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Food to fall in love over: 16 great date night restaurants in Manchester

7 months ago

Manchester’s not short of options when it comes to show-stopping restaurants for a romantic meal. From dinner in the clouds at Climat, to the Michelin starred menu at Mana, to deluxe sushi and cocktails at MUSU, these places know how to make an impression.

Add them to your date night or Valentine’s list. They’re sure to be smitten.

Know somewhere that deserves to be on this list? Let us know on X (Twitter) @CnfGuides

  • 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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  • Book Now Sale

    Canteena Bar & Grill

    Bars

    Based in the unit of Stanley Square that was once home to Sale Food Hall, Canteena Bar & Grill is serving up hearty Modern British meals in a food hall-style setting.

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  • A negroni and passion star martini at Cicchetti
    Book Now Deansgate

    Cicchetti

    Restaurant - Italian

    As the first San Carlo Cicchetti, the Manchester restaurant had a lot to prove on opening in 2011. Over a decade and several awards later, it’s still going strong.

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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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  • 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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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Evuna Manchester Deansgate

    Bottle Shop

    October 2003 saw the first of the four Evunas open, grabbing a prime position on Deansgate and a reputation for being a go-to place for Spanish cuisine. Plenty of exposed brick, wine-lined walls and low, dark lighting all add to the 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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  • 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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  • Spinningfields

    Hawksmoor

    Bars

    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 dishes served at Kambuja in Marple - one of the few Cambodian restaurants in the North.
    Book Now Marple

    Kambuja

    Restaurant - Cambodian

    Many of us are familiar with the vibrant cuisines of Vietnam and Thailand but Cambodian, or Khmer, food is still relatively unexplored territory in the UK. Kambuja in Marple is one of the country’s few dedicated Cambodian restaurants – and it’s a good one. It received rave reviews in the national press when it opened in 2017 under its former name of Angkor Soul.

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  • Sushi from Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay, Manchester.
    Manchester City Centre

    Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay

    Bars

    Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay is the first restaurant that the famed TV chef has decided to open in the city of Manchester, despite already having opened Bread Street Kitchen & Bar in Liverpool last year. 

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  • A seafood dish from Mana, Manchester.
    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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  • One of the dishes served at MUSU in Manchester
    Book Now Spinningfields

    MUSU

    Bars

    The Japanese word MUSU translates as ‘infinite possibilities’ and while Chef Patron Michael Shaw’s quartet of menus may not be infinite they are certainly unique for Manchester at least. With a combination of Japanese and more locally-sourced ingredients, the guest is invited to choose the way they prefer to dine at MUSU.

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  • Book Now Northern Quarter

    The Pen & Pencil

    Bars

    Whatever level of hunger you’re anticipating, you’ll not have a rumbling tum for long next time you head on up to the Northern Quarter, with the host of all-day eating options on offer at The Pen & Pencil ranging from light bites to proper sit-down dinners.

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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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  • 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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  • Crab, mussel and caviar fishcakes at TNQ.
    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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