Top three upmarket and best value restaurants in Manchester

Tuesday 18 September 2018 by Kayleigh Little

Visiting Manchester but not sure where to eat? We’ve explored the top three upmarket and best value restaurants in Manchester, so whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly meal or for a memorable fine dining experience, there’s a variety of options for you to choose from.

 

Upmarket

 

Photo credit: @poppyjohnson1

Gaucho

Address: 2A St Mary’s St, Manchester, M3 2LB

Opening times: Sun-Weds 11:30am-11:00m, Thurs-Sat 11:30am-12:00am

Contact: 0161 833 4333

 

Another hotspot for fine dining in Manchester is the edgy yet elegant Argentinian restaurant, Gaucho. Thanks to its bold interiors and cowhide décor, you won’t miss it if you stroll just shy of Deansgate. Inside, you can feast upon delicious prime cuts of meat sourced from Argentina which are slightly pricey but certainly worth the money. This is no surprise as the website itself proclaims that ‘the meat comes from cattle from the Argentine pampas which has seventeen types of grass.’

Prices of Gaucho’s signature cocktails are slightly less eye-watering, costing around the same as cocktails in any other high-end restaurant; but if Argentine wines are more your thing, you’ll certainly appreciate the extensive wine list. The venue and its architecture is also nothing to be sniffed at, it is located in a spectacular triple-height ex-Methodist meeting hall which has retained beautiful organ pipes and an original keyboard.

This eatery is incredibly inviting, perhaps it’s the open kitchen or the fact there are more chandeliers here than inside the Titanic. A notably lovely touch, the waiters (who are impressively knowledgeable and highly attentive) bring out cuts of steak on a slate to show guests their choice of meat. It’s no wonder Gaucho is renowned for serving some of the best steaks in Manchester.

 

Photo credit: @chloelxuise

Menagerie

Address: One New Bailey, New Bailey St, Salford, M3 5JL

Opening times: Sun-Thurs 12:00pm-1:00am, Fri-Sat 12:00pm-2:00am

Contact: 0161 832 3818

 

Located just on the outskirts of Spinningfields, this restaurant is easy to miss as it’s hidden amongst an array of buildings currently undergoing redevelopment. Menagerie is a trendy restaurant which truly is the epitome of experiential dining in Manchester. Having opened in August 2016, it’s opulent décor and lavish interiors has made it a hotspot for foodies, drawing customers from far and wide. Menagerie’s decadent dining environment has seen its fair share of celebrity VIPs including the likes of Michelle Keegan, Coleen Rooney and Charlotte Crosby. Not surprising, after all it is owned by a few famous faces  – Real Housewives of Cheshire stars Seema Malhotra and Stacey Forsey are the not-so-secret investors of this plush wonderland.

It’s immediately apparent upon entering that this restaurant has a strong desire to entertain - live performers are often found dancing, singing and eating fire along the runway in the middle of the room. Wherever you are, you’re never far from a neon sign depicting an inspirational quote or a giant mirror framed in gold. Seating is designed with performance in mind, so you’ll no doubt notice acrobatic hoops and ropes dangling amongst you whilst you eat. The bespoke cocktails will set you back a pretty penny, as well as the mouth-watering food, but it’s certainly worth it. Having visited myself, I would certainly recommend the cauliflower steak!

The ferris wheel of desserts is an absolute dream for anyone with a sweet tooth and especially popular amongst big groups. Pick at a variety of treats which include candy floss, edible bubbles, doughnuts and lightbulbs filled with cocktails. You can even buy some of the décor such as the gold plated cutlery and cosy patterned throws if you want to take a piece of this fashionable utopia home with you. Don’t miss out on a photo op in the bathtub ball pit before you leave! Encapsulating atmosphere, food, art and performance – Menagerie certainly does all of these things very well.

 

Photo credit: @nicolaljohnston

Australasia

Address: The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AP

Opening times: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm-10:45pm

Contact: 0161 831 0288

 

Take a trip down under when you visit Australasia, Manchester’s iconic Australian and South East Asian restaurant located in the chic Spinningfields district. Enter through a glass pyramid underneath an Armani store and be greeted with luxury and spaciousness dressed in shades of white and neutral. Food options vary from generous portions of sushi to hot dishes from the grill, all served in their own individually unique manner by a waiter carrying a beaming smile. No doubt you’ll also be enticed by grand desserts featuring that oh-so-famous pot of hot caramel for you to pour over your chocolate dome as you watch it melt in front your eyes. As you’d expect, dining here is pricey but this is reasonable considering the astoundingly exceptional quality of the food.

The restaurant’s surroundings and opulent décor is pretty spectacular and this attention to detail is carried through to the presentation of food and drinks. An inventive menu and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the busy kitchen atmosphere is the reasoning behind Australasia being one of the must-visit restaurants for anyone visiting the city. Due to Manchester’s heap of production companies, international football clubs and its famous MediaCity, celebrity clientele are regulars here and if it’s good enough for them it’s certainly worth a visit!

 

Best value

 

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Sanskruti

Address: 95 Mauldeth Road, Manchester, M14 6SR

Opening times: Mon Closed, Sun, Tues, Weds, Thurs 5:00pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:00pm-11:00pm

Contact: 0161 224 4700

 

Located in Fallowfield is Sanskruti – a vegan and vegetarian curry house which serves dishes with an uncommon twist on classical and authentic Indian cuisine. Their website proudly boasts that they are ‘committed to providing the best quality food’ and this is certainly echoed through the restaurant’s vibrant culture and vast variety of flavours. Sanskruti is an independent chain that originates in Manchester but has recently opened a new restaurant in Liverpool due to its Mancunian success and both are remarkably good value for money.

Even if you’re not a vegan or a vegetarian you will still love the food on offer here, and believe us it’s a far cry from chickpea curry and vegetable starters! Don’t be surprised when you order a naan bread and it comes out the size of your head and is presented on a metal spike – this is simply another unique feature separating Sanskruti from the usual mundane curry houses. Spectacular food and service will make you question the reasonable price of the bill. There’s no wonder why it’s featured in Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants.

 

 

Photo credit: @carbcrawlmcr

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza

Address: 9 Cotton St, Manchester, M4 5BF

Opening times: Mon-Sat 12:00pm-10:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-9:00pm

Contact: 07931162059

 

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza is an independent slice of ‘Little Italy’ located in the city’s vibrant area of Ancoats. All of the pizzas are meticulously hand-made and cost less than £10, making it an ideal place for a quick pit stop when you’re exploring the city. Its heightened success and never-ending queue of customers has led to a second restaurant being built in Peter Street – but be warned, they are both walk in only so don’t be surprised if you’re waiting a while for a table during peak times. Whilst the wait to get in may be long, the wait for food isn’t as all pizzas are cooked in 60 seconds to ensure they carry the perfect doughy texture.

Perhaps it’s the owner’s strong passion for following traditions and artistry of the pizza from its birthplace in Naples which has led it to become Manchester’s favourite pizzeria. Or maybe it’s due to the minimal décor and unfinished interior that make it extremely homely and welcoming. Everyone that works at Rudy’s is a true pizza enthusiast and will happily advise you on what to order as well as the ideal way to eat the cuisine which - spoiler alert - is with a knife and fork. General drinks, good wine and smaller nibbles are also options on the menu if you’re looking for something else to whet your appetite. Bellissimo!

 

Photo credit: @hvgardnerxx

Northern Soul

Address: 10 Church St, Manchester, M4 1PN

Opening times: Thurs-Sat 11:00am-9:00pm, Sun 11:00am-6:00pm, Mon-Weds 11:00am-8:00pm

Contact: northernsoulmcr@outlook.com

 

Northern Soul, situated in the trendy Northern Quarter, proudly claims the title of being the UK’s first grilled cheese restaurant, a title which is certainly well-deserved. The variety of toasties is highly extensive and cleverly unique; whatever filling you choose, whether its tandoori chicken or their signature mac ‘n’ cheese, you won’t be left disappointed. All of the toasties are based on scrumptious sourdough bread and includes a secret three cheese blend along with being accompanied by a gherkin and a small portion of freshly made coleslaw. You’ll be taken aback by the size of the sandwich and the great presentation which comes with it, all at an amazingly reasonable price (£4.50 - £6.50). Northern Soul is somewhat of an oasis as it’s often rare to find anywhere that will fill you up the way this place does for a similar price anywhere in the Northern Quarter.

Other comfort foods are also served here, such as nachos, milkshakes and of course mac ‘n’ cheese which uses the secret three cheese blend to its advantage. Exposed roofing, a rustic interior and chunky wooden furniture adds to its casual and laidback atmosphere and is part of the reason for its growing success. Yet despite its low-cost offerings and shack-like appearance from the outside, this restaurant is gourmet for its kind - immediately apparent by its adherence to a high level of exceptional quality of both service and food.

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Kayleigh Little

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