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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.

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City Guides

Some of the best Manchester restaurants doing takeaway and collection during lockdown

Everything you need from Gooey to Hawksmoor

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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. 

Federal

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.

Dunkin’ Burgers

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. 

gooeyco/Instagram

Gooey

Be sure to pre-order your Gooey cookies and doughnuts as they pretty much always sell out. You can choose delivery or collection!  

Zouk

Available on Deliveroo or for collection Zouk has got you covered for all your curry needs, including vegan and vegetarian options. 

Nell’s Pizza

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. 

Hawksmoor

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.

Bundobust

Bundobust

Fantastic vegetarian Indian food delivered right to your door. What’s to complain about?! 

Northcote

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. 

La Bandera

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. 

bcsnackbar / Instagram

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. 

Viet Shack

With delivery from both their Arndale Market and Ancoats locations you’ve got no excuse really. 

Wholesome Junkies

Entirely plant-based junk food available on UberEats, Deliveroo and even DIY Home Kits in case you fancy something to do. 

ciaooopizzamcr / Instagram

Ciaooo Pizza

Seriously naughty pizzas, my personal favourite is the We Mamma with tonnes of mozzarella, Parma ham and a burrata in the middle. 

Zumu Sushi 

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.

Honest Burgers

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. 

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City Guides

There’s a forgotten Japanese Garden hidden in the hills of a popular Lancashire walking spot

This is stunning!

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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. 

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City Guides

Full list of Manchester restaurants doing 50% off from Monday

Now to decide where to go!

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Finest Media

The government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme comes into effect from August 3rd, and there are some cracking deals to be had! 

The deal gets you 50% off your food and any non-alcoholic drinks up to a total of £10 per person when you dine-in at a restaurant.

The discount is available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between August 3rd and August 31st 2020.

You can also go as many times as you like within those dates so fill your boots!

Full list of Manchester establishments taking part: 

Almost Famous

20 Stories
Easily one of the best views of the city and a specially curated three-course menu for the cause!

Almost Famous
Everyone’s favourite burger spot and they’ve got a brand new burger available on the deal. It’s called the ‘2020 stk’ and is stacked full of a double juicy cheeseburger, wonder buttered peppered steak, smashed tots, chorizo, bacon ketchup, peppered mayo and dijon mustard. Delish.

Archie’s 
Famous people love it here. Great if you have a pink theme on your Instagram.

Asha’s
Delicious and high-end curries available!

BAB
Gloriously fancy kebabs that you’ll want to savour. There’s also amazing greek fries, yum.

The Bay Horse Tavern
Best chips in the city. Hands down. Also – cracking pies.

Bem Brasil Restaurants/Facebook

Bem Brasil
All you can eat meat that travels around on swords.

Blue Eyed Panda
Top notch Cantonese scran.

BrewDog
Classic beers (not included in the deal) but you can get some cracking burgers, wings and platters.

Brewski
Pure food porn. Guarantee you’ll be taking pictures of your food here.

Bundobust Manchester
Nothing better than Indian Street food! Okra Fries is a must-order.

Cane & Grain
Ribs! ’nuff said.

Canto
Fabulous Mediterranean Tapas right in the heart of Ancoats. How fancy!

Finest Media

Chakalaka
Incredible South African delicacies. I highly recommend trying the Creme Soda drink, it tastes like a green fizzy refresher.

Ciaooo Pizzeria
Cheesy, cheesy, pizza.

Cottonopolis
Slap-up Asian inspired food. Delicious.

Crazy Pedro’s NQ
Huuuuuuuuuuge pizzas and an even bigger party.

Don Giovanni
It’s the oldest independent Italian in Manchester, so you know you’re in good hands.

Döner Haus
A fancy new kebab house in the Corn Exchange.

Ducie Street Warehouse
Everything you could need inside four walls. Including donuts.

El Capo
A huge Mexican fiesta, including tacos, burritos, burgers and tequila.

El Gato Negro
Super popular tapas spot down on King Street.

Elnecot
Everyone’s favourite spot in Ancoats and there’s a brand new menu that features Lamb Testicles (and they’re actually really tasty).

Evelyn’s Cafe Bar
The perfect spot for brunch and an Instagram photo op.

Evuna
Known for tapas and wine – what’s better?!

Finest Media

Flight Club
Darts, pizza and Prosecco all in a fairground theme. You could die happy after visiting here.

Flok
The best spot for after-work drinks in the sun with Mediterranean-inspired small plates.

Franco Manca
New pizza joint from London, tucked away in Piccadilly Gardens.

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
Ice.Cream.

Gino D’Acampo
The offer is available at all Gino’s restaurant including the Pizza and Prosecco bar, yum!

Greens
Veggie restaurant from Simon off the TV box.

Hard Rock Cafe
You already know what’s good with this one.

Home Sweet Home/Facebook

Home Sweet Home
Brunch but with milkshakes and huge cakes.

Kabana
Seriously good kebabs and curries.

La Bandera
Glorious tapas, and the best rose sangria in the city.

Lily’s Vegetarian
Head to Ashton for an amazing (and award-winning) veggie Indian feast.

Luck Lust Liquor & Burn
Seriously good Tex-Mex grub.

Mamucium
Amazing food near Victoria Station. You can eat three courses for £10pp on the ‘Chancellor’s Menu’.

Moose Coffee
Known for (massive) pancakes. Good hangover food spot.

Mowgli Street Food/Facebook

Mowgli
Indian food made for sharing. Dead good.

Night and Day Cafe 
An institution that also serves up food.

Noi Quattro
More pizza! Never enough!

Oké Poké
Fresher than fresh Poké bowls and delicious smoothies. Health is wealth.

One88 Whitefield
It’s well worth the trip, serving up everything from chicken wings to bottomless brunch.

Pasta Factory 
You can never eat enough pasta! Only available Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Peru Perdu
South American all-day dining restaurant, Peru Perdu, is offering Picanha steak and a side (worth £22) for £10.

Finest Media

The Pen & Pencil
The Mad Men-inspired NQ bar with real good grub.

Piccolino
Delicious, quality Italian food right here in Manchester. Deal available at all Piccolino restaraunts.

PLY2
Simply put, PIZZA!

Porta Wine & Tapas Bar
It doesn’t get better than wine and tapas, does it?!

The Refuge
Huge city centre bar with music and an amazing restaurant. The Refuge will be back open from August 5th with a brand spanking new menu.

The Restaurant Bar & Grill
Available at Manchester, Alderly and Chester!

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
Quite literally in the top ten top pizzas in the world. A must.

Shoryu Ramen
Ramen in Piccadilly Gardens, perfect!

Image may contain: one or more people and food

Finest Media

Sicilian NQ
Independent eatery in the NQ serving up seriously good and authentic Sicilian food. Including a Gelato Brioche Sandwich, you have to try.

Solita NQ
Absolutely humongous burgers. Not for the faint-hearted.

Soul Coffee
Coffee, brunch and gelato!

Tariff & Dale
Modern British Food and sourdough pizza all served until 10pm.

Tast Catala
The taste of Catalonia in beautiful and tasty small plates.

Tattu

Tattu
One of the most beautiful restaurants in Manchester with incredibly tasty, contemporary Chinese food.

The Alchemist
Really beautiful and theatrical drinks and food including plenty of sharing options, burgers and brunch.

The Oast House
Absolutely delicious hanging kebabs and a legendary beer garden – perfect social distancing spot!

Three Little Words
A one-stop-shop with a bar, restaurant and distillery – that all looks gorgeous! Get 50% off (up to £10) on food and unlimited soft drinks or opt for a £15 for two courses, side and a proper drink. Opt for a Manchester Gin & Tonic – you know you want to!

TNQ Restaurant
Go for the best roast in the city or a three-course express menu for £10.

Trof
They’ve got a cracking deal on which includes main, starter or pudding, any size and a drink for £10.

Image may contain: food

V Rev Vegan Diner/Facebook

V Rev Vegan Diner
Incredible vegan food, including mega burgers.

Viet Shack
The best place for amazing Vietnamese street food.

Wholesome Junkies
Vegan food but dirty!

Yang Sing
One of the most popular Chinese restaurants in the city that is an absolute must-try.

Yard & Coop 
Clucking good chicken.

Zouk
Famous for full roast lambs and incredible curries. Try something new on the deal, if you’re a fan of Chicken Tikka go for Chilo Kebab or if you like it hot, try Laas Maas.

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