Get the official taste of summer right here in Manchester.
Goodbye hearty winter meals, we’re leaving you behind for our one true love: Tapas. Nothing says summer more than a table full of tasty small plates shared over wine and good ol’ conversation – and we’re so ready for evenings getting sloshed on Sangria while wolfing down bowl after bowl of Patatas Bravas. Check out Secret Manchester’s ultimate guide to getting good tapas in Costa Del Manchester.
With two restaurants across the city on Deansgate and in the Northern Quarter, Evuna has been around for quite some time now, and it’s a true, local favourite. Understated on the outside, inside, it’s a traditional Spanish paradise, with an authentic Spanish family vibe with solid wood furnishings and a warm atmosphere. The food is mouth-wateringly tasty, with the restaurant even dubbing themselves “the only tapas bar in the area bringing you an authentic fresh tapas menu”. The cosy spot is perfect for date night, with dishes such as roasted pork belly, red wine chorizo, and fried squid rings just some of the menu highlights. The restaurant also imports fine Spanish wines, so you’ll want to give them a taste to compliment your meal! Evuna, 79 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1LQ | 277-279 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EW.
A real hidden gem tucked away in uber-cool neighbourhood Ancoats, Canto is well worth a try for tapas fans. Served with a Portuguese twist, the place was actually the first Portuguese restaurant in the city. Think Piri-Piri dishes and Pastel De Natas to finish. The service is brilliant, with a casual but pretty decor that feels both rustic and modern for a real homely atmosphere. The menu draws on influences from the Med, with chorizo, Octopus, and baby squid, as well as a wide range of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes to choose from. The dessert menu is not to be overlooked, with traditional Portuguese tarts, a seriously yummy carrot cake and a range of sorbets on offer to cleanse your palate with. Canto, Cutting Room Square, Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DH.
In the heart of the city, La Bandera serves classic Spanish cuisine in its light and contemporary restaurant that has a modern, Mediterranean feel. This one’s not to be sniffed at, with a number of awards under its belt, as well as the honour of being named one of the top three tapas restaurants in the UK by The Sunday Times – who probably eat at way more fancy restaurants than I do, so its a very big honour indeed! Dishes are extremely well presented, with indulgent plates available to order such as King Prawns, tenderloin steak and scallops pan-fried to perfection. While everything feels really special when it arrives at your table, you can rest assured that the bill won’t give you a shock at the end. La Bandera, 2 Ridgefield, Manchester, M2 6EQ.
El Gato Negro
Founded by Harvey Nichol’s former executive chef (very fancy indeed!), chef Simon Shaw opened El Gato Negro after being inspired by a trip to Catalonia. Interestingly, Shaw also owns Canto too, a testament to how much he loves creating delicious tapas. At El Gato Negro, guests will find vibrant yet decadent decor, with soft red seating and cosy warm lighting – with an open kitchen providing a real neighbourhood kitchen experience for diners. Combining both modern and traditional Spanish flavours, guests can enjoy dishes such as truffle salami, salt cod croquetas and braised ox cheek. The restaurant is a real social space, even including a roof terrace, which almost feels like you’ve been transported to the bustling city of Barcelona. El Gato Negro, 52 King St, Manchester, M2 4LY.
Tapeo & Wine
Sharing Spanish culture on Manchester’s Deansgate, Tapeo & Wine does exactly what it says on the sign, tapas and wine. Keeping it simple with delicious ingredients of the highest quality, the focus is really on the food. The family-run restaurant has a passion for sharing traditional Spanish cuisine, which shines through the menu. An extensive list of deli and charcuterie plates are available, with a number of fish, vegetarian and meat tapas plates also perfect for sharing. For those who don’t like to share, the restaurant also serves main dishes such as pan-fried Monkfish, suckling pig and fried sea bass – to name a few. Wash it all down with Spanish wines, and a variety of refreshing cocktails and beers. Tapeo & Wine, 209 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3NW.
Bar San Juan
Widely known as the best place for tapas in Manchester, this little Chorlton gem is much-loved by all who walk through the quirky yellow door. Even the vibrant yellow and red front screams “olé!”, and that’s before you’ve even stepped inside. Bar San Juan doesn’t take life too seriously, and they encourage guests to take a load off and kick back with a pint, just as the Spanish would. The restaurant takes inspiration from every corner of Spain, with their own, personal touches making it all the more special. While the spot may be in the Suburbs of gloomy Manchester, you’d be forgiven for accidentally thinking you’d teleported to an old town in Catalonia. From Swordfish to beef cheek and classic chorizo dishes, you’ll probably want to order everything on the menu. Bar San Juan, 56 Beech Road, Manchester, M21 9EG.
A Deli from the outside and a Catalan restaurant on the inside, Lunya brings a taste of authentic Catalonia to Manchester – whether you prefer to cook at home with their delicious deli offering or eat inside at their award-winning restaurant. An independent, family-owned spot, the deli is stocked with cheese, meats, sauces and more, while at the bar guests can enjoy the UK’s largest array of Spanish gins, beers and wines. Just maybe not all at once. Sharing platters, meat, fish and veggie plates make up the extensive tapas menu, with Catalonian street food such as “dirty Patatas Bravas” and their very own chorizo sausage roll with chilli jam taking centre stage. There’s a ton of twists throughout the menu, with tapas plates such as their Catalan Hotpot and Catalan Scampi available for those who like to live life on the wilder side. Lunya, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BB.
Featuring a warm and inviting atmosphere, La Vina is a great place to unwind after a long day of shopping. Conveniently located on Deansgate, the decor has warm colours and wooden furnishings running throughout, giving a homely vibe while you sit back and relax with a glass of fine Spanish wine. The menu is large, with Paella and charcuterie dishes, as well as traditional tapas options. Guests can also enjoy a small menu of Spanish cheeses, perfect when combined with a nice glass of Rioja. Doesn’t the saying go… “When in Spain”? La Vina, 105/107 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BQ.