This year has seen us spend more time at home than we ever planned to, and hospitality has been one of the hardest-hit industries, that being said, Manchester City Centre still has one of the best food and drink scenes in the UK.
While you may now be well acquainted with your oven, or at least your Deliveroo driver, there’s never been a better time to start planning where to head out to eat in Manchester in the coming months.
With so many great places on offer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, luckily, we’ve taken the time to pick out some of the best new dining experiences Greater Manchester has available, whether you’re entirely plant-based, looking for somewhere off the beaten track, or fancy the ultimate indulgence of a Michelin star rated experience, there is something to satisfy anyone’s taste!
The restaurant to finally bring a Michelin Star to Manchester. Mana, based in Ancoats, a short walk from the city centre, promises to bring the best of British produce in an exclusive setting. Focusing on natural resources to take patrons on a culinary journey in their dining room, with open kitchen, throughout the evening, the avant-garde menu is full of locally sourced ingredients which change based on seasonality. If you’re looking for fine dining and an extensive wine list, this is it.
Mana is in high demand and there is an extensive waiting list. Make a booking enquiry here
Update – Mana is temporarily closed due to the tier three restrictions in Manchester, but gift vouchers are available for when they reopen.
An overnight success, 202 Kitchen has become an instant hit with influencers and celebrities local to Manchester, mainly due to it’s Barbie pink interior and Instagram-ready decor. Originally birthed from the owners of 101 nightclub in Birmingham, owners Leon Beckford, John Rambo and Panikos Parper changed their offering when the first Coronavirus lockdown hit to allow for the change in the market, and swiftly set up their restaurant offering in both cities.
Serving a ‘trapbox’ style menu – a recent food scene development where food is piled into a box and promoted on social media – and an extensive themed cocktail list, this is the place to go if you want to be seen.
202 Kitchen is on Bridge Street – check booking availability here.
Peck & Yard
Fried chicken worth venturing to Great Ancoats Street for! Already a firm favourite at their flagship site in Chorlton, Peck & Yard has opened a second, slightly smaller site on the edge of the Northern Quarter. Forget Kentucky fried, the team offer Asian style fried chicken, with exciting flavour twists like Korean barbecue and classic salt and pepper. There’s also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options including halloumi strips and cauliflower bites, all drenched in your choice of sauce.
A casual setting, the site only has a few tables and will also operate as a takeaway, so don’t worry about needing to book a table. Peck & Yard is also available on Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat.
Pho Cue Kitchen
If you’re looking for something slightly off the beaten track, why not wander into Manchester’s China Town one weekend? Brilliantly named Pho Cue opened over the summer and infuses traditional Vietnamese food with some wildcard options including Vietnamese-style tacos and Katsu Curry. This place is worth the walk from New Cross Central.
Letting each dish speak for itself, the Cue family, prepare and cook each dish from scratch, just as it would be done traditionally in Vietnam. The epitome of family-run, with owner Cue being joined in the kitchen by his mum, as well as his uncle as head chef.
Update – Pho Cue Kitchen is currently offering takeaway alongside their dine-in options.
Escape To Freight Island
Another triumph of an otherwise pretty bad year for the restaurant industry, Escape to Freight Island popped up almost out of nowhere over the summer to take over the old Mayfield Depot space near Piccadilly Station. An outdoor eating and drinking space from the creators of Camden Town Brewery, the regenerated space hosts a whole load of independent food traders, including Voodoo Rays Pizza and Krum doughnuts.
Somehow, the team have managed to expand even in 2020 and have just launched their new winter ticket hall, which brings all the magic of the festive season into one place. Bringing the vibes of freight island inside to a warmer setting, the ticket hall will feature pop-ups from some of the city’s best bars and restaurants, including Sugo Pasta Kitchen and cocktail bar The Jayne Eyre. There will also be a craft beer offering from Manchester’s own Pomona Island Brewery, plus a taproom from Camden Town.
Escape To Freight Island is currently closed due to the national lockdown measures in England, we can’t wait to visit them as soon as we’re able to.
Check out Escape To Freight Island for the latest updates here.
Delhi House Cafe
Opening during the slight lockdown lift of the summer, family-owned Delhi House Cafe in the Corn Exchange is aiming to carve a niche for itself in a city full of great Indian Restaurants.
Featured in The Guardian by Jay Rayner, who gave a glowing review, Delhi House Cafe is an ambitious offering, with a mixture of Indian Tapas style dishes and larger plates.
The Lamba family chose Manchester as their first UK spot to showcase their exciting and unique take on traditional Indian cuisine, featuring South Asian dishes with a twist, including the ‘Not My Burger’ special and other Indian street food dishes, a real treat for those who love to combine flavours of the East and West.
Book your table here
Update: Delhi House Cafe is currently closed due to tier three restrictions in force in Manchester
An extension of the already popular garden-themed bar Alvarium in the Northern Quarter, Black Leaf is offering a brand new food concept. Situated in the basement of the bar, diners can expect an exciting and adventurous plant-based menu to tickle their taste buds. Creative and innovative flavours are used in each dish, and head chef Adam Leavy has even mastered the vegan scotch egg.
The ambitious offering takes the idealogy of the garden theme of Alvarium and transfers the decor into its menu. As one of the only spots in the city dedicated to offering a three-course plant-based menu, it’s sure to be a hit with vegans and carnivores alike.
Regulars to Alvarium will also be pleased to know the extensive plant-based cocktail menu the bar is famous for will be available in the restaurant, and there’s even a delicious dairy-free black forest gateaux on offer, so make sure to save room for dessert!
Make a booking enquiry here
Update – Black Leaf is currently running a click and collect takeaway service due to tier three restrictions in the Manchester area.
Another Heart To Feed
One of the most recent openings on our guide, this Australian inspired brunch and natural wine spot in the heart of the Northern Quarter opened its doors in September is already proving to be a hit with locals.
The second site for the team, the first being in Didsbury, Another Heart To Feed is located in Stevenson Square and serves all the brunch classics you’d expect, like smashed avocado toast and poached eggs, inspired by travels to the brunch scene of Melbourne and Sydney. You’ll also find vibrant additions like acai bowls and their house-made beans on sourdough toast. They also have an extensive cocktail menu for a tipple or two!
The team doesn’t take bookings & tables are on a first come first serve basis.
Have you eaten somewhere in Manchester City Centre and think we should be shouting about it? Get in touch with us on Instagram.