Here in Manchester, we’re truly spoilt for great places to eat out. The city boasts some brilliant restaurants, as do the outer boroughs if you’re willing to travel a bit further afield.
To make it onto a Michelin recommended list, though, is something else. Only sixteen restaurants in Greater Manchester are currently featured in the prestigious guide, and only one of those has a Michelin star – the currently beleaguered Mana in Ancoats.
All sixteen have their own individual quirks. From tapas to modern fine dining, classic French cooking to surprise menus foraged from whatever the team find that day, the list celebrates a range of different cooking styles and dining settings.
Keep reading to discover the full list of Michelin recommended restaurants in Greater Manchester.
What the guide says: “The personality of chef-owner Simon Martin shines brightly at this stylish, modern restaurant in the lively Ancoats area of Manchester, where every one of the well-spaced tables has a view of the kitchen.
“The same fixed price, surprise multi-course menu is now served at both lunch and dinner, and the emphasis is on seafood because, as Simon puts it, “we live on an island”. While most of the produce is British, dishes incorporate influences from Simon’s travels and experiences, most notably Japanese and Nordic.
“Powerful flavours are the chef’s hallmark, and the sophisticated, modern dishes are precisely crafted, original and well-balanced. Each dish has a thoughtfully chosen wine to complement it, the ambience is calm and unhurried, and the bright young team are enthusiastic and refreshingly free from pomp.”
What the guide says: “A modern, industrial-style wine bar run by a group of friends, laid-back Erst offers something refreshingly different in the city. It specialises in natural, low-intervention wines – many of which you can buy to take home – accompanied by a selection of flavoursome small plates.”
Adam Reid at The French
What the guide says: “An intimate hotel restaurant created in the Belle Époque age and brought up-to-date with a moody colour scheme, striking chandeliers and booths down the centre of the room. Boldly flavoured modern dishes focus on one main ingredient and the chefs present and explain the dishes themselves. Desserts are playful.”
What the guide says: “Grab a seat at the counter to watch the chef’s hard at work preparing a mix of vibrant Spanish and Portuguese small plates. The fish dishes are the best, along with the delicious Portuguese custard tarts. The room has a fun, industrial feel and is decorated with traditional blue tiles.”
What the guide says: “Industrial styling, a banging playlist and projections of a Bangkok of the future set the scene for on-view barbecue cooking. Two set tasting menus offer deconstructed and re-invented Thai dishes with a classic heart. The knowledgeable service is well-paced and there’s a cocktail bar downstairs.”
The Bull and Bear
What the guide says: “Start with a cocktail in the bar beside the marble fireplace, then head through to the ‘bear pit’ – the elegant former trading room of the Manchester Stock Exchange – with its marble pillars and wonderful domed ceiling. The menu offers an appealing mix of British brasserie classics.”
El Gato Negro
What the guide says: “The buzzy ‘Black Cat’ sits in a pedestrianised street. The ground floor houses a bar, the first floor plays host to an industrial-style dining room and the top floor is home to a private events space with a retractable roof. Appealing tapas dishes include meats from the Josper grill.”
What the guide says: “Located in the city’s northern suburbs, OSMA is a nod to the owners’ birthplaces – OSlo and MAnchester. Breakfast, salads and open sandwiches are replaced in the evening by tempting small plates. The stylish room comes with an open kitchen, a communal island table and smart curved banquettes.”
What the guide says: “The bustling Northern Quarter is home to this family-run restaurant. The experienced owner-chef hails from France and his classic dishes are cooked with pride and passion using both local and imported French produce. The set lunch represents good value.”
What the guide says: “Tast is housed on the first two floors of this three-storey operation; ask for a seat on the lower level to watch the chefs behind the counter. Uncomplicated Catalan dishes are executed to a high level and are tasty and satisfying. A set menu is served in top floor Enxaneta Tast.”
Where The Light Gets In, Stockport
What the guide says: “This large, loft-style restaurant is located on the top floor of a Victorian coffee warehouse and its open kitchen forms part of the room. The surprise menu is formed from whatever they have foraged that day and beasts are brought in whole and fully utilised. Matching wine flights focus on natural wines.”
The Perfect Match, Sale
What the guide says: “At this simple, honest little bistro you’ll find Jacinda in the kitchen creating tasty, well-crafted dishes from across Europe, while Andrea picks out the perfect match for each dish from the wine list. Andrea’s family make Prosecco back in Italy and some of their wines are here to try.”
What the guide says: “From the same owners as Canto and El Gato Negro comes Habas, which occupies the old wine cellars of the magnificent former Manchester Club building. Small sharing plates are guided by the Middle East, with a few hints of the Mediterranean. The eye-catching décor has a rustic, slightly retro style.”
White Hart Inn, Oldham
What the guide says: “Never one to stand still, this 18C stone pub on the moor is constantly evolving. It’s a busy place but the staff have it all under control and there are comfy bedrooms for those wishing to stay. Dining takes place in a large rear room; the appealing menu has a British heart and global influences.”
What the guide says: “British and Polish flavours combine at this friendly neighbourhood restaurant located in a pleasant village. Well-presented, colourful modern dishes reflect the seasons and are full of flavour. The homemade breads are a highlight, as is the chocolate mousse.”
What the guide says: “Joe has a passion for all things Spanish – he’s even a trained flamenco guitarist – so, unsurprisingly, his sweet little tapas bar has an authentic feel. The menu is dictated by market produce; be sure to try some of the freshly sliced Iberico ham. He also owns the nearby Basque-style Baratxuri pintxo bar.”
Feature image – District / Mana / The Bull and Bear