The 10 Best Places To Eat In Manchester

My quick review of the 10 best places to eat in Manchester, UK.

Deciding on places to eat in Manchester was really hard. Not because the city lacks options, gosh no. In fact, the problem was quite the opposite: There was just so much to choose from. Every restaurant and bar we saw looked intriguing. They were all insta-worthy AF, and there were so many different concepts we wanted to explore.

With only 5 days to spend in the lovely city we had to be efficient and I feel like we succeeded, as we got to check out a good handful of the ones I wanted to see. Want ideas on where to eat and drink? Keep on reading.

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1. Evelyn’s Café Bar


Evelyn’s was the first restaurant Lisa and I checked out once we landed in Manchester. It is such a cute spot to enjoy a meal, a cocktail or a cup of coffee. It has a calm and comfortable atmosphere and we were surrounded by green plants everywhere, which we loved. So much in fact, that we kept going back there and we ended up spending quite a few hours there in total on our Manchester trip (hello, unexpected British rain). Evelyn’s have loads of vegan and gluten free options on their menu, and I can recommend their avocado toast for breakfast, yuum.

Evelyn’s also has insaaane cocktails, which we quickly learned is practically the norm in Manchester. Bartenders in this city must be in the world class, cause they blew us away in every place we went to. How do they do it? Manchester must have a secret bartender school for unique bartending prodigies or something? Make sure to try the morning glory fizz, watermelon martini and their frozé (best one I’ve ever tried).

2. Thaikhun


Our first dinner in Manchester was spent at Thaikhun and we had such a great time. Thaikhun is a restaurant chain that specializes in Thai street food and their interior made me feel like I was back in Asia. Everything we ordered tasted so good, and I really recommend the grilled chicken satay and the Panang Curry. For a passion fruit lover like myself, the cocktail Up Till Dawn was like pure heaven in a glass. The experience was even better due to the nicest waiters ever.

3. Fig + Sparrow


Fig + Sparrow is a great coffee shop where you can enjoy delicious coffee and a quick snack in a cozy environment. The perfect spot for a break while vintage shopping in the Northern Quarter. This place has super cute decor and its interior reminds me a lot about cafés in Scandinavia these days. Fig + Sparrow also sell various design products so make sure you pay them a visit once in the area. Bonus points for being dog friendly & having outdoor seating.

4. 20 Stories


When we wanted to enjoy some cocktails at a rooftop bar one night, some quick research had us landing on 20 Stories. It turned out to be a great decision – 20 Stories was a beautiful oasis of a restaurant, and its rooftop terrace had the greatest view of Manchester. The terrace was like lounge with heating lamps, a few bungalows and we had such a fun time sitting out there in the skies. We didn’t eat anything since we had reservations later elsewhere, but their cocktails were incredible. I really recommend the Manchester Tart Punch with fresh raspberries.

In case you’re traveling with kids: Keep in mind that children are not allowed at 20 Stories after 6 PM. On our way down we ran into a disappointed family who weren’t allowed to enter and enjoy the view due to the young age of their child. Just a heads up!

5. Tattu Restaurant and Bar


Once we saw pictures from Tattu while researching places to eat in Manchester, we both knew we had to eat there. And boy am I glad we did. We had such an incredible dining experience at Tattu. Their decor was gorgeous and the dark lighting made it all very intimate. The perfect spot for a date! Or dinner with your sister, that works great too, haha.

Tattu’s cuisine is contemporary Chinese. Everything on their menu made our mouths drool, which made it hard to choose. After some impressive recommendations from the extremely knowledgeable waiter, we finally landed on the crispy baby chicken and crispy duck. Everything was SO good, we seriously couldn’t stop eating. Lisa even went all out and ordered the chocolate dragon egg for dessert.

I was far too busy daydreaming about my elastic sweatpants and condemning my ever-expanding hold-in tights to order any dessert, but I quickly regretted binge eating all that duck once Lisa’s dessert arrived at our table. It seriously looked like something Daenerys Targaryen could have used as easter decor. And it tasted even better (yes, I had a bite, shut up). As far as cocktails go, you should try the Peep Show Bellini, Sake Sour and Skull Candy – which is Tattu’s famous smoking skull cocktail – so so good.

6. The Refuge by Volta


The Refuge is the restaurant that caught my attention the most while researching the best places to eat in Manchester. It looks so elegant and fun at the same time, and nothing like any other restaurant out there. Once we finally had the chance to pay it a visit, the restaurant was even more breathtaking than I expected. With its 10,000 square feet, super high ceiling, natural lighting and beautiful furniture, the building was simply spectacular.

The Refuge takes great advantage of its large venue and is divided into five different spaces to eat and drink in, depending on what you’re in the mood for. They have a laid back vibe and anyone is welcome – they even have a huge sign that says so itself: “Come as you are”. I often get uncomfortable in typically “nice” restaurants while traveling, as I feel like I’m not fancy enough for them, but this was never an issue at The Refuge.

We got seated in the lovely Winter Garden and ordered a selection of various bar snacks, as we weren’t super hungry at the time. Our expectations of the food wasn’t through the roof, I guess I rarely expect much from bar snacks, but oh-ehm-gee you guys – it was all to die for. A restaurant that knocks my socks off with it’s bar snacks? Congratulations, The Refuge wins my eternal love and respect. Bonus points for delicious English beer and even more delicious drinks.

7. Street Food Market at Piccadilly


Every Wednesday to Sunday (except from December 23 to January 14), you can enjoy a street food market in the heart of Manchester. The market consist of more than 18 stalls that all sell delicious food from all over the world. I’m a sucker for street food markets, so when we saw this one pop up right at Piccadilly Gardens it almost made me squeal. We had to try the Manchester Slut Tart – and it was well worth the calories.

8. Richmond Tea Rooms


Walking through the doors of Richmond Tea Rooms was just like entering the world of Alice in Wonderland. We’re talking magical chandeliers in the draped ceiling, a ton of flowers and adorable furniture. Even the entry was so cute we didn’t mind waiting 45 minutes there for a table. We hadn’t made reservations and it was suddenly pouring outside, so we were so thankful that they allowed us to wait there for our table. I do recommend you book a table if you’re planning on visiting, though!

Richmond Tea Rooms is flooded in cakes and sweets, but they also serve other meals than desserts. I tried the chicken sandwich with Spanish mayo (yum), before we ordered the carrot cake and chocolate cake with ice cream – and a pot of Earl Grey to share. The food and sweets were all amazing!

The waiters were super nice, but unfortunately they weren’t very attentive when we visited. They seemed more interested in each other than their guests at some point, were hard to get a hold of, and they forgot about our tea. But hey, anyone can have a bad day, right? Richmond Tea Rooms were all in all a super experience that I recommend to anyone visiting Manchester.

Side note: Richmond Tea Rooms moved to a larger venue shortly after our visit there, so it might look a bit different from my photos. According to pictures from Instagram the place still looks just as magical.

9. One Plus Restaurant


One Plus Chinese Restaurant is TripAdvisor’s number one of places to eat in Manchester, so of course we had to give it a go. The restaurant was not one of those instagram perfected spots we had seen all over Manchester, but their food? Amazing. The restaurant has three floors with different types of food to choose from, and their selection is one of the largest ones I’ve seen. The staff was very welcoming and helpful with any questions we had about the food, and we liked the laid back vibe in there. It is also super affordable and their portions were huge.

10. The Old Wellington


The Old Wellington is a charming old pub located at Shambles Square right by Manchester Cathedral. This unique building was built in 1552 and is the oldest building of its kind in Manchester. It’s an absolute must see, and great location for a pint or a quick lunch break in-between shopping sessions. We tried the fish & chips and their seasonal chicken & avocado salad – both were really good.

More Places To Eat In Manchester (For Next Time)

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to check out all the amazing restaurants, cafés and bars we wanted to in our short stay in Manchester. There were just way too many! But as we both are 100% dedicated to revisit Manchester we’ll just save those spots for next time. Here is the rest of our list on the hunt for the best places to eat in Manchester, in case anyone’s interested:

Ezra and Gil
Menagerie Restaurant & Bar
Mackie Mayor
The French at The Midland
The Oast House
Altrincham Market

My Camera Gear

I get a lot of questions about what camera equipment I used for this post so I thought I’d gather the information here. All of the photos in this post were taken with my new travel camera and lens. I actually sold my full frame camera equipment and replaced it with a mirrorless Sony a6500 and a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens.

I’m absolutely loving this combo for travel and I highly recommend it! The quality is amazing, you can shoot video in 4K, and the shallow depth of field (bokeh) you get with the 1.4 lens is to die for. And it is SO much lighter and smaller than my Canon 6D & all my 1.4 lenses, which often got left behind at the hotel, to be honest. This set can fit into my small purses! Check them out if you’re looking for a new travel camera equipment.

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  1. August 24, 2019 / 5:14 pm

    I have been to Manchester only once and unfortunately I didn’t had any time to explore the best foodie spots in the city. All your suggestions sound so delicious, it would be hard to choose only one restaurant to go to when I’m next in town.

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:41 am

      Awee too bad you didn’t have any time to explore foodie spots, hopefully you’ll have a chance to next time 😄☺️

  2. August 24, 2019 / 6:45 pm

    I see what you mean by plenty of places to choose from. It’s been some years since I was in Manchester, but I used it more as a jumping off place. Looks like the next time I need to make some effort to sample the city’s cafes and culinary offerings.

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:42 am

      Yeahh you definitely should! This was my first visit to Manchester, but I think a lot has happened with the city in the recent years ☺️

  3. August 24, 2019 / 8:37 pm

    Oh my gosh I want to make the trip just to go to to Evelyn’s Cafe- especially because they have gluten-free options for us! We have a coffee shop in our state that is decorated in a very similar fashion and it is so calming and relaxing! Totally saving this for when we get to England!!

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:50 am

      That’s great to hear! I have three more posts on Manchester coming in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out if you’re interested ☺️ great city to bring your kids as well! What’s the name of the coffee shop you mentioned? 😍 Need inspiration for my next US trip

  4. August 24, 2019 / 9:29 pm

    An excellent read for foodies. I liked Richmond Tea Rooms than others. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:51 am

      Thank you ☺️ Richmond was great for sure!

  5. Laurence
    August 24, 2019 / 10:50 pm

    Wow, now I want to visit Manchester too, the photos are so stunning. And love the cocktails so many to choose from. The smoothie in the picture looks delicious too. Might need to save the other restau too.

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:53 am

      Thank you so much, means a lot! 😄🥰 Gosh, the cocktails were insane, I can’t stress that enough. So so so good!

  6. August 24, 2019 / 11:04 pm

    Manchester is a gastronomic haven and this list of places to eat is simply marvellous. Nice that they take card payments for £3.00!

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:55 am

      Thank you so much! It sure was, so much to choose from 😍 I agree, I hate using cash so I love card-friendly options like this! 😄

  7. August 25, 2019 / 6:57 am

    Reading this while being hungry was a very bad idea haha! The cocktails look amazing, I really need to go back to Manchester to try some! Thanks for sharing all the good places!

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:56 am

      Hahaha oh no 🙈🙈 Sorry 😂 You definitely should, I can’t wait to go back – 90% because of the delicious food and cocktails 😍

  8. August 25, 2019 / 8:24 am

    I’ve never been to Manchester, but now I’m inspired. Your photography is beautiful and all the places you listed look amazing. I love the sound of The Refuge – it looks so regal in your images.

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 9:58 am

      Thank you so much! Was testing my new travel camera on this trip so it is so nice to hear you liked them ☺️ The Refuge was indeed very regal, such a great spot!

  9. August 25, 2019 / 5:15 pm

    I have a trip to Manchester coming up, and I will be definitely checking out some of your suggestions!

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 8:11 pm

      Thats great! I would love to hear what you think about it/them if you do check any of them out, let me know if you remember?😄😄

  10. August 25, 2019 / 6:21 pm

    I really need to take a trip back up to Manchester and try some of these places out, they all look fabulous! Will especially have to check out the Richmond tea rooms, defo partial to a good old cuppa!

    • tinakrey
      August 25, 2019 / 8:12 pm

      The tea rooms were amazing, so much more fun than my photos give them credit for 😄 Hope you like it too!!

  11. August 25, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    Wow, you certainly checked out some amazing places in Manchester. It makes me reconsider how I viewed the city food-wise. Its a pity the tea room staff let you down a bit but it wouldn’t stop me visiting (I love my cups of tea). And great tip about 20 Stories for families, something I’d need to bear in mind if visiting with my son!

    • tinakrey
      August 26, 2019 / 2:46 pm

      Oh yeah for sure, anyone can have a bad day so I never let an unattrntive waiter/etc ruin my experience of a place ☺️ Richmond Tea Rooms was a great place regardless and everyone were really sweet, so I still recommend it 😄👏🏻

  12. August 26, 2019 / 4:06 am

    Ok! Hands down! The most stunning photos! And, I have to be honest, I just want to be in one of these places, having a special drink and chill for a bit!
    Well done!

  13. August 26, 2019 / 4:03 pm

    I’ve been to Manchester often for work, but seldom have time to do anything more interesting than pick up a sandwich. Next time I’ll be on a voyage of discovery! I love the vibe of Evelyn’s – in fact, I could happily live in a place like that. And great that it does gluten free and vegan too. I was sold on your first choice! And as you loved the Refuge, check out the Philharmonic in Liverpool, which has a similar atmosphere. It’s a bar rather than a restaurant, but you get mermaids to one side of the room and mermen to the other.

    • tinakrey
      August 26, 2019 / 7:17 pm

      That’s great to hear, Evelyn’s was such a great place – would love to live there too among all the green plants 😍😄 Wow the Philharmonic pub in Liverpool looks incredible, thank you so much for the tip 😄 Will definitely check it out!

  14. August 26, 2019 / 5:10 pm

    It’s been a while since I went out in Manchester, I’d love to go back and try out some of these lovely eateries! Evelyn’s looks very cool and relaxed with delicious cocktails. The food at Thaikhun looks insanely tasty, I was drooling thinking about the Panang Curry. Loved the ambiance they have created in Tattu and I love crispy duck too! Some awesome options in this blog!

    • tinakrey
      August 26, 2019 / 7:18 pm

      Yaay glad you liked it 😄 I don’t consider myself a foodie, but after this Manchester trip I’m inspired and feel like I appreciate food experiences more than ever. Glad to hear it shines through 😄

  15. Renata -
    August 26, 2019 / 6:29 pm

    Till I read your post, I thought Manchester’s strongest suit are all those bands – now I know that there is also food and drinks. I think I’d go for Evelyn’s first – looks just amazing.

    • tinakrey
      August 26, 2019 / 7:20 pm

      I know what you mean! I thought Manchester was all drunk football fans and rock&roll scene, but it has so much more to offer. You should, Evelyn’s was amazing 😍

  16. August 26, 2019 / 7:29 pm

    I love the interior decorating and the fact that so many places use lots of plants inside. My favorites are Evelyn’s Café Bar and 20 Stories, from your photos. Haven’t yet visited Manchester 🙂

    • tinakrey
      August 26, 2019 / 9:35 pm

      I agree, plants make a place so much better ☺️ Hope you get to visit Manchester, it’s worth a visit ☺️

  17. Yukti
    August 26, 2019 / 8:35 pm

    I loved that Manchester has good spots for drinks and eat outs. I loved the vibes of Fig + Sparrow and would have a nice coffee here. Your photos are very inviting.

    • tinakrey
      August 26, 2019 / 9:36 pm

      Thank you so much ☺️ Their coffee was delicious 😄

  18. August 27, 2019 / 5:50 am

    This is a cool list of places to enjoy your meal with beautiful ambiance in Manchester. Quite helpful for those who are seeking best one matching their needs.

    • tinakrey
      August 27, 2019 / 7:46 am

      Thanks for reading 😄😄

    • Jiwesh
      August 27, 2019 / 9:44 am

      An excellent read for foodies. Thank you for sharing such cool places with outstanding ambience in Manchester.

  19. January 18, 2020 / 11:25 am

    Everything looks freaking delicious! I’d love to visit Manchester one day – I’ve heard so many great things about its liveability and vibrancy as a city.

    ALso, your photos are completely gorgeous! Mind if I ask what camera you’re using for these photos?

    • Tina
      January 18, 2020 / 11:37 am

      Thank you so much 🥰 Manchester was incredible, so much more than I expected! Highly recommended. The camera info is in the middle of my post, right after #7 ❤️

  20. January 19, 2020 / 5:33 pm

    Love this! I’ve always wanted to go to Manchester. I visited London for the first time last year and would love to go back and explore more of the UK. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tina
      January 19, 2020 / 10:40 pm

      Thanks! The UK is amazing and there is so much to see, I keep going back 😅🙈 Manchester impressed me, I highly recommend it!

  21. Uyen
    February 16, 2020 / 9:34 am

    Thanks a lots for your travel guide, I hope this helps me for my trip in the future 🙂
    Btw, I really love the way you make a layout for your photos in the post, it’s in the right layout, not over left or not over right.
    Can you please advise me which plugin are you using? Or how do you do that?
    Many thanks for your help 🙂

    • Tina
      February 17, 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Thank you 🙂 Hmm I’d love to help but I don’t quite understand what you mean? 🙂 Could you be more specific? Or send a screenshot of it to my email and I’ll help you out there 🙂

  22. May 16, 2021 / 11:35 am

    Ah yes! I’m a Mancunian and I loved reading your post about food in my home city! I also love Northern Soul which is a street food vendor near the Arndale food market. It’s grilled cheese amazingness and great for a budget friendly lunch spot!

    • Tina
      May 20, 2021 / 11:57 am

      Makes me so happy to hear that you like it! My Manchester posts being approved by a true Mancunian means a lot. Northern Soul sounds really good, will add it for my list for next time. Thanks for reading <3

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