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Looking for inspiration or just want the lowdown on the top spots in town? Whether you’re after pies or pizza, steak or seafood, or something entirely different, check out our pick of the best restaurants in Manchester…
Launched by three Pizza Express alumni in 2000, Croma has all the features of a great independent Italian restaurant coupled with all the efficiency of an established chain. As well as delicious food (just try the dough balls or their Camembert and Pomodoro pizza) they also have a buzzing, family friendly atmosphere. If you need any more convincing, the food is great value, with pizzas starting at just £5.50.
Croma 1-3 Clarence Street, Manchester M2 4DE, England
The Abode is multi-award winning gem of a restaurant started up by British super-chef Michael Caines MBE. It’s located in the vibrant centre of Manchester and prides itself on serving modern European food sourced locally in the north west. Busy diners can take advantage of the grazing menus or express lunches and those with more time can linger over the tasting menu or lounge at the champagne bar. Don’t visit without trying the gazpacho, a gorgeous Spanish salad soup served cold with goat’s cheese mousse.
Michael Caines Restaurant at Abode Manchester 107 Piccadilly | 107 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2DB, England
The Grill on the Alley is all about understated glamour (think hanging lights, brick walls and comfy seats) - all the better to emphasise just how good the food is. They specialise in seafood and steak, with all beef aged for 28 days to ensure its flavour and all seafood responsibly sourced. Plus, with its central location just off Deansgate, it's also a great choice for a pre-theatre bite to eat.
The Grill on the Alley 5 Ridgefield, Manchester M2 6EG, England
This family-run restaurant has been in Manchester since the 1960s, when it was opened by Wing Lau, an exile from China’s cultural revolution. Half a century on and it has become a multi-award winning gem full of authenticity and spirit. The menu has evolved too, with other popular Asian foods such as sushi now on offer. Our top tip is the Mee Goreng, a Malaysian yellow egg noodle stir fry served with chicken, red chilli paste, tomato, beansprouts, spring onion, potato, shallot and pak cho. Delicious!
The Rice Bowl 33a Cross Street City Centre, Manchester M2 1NL, England
There are family run restaurants and then there are family run, built and staffed restaurants. The Rose Garden is one of those. Owner and head chef William Mills's architect father overhauled the venue, his interior designer brother decorated and his younger siblings wait tables. It offers great value, intricate and exciting British food and a buzzing, family-friendly atmosphere. The menu is constantly evolving but for those with adventurous tastes, we recommend trying the squirrel pie (yes, we said squirrel) with roast hazelnuts. Delicious.
The Rose Garden 218 burton road | west didsbury, Manchester M20 2LW, England
With its brick-lined walls, modern decor and warm atmosphere, this is one Italian dining experience not to be missed. The service is top-notch and the menu features all the mediterranean favourites but we recommend you leave some room for dessert - the Nutella and mascarpone calzone served with vanilla ice cream is so delicious you’ll still be thinking about it in a week’s time
Olive 4 Lloyd Street, off Deansgate, Manchester M2 5AB, England
If you’re looking for authentic Greek cuisine, you’ve come to the right place. Not only does Alexandro’s serve the best meze in Manchester they’re also generous with their portions and offer first-class service. Plus, owner and chef Alexandro often comes out to say hello to diners, much to their delight. One not to be missed.
Alexandro’s 337 Palatine Road, Manchester M22 4HH, England
Australasia is a chic and sleek underground restaurant with a huge cocktail bar at one end and an even bigger open kitchen at the other, surrounded by 12ft high glass. Customers enter in through a triangular glass door that looks like a prop from a science fiction film and the service is pretty high-tech too - the wine list comes on an iPad. The menu covers flavours found across the whole of the Grand Pacific, taking in Indonesian, south east Asian, Australian and Japanese influences. One for a special occasion.
Australasia 1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AP, England
Jack Spratt was set up four years ago by two brothers who shared one goal: to serve the food they like accompanied by the music they love. You can expect a buzzing atmosphere, British and international food ranging from cajun burgers to beef chuck stew and, if you visit on a Monday evening, live music. Their location, slap bang in the middle of the city centre, and their daily offer of two courses for £13 also makes this independent restaurant a perfect choice for a pre or post-theatre meal.
Jack Spratt John Dalton Street, St James Square, Manchester M2 6WH, England
Owner Jim Ramsbottom’s uncle Albert used to store tools in the derelict stables that have since been converted into this restaurant. He only agreed to move his belongings to make way for the renovation if Jim named his restaurant after him. Thus, Albert’s Shed was born. Now a fully-fledged restaurant, it serves superb British and European cuisine from the heart of Castlefield. The menu is consistently delicious but we have to recommend the Lancashire cheese and onion pie - proper northern fare.
Albert’s Shed 20 Castle Street, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4LZ, England
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|How booking last-minute saves you money|
|1||Even the best restaurants have empty tables. TablePouncer negotiates last-minute deals on their unfilled tables, with discounts of up to 70%.|
|2||You book the tables easily and securely on our website. You pay a small booking fee up front to secure your table and we send an SMS booking confirmation to your mobile.|
|3||The restaurant will automatically apply the TablePouncer discount to your bill when it's time to pay. No vouchers needed!|