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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 best tapas restaurants Manchester has to offer

Who you taking to try some of these, then?

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@nuevetapas / Instagram & @elgatonegromanc / Insagram

Petite Spanish dishes – or Tapas, to the rest of you – have boomed in popularity these last few years, and it isn’t difficult to see why.

Long gone are the days of painstakingly ordering one dish (or maybe two at a push) from a tantalisingly good menu – with tapas, you can load up on pretty much everything the menu has to offer, and you won’t get judged for it at all.

So, here’s a list of Manchester’s most highly regarded tapas joints – you’re welcome.

@barsanjuan / Instagram

Bar San Juan 

To start the proceedings, we have Bar San Juan, a fantastic Chorlton gem that serves up arguably the best tapas dishes in the whole country.

The owners recently forked out to have an extension added, so there’s plenty of space to sit and enjoy some authentically Spanish tapas – oh, and they have a cracking wine list, too.

Bar San Juan, 56 Beech Rd, Manchester M21 9EG
www.barsanjuan.info

La Bandera

Located smack in the middle of town, this King Street icon has some seriously good tapas on offer, alongside some more unheard of Mediterranean dishes – the lamb skewers and scallops and chorizo dishes are undeniable stand-outs.

La Bandera, 2 Ridgefield, Manchester M2 6EQ
labandera.co.uk

@elgatonegromanc / Instagram

El Gato Negro

Every Manc will recognise this award-winning King Street haunt – owner Simon Shaw has spent years perfecting the menu at El Gato, which serves a delicious variety of meat, cheese, fish and vegetarian dishes. 

The restaurant has won an abundance of awards over the years and, once you’ve sampled their menu, it isn’t difficult to see why.

El Gato Negro, 52 King St, Manchester M2 4LY
www.elgatonegrotapas.com

Abeja Tapas Bar

Abjea actually stands for ‘bee’ in Spanish – a subtle representation of the connection the owners of Abeja Tapas Bar wanted to create with the people of Manchester.

The Oxford Road gem is a space where people can enjoy art exhibitions and cultural activities while also indulging in a food sharing experience from Andalucía cuisine.

Abeja Tapas Bar, Hatch, Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7ED
abejatapasbar.com

@porta_salford / Instagram

Porta Tapas Bar

We’re well and truly spoilt for choice with two Porta Tapas Bars to choose from – one in Altrincham and one in Salford.

The restaurants take heavy inspiration from small independent bars in Madrid and Barcelona, with their menus bursting with delicious fresh meats and fish. 

Porta Tapas Bar, 50 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ
216 Chapel St, Salford, M3 6BY
www.portatapas.co.uk

Nueve Tapas

Described as a little taste of Barcelona in Didsbury, Nueve Tapas can be found – quite unexpectedly – nestled between a tanning salon and a butchers.

Their menu boasts an impressive selection of tapas, as it does with wine and that all-important sangria. They’re also offering a brunch menu, a must-have for those hungover weekends.

Nueve Tapas Bar, 9 Barlow Moor Rd, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6TN
www.nuevetapasbar.com

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City Guides

The best places to treat your dad in Manchester this Father’s Day

Father’s Day? Completed it

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@flightclubmanchester / Instagram & @therefugemcr / Instagram

Father’s Day is on the horizon, and to say that the nation’s dads are in dire need of some serious pampering would be an understatement. 

It’s been one hell of a year, so all those dads and father figures out there definitely deserve the best – but if you’ve left your plans to the very last minute (guilty), worry no more, because I have devised a list of some fantastic Father’s Day ideas to do here in the city.

You’re welcome. 

@hawksmoorrestaurants / Instagram

Hawksmoor

Let’s start with an obvious one. If your dad loves a good steak and a glass of posh vino (because whose dad doesn’t?), treating him to dinner at one of Manchester’s most popular steakhouses would be a great way to show your appreciation. 

The restaurant has also put together an array of Father’s day boxes and gifts so, if you’re unable to leave the house this year, you can enjoy the elusive Hawksmoor experience from the comfort of your own home. They are offering three different gift boxes – a traditional Sunday Roast, a family Feasting Box and a Fillet.

For bookings, prices and more information on their Father’s Day gift box, check out their website.

184, 186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
0161 836 6980

The Refuge

The Oxford Road staple is pulling out all the stops for Father’s Day this year – not only are they dishing up banging Sunday roasts, they’re also hosting EATMCR’s street food takeover, which will see a whole array of pop-ups and local breweries.

Clampdown Records and Deadstock General Store will also be hosting pop-ups, where you can grab yourself some last minute Father’s Day gifts. There will also be music from the finest local DJs to keep the celebrations going throughout the day.

Visit their website for more information and bookings.

Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
0161 233 5151

@teamsportkarting / Instagram

TeamSport Go Karting 

Fancy thrashing your old man on the race track? 

TeamSport are open and taking bookings for all those wanting to celebrate Father’s Day with a bit of good dose of old-fashioned racing rivalry. 

At TeamSport Manchester, you’ll get the opportunity to race around a state-of-the-art indoor track on electric karts, and even take part in an award ceremony at the end of each race which will, of course, provide some great bragging opportunities.

TeamSport are taking bookings only for Father’s Day – visit their website for more information.  

AO Arena, Victoria Station, Hunts Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M3 1AR
01252 732300

Dusk Til Pawn

Perfect for all those dad-rock lovers out there, this Northern Quarter icon will act as a great venue for some celebratory cocktails with dad.

With a fantastic jukebox selection and an even more impressive cocktail list, you and your dad can spend some quality time drinking, dancing and putting the world to rights. 

Pay their website a visit for more information.

Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN
0161 236 5355

@flightclubmanchester / Instagram

Flight Club

Let’s face it, all dads love a good game of darts, so what better way to demonstrate how good of a job they did raising you by showing off your skills on the board?

This venue is taking bookings only, and gives each group their own private space to drink, laugh, and land plenty of 180s. Pre-ordered drinks will be ready and waiting upon arrival, and food can be served throughout the booking. Members of staff can be summoned at the touch of a button, too.

Visit their website here to book your own booth.

Ship Canal House, 98 King Street, Manchester, M2 4WU
0161 537 7250

Hotel Football

For footie-mad dads (most of them, then), Hotel Football is offering an exclusive package with former Manchester United defender, Wes Brown.

The package includes class of 92-themed toiletries & complimentary retro treats in the mini bar, a Q&A withWes Brown himself in the Stadium Suite, screening of the Portugal v Germany in Heaven, a two course dinner in Café Football with screening of Spain v Poland game and afternoon tea on either the Saturday or the Sunday. Overnight accommodation is also included. 

To make a booking or enquire for more information, visit their website and drop an email to reservations@hotelfootball.com.

Old Trafford, 99 Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester M16 0SZ
0161 751 0430

Lowry Hotel

The Lowry Hotel

The Lowry Hotel have launched their Father’s Day @ HOME, a unique afternoon tea perfect for all those dads out there.

The afternoon tea includes the likes of miniature prime beef burgers, BBQ pulled pork, glazed stilton, chicken and bacon pies, three cheese and pancetta scones accompanied by smoky bacon jam and chive sour cream – and two bottles of Morretti to wash it all down.

Click here to make your own booking.

50 Dearmans Pl, Salford, M3 5LH
0161 827 4000

 

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City Guides

The best places to watch the Euros here in Manchester

You won’t miss any of the action here in Manchester

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@cafefootballuk / Instagram & @dukes_92 / Instagram

The Premier League and the Champions League may have concluded for the season, but football fans fear not! 

Euro 2020 is finally set to take place after being postponed last year thanks to Covid-19 travel restrictions, and it’s set to be a good one.

The tournament kicks off in Rome this Friday, June 11th, with eleven more countries across the continent set to host matches until its conclusion at Wembley on July 11th.

England will meet Croatia (trigger warning for those who watched the 2018 World Cup) on Sunday, while the Czech Republic and our UK rivals Scotland will also go head-to-head in Group D.

@england / Instagram

Thanks to ongoing travel restrictions and a limited number of tickets being available, many football fans across the continent will struggle to attend – fans here in Manchester included. 

But a bleak month of watching football on your sofa doesn’t have to be the solution – because whether you’re supporting England, Wales, Scotland, or any European teams taking part, there will be plenty of bars, restaurants, and special venues across Manchester showing your match. 

Here are your options:

@cafefootballuk / Instagram

Cafe Football

It wouldn’t live up to its name otherwise, would it?

The Trafford Park establishment will be showing all televised games on several large screen TVs while serving up European inspired food, towers of beer, and giving away some brilliant prizes.

Tickets include a six pint beer tower, a six dish food platter, and two hour table time to watch the game. For more information and to buy tickets, you can visit the official Hotel Football website here.

99 Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester, M16 0SZ
0161 751 0430

Manchester Bierkeller 

Following its merge with Shooters Sports Bar, the Bavarian themed beer hall will be showing all the major games throughout the tournament.

Bierkeller is currently offering a £20 Major Sports Package for England’s game with Croatia on June 13th, which includes guaranteed entry to the venue, a reserved table for the duration of the game in view of the screens and TVs, and two bottles of beer.

Though be quick, tickets are selling out fast! You can make a reservation here.

The Printworks, Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS
0161 839 8293

@divebargrill / Instagram

Dive Bar & Grill

All sports bookings include a TV view of the game on ultra 4K HD televisions, comfortable leather seating and table service. 

Dive also offers a sports menu, which includes a selection of small plates and sides such as mini cheeseburgers and Dive fried chicken. Their drinks menu lists ice cold buckets of beer and bottles of prosecco – perfect for those post-match celebrations.

They are now taking bookings for June 11th – June 26th, though they have limited availability only, so make sure you’re quick!

Dive Bar & Grill, Tib St, Manchester, M4 1SH
0161 826 3080

Hard Rock Cafe 

Manchester’s Hard Rock Cafe is offering a hat-trick of offers during their Euros screenings: Children eat free with a purchase of an adult entrée with Merlin Entertainment Pass & UK Kids Pass, free dessert if you sign up to Rewards, Hard Rock’s membership programme and ‘Lift the cup for Happy Hour’ – Sunday -Thursday 4pm-7pm and Friday – Saturday 9pm till late.

Aneta Jarzmik, General Manager at Hard Rock Cafe Manchester, said: “We’re always the home of great music and food, but with Manchester’s passion for the beautiful game, we decided to also be the home of football for Euro 2020. We’ve created a family-friendly atmosphere and can’t wait to welcome fans.”

Hard Rock Cafe, The Printworks, Manchester, M4 2BS
0161 831 6700

Fan Park 2021

SecretCity

Tucked away in Trafford, SecretCity is the perfect place to enjoy the footy this summer – with the UK’s largest screens on hand to provide an exceptional viewing experience.

Tickets for their Euros screenings vary; guests can book a table for 1 group (up to 6 people) which includes viewing of the match. Their VIP Table for 1 group includes viewing of the match, section tables and queue jump, while their VIP Terrace for 1 person includes viewing of the match, one drink, one food voucher, and access to Q&A and an exclusive bar.

You can make your reservation here.

Phoenix Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M41 7TB


Walkabout

Manchester’s Aussie staple will be showing every single Euros match on their giant HD TVs throughout the month – so grab a VB, sit back, and enjoy the match with your finest cork hat.

Walkabout are taking bookings only for their Euros screenings.

27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS
0161 672 4660

 

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