Guide

Manchester’s pasta masters

1 month ago

Apparently, the average Italian eats around 27 kilos of pasta every year, and to be honest it feels like we’re not too far behind. We could lament all day about it – silky ribbons of perfection in real, proper carbonara are almost heaven-sent. And the weighty feel of a slab of homemade lasagne slowly bending a serving spatula is a sheer delight.

With over 350 shapes of pasta, life can sometimes be a little overwhelming, but when a bowl of orecchiette starts making its way from kitchen to table, drenched in deep tomato sauce everything just feels right in the world.

Manchester is chock-full of distinguished pasta masters, so here is the rundown of our favourites (and don’t forget to use our search to find even more pasta perfection in Manchester and beyond) :

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

    Sicilian NQ

    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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  • Book Now Sale

    Mano A Bocca

    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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  • A tavola new mills
    Book Now Greater Manchester

    A Tavola

    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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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Belzan Pasta Kitchen at Escape to Freight Island

    Italian

    Reaching out from the original critically acclaimed Smithdown Road neighbourhood bistro in Liverpool, Belzan at Escape to Freight Island is still all about creating and serving honest, nourishing, full-flavoured dishes that are good for the planet and good for the soul.

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  • Produce from Lupo caffe Italiano
    Book Now Prestwich

    Lupo

    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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  • The Pasta Factory, Manchester
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    The Pasta Factory

    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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  • Book Now Harpurhey

    The Pasta Project

    Italian

    One of the things we love about Italian food is its ability to transform a few basic ingredients into something wonderful. With its simple, back-to-basics menu, The Pasta Project in Harpurhey Shopping Centre shows this kind of cooking at its best. 

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  • Steak and truffle at Rosso
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Rosso

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

    Salvi’s Manchester Northern Quarter

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

    San Carlo Manchester

    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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  • Dishes at The Sparrows, Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    The Sparrows

    European

    Green Quarter start-up and Good Food Guide entry, The Sparrows (sometimes with an umlaut) serves up a variety of continental pasta and European origin dumplings, “made daily with love”. Spätzle, gnocchi, pierogi, pelmeni and more are on the menu here.

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  • Sugo Pasta Kitchen Ancoats
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Sugo Pasta Kitchen Manchester

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

    Vero Moderno

    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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