The best outdoor dining spots in Greater Manchester – according to diner reviews

From Chorlton, Salford and Didsbury to Wigan, Bolton and Oldham, diners reveal their favourite al fresco spots across Greater Manchester
Albert's Didsbury
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Each month, booking platform OpenTable analyses more than 400,000 new diner reviews – and reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at the restaurants in question.

They then sort the results by category, to help diners discover new favourites.

Now, they have revealed the top 10 diners’ choice winners in Manchester/Greater Manchester – and these are the results.

The Thomas Egerton, Bolton

With an enviable location, right in the centre of the busy village of Egerton and surrounded by breathtaking moorland countryside, The Thomas Egerton in Bolton offers freshly prepared food plus cask conditioned beers, guest beers, lagers and ciders as well as wines and spirits.

341 diners have rated the venue, which has received scores of 4.7 out of 5 for food, 4.8 for service, 4.7 for ambience, and 4.7 for value, giving it a score of 4.8 overall.

Recent reviewer comments include: “Excellent menu all home cooked and fresh to order. Service was good and attentive. Will definitely be returning soon,” and “We are regulars for Sunday lunch because everything is always perfect.”

Volta, West Didsbury

 

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This neighbourhood restaurant and bar on Burton Road, West Didsbury, offers a menu of small plates inspired by international travels, with a cosy terrace to the front.

256 diners have given Volta an average score of 4.8, with 4.9 for food, 4.8 for service, 4.7 for ambience, and 4.5 for value.

Recent reviews say: “Always great food and cocktails…a stalwart on the Manchester and Didsbury food scene and consistently good,” and “Such a great place to eat with friends lovely lovely food.”

Proof Bar & Kitchen, Chorlton

This Chorlton venue is third on the list, with an average score of 4.8 from 61 reviews.

In Chorlton since 2007, with a selection of brunch dishes, sharing and seasonal plates, they say like to keep things simple, fresh and as gluten free as possible.

Diner scores include 4.7 for food, 4.9 for service, 4.7 for ambience and 4.6 for value.

“Excellent food and service, would thoroughly recommend,” says a recent review.

The Old School BBQ Bus, Oldham

The Old School BBQ was born in 2016, using a freshly imported 1982 Bluebird International American school bus from Arizona as a mobile kitchen.

Then the bus was converted from a traditional seated bus to a fully functional kitchen, with smokers and griddles to cook low and slow BBQ food.

With an average rating of 4.7 from 89 reviews, the quirky Oldham venue with a licensed bar and stage scores 4.8 for food, 4.6 for service, 4.7 for ambience, and 4.6 for value.

“Had a great time! Food and service were brilliant, and the kids absolutely loved the outdoor play area!” says a recent review.

The Black Friar, Salford

The perfect place to come together with friends and loved ones, this historic Salford pub with a menu by award-winning chef Ben Chaplin has received an average score of 4.6 from 477 diner reviews.

Now, it has launched a new garden bar, where the new state-of-the-art Gozney wood fire oven will serve up British inspired (and wallet-friendly) dishes all day long.

It scores 4.6 for food, 4.7 for service, 4.7 for ambience, and 4.2 for value.

“Excellent high-end gastro pub food with excellent service,” says a recent review.

Albert’s Shed, Castlefield

Fully refurbished in late 2021 with a brand new look, Albert’s Shed is a stylish city centre restaurant at the centre of the Castlefield canal basin.

With an average score of 4.5 from 4141 diner reviews, popular dishes include fish and chips, seared king scallops and pan-fried sea bass.

It scores 4.5 for food, 4.5 for service, 4.5 for ambience and 4.4 for value, with diners praising the “great atmosphere and great staff” and “lovely setting”.

Albert’s Didsbury

The second Albert’s opening and a sister restaurant to Albert’s Shed in Castlefield, this slick, modern venue has dining for 160 guests inside and a covered and heated outside dining terrace for 60.

With an average score of 4.5 out of a whopping 5498 reviews, the menu is modern British with an eclectic mix of Albert’s favourites and dishes from around the globe.

It’s received average scores of 4.4 for food, 4.4 for service, 4.5 for ambience and 4.3 for value, with recent reviews praising the “amazing food and service” and “lovely atmosphere”.

Albert’s Standish

The picturesque Albert’s Standish can accommodate dining for 200 guests, with a covered and heated outside terrace perfect for al fresco dining.

The Wigan restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and every Saturday and Sunday mornings for breakfast.

With an overall rating of 4.5 from 4900 diner reviews, it’s received scores of 4.4 for food, 4.5 for service, 4.6 for ambience and 4.2 for value.

Diners praise the great service and “extremely good value” lunch menu.

20 Stories, Spinningfields

Manchester’s highest restaurant and bar is famous for its stunning roof terrace with panoramic views across the city.

Great for special occasions, it’s received an average score of 4.3 from 460 diner reviews.

With scores of 4.2 for food, 4.3 for service, 4.6 for ambience and 3.8 for value, diners praise the “great view” and “excellent food”.

The Old Boat House, Astley

This canal-side, traditional pub nestled in the heart of Astley village in Wigan boasts a scenic beer garden.

With an average score of 4 from 131 reviews, it’s been given 4.1 for food, 3.9 for service, 4 for ambience and 3.9for value.

Recent reviews are pretty mixed, but diners like the “fab service” and  “great food and drink”.

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