Our guide to date night dinner on a budget.
After three months of eating and drinking our way around Manchester’s new openings, to say our bank accounts are feeling it would be an understatement. But that doesn’t mean the fun is over just yet. From street food havens to hidden gem independents, Manchester is absolutely packed full of pocket-friendly eats – with tons of venues offering up the perfect affordable date nights. From casual pizza nights to romantic tapas spots, here’s our guide to the best cheap date night ideas in Manchester.
Rudy’s has long been our go-to for a proper good meal that won’t break the bank. Priding themselves on their authentic Neapolitan pizza that’s been previously rated the best in the country, the restaurant doesn’t just sling out pizzas like a budget chain. In fact, the decor and atmosphere are extremely well-thought-out, providing a fantastic spot to drink wine and eat incredible food in the city centre. Whether it’s a mate date or a lovely night out with your other half, Rudy’s is the perfect spot. Rudy’s, 9 Cotton St, Ancoats, M4 5BF | Petersfield House, Peter St, M2 5QJ.
2. Wolf at the Door
The perfect place for relaxed drinks in a vibrant-yet-laid-back atmosphere, Wolf at the Door serves up cheap eats paired with fantastic Natty wines – without scrimping on the quality. Think £1-2 bao buns and tacos stuffed with an array of contemporary fillings, as well as some fantastic craft beers and refreshing natural wines. Wolf at the Door, 30-32 Thomas St, M4 1ER.
3. Escape to Freight Island
Escape to Freight Island boasts a fun atmosphere both inside and out, and thanks to their wide array of vendors – there’s something to suit every price range. Chow down on huge slices of pizza that ring in at less than £4 each, enjoy tacos, burgers and delectable pasta dishes, or simply enjoy the well-stocked bar which is packed with plenty of beers, cocktails and wines. Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
As lively and atmospheric as they come, YES is a fantastic spot for a casual date night – with plenty of cheap grub to enjoy, too. Enjoy great music, fill up on cheap slices by Pepperoni Playboy, or try out Doner Summer’s pocket-friendly kebabs – which are also 100% vegan. The bar is great for live music, too, with plenty of cheap gigs taking place every week. YES, 38 Charles St, M1 7DB.
Not only is Trof generally a great place to eat, but they also run a number of great offers – including an £8.50 brunch deal that runs Monday to Friday. Got a cheeky day off? Fill up on big brunch dishes, coffees and juices, or head over during Happy Hour in the evening and enjoy cheap drinks alongside their huge, varied menu – which has something to suit everyone. Trof, 8 Thomas St, Greater, M4 1EU.
One of team Secret Manchester’s favourite spots for date night, Canto has a wonderful atmosphere, with cosy, Mediterranean-inspired decor that accidentally sets a romantic tone. Serving Portuguese-inspired tapas dishes, guests can enjoy offers such as ‘Tipsy Tapas’ – which includes three dishes and bottomless drinks for £35pp – and plenty of £4-£9 tapas plates that can be mix and matched. Canto, Cutting Room Square, Blossom St, Ancoats, M4 5DH.
7. Doner Haus
Situated within the lovely Corn Exchange, Doner Haus offers casual Berlin-style grub in a lovely, contemporary dining space – with tons of dishes under a tenner to try out. Think ‘fancy’ doner and chicken kebabs, currywurst, teller and so much more, as well as a selection of Instagrammable cocktails and German beers to try out. The venue has also introduced a gorgeous Garten Bar, too, where you can enjoy more cocktails and great drinks. Doner Haus, The Corn Exchange, Exchange St, M4 3TR.
The kind of place that caters for everyone, Hatch is the perfect date night destination if you can’t agree on what to eat. Housing a huge array of street food vendors, guests can enjoy cuisines such as Vietnamese, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and more, as well as a number of fun bars made from shipping containers and live music sets taking place in the centre of the venue. Expect great vibes, budget-friendly food for everyone, and plenty of different places to try. Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, M1 7ED.
Providing the perfect date night setting at the Corn Exchange, both Mowgli’s food and decor are showstopping, offering a cosy, fairy-lit atmosphere with fun touches such as swings as seats. On the menu, guests can enjoy an array of affordable dishes such as curries, ‘street meats’, tiffin and more, all of which ring in at less than £10 per dish. Mowgli Street Food, 16, Corn Exchange House, 37 Exchange St, M4 3TR.
10. Cane & Grain
Fancy a night of sticky BBQ and guilty pleasure grub? Cane & Grain has an incredible selection of American-inspired food, which is probably more suited to a tenth date than a first thanks to the messy nature of it all. Pricing their plates at around £10 each, it’s the perfect spot to grab a good cheap eat, with tons of £8.50 cocktails and a wide variety of beers. Think juicy burgers, ribs and wings, as well as fries, poutine and mac and cheese. Cane & Grain, 49, 51 Thomas St, M4 1NA.