5 of the best independent restaurants in Manchester

Tuck into cheesy burgers and fried chicken at Almost Famous—Great Northern in Manchester.

Manchester may be best known for two world-recognised football teams, but it’s also home to stellar neighbourhood restaurants that foster a strong sense of community. This autumn, let your taste buds travel through this burgeoning food scene with the Dine Local campaign running in partnership with Mastercard from 23rd October to 19th November. It’s the perfect opportunity to gather with friends and family and savour dishes prepared by Manchester’s top chefs and restaurateurs. Plus, the city’s neighbourhood gems are known to champion sustainability and plant-based dining.

Supporting local restaurants not only allows you to discover new cuisines and connect with your community, but helps sustain small businesses that keep the city’s pulse thriving.

What are you waiting for? Here are the five restaurants calling your name.

Read on for 5 independent restaurants in Manchester.

 

Evelyn’s Café Bar (Manchester)

A selection of classic dishes from Evelyn's Café Bar in Manchester

Expect Middle Eastern and Pan-Asian inspired dishes at Evelyn’s Café Bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Credit: Evelyn’s Café Bar

Everyone is family at Evelyn’s Cafe Bar

At this intimate spot, which melds Middle Eastern and Pan-Asian flavours, you’ll witness live-fire cooking that creates a cosy, homely environment. Owner Sax Arshad transformed his convenience store with the addition of bar seating, and he now serves a mix of comforting sharing plates like buttermilk pancakes topped with berries and crushed peanuts. Sundays are a highlight thanks to the hearty roast (there’s even a vegetarian version) with seasonal vegetables and sides like pan-fried halloumi and sautéed spinach.

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Delhi House Café (Manchester)

A spread of chicken tikka masala, lamb kebabs, aloo chaat, and two cocktails on a wooden table at the restaurant Delhi House Cafe in Manchester.

Bright, warming curries, meats, and starters are something to look forward to at Delhi House Café. Credit: Delhi House Café

For traditional Indian flavours, feast at Delhi House Café 

Whether you’re here for lunch or dinner, the welcoming service will bring you back for several more visits. The Lamba family, who moved here from New Delhi, replicate a version of the hundreds of cafes that line the streets of the city in India. The restaurant’s expansive menu has dishes like Hyderabadi chicken, classic chicken tikka masala, and popular street food like chaat and fritters. Wash down your meal with a steaming cup of masala chai as if you were strolling through the streets of New Delhi. For Dine Local, diners can get into the festive mood with a meal surrounded by twinkling lights and cosy booths.

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Menagerie Restaurant (Manchester)

A brunch spread featuring pancakes with berries, french toast, and four pink cocktails at the restaurant Menagerie in Manchester.

The brunch and the colourful cocktails are among the must-tries at Menagerie. Credit: Menagerie / It’s Me Louis Photogrpahy.

Participate in experiential dining at Menagerie

Menagerie is the passion project of founder Karina Jadhav, who was inspired to create an inclusive, festive restaurant after her divorce in 2015. The result is a one-of-a-kind destination where diners dress up, snap selfies, and eat comfort fare like gooey mac and cheese and truffle fries. The bottomless brunch with its free-flowing mimosas or afternoon tea is a highlight as are the neon lights and the vibrant colours throughout the space.

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Almost Famous – Great Northern (Manchester)

A fried chicken burger with melted cheese and sauce next to a bucket of fried chicken at the restaurant Almost Famous in Manchester.

Tuck into cheesy burgers and fried chicken at Almost Famous—Great Northern in Manchester. Credit: Almost Famous.

It’s all about burgers at Almost Famous—Great Northern 

Sink your teeth into burger nirvana at this American diner-style joint that’s named after the iconic 2000 film. Founded by beloved Manchester restaurateur Beau Myers, Almost Famous piles prime cuts of juicy beef between pillowy brioche buns with crispy edges. Things can get messy here, and Almost Famous is banking on that: they recommend you wear t-shirts you don’t mind staining. Grab a few friends, participate in the Dine Local 90-minute bottomless brunch, and let the laid back vibes here take control on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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The Cherry Tree (Bolton)

A well-plated dish of food featuring roasted carrots, herbs, a brown gravy, and meat garnished with fresh leaves at The Cherry Tree in Bolton.

The star of the show is modern British dishes made out of seasonal produce. Credit: The Cherry Tree.

Fresh, seasonal produce makes British cooking shine at The Cherry Tree 

Showcasing seasonal produce and locally sourced ingredients is of utmost importance at this Bolton restaurant. That’s best seen in dishes like the roasted courgette and kale sandwich or the candy beetroot hummus. The Cherry Tree is a modern British restaurant that’s known for its family-style portions, what’s more they offer a dedicated kids menu that’s popular amongst locals. For Dine Local, bring your family any time between 12 pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday, for 20% off the a la carte and market menus.

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Pooja Shah is a freelance writer originally from New York City but now living in London. She writes on food, travel, wine, and lifestyle. Her work is at www.pooja-shah.com. Follow her on Instagram at @poojashah1130.

Still hungry? Explore more great restaurants to try in Manchester on OpenTable.

 

Keen for more of Manchester’s best restaurants? Check out the below guides: