Best Restaurants In Manchester For Special Occasions

By Ellie Smith

5 months ago

The northern city's high-end hotspots

Manchester hasn’t always been known for its food, but in recent years the buzzy northern city has undergone something of a culinary renaissance. Nowadays you’ll find plenty of fancy restaurants in Manchester, from glamorous rooftop hangouts to high-end brasseries with top chefs at the helm. Here we highlight the best restaurants in Manchester for special occasions, from the most Instagrammable dining room in town to the city’s only Michelin-starred eatery. 

Fancy Restaurants In Manchester


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Tattu Manchester

You’ll now find outposts of high-end Chinese restaurant Tattu dotted around the country in cities like London and Edinburgh – but Manchester is the original branch. Founded in 2015 by two brothers, Tattu is known for its glitzy interiors, buzzy vibe and aesthetically presented, sharing-style plates. The name is inspired by the ancient word ‘tatau’, which means to ‘make a mark’ in Eastern culture, as well as drawing on the tattoo art form, which is reflected in the restaurant’s look. Dine on dishes like Shanghai black cod, sea bass tom yum, crispy duck pancakes and mixed dim sum, alongside theatrical cocktails like the Skull Candy, a vodka tipple served in a skull-shaped vehicle which arrives amid a cloud of billowing smoke.

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


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Often rooftop restaurants sacrifice substance for style, but not Climat, the Manchester eatery offering both excellent views and great food. Sister restaurant to Convivo in Chester, it’s helmed by chef Luke Richardson, who describes his style of cooking as ‘Parisian expat food’, inspired by the time he spent working across kitchens in the French capital. The menu changes daily, but you can expect classic dishes with fun twists: beef keema tartare with poppadoms, for instance, and pork chops with kale and brown butter. These unique flavour pairings continue in the dessert offering, which includes the likes of blackcurrant leaf ice cream, and beef fat fudge. Wine plays a big part, with over 400 varieties to choose from, with a strong focus on the Burgundy region. Perched on the eighth floor, the restaurant overlooks the city skyline, with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace.

8th Floor, Blackfriars House St Marys, Climat, Parsonage, Manchester M3 2JA,


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Manchester’s only Michelin-starred restaurant is Mana, helmed by ex-Noma chef Simon Martin. Located in the chic neighourhood of Ancoats, it has space for just 26 diners, with an open kitchen, allowing you to watch the chefs in action. On offer is a lengthy, daily changing tasting menu focused around hyper-seasonal ingredients. It’s all about sophisticated, unique fare: previous dishes have included N25 caviar with duck liver, Scottish langoustine with cured egg yolks, Devon smoked eel marinated in blueberry vinegar and much more. It doesn’t come cheap, with the full menu coming in at £175 – but it’s perfect for social occasions.

42 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF,


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Easily one of Manchester’s glossiest Japanese restaurants, Australasia is a magnet for influencer types who flock there to snap California rolls with beach-chic backdrops. But don’t let that put you off: the food is also top-quality. As the name suggests, the Spinningfields restaurant takes inspiration from both Australia and Asia, and the menu is heavily influenced by Japanese cuisine. Begin with a selection of sashimi and nigiri, plus small plates of duck and watermelon salad, and tuna tataki with truffled ponzu, before getting stuck into the mains: highlights here include mandarin marinated salmon, and Inari tofu served with coconut rice and Asian greens. Drinks-wise, signature cocktails include the Saka Kolada, a twist on the Pina Colada made with Honjozo sake, lime and coconut cream, alongside a wide selection of wine and champagne.

1 The Avenue, Deansgate, Manchester M3 3AP,


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WOOD – Manchester

Top-end dining doesn’t have to be all white tablecloths and silver service – in fact, lots of the best restaurants are dialing down on the pomp in favour of a more low-key approach. Simon Wood’s eponymous Manchester flagship is a prime example of this relaxed fine dining style, focusing on small plates made with seasonal produce, much of which is sizzled up on the Josper Charcoal Grill. The menu features dishes like Cornish mussels with charcoal cream, venison tartare, sticky glazed short rib, celeriac shawarma and cod loin in brown butter. If you’re visiting from Thursday to Saturday, it’s also worth checking out the Three Plate Menu, which includes three dishes and a glass of wine for just £25.

First Street, Jack Rosenthal St, First St, Manchester M15 4RA,


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20 Stories

Another popular rooftop spot is 20 Stories, perched on the 19th floor of No.1 Spinningfields. A glamorous bar and eatery with 360-views of the city, it serves everything from tasting menus to Sunday roasts and afternoon tea, alongside an extensive menu of wine and cocktails. The a la carte menu features classic dishes like seared salmon fillet, flat iron steak, and ras el hanout tofu, plus a variety of grills cooked over charcoal briquettes. Ideal for special date nights or birthday parties, this is one of Manchester’s best-loved fancy restaurants.

No. 1, 1 Hardman St, Manchester M3 3EB,

Adam Reid at The French

Esteemed chef Adam Reid has been cooking at The French for over a decade now, having joined there in 2013 and taking over as chef-patron in 2016. Over the years, he’s gained the restaurant 4 AA Rosettes, as well as winning Great British Menu with his signature dessert, the Golden Empire. Despite the dining room’s opulent surroundings, the restaurant has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, which is reflected in the menu. Begin with ‘a warm Northern welcome’ of bread, butter and broth, ahead of some ‘little bits of something fancy’, such as surf and turf sausage rolls. Mains – or ‘today’s tea’ as they’re referred to here – include Scottish scallops, Cornish catch of the day, and Cumbrian shorthorn loin, followed by puddings like ‘tipsy cake’ with whipped cream.

16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS,