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Guide

The most romantic bars and restaurants in Manchester for Valentine’s Day

2 months ago

It’s getting kind of close to Valentine’s Day now, but you don’t like the thought of giving in to a big Hallmark holiday by forking out for set menus, roses or balloons. That’s cool, we can help.

Here’s our list of the best restaurants in Manchester for Valentine’s Day 2024 – places that are romantic but not soppy, sexy but not saccharine, and open in the run-up to, and days after Valentine’s Day as well.

Want more ideas? Have a look at our Manchester date night restaurants and alternative Valentine’s nights out.

 

  • Lamb rump with potato rosti and broad beans served at 10 Tib Lane, a French restaurant in Manchester city centre.
    Manchester City Centre

    10 Tib Lane

    Bars

    10 Tib Lane is one of the brave new openings of summer 2021; a time when securing staff and supplies, never mind diners, is an ongoing challenge for everyone. 

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  • The private dining room at 20 Stories, Manchester.
    Spinningfields

    20 Stories

    Bars

    Manchester’s highest – and possibly finest – restaurant, bar and terrace. D&D London’s flagship Manchester restaurant, 20 Stories was 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 offers modern British, seasonal dishes. 

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  • A chef puts the finishing touches to a dish at French restaurant 63 Degrees in Manchester's NQ.
    Northern Quarter

    63 Degrees

    Restaurant - French

    Ran by husband and wife team Eric and Florence Moreau, 63 Degrees is a classic chef-proprieteur French restaurant with roots in the refined cuisine of their home city of Paris.

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  • Modern British fine dining at Adam Reid at The French, the restaurant in the Midland Hotel, Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    Adam Reid at The French

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Culinary rock and roll from Simon Rogan’s protege, Adam Reid. Enjoy fine-dining in Grade II Listed Victorian surrounds – with a side order of Mancunian attitude.

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  • Sunset at Australasia in Manchester city centre
    Spinningfields

    Australasia

    Bars

    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.

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  • Beech Road's Bar San Juan is a Chorlton favourite for Spanish food and sangria
    Chorlton

    Bar San Juan

    Bars

    Beech Road’s Bar San Juan is almost always bursting at the seams with customers. This unassuming little tapas bar is one of those hidden gems of almost cult-like status that locals just love to recommend. Rightly so.

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  • The kids menu at The Black Friar - a family-friendly restaurant in Manchester.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    The Black Friar

    Pubs

    The Black Friar stood empty and unloved for almost 20 years before reopening in summer 2021 after a substantial renovation project. Now a modern British restaurant and a traditional pub, it has two distinct settings with menus to match.

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  • A dish served at Campo Blanco, a tapas bar in Whitefield, Bury, Greater Manchester
    Whitefield

    Campo Blanco

    Restaurant - Spanish

    Campo Blanco means “white field” in Spanish, so it comes as no surprise that this restaurant is the go-to place for tapas in the vicinity, serving classic Catalan-style small plates along with dishes inspired by other cuisines from around the Mediterranean region.

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  • Book Now Levenshulme

    Cibus

    Bars

    Once a stall at Levy Market, then a pop-up pizzeria above Fred’s Ale House, Cibus took baby steps to get to where it is today – a fully-fledged and much-praised Italian restaurant and bar on Levenshulme high street.

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  • Oysters from Climat, Manchester.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Climat

    Restaurant - Modern British

    On the rooftop of Blackfriars House, Climat is a simply exceptional dining experience owned and operated by the team behind Covino in Chester, who have established a reputation as a wine-led restaurant with a focus on changing menus and a passion for wine.

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  • Cocktail served at Cuckoo, a bar in Prestwich, Manchester
    Prestwich

    Cuckoo

    Bars

    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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  • Dakota Grill Manchester Lamb Rump
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    Dakota Grill Manchester

    Bars

    Dakota Grill Manchester is the work of former Malmaison owner, Ken McCollough and it is as dark-hued and handsome as the successful boutique hotel chain. It’s an inviting place with flickering candlelight, very retro-sexy – sure to be the setting for many a first date.

    The focus at Dakota is on steaks which are very good – all grass-fed, 28 day-aged, hand-cut Aberdeenshire beef cooked over hot coals.

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  • El Gato Negro, the much-praised Spanish restaurant on King Street, Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    El Gato Negro Manchester

    Bars

    El Gato Negro is an upmarket Manc-Spanish fusion restaurant 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.

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  • Book Now Northern Quarter

    Evuna Manchester NQ

    Bottle Shop

    The second city centre Evuna, open since 2013, bagsies a corner spot in the Northern Quarter that provides the outward-facing window seats with a prime people-watching position. Wood panelling, Moorish tiles and rustic blackboards offer atmosphere, perfect for cosying up over those authentic small plates.

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  • Cocktails served at San Carlo Fumo in Manchester city centre
    Book Now Oxford Road

    Fumo

    Bars

    With its terrace overlooking Oxford Road and its much-photographed spiral staircase, Fumo is a favourite spot in Manchester for dinner and drinks with friends.

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  • Steak at Gaucho
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Gaucho Manchester

    Restaurant - South American

    For many people, Argentinian restaurant Gaucho Manchester is the destination in the city for very good steak paired with very good wine. Housed in a converted Methodist church on Deansgate, with an open kitchen, and the original church organ still in-situ, it’s also known as one of Manchester’s best-looking spaces for dining.

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  • Grand Pacific - one of the most romantic restaurants in Manchester for Valentine's Day.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Grand Pacific

    Bars

    Grand Pacific is the work of Living Ventures and it easily outshines its sibling venues in terms of pure glamour. Not in a big chandeliers, glass and chrome Spinningfields way, but with a decadent blend of colonial Raffles-style grandeur and some of the best of the city’s Victorian architecture.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Gusto Italian Manchester

    Bars

    Gusto Italian Manchester may be the jewel in ever-expanding chain’s crown, even if the menu is the same everywhere from Heswall to Edinburgh. It’s a very polished affair with a definite Art Deco feel. This is a place that seems designed for good times and the service is slick.

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  • Cocktail served at the Jane Eyre in Manchester
    Ancoats

    The Jane Eyre

    Bars

    The Jane Eyre is a self-styled ‘neighbourhood bar’ offering seasonal food, classic cocktails and local beers. Presided over by Eyre siblings Jonny and Joe, it is, mildly disappointingly, not a Gothic homage to the Yorkshire based tragic-heroine but actually named after their late mum. 

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  • Book Now Spinningfields

    Masons

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Nestled in the Grade II Listed former Freemasons Hall, Masons Restaurant and Bar serves retro fine-dining fare in princely surrounds.

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  • The Perfect Match restaurant, Sale
    Sale

    The Perfect Match

    Restaurant - European

    New opening The Perfect Match on the traffic-heavy A56 in Sale isn’t the easiest place to get to but it’s well worth the effort.

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  • Piccolino Caffe Grande is a Confidential Guides recommended Christmas party venue.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Piccolino Caffe Grande Manchester

    Bars

    With its terrace overlooking Albert Square and Manchester Town Hall, and a beautiful interior featuring a 40-seater private dining room, an open kitchen, and an oyster bar, Piccolino Caffé Grande Manchester is a real destination restaurant. (And, notably, it’s one that doesn’t price people out of the experience.)

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  • Book Now Deansgate

    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 you’ll sometimes see a bank of photographers outside to prove the point.

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  • Cocktail at Sexy Fish, a restaurant in Manchester
    Spinningfields

    Sexy Fish

    Bars

    Sexy Fish is no mere minnow in the UK dining scene. It’s brought to you by Caprice Holdings, the group behind some of London’s most glam dining spots. Think of it as more of a humongous mermaid – beautiful and ever so slightly improbable.

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  • Tast Restaurant Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    Tast

    Restaurant - Spanish

    Catalan restaurant Tast brings the fiercely independent spirit of north-eastern Spain to your table courtesy head chef Paco Pérez – holder of six Michelin stars – and his passionate team, who now run seven acclaimed restaurants around the world.

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  • A table set for dinner at Instagrammer's paradise Tattu restaurant in Manchester, Spinningfields
    Spinningfields

    Tattu Manchester

    Bars

    Located in the heart of the Spinningfields business district, Tattu Manchester 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.

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  • Victor's restaurant, Hale
    Hale

    Victor’s

    Restaurant - Global

    Victor’s is an upscale neighbourhood restaurant. Of course it is, it’s in Hale. Locals call in for everything from brunch to dinner and cocktails and pretty much everything in between.

    There’s a global menu with an emphasis on Japanese cuisine. Apart from sushi and sashimi – of which there is a good selection for somewhere that doesn’t specialise in raw fish – you’ll find dishes like seabass and scallop ceviche, Caesar salad, baked stone bass with lemongrass and pak choi and steaks from the grill.

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  • Manchester City Centre

    Wood & Company

    Bars

    With its disguised entrance and back street location, Wood & Co has the feel of a secret speakeasy only frequented by those in the know. The unmarked door is on South King Street, in between Cross Street and Deansgate. Descend the steps and you’ll find yourself in a tiled, sleek space centred on a marble bar that stretches the length of the room.

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