Ranging from no-fuss casual to fine dining Michelin Star cuisine, we’ve compiled this list based on what we reckon are the best spots you’re going to find in our fine city for an extra special date night.
Of course we have to start with the restaurant that gave Manchester it’s first Michelin Star in over 40 years. Everything on the menu is sourced from our rainy shores and all is prepared and delivered through an open kitchen. Gastronomic delights include dishes like wild trout roe, oysters poached in chicken fat, monkfish liver and a caviar and sea urchin chawanmushi.
Where The Light Gets In
Based in an unassuming loft space that was once an old coffee warehouse in Stockport Old Town, these guys don’t have a fixed food offering, but instead their guests are invited to experience their ever-evolving menu which changes day to day – all results in how we respond to changes in the weather and conditions at sea.
Wolf At The Door
Spread over 3 floors this relaxed Northern Quarter spot takes a laid back approach to fine dining and delivers it at a cost that won’t break the bank either. The basement space houses their ‘Innovation Room’ right next to their kitchen where you’ll find chefs and bartenders exploring flavours and techniques alongside their guests.
Taking a contemporary approach to Chinese cuisine with western flavours and techniques sprinkled in for good measure, Tattu has been Spinningfields’ best spot to dine by miles ever since they opened their doors back in 2015 . Theatre is very much present in this impressive space, with a huge cherry blossom tree taking centre stage, and an evolving wall of live tattoo art.
Bar San Juan
Hands down the best spot you’ll find for authentic Spanish tapas anywhere in Manchester. They don’t take reservations and other than its bright red and yellow facade, this tiny restaurant on the bottom of Beech Road in Chorlton is pretty low-key. This is one for the bucket list, if you don’t mind waiting for a table that is.
Despite what the name might suggest, The French focuses on modern British cuisine with locally sourced produce. Set in a truly exquisite Grade II listed building , you’ll struggle to find a more appropriate setting in Manchester for a fine dining experience.
A sophisticated but relaxed neighbourhood spot that concentrates on seasonal small plates and natural wines. It’s a place for all occasions – pop in for a drink or a couple of dishes at the bar or sit down in the restaurant for a special occasion with friends and family, neither scenario will leave you feeling out of place.
Widely regarded as Manchester’s number one go-to steakhouse, Hawksmoor’s reputation is well deserved and a tough one to beat. They source their meat ethically from carefully reared British cattle breeds and deliver an indulgent menu inside a stunning Grade II listed courthouse.
This family-run tapas restaurant over in Ramsbottom serves up an ever-changing menu of Basque country delights. In recent years its been the driving force bringing an influx of foodie fans to the town.
A fine dining experience located above Tast on King Street designed to take you on a culinary journey across Catalonia.
It’s all about bread, cheese and wine at The Creameries with a heavy zero waste policy. Expect carefully curated dishes using locally sourced ingredients fresh from the market at this Chorlton-based restaurant.
Everywhere taking bookings for outdoor drinking and dining in Manchester from April 12th
Several venues across Manchester have confirmed they are now taking bookings or getting prepped for walk-ins on April 12th.
Following Boris’ unveiling of the roadmap out of lockdown, many restaurants are firing up the ovens and dusting off the chairs ready to welcome punters back in!
Here’s everywhere already taking bookings or walk-ins…
One of the best restaurants in Ancoats will be opening up the terrace on Cutting Room Square again on April 12th. Expect their legendary brunch, Sunday roasts and everything in between.
Dive Bar and Grill
Ready with a brand spanking new (and heated!) terrace, Dive Bar and Grill will be open from April 12th. Walk-ins are also welcome but pre-booking is advised.
You can now book a table for al-fresco dining and drinks on the heated outdoor terrace at the boutique hotel, Dakota. Reservations for accommodation and Bar & Grill visits can be made for after May 17th too!
Cane & Grain
Coming back with their large outdoor (and covered terrace) and a brand new menu including the likes of ribs, burgers and their fantastic mac and cheese.
One of my personal favourite stomping grounds, Alvarium the garden-themed bar tucked away just off Tib Street will be back serving frosty pints and a delicious new food menu on their terrace. See you there.
The Oast House
Famous for their massive outdoor terrace, it’s only right the Oast House are opening up on April 12th. I’d be quick though – when bookings were announced that many people tried their website crashed!
The Con Club
Altrincham favourite will be opening the ground floor and secret hidden terrace on April 12th for walk-ins only.
Enjoy some alfresco dining or just a frosty drink at the Wharf. You can either book or try your luck on the day. Any bookings made for after May 17th will be for inside tables only.
Hatch is back baby! There’s plenty to choose from too from Grandad’s Sausages, FUKU and even Parmo’s from Parmogeddon. There are plenty of drinks too!
Zouk Bar & Grill
The award-winning Indian Halal restaurant just off Oxford Road has bookings live for reservations on the terrace between April 12th and May 16th.
River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel
Opening on April 15th, the large terrace that extends down the length of the River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel will be open for food and drinks.
The Bay Horse Tavern
With thanks to the pedestrianisation of Thomas Street, Bay Horse can reopen in April instead of May. Bookings open on March 6th.
You will be able to have The Refuge experience in their hidden Edwardian courtyard. Spaces are limited.
Bookings are now live for Ancoats’ Vietnamese Bar and Kitchen. They’ve even just launched a brand new Sunday Dinner menu with doughnuts and pho gravy.
Marble Tap Room
The Beer Yard at Marble breewry will be open from April 15th. Walk-ins welcome.
Both Peter Street and Ancoats sites will be out open so you can get your Neapolitan pizza fix.
With amazing views of the city and cracking cocktails – you’ve got everything you need for a mint April 12th.
You’ll be pleased to know that both the Northern Quarter and Bridge Street Crazy Pedro’s sites will be back open. The Bridge Street terrace has also just got an extension meaning it is now massive so even more people can enjoy the bottomless pizza and booze offering!
Wolf at the Door
The NQ favourite will be back serving up tacos and bao buns as well as cocktails, natural wines and plenty of guest beers too.
Catch up with your mates in Impossible’s massive outdoor terrace overlooking the Great Northern. You’ll have your spot for two hours.
Feel Good Club
The cafe that makes you feel good will be opening their little outside terrace on Hilton Street so you can enjoy your coffee and cake and watch the world go by.
Lust, Luck, Liquor & Burn
The NQ terrace will be open from April 12th for walk-ins only. Tuck into some massive burritos, nachos and plenty of margaritas.
Sugo Pasta Kitchen Altrincham
Everyone’s favourite pasta place is back – only in Altrincham though for now. You’ll have to wait until May for the Ancoats site.
The independent Spanish restaurant will be back for some alfresco tapas and sangria!
One of the busiest outdoor terraces in the city at the best of times will definitely be welcoming punters back on April 12th.
Home Sweet Home
Open for all your sweet treat needs including Milkshakes, Cocktails, Cakes, Pancakes, Burgers and everything in between.
The small cafe just outside Pop Boutique on Oldham Street serve up delicious brownies and brunch dishes.
The popular Instagram hang out spot will be swinging open the metaphorical doors of their terrace so you can enjoy some bubbly with your pals.
On the corner at the top of Oldham Street, Mecanica will be opening their outside area from April 30th for walk-ins.
The Rose & Monkey Hotel
This hidden terrace is perfect if you’re after a night tucked in the corner, putting the world to rights.
The Botanist MediaCity
The massive terrace outside the Botanist will be open serving up their lovely grub and fantastic selection of beers.
One of the smallest terraces on the list – but at least it means you can enjoy some fresh poke!
It looks like VietShack are opening up a brand new terrace on the new pavement on Great Ancoats Street just in time for April 12th. Perfect.
The perfect sun trap in Stevenson Square and the one everyone flocks to when there is a glimmer of summer, Eastern Bloc will be up and running for April 12th.
Opening up with a couple of new tables out on the front so you can satisfy all your sweet cravings.
Seven Brothers Middlewood Locks
The new Seven Brothers will be opening up the veranda so you can enjoy a few cold ones in the new Middlewood Locks development.
Scene Indian Street Food
Down on Spinningfields, Scene has a huge terrace perfect for April 12th’s shenanigans.
Some of the best Manchester restaurants doing takeaway and collection during lockdown
Everything you need from Gooey to Hawksmoor
As Lockdown Part III grinds ever onwards, most of us are missing restaurant quality food and drink, and the general experience of going out for a meal.
While it might be a while before we can do that again, luckily our great city is chock-a-block with high quality food venues who are still serving up top scran for takeaway and collection.
As such, these are some of the best places in Manchester offering takeaways, collections or at home kits throughout Lockdown 3.0…
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
Now available nationwide, the Ancoats-based pizza restaurant that was once voted as one of the best in the world is available at home. You can either get hot, ready-made pizza delivered, or opt for their Bake at Home pizzas so your dinner is as fresh as possible.
Easily one of Manchester’s best-known brunch spots is Federal. You can pick up your freshly poached eggs or avocado on toast fix between 8am – 4pm in the NQ.
New to the Arndale, Dunkin’ Burgers combine big fat juicy burgers with a whole pot of gravy to dunk your burger in. Delicious, and seriously Northern.
Be sure to pre-order your Gooey cookies and doughnuts as they pretty much always sell out. You can choose delivery or collection!
Available on Deliveroo or for collection Zouk has got you covered for all your curry needs, including vegan and vegetarian options.
My personal saviour for Lockdown 1.0 was a whopping great 22″ pizza from Nell’s when they were popped up in Common. For now, you can still get your hands on a giant slice from the Beagle in Chorlton.
For the nights when you want to be a little bit posh you could opt for the Hawksmoor experience at home, including their Rib-Eye box which features 35-day dry-aged rib-eye, ultimate oven chips, creamed spinach, bone marrow gravy and sticky toffee pudding.
Fantastic vegetarian Indian food delivered right to your door. What’s to complain about?!
Possibly the poshest option on the list, a Northcote delivery means you can have Michelin-starred cuisine at home.
Six by Nico
If you’re thinking to yourself ‘one course isn’t enough’, then look no further than Six by Nico’s six-course slap-up, Home by Nico. Perfect for a boujee night in or a special occasion.
If you fancy a taste of the Canary Islands so you can pretend you’re somewhere hot with a nice cocktail in hand, La Bandera’s got you covered.
Blue Caribou Poutine
Sometimes (all the time) you just need chips loaded with cheese and gravy and that’s ok. Blue Caribou have started up their delivery service again which also includes their range of Poutine Kits all straight to your door.
South Manny Flavas
Your one-stop shop for some PROPER fried chicken. You won’t be disappointed.
This & That
A Manchester institution now offering their famous ‘Rice & Three’ for pick up at their Northern Quarter location.
With delivery from both their Arndale Market and Ancoats locations you’ve got no excuse really.
Entirely plant-based junk food available on UberEats, Deliveroo and even DIY Home Kits in case you fancy something to do.
Seriously naughty pizzas, my personal favourite is the We Mamma with tonnes of mozzarella, Parma ham and a burrata in the middle.
For those of you who like fresh and delicious sushi, Zumu has a massive menu plus sides, and hot mains including a fantastic Chicken Katsu Curry.
Available for delivery or click and collect on all juicy burgers including their bacon gravy special. Plus their rosemary chips are mega.
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese
You can either opt for their ‘Grill It Yourself’ kits which comes with everything you need to create your own basic grilled cheese (you can add anything you want that you can find in your fridge or kitchen cupboards) or you can of course, simply get a takeaway!
Great North Pie Co.
Some of the best pies available in town now available for delivery. They’re all baked fresh and delivered in chilled packaging for the freshest pie!
Blue Eyed Panda
Seriously impressive traditional Chinese dishes, including dim sum plus a good range of vegan and gluten free options. They also do a Salt & Pepper Platter which is fantastic.
There’s a forgotten Japanese Garden hidden in the hills of a popular Lancashire walking spot
This is stunning!
There’s a beautiful and tranquil Japanese Lake hidden in one of Lancashire’s top walking spots.
If you’ve ever ventured up Rivington Pike you’ll know just how busy that place gets, especially if the sun makes an appearance!
Tucked away around halfway up the path to the peak is one of Britain’s best lost gardens (according to Countryfile in 2014).
The Japanese Lake is part of the Rivington Terraced Gardens built by the founder of the former Lever Brothers company – now known as Unilever – Lord Leverhulme, inspired by one of his trips to Japan.
Constructed between 1905 and 1925, The Terraced Gardens were originally filled with Japanese tea houses, lanterns, and exotic plants, and had two gorgeous waterfalls.
In the unexpected tranquil oasis, only the lake and stone bases of the tea houses remain, but it is still a gorgeous stop on a walk!
The Gardens are part of 45 acres of hillside between Rivington Pike and Rivington Hall Barn, which has a number of interesting features.
You’ll find the Pigeon Tower – once home to Lady Leverhulme’s sewing and music room on the top floor. The second and third floor housed dovecotes.
You’ll also find Lever Bridge at the northern end of Rivington Terraced Gardens, crossing Roynton Lane – the main pathway through the gardens.
The bridge is based on one Lever saw on a trip to Nigeria. It’s known as the Seven Arch Bridge with one large arch crossed by six smaller ones.
The Rivington Terraced Gardens have been open throughout the pandemic, however staff have called for the public to take their litter home, including dog waste bags, or to use the bins provided in all the car parks.
The workers point out that by dropping litter in the middle of a pandemic you are putting staff and volunteers at risk who have to pick it up.
There are three main entrances to the gardens; Belmont Road, another at the former Bolton Lodge and the third at the north-west corner of the gardens with a path leading across the meadow from Rivington Hall.
The main way to the gardens is via Roynton Lane, which runs through the middle of the site.
The garden is split into two distinct areas, the eastern area is more formal with lawns and lakes and contains vegetation from ornamental planting, including species such as Berbeis.
The other side is slightly more steep with trees such as Chestnut and Beech. Between the two areas is a terrace bath with irregularly-shaped flags.