The Rivals

4.4
844 reviews
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£25 and under
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Gastro Pub
Top tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Casual
  • Creative Cuisine
Situated within the visually stunning Royal Exchange Theatre, The Rivals is the perfect venue for a business lunch, a break from shopping or a pre-theatre dinner. With views out over St Ann"s Square and into the theatre's Great Hall The Rivals offers a superb pre-theatre dinner menu with friendly attentive service. The bar/restaurant is also open during theatre performances for non theatre going customers. Real ale, craft beer, fine wines and excellent food are all on offer

Special Offers

2/3 courses £19/£22

From a set menu.

Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

Valid For: 1 - 6 people

Starts: 14 June 2019

Ends: 31 July 2019

Availability: Mon-Sat 12:00-15:00

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1,000 point tables

Mon - Sat 7:45PM - 9:15PM

What 844 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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SS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely place with great food at a reasonable price. We will certainly be visiting again when we go to the theatre.

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CK
Manchester
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If I could give Rivals 10 out of 5 I would. The service was great both at the bar and whilst at our table. We had the Chicken Tandoori and the Salmon main courses plus two delicious desserts, wine and coffee. The restaurant has a lovely informal atmosphere and a big plus is being able to preorder drinks to have back at your table in the interval. I’d like to balance this review with a negative - but there isn’t one.

Well done to all the staff front of house and kitchen.

The Kendals

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SB
Manchester
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Meal with friends, good food and service excellent value for money.

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OT
Manchester
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Relaxed yet attentive service. Fantastic food. Love you can keep your table for the interval. We came back to wine and a cheese board. Fabulous

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JG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was excellent in taste and presentation and the service very good including changing our table fir window seats.

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PD
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 10 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Yes and have done particularly if going to see a play

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DH
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Arrived 18.05. Lovely table. Friendly staff. Starters prompt and lovely. At 7.00pm. I had to ask if mains were ready as we were limited as time of the show. At 7.10 we got mains and two free drinks. Had to rush meal and run out of time only had a third of the drink. The food was very good but experience wasn't good on first visit.

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L
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The set menu is great value and the food was superb. My fussy vegetarian daughter was also very happy!

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JS
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

This is a good place to eat before a show. Thy know you'r goint to need to be through in time to take your seat.

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JH
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 7 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Excellent service as ever, friendly and intelligent. Good food, wine a bit pricey

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JR
1 review
Dined on 3 June 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Food excellent, service slow but friendly. Decor and ambiance below average. Clean but tatty.

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J
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Sitting st the farthest end meant it was difficult to attract staffs attention at times. Food overall was excellent, apart from the focaccia bread starter which was pretty bland and over toasted so it was hard. Staff replaced it for us.

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T
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A perfect treat of a celebratory light lunch! Table for two, window seats over St Ann's Square, lovely ambiance with gentle hubbub, (it was so nice not to have to shout to be heard). Absolutely delicious food with charming and attentive service.

This was followed by the fantastic West Side Story matinee; a particularly exciting event as my mother saw the original production in New York, and she felt this one was equally good, perhaps the quality of dance and singing was higher...!

Thank you.

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JK
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was the best I've ever had. I had the lamb meatballs and the taste was inceedible. Portions perfect. The service outstanding. I would reccomend to anyone and will go back again

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JJ
Cheshire
1 review
Dined on 24 May 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A very warm welcome on arrival, shown immediately to our table. Very good advice from the waiter when asked what we should order. The food was delicious, crab fish cakes to start and salmon risotto. My husband chose the beef, very tasty. A lovely place to eat.

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RV
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 23 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Welcoming staff and lovely food -great pre -theatreatment meal -will be back

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k
London
9 reviews
Dined on 23 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely food as usual at The Rivals and the place was very buzzy with pre-theatre bookings - we had starters and mains from a really good value set menu - out of the ordinary offerings and decent sized portions
Our waiter was attentive and very friendly so service was as good as the food

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OT
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 23 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great staff. Good food. V enjoyable

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HW
London
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our meal at The Rivals last week. The table overlooking St Anne's Square was just right for people watching both in and out of the restaurant. The food - we had the set lunch- was good, though the potato risotto could have been a little less al dente for our taste. The service was excellent, friendly and efficient. Our only complaint was that the music was a little loud. We would certainly recommend it, and go back .

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BM
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 21 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Another good meal. I makes the ambience down as I was a lone diner, everyone had gone into the theatre. I will certainly be visiting again soon.

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FG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 21 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, swift and efficient as we were booked to go to a show. Tasty food, portions not huge but filing. Good choices on the set menu and standard menu. Good wine list too.

Very good for a pre-show dinner.

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AM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely food and the service was very good. We had the set menu and it was good value for money

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JC
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We dined at The Rivals to celebrate my birthday with family and prior to the evening show at the Royal Exchange. We were superbly looked after from the moment we arrived, service, food, drinks all excellent.
Small but delightful menu and the vegan choices (2) were of exceptional quality.
Thank you so much for making a special night even better.

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M
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for a pre-show meal, the food was excellent as was the service, which was also very friendly. We were informed that we could order dessert and eat it at the interval, which my daughter did and was not disappointed. We were really impressed with the menu choice and the willingness of staff to 'tweak' the choice slightly - having a starter for main course. Would definitely return and would also recommend to others.

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KB
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, lovely place & super service. Will definitely come again.

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NS
1 review
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a perfect meal from start to finish. Attentive service, delicious food and really pleasant ambiance. Just an all round wonderful experience.

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SB
Manchester
7 reviews
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

First visit but not the last. Good well prepared food enthusiastically served. Set menu reasonably priced and good value for money.

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M
Dorset
1 review
Dined on 14 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent food and a terrific location if tying in with the Theatre. Quiet location, otherwise.

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P
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 13 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Pre-theatre relaxing meal sitting at a table with sunshine and light breeze. The wine went down well and complimented the fantastic quality food. Quantities adequate. We even had a pudding and this maintained our feeling of “we will have to come again” !

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LC
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Disappointing. I cannot eat mustard or horseradish and found that four dishes were immediately eliminated out of nine on the evening set menu, nine excluding desserts obviously. I am not vegetarian, so that cut out another three dishes, which left only one main course which carried a £2 supplement. Mustard and horseradish are the only things I cannot eat and are commonly disliked I find, so my choice was very limited. Please consider in future not including mustard in particular in so many dishes.
We were initially seated at a window table where the blind was broken so that two of us would have had the full sun in our faces which is not pleasant. Fortunately there was another free table, but if there hadn't been.....

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A
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic food, very tasty, coupled with a nice atmosphere and great selection of drinks. This will be the first visit of many I'm sure!

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PS
London
5 reviews
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect restaurant for a pre or post theatre meal varied menu to suit all tastes, nice selection of beers, wines and spirits, waiting staff attentive, informative and jolly
Reasonably priced as well
Would highly recommend this venue
Thanks to all there

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TF
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Good quality food - about right for the price. Staff pleasant, couple of small issues didn’t quite work out right. Lovely idea to have pudding at the interval! Quite a nice feel to the place - appreciated space between tables. Decor slightly odd

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AS
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 7 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This was our second visit to The Rivals & it was equally enjoyable as last time. The food was good & the service also very good. It was a quiet night because there was, unusually, no production on.

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CB
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on 7 May 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

I was so looking forward to trying The Rivals. Well....
The first thing that hits you is the smell of frying/cooking meat and fat! Some airconditioning please.... After that nothing matters bescause the smell is so overwhelming that whatever you eat you can't even taste properly.
Your clothes smell of fat after you come home! Yuk!
No, do not go to The Rivals. I will not.

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l
Derbyshire
15 reviews
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Worth it for the dessert alone. Salted chocolate & caramel ❤️❤️❤️

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AN
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Eaten here many times . Such a perfect start to a Theatre evening.

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AS
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal and service, perfect when going to a performance, staff suggested we had our deserts in the interval - we did , delicious and a great evening!

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S
London
2 reviews
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food and excellent service. A great stop before the theatre.

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JS
London
1 review
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely relaxed setting with good atmosphere. Food was delicious - we both loved the salmon & the desserts were unusual and tasted amazing. Emma looked after us brilliantly & even though the restaurant was full, we didn’t have to wait for anything. Definitely recommend as great choice for pre-theatre in Manchester.

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