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Top 5 restaurants

Food writer and restaurant critic Ray King compiles his Top 5 restaurants to visit in Manchester.


Manchester House

The youngest British chef ever to win a Michelin star, Aiden Byrne, demonstrates his consummate and audacious culinary skills in the gallery kitchen in the midst of the city's most eye-poppingly extravagant rendezvous, where naked gastronomic aspiration burns exceedingly bright. Living Ventures' 12th floor lounge and 2nd floor dining room purposefully wow the clientele with spectacular design as do Byrne's adventurous menus. From fixed-priced lunch and varied à la carte options to his 13-course taster, the dishes feature daring flavour combinations and astonishingly dextrous technique.

Like this? Try Simon Rogan at The French or Australasia.


Mr Cooper's House and Garden

At Mr Cooper's you will find good food, cooked with flair and imagination and served in unique surroundings by a friendly yet professional team.Mr Cooper’s House & Garden combines modern touches with the history and heritage of Mr Cooper himself, whose house and famous gardens sat on the site back in 1819. A multitude of different dining settings under one roof, Mr Cooper’s offers a unique setting for everyone. Lounge in the garden amongst the cascading wall of plants and 30ft tree, enjoy drinks in the Library or cosy up next to friends in the leather booths of the study.

Like this? Try Michael Caines @ Abode or 2nd Floor Harvey Nichols.


Damson MediaCityUK

The name's familiar; the location changed - for Damson has spread its wings and the award-winning neighbourhood restaurant in Heaton Moor now has a cracking big sister act in MediaCityUK with a splendid first-floor panorama over the dockland's remarkable transition. The bar is reason enough for BBC types to head north! Steve Pilling and chef-partner Simon Stanley made their mark at Manchester’s two hugely popular chop houses but at Damson the cooking emphasis is on skilful modernism rather than meaty tradition, backed by superb use of fantastic ingredients.

Like this? Try Damson Heaton Moor, Cicchetti or San Carlo.


Albert's Shed

Delivering quality food to local customers at a reasonable price in a sharp, modern space. The menu is unashamedly British with some hints of Italian and favourites from around the globe. Having one of the best locations in Manchester helps – situated in the heart of Castlefield in an urban heritage park with one of the best alfresco dining spaces anywhere in the city. More info.


James Martin

Sumptuous interior design meets stark industrial functionality at James Martin's restaurant within the mammoth cast iron and brick Victorian railway goods warehouse that's home to the Manchester 235 Casino. The location can divide opinion, but the signature dishes on the celebrity chef's accomplished menu of modern British classics have won widespread praise. The seasonal ingredients - especially the meat and fish - are all impeccably sourced and the "Meat Market" display is a clear statement of commitment to the finest quality.

Like this? Try the Albert Square Chop House