Here’s why Manchester’s dining scene is worth exploring

Sep 19, 2017

When you think of some of the top dining scenes in the world, Manchester may not immediately come to mind, but its broad offering of food and drink destinations have been sprinkled with some of the best gems in the UK in the last five years. Here’s what there is to look forward to on your next visit.

Dine like a hipster

rudy's Neapolitan pizza

Famous for being one of the world’s first industrial suburbs, Ancoats is now one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Manchester, and is well-known for its independent restaurants including Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza (above). With Ancoats being where many Italians settled, the location is often referred to as Little Italy. At Rudy’s, plenty of care goes into every pie: the pizza dough is double fermented for 20 hours and cooked for only 60 seconds so it’s easily digested and remains soft and floppy.

Anthony Barnes’ Squid Ink is more of an upmarket eatery, which seats only 16 people at one time. The Scandinavian-style restaurant artfully serves up a four-course menu for £25 (US$32.20) where the featured dishes are changed regularly.

seven bro7hers manchester beer

Cafes such as Kettlebell Kitchen, Ancoats Coffee or Cycle Cafe, and microbrew bars like Seven Bro7hers (above), attract the hipster crowd.

SEE ALSO: Best places for afternoon tea in Manchester, UK

Try some posh nosh

adam reid the french restaurant

Chef Adam Reid’s The French (above) at The Midland Hotel serves up modern British food, which surged to popularity thanks to Reid’s predecessor, Simon Rogan. The restaurant featured on BBC’s Restaurant Wars, showing the venue attempting to gain a Michelin star. Their quest took place alongside Aidan Byrne’s Manchester House – and both outlets now hold four AA rosettes. Byrne brings his expertise from Michelin-starred restaurants, Tom Aikens, Pied a Terre, Adlards and The Commons so both are worth booking.

Tour the world without leaving the city

the refuge

Food at The Refuge by Volta is inspired by the trips around the globe that restaurant owners Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey took while travelling as DJs The Unabombers. After teaming up with The Principle Manchester, that had chef Alex Worrall at the helm, the menu is now made up of many small sharing dishes – such as Korean chicken with sriracha and egg yolk, and beetroot pakora (fritters) with tamarind ketchup – using local ingredients with an international twist.

SEE ALSO: 10 places that will make you fall in love with Manchester, England

Dine inside the world’s first 2D material


As the name might suggest, Grafene’s name takes inspiration from the world’s first 2D material, Graphene. Guests are surrounded by metallic features as they dine at the island bar or in booths from breakfast right through to dinner. The menus, which include seven-course and small-plate options, are based off what’s currently available at the markets and although the offerings change daily, they focus on typically British food.