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Guide

Sophisticated dining in Manchester City Centre

Manchester Central

Atmospheric lighting, great service and sophisticated food that will blow your little socks off. These restaurants sure know how to impress. We’re not messing around here, we’re talking fine dining, small plates and Masterchef winners.

New opening Another Hand, with chef imports from The Edinburgh Castle and Hispi Bistro certainly impressed Manchester Confidential’s reviewer when he visited. While you might recognise The French’s Chef Adam Reid from Great British Menu and Simon Wood of self-named Wood from Masterchef.

For modern-style French cooking and impeccable cocktails, try 10 Tib Lane and if steak is your love language, Hawksmoor might just be the way to your heart.

Every restaurant on this list is hand-picked and loved by our editorial team living and working in Manchester, with many being recognised by national publications and food guides as some of the best in the country. Who can argue with that?

For 23 sophisticated dining spots in Manchester, you’re certainly in the right place.

  • 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

    Restaurant - French

    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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  • A chef puts the finishing touches to a dish at French restaurant 63 Degrees in Manchester's NQ.
    Book Now 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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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Another Hand

    Restaurant - British

    From the team that brought you 3 Hands Deli, Another Hand opened in February 2022 in the unit just next door. With a sleek new look, the casual dining restaurant brings brunch, lunch and a relaxed dining experience to Deansgate Mews, Manchester’s newest hotspot.

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  • Asha's Indian Restaurant, Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    Asha’s

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Modern Indian restaurants come with their own USPs such as street food, home cooking and regionally-specific cuisine. Asha’s, near the library end of Peter Street, has decided to go high-end with proper posh Rogan Josh nosh.

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  • on the menu at The Bull and Bear Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    The Bull & Bear

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Tom Kerridge has brought his Michelin-winning brand to Manchester’s old Stock Exchange, and he’s on the money with a menu offering both gussied-up pub-style favourites and new ideas worth a punt – everyone’s a winner with this kind of choice.

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

    El Gato Negro Manchester

    Restaurant - Spanish

    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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  • Figs take centre stage in this dish from Erst restaurant in Ancoats.
    Book Now Ancoats

    Erst

    Restaurant - British

    “Yet more small plates in Ancoats?” we hear you cry. Well yes, but trust us, Erst is worth your attention. This is a place for serious foodies so don’t come looking for mac n cheese balls. Plenty of other places can satisfy that filthy craving for you.

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  • The exterior of Hawksmoor Manchester on Deansgate - the first Hawksmoor to open outside of London
    Manchester City Centre

    Hawksmoor

    Restaurant - British

    The best steakhouse in the North. Opening on Deansgate in 2015, the first Hawksmoor steakhouse outside of London is a confident affair. Well sourced steak and attention to detail have created a place like no other.

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  • One of the fine-dining dishes served at James Martin in Manchester city centre.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    James Martin

    Restaurant - British

    A fine-dining restaurant inside a casino with a celeb chef name above the door? Alarm bells. Yes, James Martin has his name across the massive billboard outside, but this is not an ostentatious venue.

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  • Kala Bistro Cod Loin
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Kala Bistro

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Kala describes itself as a humble bistro but humility is not usually a word associated with Gary Usher, the chef behind the Elite Bistros group. Having said that, perhaps the social media motormouth has every reason to feel pretty darn perky. Some very well-regarded chefs have only good things to say about him, such as former boss, Angela Hartnett, and the supposed ‘humble bistro food’ at Kala is elegant and impressive. It’s more fine dining than simple fodder, that’s for sure.

    The dishes sound simple but they have a flair and a verve that can’t fail to delight. Expect starters such as baked goat’s cheese with purple carrots and smoked garlic or crispy pig’s head croquette. Typical mains range from miso glazed squash to pan-roasted cod with curry and almond sauce but the rightly famous featherblade of beef is a mainstay.

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  • One of the dishes served at Manchester's only Michelin star restaurant, Mana in Ancoats.
    Book Now Ancoats

    Mana

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Michelin-starred restaurant Mana is the brainchild of chef patron Simon Martin who mastered his trade at the renowned Noma in Copenhagen. In his first few years at Mana, Martin has succeeded in carving his own path – one which confuses and delights people in equal measure.

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  • Manchester City Centre

    Mount Street Dining Room & Bar

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Set inside Manchester’s iconic Midland Hotel, Mount Street Dining Room & Bar is a chic space with an all day menu that offers a modern take on British classics using top-notch, locally sourced, fresh seasonal ingredients.

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  • Pierogi dumpling from Platzki restaurant, Deansgate Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Platzki

    Restaurant - European

    Modern Polish cuisine is what’s on offer at Platzki, one of the first restaurants to open at Deansgate Mews back in 2018.

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  • Salford

    The River Restaurant

    Restaurant - Modern British

    The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel is Manchester’s classic fine dining restaurant. Huge names that have run the kitchen include Marco Pierre White, while diners have included Jose Mourinho and Kylie.

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  • 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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  • Dishes at The Sparrows, Manchester
    Book Now Green Quarter

    The Sparrows

    Restaurant - 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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  • Tast Enxaneta, Manchester, Button Mushroom Diversity
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Tast Enxaneta

    Restaurant - Spanish

    Let’s face it, Tast Enxaneta is the closest you’re going to get to El Bulli.

    After all, co-owner Paco Perez is a friend of the famous Ferran, and with five Michelin stars to his name, he is upholding the spatula of experimental Catalan gastronomy.

    The second floor restaurant at Tast takes Catalan cuisine to a whole new level. This isn’t a case of poshing up some patatas bravas, this is mind-boggling kitchen wizardry. Under the direction of Paco Perez, head chef Miguel Villacrosa takes simple ingredients and treats them in ways it will take weeks to get your head around.

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

    Tattu Manchester

    Restaurant - Chinese

    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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  • TNQ Northern Quarter, Manchester
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    TNQ

    Restaurant - Modern British

    This unassuming, independent restaurant overlooking the historic Smithfield Fish Market is a stalwart of the Northern Quarter’s dining scene. Co-owner and chef Anthony Fielden has been cooking up a storm at TNQ since 2004, winning various awards and accolades along the way. 

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  • The interior of Wood restaurant in Manchester showing tables set for dinner and the open plan kitchen
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Wood

    Restaurant - Modern British

    The eponymous restaurant of Simon Wood, MasterChef winner and local lad from Oldham, is an accomplished affair. Food is cooked by both Wood and head chef, Mike Jennings, formerly of Grenache in Worsley. The décor – muted natural tones in a glass-clad new build – places the focus of any meal on the fine, Italianesque (yet often locally sourced) food and wine on offer.

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