After three long, gruelling years of three-thousand word essays, short-notice deadlines and awfully obnoxious course tutors, it’s finally over *screams internally*. Which means it’s time to celebrate.
But with almost 350,000 students in Manchester, graduation day is going to be a busy one, so it’s time to start planning your last night as a student.
We have scoured the city to find you the best places to eat, drink and party with your pals, all within your student budget (just because student life is over, doesn’t mean student debt is, right?).
Whether you’re celebrating, drowning your sorrows or trying to grab one last blowout with student discount, you don’t need to stray far from the city centre to have a good night.
The Manchester Chop Houses
The Manchester Chop Houses are the place to be for a hearty meal of proper British comfort food. From cheese and pickle sandwiches to beef and Guinness pie, engulf yourself in some traditional British heritage in the heart of Manchester. With three venues to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice, and each one is offering a complimentary glass of bubbles for you and your guests. You just need to bring your cap and gown!
A slice of Argentina in the heart of the city, Gaucho offers an experience of amazing food in the most beautiful environment. Glittering chandeliers and glass ceilings boast the most majestic interior, leaving you questioning: “how on earth could the food live up to this?” But it can, serving some of the best steaks in Manchester perfect for a post-graduation treat.
Italian restaurant Don Giovanni has been serving the locals of Manchester for over 30 years now, making it the oldest independent Italian restaurant in Manchester. Located on Oxford Street, Don Giovanni prides itself in producing authentic Italian food to the highest quality possible, paired with the ultimate relaxed and romantic atmosphere. For the class of 2019, Don Giovanni are offering a glass of prosecco to everyone that books in for graduation, along with a brand new set menu special for the occasion.
Celebrate in style at Teppanyaki Chinatown, the place for sushi lovers with extravagant taste. Indulge in the most beautiful food creations, and feel the flame of the grill as the food is cooked fresh in front of your very own eyes. Book in early to get the best seat in the house.
Trof is the poster child for Northern Quarter bars. Edgy interior, dimmed lighting for a relaxed and almost sensual mood; whatever happens in Trof, stays in Trof. With expertly skilled bartenders, the choice of drinks is endless, which makes this bar the best place to go to forget your university sorrows. Three floors full of live music, DJs and even a karaoke bar at the very top… girls night out it is!
Revolucion de Cuba
Tapas reigns as the ultimate sharing food, and what better way to celebrate than with a big group of friends? The upbeat background music sparks happiness right through their restaurant, and with such an extensive range of cocktails, you’ll be dancing on tables in no time.
Located within the Great Northern Complex, James Martin Manchester has been dubbed as one of the best restaurants in the UK. Producing fine cuisine with only the finest and freshest ingredients, every dish is designed specially by the TV chef himself. For food bursting with flavour, alongside a little indulgence, book your graduation meal with a chef that knows what he’s cooking. and get a free glass of prosecco to celebrate!
Say goodbye to the boring stereotypical curries and welcome some real Indian food to your plate. Located in the Corn Exchange, Mowgli brings you street food bursting with flavour, colourful plates, tiffin boxes full to the brim and wonderfully exotic cocktails to be toasted. Warm lighting and long wooden tables make this the perfect place to celebrate with a big group of friends. And with decor as edgy as this, you’re guaranteed a good graduation pic for the Gram.
Samsi has the best sushi, sashimi and authentic Japanese cuisine that Manchester has to offer. The chefs at samosa create hearty portions of deliciously tasty food, using 100% fresh ingredients for every dish. Often praised for their immaculate customer service, you’re guaranteed a peaceful and sophisticated fine-dining experience, either out with family or as a little luxury for you and your friends. What better way to spend the last of your student loan?
Step into the unusual at the Alchemist, made notorious for their peculiar cocktail menu. Smoking martinis and colour-changing G&Ts, along with all the classics that everyone loves. The menu also boasts an equal amount of peculiar, with combinations that sound absurd but taste delicious. Dig into to tempura prawn lollipops or pulled pork bon bons and taste finesse in every bite.
Say goodbye to student-life and try something exotic at Chaophraya. Bringing you the most beautiful and precisely arranged dishes, bursting with spices and traditional Thai flavours. Chill out on the relaxed cushion seats or book a table underneath the gorgeous teardrop chandelier. Either way, you’re in for a fine evening.
Line your stomachs before a mad night of drinking at Thaikhun, the home of Thai street food. Authenticity is guaranteed as every meal on the menu can be found on the carts of real street vendors in Thailand. Knick knacks and golden accessories line the walls, creating a feeling of walking into a real life treasure chest. Book here for a relaxed bite to eat with your pals and engulf yourself in the gorgeousness of the restaurant.
Authentic Italian food and an extraordinary menu of exotic wines is the perfect way to celebrate the end of University. Surrounded by your friends and family, indulge in a complimentary glass of prosecco and the tastiest selection of pizzas, pastas and risottos the chefs have to offer. Book in advance to get your free Gusto Grad Pass, which entitles student graduates to exclusive offers and discounts for a full year!
The River Restaurant at The Lowry
Well loved for a family celebration, The Lowry’s River Restaurant ticks all the boxes. Its fine-dining menu uses great British produce in the French traditional style and appeals to every generation. Combine that with impeccable service and you’re in for a winner. Note that the restaurant will be closed for refurbishment in July, during which time afternoon tea and dinner will be served in the Grand Ballroom.
A popular hang out for Manchester’s glitterati, Menagerie is just about as boujie as it gets (this side of Liverpool anyway). Seeing as you’ve already donned your finest threads for Graduation, you might as well make the most of it and celebrate in style at this popular celeb haunt. Oh and did we mention, every table gets a free bottle of prosecco for their toast? Get in.
Mamucium at Hotel Indigo
Boasting a modern British menu that pays homage to Northern traditions, Mamucium is located inside the newly-refurbished Hotel Indigo next to Victoria station. And with ex-Lowry head chef Andrew Green at the helm, you can’t go wrong.
MasterChef winner Simon Wood‘s restaurant has won huge acclaim since opening up on First Street. This year they’ll be treating graduates to complimentary fizz on arrival and a sumptuous three-course set menu specially created by the main man himself.
Known for its cool cocktails and sun trap summer terrace, The Anthologist on St Peter’s Square occupies a stylish spot right in the centre of town. Head down with your gang for a free Bees Knees cocktail to help you kick off the festivities.