Take a trip to the Mediterranean via your tastebuds.
Summer in the city never looked so exciting, and as many of our beloved venues begin to open their doors to let the sun shine through again, we’re looking to our home to experience the tastes of a land far away. From huge bowls of homemade pasta (that we could never recreate with the 50p stuff from the supermarket!) to the official “best pizza in the UK” – if Manchester gets one cuisine right, it’s Italian. Explore some of the best restaurants (many of which are run by Italians themselves) in our guide to the best Italian restaurants in Manchester.
The home of authentic, homemade grub, Salvi’s is a true Manchester gem that’s completely bloomed in the years it’s been operating. There’s a real family vibe to their restaurants, which are owned by Maurizio Cecco, with traditional menus across them all reflecting the heart of real Italian dishes. From fresh seafood to delicious handmade pasta and pizzas – their restaurants offer diverse menus, and there’s a few to choose from too. Enjoy the full menu of family-style choices at Salvi’s NQ or the Cucina, chow down some grub and take home deli items from their Corn Exchange branch, or grab a pizza at the Pizzeria Napoletana – all in the city centre. Salvi’s, 60-67A High St, M4 1FS | 19 John Dalton St, M2 6FW | 1 The Corn Exchange, Corporation St, M4 3TR.
2. Sicilian NQ
Formerly known as William Sicilian, Sicilian NQ is the first and only true Sicilian restaurant in Manchester – offering up hearty, traditional dishes that aim to encapsulate the culture of Sicily. Think Sicilian wines and beers, antipasti, pasta, cannoli and even lovely traditional Italian desserts that go down extremely well with a good old cup of coffee. Sicilian NQ, 14 Turner St, M4 1DZ.
Rudy’s is an institution here in Manchester, with two regularly busy sites throwing authentic Neapolitan pizza like there’s no tomorrow. While they predominantly only serve pizza, the food is so good, there really isn’t much need for anything else. In fact, they’ve mastered the art so well, they’ve been named one of the top ten pizzerias in the whole world. Their pizzas are doughy with that wonderful leopard-style crust (a sign of a great pizza), with super flavourful tomato bases and fresh, Italian toppings such as nduja sausage, salami and so much more. Rudy’s, 9 Cotton St, Ancoats, M4 5BF | Petersfield House, Peter St, M2 5QJ.
4. Sugo Pasta Kitchen
Another Manchester spot that’s honed in on just one dish – Sugo Pasta Kitchen really knows pasta, and serves a limited menu of just a few dishes that they truly believe in. The restaurant was created by people with ‘deep-rooted Southern Italian heritage’ and the food is hearty – to say the least. Pasta dishes are served in generous portion sizes, with toppings such as slow-cooked beef shin, pork shoulder, nduja sausage, capers… you name it. There may be fewer mains to choose from than you’re used to from other Italian restaurants, but every item on the menu – starters and sides include – is a showstopper. Sugo Pasta Kitchen, 46 Blossom St, Ancoats, M4 6BF | 22 Shaw’s Rd, Altrincham, WA14 1QU.
5. San Carlo
Much-loved across the UK, San Carlo is known for their delicious Italian food – each dish as beautiful as the next. The food is well presented and served in a bright, well-dressed setting with lots to choose from. There are five venues to choose from in Manchester alone, including Bottega (their cocktail and champagne bar), Cicchetti (which serves up small plates), Fumo (a stunning space to grab beautiful meals all day long), Gran Cafe (their cafe), and the main San Carlo (which has a huge menu!). Whichever you choose, there’s a vibe for every type of day – with carefully curated menus of meats, pizzas, pasta and antipasti to suit. San Carlo, 40-42 King St W, M3 2WY.
6. Don Giovanni
Manchester’s oldest independent Italian restaurant, Don Giovanni is a fave among the locals and it’s easy to see why. The menu has a real family-style vibe to it, with large bowls of pasta, generous portions of delicate seafood, and lovely bright meat dishes. Inside, you’ll find beautiful, contemporary decor – suited to dinner with the family after a bit of shopping, a laid-back date night or just a nice catch-up with friends over a bottle of wine. Don Giovanni, 1-2, Peter House, Oxford St, M1 5AN.
[Featured image: Salvi’s]