Lunya

It’s always a subjective affair, pinpointing the best places to eat out in Manchester.

But we still love to know what others think are the best of the best across our city.

BBC Good Food Magazine is the latest to come up with its top ten restaurants in Manchester (and the outskirts) – with their guide offering the best for particular styles of dining too.

It’s probably little surprise that Mana in Ancoats tops the list. The gourmet restaurant launched by acclaimed chef Simon Martin last year has been winning rave reviews and is being tipped as a possible Michelin star contender for Manchester.

But there’s also a host of more casual dining options on the list – including the polar opposites of vegan haunt Go Falafel and meat-eaters dream Almost Famous in their top ten.

Here’s the full list, and let us know if you agree in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Restaurant Mana

They say best for: special occasions

Launched in 2018 by former Noma chef Simon Martin, it boasts an ambitious blind tasting menu at £95 a head, served in the minimalist venue in Ancoats.

The guide says: “Mana both showcases nature’s bounty (key snacks are even served amid leaves and branches), and re-engineers it in exciting new ways. The dining room is a boxy but glamorous space with an astonishing £300,000 open kitchen: a little maze of hip-height cooking stations, from which chefs emerge to serve guests their 18 courses.”

Porta

They say best for: casual dining, kid friendly

Tapas bar Porta started life in Altrincham, before setting up in Salford too and has been winning rave reviews in both locations. BBC Good Food praises Porta favourites that “conjure lingering flavours from apparently simple ingredients.”

Go Falafel

They say best for: cheap eats, kid friendly

Praised for “good, affordable grab ‘n’ go food” the magazine hail this vegan haunt on Newton Street as an “unassuming lifeline”.  They say: “It very much does what it says on the tin: hot, crisp falafels served with tahini, potent pickles, spiced potato, great hummus and salad, wrapped in satisfyingly thick, chewy Arabic-style flatbreads. It is, arguably, the best sub-£5 food bargain in the city.”

The Refuge

Best for: special occasions, casual dining, kid friendly

The stunning transformation of the former restaurant at the Palace Hotel (now the Principal) by DJ duo The Unabombers as The Refuge in 2016 is heaped with praise in the guide.  It says: “The duo are experts at creating venues that are simultaneously hip, stylish and unpretentious in a generously northern way. The Refuge is as much a destination for a family Sunday roast as it is a late-night cool kids’ hang-out.”

Where The Light Gets In

They say best for: special occasions, casual dining

Not sure about the casual dining suggestion, but there’s no doubting Stockport’s Where the Light Gets In is one of the region’s most exciting dining venues, hidden inside a warehouse loft.  Chef Sam Buckley is praised for his sustainable ideals and the guides says: “Dishes tend to a punchy minimalism (mutton, beetroot cream, fermented onions), where every element fizzes with flavour.”

Almost Famous

They say best for: casual dining, cheap eats

Praised for its “guilty pleasure” food, Good Food clearly love a good old dirty burger at Manchester’s Almost Famous. They say: “Love or loathe its loud and lairy, ‘in-yer-face additood’, there is no denying that Almost Famous is Manchester’s foremost exponent of Frazzle-dusted fries, hot ‘pho-king’ wings and other gut-busting ‘dude food’.”

Lunya

They say best for: casual dining

Peter Kinsella’s Spanish bar, deli and tapas venue Lunya on Deansgate makes the top ten. The magazine experts say: “Try the Cantabrian cold smoked anchovies, the sensational Abanico Iberico (a cooked cut of acorn-fed Iberico pork) or the lamb neck fillet served on a bed of Navarian lentils.”

Mackie Mayor

They say best for: casual dining, kid friendly

The sister to Altrincham’s Market House, Mackie Mayor has been a raging success since launching in 2017, offering food from a range of kitchens and communal dining at the heart of the splendid former market hall in the Northern Quarter.

The guide says: “Highlights include Honest Crust’s wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas; the amazing Italianate brunch dishes at La Cucina; and staggering roast chicken and porchetta sandwiches at Rotisserie.”

Mughli

Photo: Mughli

They say best for: casual dining

The Curry Mile favourite is praised for its “hip, sassy décor and on-point food”. The guide says of the Rusholme restaurant: “Fans swoon over its street-food snacks, charcoal grilled meats (particularly the lamb chops) and fastidiously spiced takes on butter chicken or dhal makhni, which is slow-cooked overnight.”

Yuzu

They say best for: casual dining, cheap eats

Nestled within an unassuming venue in Chinatown, this Japanese restaurant is “worth shouting about” according to the guide.

It says: “Regulars swear by peerlessly crisp, fried karaage chicken with ponzu dipping sauce, the award-winning Loch Duart salmon sashimi bowls, served with miso soup and Japanese rice.”

The list forms part of a full city guide for Manchester, which also recommends the likes of Sam’s Chop House, El Gato Negro, Bundobost, Gorilla, Vnam, Siam Smiles and Adam Reid at The French.

For the full list, see BBC Good Food.

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