views of the city and surrounding countryside, while the menu riffs on Hawksmoor’s luxury steakhouse concept.

    More details
  • Book Now Manchester

    Harvey Nichols 2nd Floor

    British

    Solid British brasserie with delicious views. Panoramas are a feature at Harvey Nichols Second Floor restaurant where food is quality modern European brasserie fare. Served in lively surrounds, the restaurant has evolved from fine dining enclave to more chilled kind of place, but cooking still follows a seasonal bent.

    More details
  • Book Now Manchester

    Volta

    European

    A thrilling take on the neighbourhood restaurant format. Volta is owned by Luke ‘Unabomber’ Cowdrey and Justin Crawford. The DJ/restaurateurs are masters of putting creative energy behind a project and their second venture is a grown-up affair, offering luxurious steaks, and house aged negronis (and various other cocktails using the likes of lavender syrup, burnt orange peel and sanguinello) in a space that blurs the lines between bar and restaurant. The emphasis is on fun and the interior includes reclaimed vintage details, mixed in with a bare-brick. An old school, NYC grill house vibe.

    More details

Search

splash advert