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Guide

The best food and drink near Manchester Central

1 year ago

Whether you’re looking for a decent lunch, sophisticated cocktails, fine dining or a family meal, here is our curated list of recommendations close to Manchester Central’s iconic venue in the heart of Manchester city centre. There’s something for everyone and any occasion, plus plenty you won’t want to miss.

For breakfast you could try a highly recommended bacon naan at Dishoom or French toast at Federal (don’t forget to pick up some natas for later).

For lunch, try quick and spicy Pan-Asian lunches at Tampopo or modern British classics at Mount Street Dining Room & Bar.

You could try Crazy Pedro’s for a quick beer and pizza or the finest steaks in Manchester at Hawksmoor. There are pub lunches in the beer garden at Mr Thomas’ and evening pints and nibbles at Sam’s Chop House (it has a pretty impressive wine selection as well).

For Manchester’s top fine dining, Adam Reid at The French is next door to Manchester Central or you could venture a little further for exquisite Italian food at San Carlo or sublime sushi at MUSU.

 

  • 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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  • cosy nook in 53two manchester cafe bar
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    53two

    Bars

    With a gentle gradient throughout and a lowered bar, 53two is one of Manchester’s most inclusive and accessible venues. Half bar and cafe, half performance area, this unique space under Manchester’s Grade II* listed railway arches is the perfect stop for a drink and a snack before hitting the town or the local theatres – including the one in-house.

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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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  • Dish from Another Hand, Manchester
    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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  • The Anthologist Restaurant on St Peter's Square Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    The Anthologist

    Bars

    The Anthologist fits well into the cosmopolitan city vibe of the regenerated St Peter’s Square. When you step off the tram here, you’re a world away from one stop on at Piccadilly Gardens, and this slick, stylish venue from restaurant and bar group Drake & Morgan perfectly reflects the change in tone.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Dimitri's Manchester Tapas
    Manchester City Centre

    Dimitri’s

    Bars

    Dimitri’s has been serving up mezze for over 30 years now. It’s a stalwart of the city’s food and drink scene and with its vibrant atmosphere and happy holiday food, it will probably keep going for 30 more.

    It’s sharing food that will bring back memories of trips to Crete or Kefalonia with hummus and generous baskets of pitta breads, juicy olives, stuffed vine leaves, moussaka, herby lamb chops and kebabs all featuring on a typical menu.

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  • The famous black dahl at Dishoom Manchester
    Spinningfields

    Dishoom

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Dishoom is a legend in its own lunchtime and that’s exactly how it likes things. It’s not enough to serve up top-notch Indian dishes in grand surroundings; there’s a story behind the menu too. But when the food is this good it doesn’t need to hide behind tall tales.

    And the food is this good.

    The menu is bursting with small plates arriving at the table as and when, plus biriyani, curry and grilled gubbins as well as all sorts of sides and sundries. If you’re part of a big group (or obscenely greedy) it’s possible and even preferable to order something from each section.

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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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  • 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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  • Bar at Gusto Manchester
    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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  • The cheese and meat sharing board at Haunt - a recommended wine bar and coffee shop in Manchester city centre.
    Manchester City Centre

    Haunt

    Bars

    When Peter Street lost its Caffe Nero it gained Haunt, an independent coffee shop and wine bar. Stepping inside, you feel like this corner spot in the beautiful St George’s House, with its views of the Midland Hotel and Central Library, has finally got the classy occupier it deserves.

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  • Spinningfields

    Hawksmoor

    Bars

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

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  • 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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  • Manchester City Centre

    Mount Street Dining Room & Bar

    Bars

    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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  • Steak at Mr Thomas's Chop House in Manchester.
    Greater Manchester

    Mr Thomas’s Chop House

    Pubs

    Thomas Studd and his wife Sarah established their Chop House in booming Cottonopolis in 1867, and it’s still going strong, serving up top-end pub grub in the famous tiled back room restaurant along with flagons and snifters in the bar and on the sunny St Ann’s Square terrace.

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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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  • The exterior of Sam's Chop House - a Victorian-style British pub and restaurant in Manchester city centre
    Manchester City Centre

    Sam’s Chop House

    Pubs

    The acclaimed and atmospheric Sam’s Chop House serves British classics from a kitchen where flavour is king. Part of the Victorian Chop House company, the menu is similar at Mr Thomas’s Chop House and the Albert Square Chop House.

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  • Steak at San Carlo - one of the Hot 50 Restaurants in Manchester for March.
    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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  • Man holding two burgers from Slap and Pickle in Society, Manchester city centre
    Manchester City Centre

    Society

    Bars

    Located in between St Peter’s Square and The Bridgewater Hall, Society brings new life to the quiet yet elegant stretch of city between Oxford Street and First Street. The outside area is a sunspot bordered by a fountain and a garden, making it feel more like Madrid than Manchester (weather permitting of course).

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  • Beef tataki at Sora Manchester, a rooftop bar and restaurant in Malmaison Deansgate
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Sora Manchester

    Restaurant

    Sora Manchester is a rooftop bar and restaurant serving up sushi, Pan Asian small plates and views across the city’s impressive Victorian neo-Gothic architecture.

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  • Tampopo Thai Restaurant Manchester Albert Square
    Manchester City Centre

    Tampopo Manchester Albert Square

    Restaurant - Pan Asian

    Tampopo Albert Square is the original venue in this Manchester-born chain from restaurateur David Fox. It was here that they devised and tweaked their winning formula of fast, fresh and affordable East Asian food served in an informal, canteen-style environment, ideal for quick lunches or evening meals with groups of friends.

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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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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    The Fountain House

    Pubs

    The Fountain House is the newest lodger of the Gothic-arched Memorial Hall sitting one corner of Albert Square, and its modern old-fashioned surrounds and plentiful portions of proper pub grub – mostly British but with a little European inspiration – do the imposing building proud.

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  • Cocktail served at Three Little Words
    Manchester City Centre

    Three Little Words

    Bars

    Three Little Words is housed under the arches at the lesser-visited end of Watson Street, near Beetham Tower. Inside you’ll find the Spirit of Manchester gin distillery, a cocktail bar, and a kitchen serving small plates with thoroughly decent cooking. It’s certainly a place worth knowing about.

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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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  • Book Now Greater Manchester

    Wrights Fish & Chip Shop

    Restaurant - British

    This neon-lit, old-school tiled chippy on Cross Street is owned by local couple Trisha and Marcus and has plenty of fans including a few celebrities. There are queues out of the door regularly for their traditional fare done very, very well.

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  • Lamb Laziz at Zouk, Manchester
    Book Now Oxford Road

    Zouk

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Zouk specialises in ‘apna’ – home-style cooking shot through with colour and heat from the spices and herbs. In recent years it has incorporated elements of global street food to its menu (Lahori wagyu sliders for example) but the main focus is still the authentic Indian and Pakistani cooking that made Zouk a success.

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