5 Best Restaurants in Manchester

Manchester is hot on our list of the UK’s best cities to live in. As we discussed in our last blog post on this northern powerhouse, it’s a fantastic city whether you love sport, music, nightlife, or food. Now we’re giving you a list of the five best restaurants in Manchester to tickle your tastebuds, and give you some inspiration while you’re looking for a beautiful flat and super cool flatmates in the city. Whatever your budget or taste, we’ve got a restaurant that will suit you – and you can always tweet us @idealflatmate with any other recommendations for us to try!


The Pasta Factory

77 Shudehill, Manchester, M4 4AN

Perhaps the name ‘factory’ is a bit misleading, as this restaurant does the opposite to churning out bland tagliatelle on a conveyor belt. Passionate about using the freshest all-natural ingredients in their hand-crafted pasta dishes, the team at The Pasta Factory serve a small but thoughtful menu.

The restaurant was opened in 2015 by a group of friends from Turin, Italy, and is very popular among the pasta-lovers of Manchester. The menu is varied and mouthwatering, and there is also a fantastic wine list with options to accompany each dish. Highlights include the fresh bucatini in pistachio béchamel sauce with mortadella ham and burrata cheese, the squid ink pasta parcels filled with smoked salmon, soft cheese and chives, and of course the fantastic service and atmosphere in the restaurant.

El Gato Negro

52 King St, Manchester, M2 4LY

The Manchester Evening News described El Gato Negro as “bloody brilliant,” and we’d be inclined to agree. With restaurants in Leeds and Liverpool as well as Manchester, this sleek and trendy tapas bar and restaurant has everything you need for a fantastic evening out.

The restaurant is stylishly decorated, with bare brick walls and an open kitchen, where you can sit at the bar and watch chef patron Simon Shaw and his team work their culinary magic. There’s a beautiful rooftop bar for the warmer months, and a delicious cocktail menu to match.

As for the food, in authentic tapas style it’s simple enough, but the chefs take the humble elements of the food and create something magical. There is a wide range of fish and shellfish, vegetable, meat and charcuterie dishes to suit everyone – but every dish is perfectly crafted. Whether you’re at El Gato Negro for a business lunch, catch up with friends or a date night, you’re certainly in for a treat.

Where The Light Gets In

7 Rostron Brow, Stockport, SK1 1JY

Where The Light Gets In is off the beaten track, but there’s a reason why it’s consistently featured in ‘best Manchester restaurant’ guides. Located on the first floor of an old coffee warehouse in Stockport, it accommodates just 30 guests in a rustically decorated room that’s less of an open-plan kitchen, more of an actual, homely kitchen with tables tastefully scattered around.

View this post on Instagram

What do you do with your Saturdays? We serve lunch! Sittings at 12.30 and 13.00.

A post shared by WTLGI (@arestaurantwherethelightgetsin) on

The menu is based on produce from the restauranteurs’ own farm, and is a ‘get-what-you’re-given’ tasting menu sometimes featuring a dozen courses. It changes daily depending on the season, weather patterns, sea conditions and more, but you’re sure to have the most delicious dishes in front of you. There is a paired wine list to complement each thoughtfully-crafted course, and a true sense that all the chefs and waiting staff know exactly what they’re doing without a hint of pretentiousness.


42 Blossom St, Manchester, M4 6BF

Mana was Manchester’s first restaurant to be given a Michelin Star. High praise, hey? Chef Patron Simon Martin describes his restaurant as “alive, evolving and immersive,” and a “direct reflection of my personality representing a clear, unadulterated vision inspired by my life so far.”

View this post on Instagram

Cornish Oyster, Chicken fat and English Wasabi

A post shared by Mana (@manamcr) on

The menu is set, and costs over £100 a head, but for this you’re taken on a culinary journey through a range of imaginative, creative courses crafted by one of the best in the game. Think inventive ingredients, carefully considered dishes, genius wine pairings and minimalist, modern decor – and a restaurant experience you won’t forget in a hurry.


3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester, M3 3EB

We briefly mentioned Tattu in our Best Things About Living in Manchester blog for its fantastic cocktails, but it’s worth revisiting for its fantastic modern Asian cuisine. The restaurant is atmospheric, with gorgeous cherry blossom trees, incense and dim but not dingy lighting setting the tone the minute you walk in the door.

The menu features a range of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, with a selection of dim sum, small plates and large plates allowing you to customise your meal and try a range of the chef’s offerings. Personal favourites include the seared tuna with ponzu, truffle aioli and caviar; tuna yuzu ceviche; ginger miso black cod; and caramel soy beef fillet served with shiitake and asparagus.

Accompany your meal with one of the aforementioned Tattu signature cocktails, such as the Crouching Tiger with gin, tequila and pink grapefruit, or the interesting but delicious Oriental Tonic crafted from rum, Chinese five spice and Shiraz.