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Guide

The best Italian restaurants in Manchester

Confidentials    9 months ago

Italian restaurants have long been seen as the easy and obvious option with some chains expanding faster than a belly full of pasta. Here we’ve swerved the mediocre contenders in favour of the best Italian restaurants in Manchester; the ones that really should be celebrated. Inventive and authentic, these places remind us why we fell in love with Italian cuisine in the first place.

Updated for 2023, the list includes several new faces that have earned their green, white and red stripes on the foodie scene. Read on for inspiration on where to eat next.

  • Book Now Northern Quarter

    Ciaooo Neapolitan Pizzeria

    Restaurant - Italian

    Cult pizzeria Ciaooo may not be as well-known as some of its beautifully blistered-based brethren, but that’s all to the good. At least there’s a chance of getting a table. As it is, it’s often full of savvy locals who know just where to get some of the best pizzas in Manchester – on Swan Street at the top of Great Ancoats Street it transpires.

    Service is excellent and the pizzas are even better. There is a wide selection with a mix of classics and modern inventions. Most importantly, the dough rises above its competitors. It is puffed-up pillowy perfection.

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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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  • Neapolitan-style wood fired pizza at Double Zero in Chorlton
    Chorlton

    Double Zero

    Restaurant - Italian

    An authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria, Double Zero in Chorlton has been lauded as one of the best in the UK.

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  • Chorlton

    Lucky Mama’s

    Restaurant - Italian

    Lucky Mama’s is a vibrant Italian restaurant on Barlow Moor Road in Chorlton, Manchester serving fresh Roman-style pizza, Veneto-style pasta and a range of Italian-inspired sweet treats.

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  • Produce from Lupo caffe Italiano
    Prestwich

    Lupo

    Restaurant - 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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  • Book Now Sale

    Mano A Bocca

    Restaurant - 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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  • Noi Quattro Pizza Northern Quarter Manchester
    Northern Quarter

    Noi Quattro

    Restaurant - Italian

    If it’s a taste of Italy you’re after, think NQ for proper pizza – Noi Quattro, to be precise. Meaning “us four”, Noi Quattro is owned and run by four friends from Turin who wanted to share their proud Italian heritage through the food they put on your plate.

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  • Denton

    Ornella’s Kitchen

    Restaurant - Italian

    Ornella’s Kitchen is owned and operated by Ornella Cancila, who was born in Castel Di Tusa on Sicily’s north coast and later moved to Bologna at the age of 19. With her extensive experience and deep roots in traditional Italian cooking, Ornella has created a menu that truly captures the essence of Italian cuisine.

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  • Pasta dish from Ortica Plant Based Italian in Urmston, Greater Manchester
    Urmston

    Ortica Italian Plant Based

    Restaurant - Italian

    Ortica brings the south of Italy to the south of Manchester, minus the meat and dairy. Their 100% vegan menu is served from breakfast through to evening, and includes bar snacks and aperitivo for those who want something light with drinks. House spritzes and negronis are served all day, as is Ortica’s selection of Italian wines.

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  • Spaghetti with asparagus sauce, crispy onions & stracchino cheese cream at The Pasta Factory
    Northern Quarter

    The Pasta Factory

    Restaurant - 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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  • 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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  • Seafood at Puccini, an Italian restaurant in Swinton, Salford
    Swinton

    Puccini

    Restaurant - Italian

    Puccini has been serving up authentic Italian food to the people of Swinton since 1982, with signor Pucci at the helm for the full four decades.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Riva Blu Manchester | Corn Exchange

    Restaurant - Italian

    From the same team behind Piccolino, Riva Blu Manchester aims to bring a little bit of La Dolce Vita to The Corn Exchange. With a sleek cocktail bar, open kitchen, and alfresco terrace, it’s styled on the high-society glamour of the 1960s, and “modern Italian” cuisine is the name of the game.

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  • A carbonara from Salvi's
    Manchester City Centre

    Salvi’s | Corn Exchange

    Deli

    Salvi’s – or Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar & Restaurant, to give it its full name – claims to be Manchester’s first independent Neapolitan restaurant and deli, and it is certainly somewhere to head if traditional, authentic Italian cuisine is on your mind.

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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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  • A gelato croissant at Sicilian NQ - a recommended place for ice cream in Manchester
    Book Now Northern Quarter

    Sicilian NQ

    Restaurant - 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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  • Fresh tomato and olives on a Neapolitan-style pizza at Tre Ciccio - an Italian restaurant in Altrincham
    Book Now Altrincham

    Tre Ciccio Altrincham

    Restaurant - Italian

    Translating as ‘three chubby friends’ (a self-effacing reference to owner Francesco Scafuri and a pair of his portly pals from back in Campania), Tre Ciccio Altrincham doesn’t look much from the outside, or even the inside, at first.

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

    Vero Moderno

    Restaurant - 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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