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City Guides

The best restaurants in Manchester for an extra special date night

The absolute best dining experiences you’ll find in and around the city.

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Photo: Finest Media

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.

Mana

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.

Tattu

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.

The French

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. 

Erst

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.

Hawksmoor

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.

Baratxuri

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.

Enxaneta

A fine dining experience located above Tast on King Street designed to take you on a culinary journey across Catalonia.

The Creameries

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.

City Guides

The cosiest pubs in Manchester to enjoy an autumn pint

It’s officially cosy pub season and we couldn’t be happier about it

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@gilbertoski & @theblackfriarsalford / Instagram

Summer has officially departed and, while we may be sad to wave goodbye to our beloved beer gardens for another six months, we’re undeniably very excited to welcome back those log fires and warming Sunday roasts.

Yep, autumn is here and that means Manchester’s cosiest pubs are back open for business, offering all those lovely autumnal treats such as mulled wine, warming fire places and those iconic cosy corners.

And luckily for you lot, the city is teeming with wonderful pub offerings to keep you occupied throughout the colder months.

So without any further ado, here’s some of our favourite spots…

@theblackfriarsalford / Instagram

The Blackfriar

This historic boozer reopened last year after eighteen long years out of action following a massive investment by property giants Salboy, who transformed the building back into the cosy pub it once was, with a fine dining section and green oasis through the back.

But round the front, guests can settle down in front of a roaring fireplace and indulge in all those comforting pub grub classics like fish and chips and pie and mash alongside a lovely pint of Guinness. It doesn’t get much more autumnal than that, does it?

The Blackfriar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford M3 7DB.
https://www.theblackfriarsalford.co.uk/ 

@thedidsbury / Instagram

The Didsbury

Famous for its enormous front-facing beer garden in the summer (and for being the first stop in the famed Didsbury Dozen pub crawl, of course), The Didsbury is also well loved for its snug interior throughout the autumn and winter months.

Here, you’ll be able to sit back and relax with a beverage directly next to a crackling fireplace built within a lovely exposed brick wall – dogs are welcome too, incase you needed any more convincing. 

The Didsbury, 852 Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, Manchester M20 2SG
The Didsbury Website

@oxnoblepubdeansgate / Instagram

The Oxnoble

Located at the heart of the old Potato Wharf in Castlefield, The Oxnoble is one of the city’s most historic pubs, having being built all the way back in 1804. 

And you know what they say about old and historic pubs; they make for the best winter boozers. The pub’s low ceilings and creaky floorboards give it a very comforting nostalgic feel, with its old-timely fireplace pairing perfectly with the many beers and bitters on offer behind the bar.

71 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NQ
The Oxnoble Website

The Circus Tavern / Facebook

The Circus Tavern

The ‘smallest bar in Europe’ was always going to make the cosy pubs list, wasn’t it? Admittedly, many may consider The Circus Tavern to be more on the claustrophobic side than the cosy side but still, it’s an undeniable gem for those colder months.

While there isn’t a roaring fireplace to snuggle down next to (that’d be a major health hazard in such a small place, don’t you think?), there is plenty of old-worldly pub vibes knocking about. Plus, famed footballer George Best did frequent the pub back in the day, if that helps.

The Circus Tavern, 86 Portland St, Manchester M1 4GX
http://circustavern.co.uk/

The Marble Arch

A short walk away from the Northern Quarter down Rochdale Road, The Marble Arch is undisputedly one of Manchester’s most historic and iconic boozers, having stood the test of time since 1888.

Providing those ‘proper pub’ vibes among a sea of trendy craft beer bars, The Marble Arch brews its own beer and is a definite must-visit when looking for some solace from Manchester’s icy wind and rain. 

The Marble Arch, 73 Rochdale Road, Manchester, M4 4HY
The Marble Arch Website

@samschophouse / Instagram

Sam’s Chop House

A pub once frequented by artist LS Lowry (there’s a massive statue of him propped up at the bar if you don’t believe me), Sam’s Chop House is as cosy and old-worldly as a pub can get.

Guests have to take a rickety and narrow winding staircase down to find the pub and fully functioning gourmet restaurant nestled underground, alongside an extensive drinks menu (the Guinness is really good here, too).

Sam’s Chop House, Back Pool Fold, Manchester M2 1HN
0161 834 3210

@thebritonsprotection / Instagram

The Briton’s Protection

It doesn’t get much cosier than this; The Briton’s Protection is one of Manchester’s oldest pubs (are you noticing a pattern here?) and specialises in possibly the most wintery drink there is: whisky. 

The pub can showcase up to 300 whiskies at any given time and features those classic old pub stools and circular tables crammed into a warm corner. Picture that on a cold Friday night after work… You can’t beat it.

The Briton’s Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5LE
0161 236 5895

@gilbertoski / Instagram

Peveril of the Peak

Of course Peveril of the Peak was going to crop up at some point – it is one of the most recognisable pubs in the whole of Manchester, after all (just look at that two-toned yellow and green brick exterior).

But on the inside, the Pev provides a seriously good atmosphere, the kind only achieved by the most traditional of boozers. Inside, guests can sit on original wooden benches among stained glass window, etched mirrors and brass bells. Classic.

The Peveril of the Peak, 127 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JQ
The Peveril of the Peak Facebook

@totalcurtis / Instagram

The City Arms

The historic City Arms, located smack in the middle of Manchester’s city centre, has been a regular entry in the Good Beer Guide for years and boasts all those lovely old pub features, including those built-in Chesterfield sofas and circular tables just begging for a packet of crisps to be opened and spread out upon them.

As is the case with this style of old-age pub, The City Arms really comes to life in the colder months and provides a comforting and cosy abode for Mancunians escaping the rain.

The City Arms, 46-48 Kennedy St, Manchester M2 4BQ
0161 236 4610

@bayhorsetavern / Instagram

Bayhorse Tavern

Ah, the Bayhorse Tavern, a haunt well known and loved by all those city-centre dwellers. While it may not be an ideal layout for those hot summer days (yeah, all three of them), it is the perfect spot to shelter from the rain.

The Bayhorse has a cracking selection of beer and also do a banging roast on a Sunday – the ideal place for the whole of autumn and winter, then.

Bayhorse Tavern, 35-37 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
https://thebayhorsetavern.co.uk

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City Guides

The best places to enjoy a gin & tonic in Manchester this Easter weekend

The perfect excuse to indulge in a couple of gins this weekend…

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@sevenbro7hers & @theatlasbar / Instagram

The Easter weekend is coming up and the forecast is for warm sunny weather, which calls for one thing and one thing only; a definitive round up of the best spots to enjoy a G&T here in Manchester.

Now, it’s no secret that here in Manchester we’re spoiled for choice on where to enjoy a tipple or two. And, if gin is your tipple of choice, you certainly won’t be left wandering the streets aimlessly in search of that perfect drink.

So, without any further ado, here’s our favourite Mancunian spots to enjoy a gin & tonic…

@threelittlewordsmcr / Instagram

Three Little Words

Because of course Manchester Gin’s very own distillery and bar was going to make the ultimate G&T list. The venue, located down Watson Street, boasts its own distillery, meaning every last drop of Manchester Gin is made there and then on site.

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery also also gives guests the opportunity to make their very own gin, as well as learn the ins-and-outs of distilling.

On the actual drinking side of things, their bar boasts every variety Manchester Gin has to offer, including their new Oyster Gin, as well as a whole array of other gins from across the U.K and beyond. 

Three Little Words, 2-13 Watson Street, Manchester, M3 4LP
threelittlewords.co.uk

@theatlasbar / Instagram

 

Atlas Bar

Found at the bottom of Deansgate, Atlas Bar is definitely one of the better known gin bars in the city. Boasting a massive collection of 560 gins – both local and global – guests are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting their tipple.

Atlas Bar also features a heated outdoor terrace, perfect for both summer evenings and those chillier winter nights. 

Atlas Bar, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
atlasbarmanchester.com

The Old Bell Inn

The Old Bell Inn

A little bit further afield in the village of Delph, Oldham, stands The Old Bell Inn, which is an actual world record holder thanks to its vast collection of gin – all 1,100 of them.

You can’t compete with that, can you?

And, as well as it’s extensive gin offering, The Old Bell Inn is also well loved for its classic ‘countryside pub’ vibes and dazzling views of the Saddleworth Moor – the perfect place to sit back and relax with an ice cold G&T, if you ask me.

The Old Bell Inn, Huddersfield Road, Delph, Oldham OL3 5EG
www.theoldbellinn.co.uk

Seven Bro7hers

Seven Bro7hers 

Yes, I’m well aware that I’ve included a taproom on this list but hear me out; the iconic Salfordian brewers have recently dabbled in the world of distillery by launching their very own gin brand, Sis4ers Distillery. 

Their distillery has produced a number of different botanical blends with tasty flavours such as strawberry, lime and thyme, espresso and passionfruit. 

Seven Bro7hers, 39 Blossom Street, Ancoats, M4 5AF | Lockside Lane, Salford, M5 4YP
sevenbro7hers.com

@lonocove / Instagram

Lono Cove

Having only opened recently, the Northern Quarter’s newest tiki bar Lono Cove features two floors of ‘contemporary’ tiki fun, including treasure chest cocktails and an abundance of greenery… Oh, and plenty of gin.

While tiki bars are usually associated with rum (there’s plenty of that, too), Lono Cove boasts an impressive selection of gins that can be enjoyed with tonic or in their many cocktails. 

Lono Cove, 14 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1DH
lonocove.com

@theblackfriarsalford / Instagram

The Black Friar

G&Ts taste better in a lush green beer garden, so of course The Black Friar had to make the list, with its stunning outdoor space.

The iconic Salford boozer recently reopened after eighteen years of no action and a massive transformation, and it is now the place to enjoy some gourmet pub grub and a couple of gins, either with tonic or in the form of a tasty cocktail.

The Blackfriar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford M3 7DB
theblackfriarsalford.co.uk/ 

 

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City Guides

CITY GUIDE: The best rooftop bars Manchester has to offer

Who’d have thought rainy Manchester would have so many options?

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@20storiesmcr / Instagram & @theivymanchester / Instagram

The Easter bank holiday weekend is here and it’s set to be a sunny one, so we might as well make the most of it with a couple of trips to Manchester’s rooftop bars.

Rooftop bars?! I hear you ask.

Yes, it turns out that Manchester actually boasts an admirable selection of venues that offer a rooftop experience while you enjoy your drink. 

Here’s some of our favourites…

@20storiesmcr / Instagram

20 Stories

Let’s start with an obvious one, shall we? 

This venue is arguably one of Manchester’s most Instagrammable spots with stunning views of the city from, you guessed it, the twentieth floor. I wonder where they got their name from?

Anyway, 20 Stories offers impressive food and cocktail menus, a whole array of greenery and trees, and an outdoor fire pit.

20 Stories, No 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3EB
0161 204 3333
20stories.co.uk

YES

Believe it or not, one of Manchester’s most popular music venues has an actual rooftop bar. 

If you make it past the suitably dark and dingy music basement, all the pizza and beer on the first floor and the pink room on the second (yes, this venue has an actual room dedicated to the colour), you’ll find yourself out on the third floor in their makeshift rooftop bar.

Though it doesn’t boast the views from twenty stories high, it makes up for it with beautiful decor, holiday vibes and, most importantly, £3 pints.

YES, 38 Charles St, Manchester M1 7DB
www.yes-manchester.com

@theivymanchester / Instagram

The Ivy

This up-market Spinningfields spot offers a unique twist on a rooftop bar with their ‘roof garden.’

Guests can enjoy food and cocktails amongst an abundance of florals, foliage and colourful fabrics, all creating an enchanting oasis in the heart of Manchester’s city centre.

And thanks to its retractable roof, The Ivy Roof Garden is open seven days a week, come rain or shine.

The Ivy Spinningfields, The Pavilion, Byrom St, Manchester M3 3HG
theivymanchester.com

Terrace NQ

It says it in the name, doesn’t it?

Nestled down the Northern Quarter’s Thomas Street, Terrace NQ offers a little solace to those desperate for a bev in the rare Mancunian sunshine. 

Its secluded rooftop terrace is adorned with fairy lights, unique furniture and a fantastic atmosphere, so makes for the ideal spot to enjoy some sunshine.

Terrace NQ, 43 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
0161 819 2345

@conclubrestaurant / Instagram

The Con Club

All the way over in Altrincham, The Con Club offers a fantastic sun spot complete with a tipi for those impromptu spells of rain – we do live in Manchester, folks.

The Con Club’s rooftop remains relatively unknown, and the restaurant is only accepting walk-ins, so your chance of getting a seat are high!

The Con Club, 48 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ
0161 696 6870
conclubuk.com

Atlas Bar

Okay, this Deansgate staple might not technically have a rooftop bar… but it has an outdoor bar around the back that’s suspended in the arches below the roof, so that definitely counts.

It’s easily one of the best terraces in the entire city centre, and with a choice of more than 500 gins, it’s certainly one of the more desirable locations in town when the sun comes out.

Atlas Bar, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
0161 834 2124
atlasbarmanchester.com

@hatchmcr / Instagram

Hatch

Okay, we’re pushing it a bit with this one, considering that the Oxford Road foodhall is literally plonked directly under Mancunian Way.

But we have to give it to the staff over at Hatch – they’ve been brilliantly creative with their use of space and have somehow managed to make a couple of rooftop bars that get a lovely dose of sun for most of the day.

Grab a few beers, order some food and enjoy.

Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7ED
hatchmcr.com

Big Hands

Another unexpected one, this staple part of Manchester’s music scene actually offers a small and secluded roof terrace for guests to sit and enjoy the sun with a can of Red Stripe.

Expect naughties leather sofas, film posters and an epic dance floor if you fancy a few drinks in this haunt over the weekend.

Big Hands, 296 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9NS
0161 272 7309

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