A proper Sunday roast isn’t just for Christmas. If Morrissey was right and every day really is like Sunday, that means we’d have to have a roast dinner every 24 hours. No bad thing, unless you’re an athlete or a vegetarian. Nut roasts get very boring very quickly.
But he wasn’t, it isn’t and we don’t. But even at a ratio of one in seven, a Sunday roast has to be right. Nothing is more disappointing than a soggy Yorkshire pudding. NOTHING.
What makes a good Sunday dinner anyway? A juicy joint of meat, great roast potatoes, proper gravy like your Grandma used to make, your weekly allowance of veg, all for a decent price. And don’t rule out a carvery – there are still some crackers out there.
Here’s our pick of the city’s best Sunday roast dinners – and some a little bit further away, but worth the trip all the same.
So whether you want to stay in the city centre, explore Greater Manchester or head out of town, these are the places that do Sunday lunch in style.
Sunday lunch in the city centre
Set in an old Methodist church with monochrome art deco features, city centre favourite Gaucho is known for its Argentinian steaks – but they also do a top Sunday roast. Their roast sirloin of beef is served with roast potatoes and unlimited Yorkshire puddings, cooked in beef dripping. Accompanied with seasonal vegetables and served with unlimited red wine gravy all for £27pp. You also have the option to enjoy bottomless roasts, choosing from three different joints of perfectly roasted meats accompanied by the finest Yorkshire puddings, unlimited seasonal vegetables and gravy for £37pp. Be warned, they can’t guarantee roasts beyond 5.00pm so get booked in early.
You can choose from breast (£16.50) or half (£22.50) lemon, garlic and thyme roasted chicken with onion and herb stuffing; or roast rump of Cheshire beef and horseradish, with all the trimmings including Firehouse yorkies and roast potatoes, shiny honey roasted carrots and parsnips, buttered greens and house gravy. For vegans and vegetarians, there’s a full vegan roast available on request or there’s marvellous oyster mushroom wellington (£16) with vegan trimmings. The roasts come alongside an option of Sunday sides including leek and cauliflower cheese (£7), wood-smoked chipolatas with honey mustard (£6.50), plus additional Yorkshire puddings (£2) and gravy, baby.
Evelyn’s Café & Bar
This neighbourhood restaurant serves sirloin of roast beef (£16) just pink which is a good middle ground all round. The meat is juicy and tender without being chewy. It comes with a great big Yorkshire pudding which will give your companion who orders chicken food envy. Why do they only serve Yorkies with the beef? No complaints with the free range chicken (£13.50), though. Great crisped skin, moist and tasty, with about half the bird on the plate. Vegetables include parsnips, carrots, mashed swede, broccoli, cabbage, roast potatoes, and the best gravy. Rich, sticky and stocky to sum up.
Ducie Street Warehouse
Served from 12.30pm, the Sunday lunch menu at Ducie Street Warehouse offers dry-aged shorthorn beef sirloin (£16.50), cooked pink or well-done as requested, plus roast supreme of corn fed chicken, tender rosemary roasted leg of lamb, free-range gammon (all £15), and a weekly changing vegan roast (from £12). All plated roasts are served with roast potatoes from Massey’s local Cheshire farm, homemade giant Yorkshires, seasonal veg and a rich meat or vegan gravy. A slice of Something for Everyone (£24) is also a menu option, for those who find it hard to choose, offering a slice of each of the four meats with all the usual trimmings. Or you can go for the ’Share Menu’ (from £28), a sharing menu perfect for two or three people, which includes harissa spiced whole chicken, miso glazed fish of the day, 800g tomahawk of Cheshire beef, or a whole roasted ras el hanout cauliflower. Speaking of cauliflower, this new Sunday lunch has an impressive list of variations on the dedicated cauliflower cheese menu (all £4.50), including a classic vintage cheddar cauliflower cheese, truffle, bacon frazzles, blue cheese, garlic and herb crumble, four cheese, macaroni, or a totally vegan cauliflower cheese.
The roast is elevated to new heights at Hawksmoor on Deansgate, where beef is the star. Slow-roast rump comes with beef dripping roast potatoes and bone marrow gravy, and if you’re in the mood for sharing, the slow-roast prime rib serves two or three. Leave room for the superb sticky toffee pudding. From £20pp; they can’t guarantee roasts will be served after 5pm.
Hydes Brewery opened this gem of a pub in The Northern Quarter a couple of years back, named after a former mayor of Manchester who was instrumental in overseeing the construction of the Town Hall and after whom the clock bell is named. Apparently he was no ordinary man, and this is no ordinary pub (or so it says on the front of the menu), so was it an ordinary roast?
Far from it. The beef was a decent sirloin and cooked medium rare as stated. Yorkshire pudding was light and crisp, plus the carrots and parsnips were rather finely roasted and buttery. There were a couple of things that let the plate down on our visit, the roasties tasted fine but there was no crisping on the outside or fluffy middle. Also the cauliflower and broccoli could have done with some nice cheese. But overall a good effort in a warm traditional pub.
This Bavarian bier palace on Peter Street does a Sunday service complete with a live gospel choir. Start with a croquette fest (spiced lamb, Alpine cheese and ham, pea and mint), then there’s Cheshire chicken and pork belly, Lancashire beef or leg of lamb with proper gravy, or a mushroom and butternut strudel for the veggie option. Served 12pm-9pm, roasts from £15.
Sam’s Chop House
Sam’s Chop House is a thoroughly British boozer. Established in 1872 by local businessman Samuel Studd, it’s traditional, cosy, with heritage lovingly preserved. Its patrons have included some of Manchester’s finest including artist LS Lowry who can still be found sat at the end of the bar, immortalised in bronze. They have one of the best wine lists we’ve ever seen in a pub, let alone a restaurant, and their food is best of British.
The roast rump of beef is from Dukesmoor and aged for 28 days. Although the colour looked fantastic it was slightly over if you like your beef pink. It had bags of taste though. Tere was no fat and it was seasoned well. The rosemary roast potatoes were crunchy on the outside with the fluffiest middle and easily the best of the competition. Served with a huge golden Yorkie, beautifully sweet carrots and greens including a rather unusual baby gem we really liked, and robust gravy, this was a very British affair. Bravo.
Tariff & Dale
Tariff & Dale is the big white building set in this impressive former cotton warehouse on the corner of Tariff Street and Dale Street in The Northern Quarter. Brick and bare wood are an honest backdrop for lovingly restored industrial features, with soft leather and bare yellow bulbs creating a tactile and warm space. This was the first time we’d eaten in the basement restaurant. We prefer upstairs as there is little natural light down there, but the space does come into its own in the evenings.
The rare roast topside of beef was superb. It was that shiny it glistened. A really fine looking piece of meat which tasted as good as it looked, served wonderfully pink and tender. The slices were big and thick but you hardly noticed as they melted and slid down with ease. No big chewing action needed here. The trimmings were as good with well cooked roasties and Yorkshire. You can tell we are in the top three, with creamy mash, vegetables al dente, and the cheesiest cauliflower cheese. Full marks for this roast, friendly staff and a good value three course menu.
Sunday mains are a cut above the usual at this restaurant in Hotel Indigo next to Victoria station: Cheshire beef with ox cheek suet pudding, Goosnargh chicken with Blackstick blue dauphinoise, or Lancashire Beef Wellington for two carved at the table. Alternatives include Dover sole with Morecambe Bay shrimp butter or spinach and goats cheese pie with roast celeriac. Served all day, mains from around £16.
James Martin Manchester
This Great Northern restaurant offers a great British roast served with all the trimmings – think slow-cooked rump of beef with dripping potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and anise-braised carrots. Puddings include indulgent white chocolate and whiskey bread and butter pudding with single malt ice cream and honeycomb. Served 12pm-5pm, two courses £20.
There are individual roasts at the Refuge on Oxford Street, but it’s worth pushing the boat out with a sharing platter: roast beef, suckling pig and chicken with roast potatoes, Chantenay carrots and parsnip, Vimto-braised red cabbage, buttered greens, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese and pan gravy. Sides include pigs in blankets. Served all day, £17 for individual roasts, or £39 for the sharer.
The Sunday offering at this Ducie Street newcomer includes roast beef, chicken or nut roast with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, honey roast parsnips, carrot and swede mash, green beans and cauliflower cheese for the table. For an extra £10 you can add regional cheeses from the trolley. Served 12.30pm – 5pm, two courses £25.
Alongside pork belly and beef, more unusual Sunday lunch options at Gary Usher’s King Street bistro include confit duck leg with roast potatoes, or roast cauliflower with butterbean mash and salted lemon, as well as aged sirloin on the bone to share (for a £15 supplement). Leave room for Yorkshire parkin with butterscotch sauce and Chantilly cream. Served 12pm-4pm, two courses £20.
Recently awarded a runner-up title in the Observer Food Monthly awards, TNQ’s Sunday roast is taking on establishments across the country. The meat (beef rump, lamb leg, pork belly) is well-sourced, crisp but fluffy potatoes are roasted in dripping and four seasonal veg options complete the plate. It’s £12.95 for the roast alone, £16.95 for two courses or £19.95 for three.
The kitchen at Gorilla churns out all sorts of wonderful dishes, not least their epic Sunday roasts. Choose from slow-roasted Lancashire topside of beef, crispy free-range Cheshire pork belly, mushroom and celeriac Wellington or roast garlic and thyme chicken breast. A plate with all the trimmings will set you back £14. And for an extra £4, level up with add-ons like pigs in blankets, cauli cheese, extra roasties and buttered greens. Served from 12pm.
The original home of the NQ roast, Trof’s Sunday dinners are legendary. Choose from chicken, beef, pork, lamb, or Trof’s amazing vegan roasts. All served with seasonal veg, good old roasties, homemade sauces and proper gravy from 12 noon. Prices start at £13.50.
Sunday lunch out of town
Gary Usher’s neighbourhood bistro Hispi in Didsbury offers a set Sunday lunch including roast beef, pork belly or chicken breast with seasonal accompaniments – or a dry aged sirloin to share, for a supplement. Follow with English apple and plum crumble with burnt honey custard. Served 12pm-4.30pm, two courses £25pp.
Pack Horse Hayfield
Further afield but well worth the trip, this country gastropub on the edge of the Peak District serves Sunday lunch celebrating the best regional produce: Derbyshire beef sirloin or slow-roast Chisworth lamb shoulder (or spiced falafel for veggies) with beef fat potatoes, glazed parsnip, carrot and swede, greens, Yorkshire pudding, and bone marrow gravy. From £15.
White Hart Inn, Lydgate
This award-winning pub dates back to 1788 in the picturesque village of Lydgate, close to Saddleworth. Sit by the roaring fire and tuck into seasonal starters such as game terrine before trying the pork belly with savoy cabbage or roast beef which comes with cauli cheese as standard. Don’t miss the impressive wine list. Served 12pm-7.45pm, three courses £27.50.
Take the train out to the edge of the Peak District for Sunday lunch at Hyssop, which has recently moved from Old Glossop to Glossop High Street. Local options from award-winning butchers Mettricks include roasted sirloin of Derbyshire beef, leg of lamb, chicken or hispi cabbage served with beef fat potatoes, Yorkies and all the trimmings, plus hearty puddings. Two courses £20.