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Food

The 20 Best Restaurants And Cafes In Manchester, According To Secret Manchester Readers

By Laura Rogan

We asked, you answered.

If you told us a year ago that we’d be living without some of our favourite locals, we wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are today craving the sweet, sweet scent of food in the air, the warming bustle of waiters and customers going about their days, and our weekly taste of our favourite restaurants. The city remains shuttered up, and businesses have been forced to adapt to the ‘new normal’ – which mostly involves a lot of Deliveroo and very little action. So in a bid to support our favourite independents during such a turbulent time, we asked our readers which restaurants they thought were the best in Manchester – here’s what they said.

1. Mi & Pho, Wythenshawe

Credit: Mi & Pho

Serving up award-winning Vietnamese food in South Manchester, Mi & Pho is well known for its authentic cuisine – so its no wonder our readers are missing it so much. Offering up summer rolls, salt and pepper dishes, pho and more – the Wythenshawe-based restaurant is the perfect place for a little something different. Mi & Pho, 384 Palatine Rd, Northenden, Wythenshawe, M22 4FZ.

2. Vertigo Plant-Based Eatery, City Centre & MediaCityUK

Credit: Vertigo Plant Based Eatery/Georgie Glass

One of Manchester’s most loved vegan restaurants, Vertigo is the perfect spot to stop by for a coffee and a bit of lunch – with their own fantastic plant-based spins on dishes such as bao buns, cheeseburgers, chilli and more. The restaurant has two sites in Manchester city centre, with an additional venue at MediaCityUK – which just opened last year. Vertigo, 18 Cross St, M2 7AE | Unit 9, 11 Jack Rosenthal St, M15 4RA | Unit 2, Bridge House, Salford, M50 2BH.

3. Rustik, Didsbury

Credit: Rustik West Didsbury

A brunch favourite for Didsbury locals, everything Rustik serves looks amazing. From Instagrammable brunch dishes providing satisfying yoke pops, to silky smooth coffees to perk up your day, Rustik has a bit of everything. And it’s not just classic brunch dishes they excel in either, with beasty burritos and cocktails on offer, too. Rustik, 198 Burton Rd, West Didsbury, M20 1LH.

4. Common, Northern Quarter

Credit: Common/Nell’s Pizza

Nell’s Pizza launched at Common just last year – and it’s gained quite the following ever since. In fact, it provided a little bit of diversity, too, thanks to their NYC-inspired slices (that are bigger than our heads!). The chilled Northern Quarter restaurant is not only home to Nell’s though, they also serve up an array of tasty craft beers and lagers – with their very own Common Pale and Common Lager available to try. Common, 39-41 Edge St, M4 1HW.

5. Casa Italia, Didsbury

Credit: Casa Italia Didsbury

Serving up authentic Italian grub for Didsbury dwellers, Casa Italia is a local favourite thanks to its tasty, hearty plates that are sure to cheer us up amid the pandemic. From drool-worthy antipasti (which I, for one, can never turn down) to huge plates of pasta and Italian-style meats, there’s a little something to fill everyone’s tums. Casa Italia, 688-690 Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, M20 2DN.

[See also: Get A Taste Of La Dolce Vita At These Lovely Little Italian Restaurants]

6. Wowyauchow, Altrincham

Credit: WowYauChow Altrincham

WowYauChow has become quite the staple since it arrived in Altrincham back in 2019 – creating British Chinese food as we’ve never seen before. Think crispy duck bao buns, beef brisket Chinese curries, chicken wings and even bubble waffles for dessert (which look as great as they taste!). WowYauChow, 59 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham, WA14 1DS.

7. Zouk, City Centre

Credit: Zouk Tea Bar & Grill

Long-standing as one of Manchester’s best Indian restaurants, Zouk Tea Bar & Grill has a lot to offer its customers by way of creativity, including an Asian-infused bottomless brunch and even a Sunday roast. Vegetarians will be chuffed, too, with a large selection of veggie-friendly dishes to choose from. Think curries, grilled meats, doughy breads and tiffin dishes. Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, 5, The Quadrangle, Chester St, M1 5QS.

[See also: The Most Irresistible Indian Restaurants You Have To Try In Manchester]

8. Feel Good Club, Northern Quarter

Credit: Feel Good Club

Opening up in the Northern Quarter just before Lockdown 2.0, Feel Good Club has already gained quite the momentum and with lovely messages of support stamped onto each coffee cup, it’s easy to see why. The cafe has been a consistent source of positivity since it opened, and it promises to be there for us throughout this crazy time. The team are mental health first aid trained, and it’s just a really great place to grab a hot drink on top of all of that. Feel Good Club, 26-28 Hilton St, M1 2EH.

9. North Tea Power, Northern Quarter

Credit: North Tea Power

If there’s one thing Mancs love, it’s a good brunch – which is exactly why North Tea Power made the list. Based in the Northern Quarter, the cafe specialises in fantastic coffees and loose leaf teas, with all-day breakfast and brunch dishes accompanying including sandwiches, rye toast and more. North Tea Power, 36 Tib St, M4 1LA.

10. The Hip Hop Chip Shop, Ancoats

Credit: The Hip Hop Chip Shop

Known for their incredibly ‘hip’ fish and chips, The Hip Hop Chip Shop is an Ancoats fave – and its a major upgrade from our typical comfort chippy tea. Your typical sausage and chips is upgraded to chilli batter sausage wrapped in bacon with chunky skin-on chips, with specials such as their curry battered fish biters served with Bombay chunky skin-on chips. Delish. The Hip Hop Chip Shop, 44 Blossom St, Ancoats, M4 6BF.

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11. Chapter One, City Centre

Credit: Chapter One

A pre-pandemic favourite of ours for a coffee while we tuck into a good old book, Chapter One is a brilliant place to escape if you fancy avoiding Market Street’s typical hustle and bustle, providing a relaxed setting where you can work in peace, enjoy a cuppa or explore their vast book collection. Our favourite part? The array of tasty cakes (including a jaffa cake flavoured one!). Chapter One, Chatsworth House, 19 Lever St, M1 1BY.

12. Slattery, Whitefield

Credit: Slattery

Slattery is an absolute haven for chocolate lovers, providing three storeys of sweet, sugary goodness for us Mancs to enjoy. And while it’s a great place to pick up a gift (either online or at the chocolatiers in person), it’s an even better place to get stuck into something indulgent. The Masons Dining Room is home to their ever-deceiving chocolate challenge (which few have completed!), but aside from that, it’s the perfect place to tuck into a slice of cake with a rich, warming hot chocolate. Slattery, 197 Bury New Rd, Whitefield, M45 6GE.

13. Double Zero, Chorlton

Credit: Double Zero

Double Zero has cemented itself as a South Manchester favourite thanks to its fluffy, Neapolitan pizza – offering a menu of extensive toppings to suit everyone’s taste. From their classic Margherita (which is always worth a try thanks to the tasty, fresh ingredients) to meatballs, N’duja and even vegan options – there’s plenty to tempt you into trying them out multiple times. Double Zero, 368 Barlow Moor Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 8AZ.

14. The Creameries, Chorlton

Credit: The Creameries

The Creameries excels in British food, and it’s no wonder that South Mancs love it so much. The open-yet-cosy space is perfect for a night of wine tasting accompanied by dishes made with seasonal and ethically-sourced ingredients. Currently, locals can get their hands on seasonal supper menus, wines, craft beers, and cheese on their website, with virtual tasting events hosted regularly. The Creameries, 406 Wilbraham Rd, M21 0SD.

15. Caramello of Didsbury

Credit: Caramello of Didsbury

The home of ever-Instagrammable desserts, Caramello of Didsbury really knows how to satisfy a sweet tooth. I’m talking stacks of pancakes drizzled in chocolate, sweet french toast, cakes and more delectable patisserie goods. If that wasn’t all, they also serve up some gorgeous (and equally as picture-perfect) brunch dishes, with coffees, gelato and shakes up for grabs, too. Caramello of Didsbury, 10 Whitechapel St, Didsbury, M20 6UB.

16. 63 Degrees, Northern Quarter

Credit: 63 Degrees

Bringing a little slice of Paris to Manchester, 63 Degrees is one of few French restaurants in the city – using a special cooking technique which involves cooking at… You guessed it… 63 degrees. The process results in succulent poultry and divine, flavourful dishes which make for the perfect contrast to the casualness of the Northern Quarter, with A La Carte and lunch dishes available to try. And when you do, expect perfectly presented plates that scream haute cuisine. 63 Degrees, 104 High St, M4 1HQ.

17. Hispi

Credit: Hispi

Located within a former bank, Hispi in Didsbury is a pretty special place. The gorgeous neighbourhood restaurant is well-known for its beautifully crafted dishes, and is perfect for date night or a special meal with your nearest and dearest. Their Sunday roast is a real highlight (just look at that beef!), and the restaurant offers two beautiful Bistro menus with specially selected wine pairings to try out, too. Hispi, 1C School Ln, Didsbury, M20 6RD.

18. V Rev

Credit: V Rev

Much-loved V Rev has been creating tasty vegan junk food for years now, providing Mancs with a plant-based alternative to stacked, juicy burgers and buttermilk chicken. The restaurant has invented their own vegan ‘cheez’, as well as chicken wings made with seitan, vegan ‘beefy’ burgers and even ‘milk’shakes. V Rev, 20-26 Edge St, M4 1HN.

19. Döner Summer

Credit: Döner Summer

Based in the Northern Monk Refectory – formerly found at YES Manchester – Döner Summer is the home of vegan kebabs here in Manchester, and they are jam-packed with all the good stuff. Combining their own plant-based ‘chick’n’ with hot sauces, vegan shrimp and seitan döner. Döner Summer, 10 Tariff St, M1 2FF.

[See also: 6 Seriously Tasty Manchester Kebab Spots For A Posh(er) Kebab]

20. The Little Yeti

Credit: The Little Yeti

Nepalese street food with a twist, The Little Yeti is a lovely little hidden gem in Chorlton – and a fair few of our readers have been missing it during lockdown. Offering both vegan and veggie dishes, as well as Momo’s, fried street food and tandoor plates – The Little Yeti is a great place to discover new dishes – with plenty of smaller dishes available so you can try more, more, more. The Little Yeti, 495 Barlow Moor Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 8AG.

Read more: 7 Of The Best Manchester Bakeries You Doughn’t Wanna Miss Out On