The Rivals

4.4
780 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 £22/£27

From a set menu.

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

Valid For: 1 - 6 people

Starts: 7 January 2019

Ends: 31 March 2019

Availability: Mon-Sat 17:30-19:00

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: 7 January 2019

Ends: 31 March 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 780 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
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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HW
Warwickshire
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Would recommend for a pre theatre dinner. the waitress knew we needed to be served on time and they did do that and advised us to have puddings after the show as there was no interval.

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JK
Liverpool
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Choice of food on set menu very good especially as gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options all available. Freshly prepared and served promptly food was lovely especially the saffron risotto and GF sticky toffee pudding (real treat to find GF version.
Would highly recommend.

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RH
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Really enjoyed the whole experience. I was with a couple of senior folks and the music playing when combined with the natural talking going on made it very hard for them to hear clearly. Do we really need music playing all the time? The ambience is great anyway and the chat is good and cultural as most of us are off to see some theatre. But really good thanks. X

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PB
Manchester
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always excellent food and service. One of the best places to eat in town, and far more reasonably priced than many.

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NS
Manchester
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and service, drinks serviced properly and made to feel welcome.

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S
Manchester
14 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Good food and service. Music a bit tired and too loud- not the right choice for this setting. The choices on the set menu are varied and cater for most diners.

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1
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 11 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful food, presented well. Nice ambiance. Great staff, would recommend to anyone! Well done Rivals!! Xx

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DB
Manchester
6 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

An excellent spot for pre theatre eating. Great staff, reasonably priced. Expect gastro pub quality interesting food. The beef blade is a good sized portion of delicious food. Lamb top too. Wine list good value in city centre.

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MR
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We were very impressed, the food was excellent. We would recommend to friends.

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L
Wales
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I booked the Rivals for convenience as it is within the theatre. I would definitely go back. The waitress was lovely. The food was tasty and excellent value for money. The whole thing was spot on.

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OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on 27 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect pre theatre dinner

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JD
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 27 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just the ticket for speed of service and relaxing ambiance.

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CG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

I had booked a table - so not unexpected and yes, it was a busy period before the Saturday evening show. But the manager seemed rather flustered; we had to attract the attention of the wait-people to give our order; we had to wait longer than expected for the food; and the food, when it came, was not good. Polenta was very dry - not helped by the 'basil crumbs'.

Being able to order and have dessert during the interval was an unexpected bonus - and the rhubarb tart thingy was delicious.

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DL
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ate from the set two course menu before going in to watch a show. Restaurant was busy but service was good and very friendly. There was a limited choice (it was a set menu!) but everything was absolutely delicious. Drinks weren't too expensive either. Really enjoyed our evening.

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PG
Glasgow
2 reviews
Dined on 21 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Rivals delivered an outstanding dining experience.
Food was great and the service was attentive without being intrusive.
Would not hesitate to return.

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G
Lancashire
10 reviews
Dined on 19 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, delicious food. They don’t take their captive audience for granted!

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LC
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 19 February 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely food. Really enjoyed it and will come again

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RS
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to The Rival's Restaurant, but will definitely not be our last. The food was very tasty, just the right temperature and portion sizes too. Our waiter was very friendly and polite, we never felt rushed. It was the perfect start to a night at the Royal exchange theatre. I'm glad we booked well in advance, it is a popular place, and rightly so.

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CR
1 review
Dined on 15 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service was good , food very good.
A little noisy but it was early evening on a Friday. Price reasonable for city centre Manchester.

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YU
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

All the food was digusting
Made a bad choice to go there for food
But the staff was nice and friendly
Nice for gathering with drinking

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OT
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food but didn't realise that it mainly services the theatre goers but still thoroughly enjoyed it and the food was fantastic!

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i
Manchester
15 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Telephoned to say that we would be late due to traffic congestion, this was not a problem. On arrival, service good, food really tasty and well presented, excellent value for money, would visit again. Only downside was our table was right beside the bar and coffee machine which was distracting at times and also felt like we were in the 'naughty corner'.

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TF
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a very pleasant pre theatre meal on valentine day. Tasty food and very friendly, efficient service.

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AA
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A great place to eat if your going to the theatre. A great place to eat if your not going to the theatre. We have done both.

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YM
London
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Rivals was excellent from start to finish. It was a great blend of relaxed but professional, relaxed being the atmosphere and professional being the food and service. See you soon. Ashley.

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SC
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 12 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great value for money and lovely pre-theatre dining

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PD
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 11 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They always have lovely food, and the service is good it's so good to have a meal and relax before the performance in the theatre

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CM
St. Louis
6 reviews
Dined on 11 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service, the perfect pre-cursor to theatre evenings

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JB
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere as always with attentive friendly service. Food was excellent. If you've not tried here before, go!

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LB
London
2 reviews
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Excellent service at a reasonable price. The menu choice was limited but just look at the menu before you book.

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P
Cheshire
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great for a pre theatre meal and you get the table for the interval!

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MH
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It has a limited menu but that’s ok; it is interesting, varied and caters for all tastes. The food was very good and there was a nice, vibrant atmosphere in the restaurant. Pleasant, friendly staff helped the evening go smoothly. We were going to a performance at the Royal Exchange and it was excellent for a pre-performance meal.

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R
London
2 reviews
Dined on 24 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely food and good service - they know you’re likely going to a show so work quick and efficiently- was quite busy but service still good - we enjoyed the ambiance

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PS
1 review
Dined on 24 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The pre theatre menu is excellent value with a good choice of starters and mains. I feel I am increasingly having to accept vegan food when I am not a vegan. One of the desserts was accompanied by vegan coconut ice I would have expected a non vegan ice cream to be offered as an alternative. The wine by the glass choice is one of the best I have seen.

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TR
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 23 January 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

yes but least good meal we have had there..hake was quite dry

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DM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What an excellent Theatre Experience. Lovely restaurant with excellent food and service. The production was superlative and the interval service friendly and very good
Thank you
Declan

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k
London
7 reviews
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The restaurant was very lively with plenty of atmosphere - our waitress was friendly and knowledgable and the food was as always very tastey and great value for the quality (we did the set 2 course menu)
We always eat here before a show and love that we don't have to rush and can finish our wine with pudding during the interval

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V
Lancashire
1 review
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I enjoyed my evening. Thank you very much. Excellent service.

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JD
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely friendly place with interesting decor, excellent service and delicious food. The side vegetables are particularly good, but we enjoyed every mouthful

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RG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had lunch here before going to see a show in the Royal Exchange Theatre. The décor is great, food was really nice and service was very good. It was nice and busy with lots of atmosphere.

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