The Rivals

4.4
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921 reviews
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£25 and under
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Gastro Pub

Top tags:

Pre/post Theatre
Casual
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

Dinner 2 Course £24 3 Course £29

From a choice set menu.

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

Valid For: 1 - 6 people

Starts: 3 December 2019

Ends: 24 December 2019

Availability: Mon-Sat 17:00-22:00

Lunch 2 Course £21 3 Course £25

From a choice set menu.

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

Valid For: 1 - 6 people

Starts: 3 December 2019

Ends: 24 December 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 921 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
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MD
Manchester
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent service and excellent food. Great choice for pre-show dinner at the Royal Exchange Theatre, as they are associated. You can even have dessert and coffee during the interval!

R
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Lovely food at a reasonable price. A smashing view from our table over St Anne's Square. A raucous group of women rather wrecked the peace, but hey ho, it's Christmas and they were obviously very excited. Service was excellent until the last course and we waited for over half an hour for pudding, which caused us some problems with transport. I think that the problem lay with the kitchen rather than the waitresses, who were very sweet. In acknowledgment we weren't charged for pudding.

L
Kent
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Really enjoy eating here, the menu is vey individual without being off the wall. Great food and good selection of drinks. Good value forgone. Service is good, with pleasant staff. Little disappointed on this occasion at being seated amongst the drinkers, which made it abit noisy.

FC
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, excellent service, a lovely appetiser to the show. Thank you. Coming back in 2 weeks!

JC
Manchester
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very pleasant experience with friends. Relaxed, great service and good food before going to watch Gypsy. Makes a pre theatre meal hard to beat for convenience

ZW
Cornwall
1 review
Dined on 2 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect setting, excellent food and service - wonderful start to our evening at the Royal Exchange

VF
1 review
Dined on 2 December 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We have eaten at the Royal Exchange restaurant previously over the years. I have to say though that this new production, The Rivals is excellent. The atmosphere is very classic, almost staged - how appropriate and very warm, cosy in its feel. Very different from the previous contemporary environment.
The staff are attentive but not annoying. The food is excellent and we really liked the menu.
Would definitely recommend and return. It made a night at the theatre perfect.

GE
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 30 November 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good food, good service - great place to dine if you are going to the production. No need to worry that you will be dashing out of a restaurant to get to your seats on time, love the option to have dessert, and/or drinks or coffee at the interval so no need to queue for them. Staff always really friendly and helpful.

G
London
6 reviews
Dined on 30 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We go to Rivals every year when we visit the markets ... As usual we were not disappointed ... Staff were so friendly and helpful especially with my elderly parents who are very precise about their likes and dislikes ... Could not fault it

ND
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 28 November 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very good meal in pleasant, quiet surroundings. Good view from window. Very friendly service if a little slow. Excellent value.

L
San Antonio
2 reviews
Dined on 27 November 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We have been to the Rivals several times and have never been disappointed by the food or the service. It is a special treat after the theatre.

W
London
2 reviews
Dined on 27 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food and great service

JE
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Tasty and inventive cuisine and great value. A great start to an evening at the theatre. Love being able to pop back for pudding I the interval!

NS
Yorkshire
2 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, delicious food, wonderful ambience. Just lovely.

EG
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 15 November 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

If asked about my experience I would say that the food is good, although not a bargain, and the restaurant is convenient for the theatre. Tables set out in the bar area are not always comfortable as they get a strong draft from outside the restaurant. We were told we could have a booked a specific table but that isn't clear when making an on-line booking. The decor is rather faux but not unpleasant. On the whole, we have booked often because of the convenience to the theatre, the food is usually good and there are vegetarian choices.

JF
London
5 reviews
Dined on 15 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Booked this very last minute before a show but so delighted with the food, and the service. Lovely staff. Great to see the Royal Exchange matched with a restaurant of such high quality.

P
London
2 reviews
Dined on 15 November 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Loved it here. Had a gorgeous meal before the play and left my son and his girlfriend eating cheese and wine while we went to watch the play. Came back to find dessert waiting for us. Our waitress was really fantastic and helpful. Really a lovely night out and a brilliant atmosphere in the restaurant. Also nice to see some actors drinking in there afterwards. Will definitely be back very soon.

CG
Yorkshire
3 reviews
Dined on 14 November 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely menu, plenty of choice with lots of different dishes! Well prepared,cooked and presented. especially pleased with the desserts, unlike most reataurants!

TF
Newcastle
1 review
Dined on 14 November 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent quality food pleasantly served and in a relaxed environment. It made the perfect start to a most enjoyable evening at the Royal Exchange.

S
Manchester
17 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A really good meal served with humour and efficiency - great start to a theatre evening.

HR
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Didn't have a meal as pushed for time , will definitely get there earlier next time and dine

AD
London
1 review
Dined on 7 November 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We were well looked after. I chose a non-meat option which looked lovely however I found it had too many flavours. A bit on the expensive side.

EJ
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really good food. Great menu selection. Fantastic service. Will be back.

KM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great pre theatre dining venue. Food is really good, and it's a lovely setting. Previously we have had our dessert in the play's interval - what a brilliant idea! No rushing to finish, you can take your time and then have pudding in a quiet environment half way through the production. My friend - not a pudding enthusiast - said the eccles cake was the best dessert she'd ever had. I need your recipe so I can treat her to some home baking!

CE
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, lovely view from the window. Waiting staff were all friendly and efficient. Please try it for yourself !!

CQ
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 1 November 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Perfect for pre theatre supper. Friendly staff; our waitress checked if were going into the theatre so she knew what time constraints we had. My steak was superb: tender and flavoursome. Good ambiance, but the noise levels rose too high for my liking as the restaurant filled up pre theatre. However, I’m still looking forward to a return visit.

MG
London
14 reviews
Dined on 1 November 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Excellent meal, straightforward food very well cooked. Good value. Friendly service.

QL
London
5 reviews
Dined on 1 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great modern British right on St Anne's Square. Big tables with plenty of space around you and very reasonable wine list too! |Very good friendly service too!

EM
Edinburgh
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Really great, friendly service from very welcoming and lovely staff. Food was very nice, but I did think it was a little pricey. Great place to go for a pre-theatre dinner and would certainly recommend it. Very good drinks options.

AK
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff were really friendly and efficient. Food was excellent . Wine reasonably priced . Had a lovely family night out

JP
London
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed a lovely meal served by friendly staff. The restaurent had a great atmosphere and is a huge asset for the Royal Exchange

MJ
Cheshire
2 reviews
Dined on 19 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Stunning little restaurant with great service and delicious food, would highly recommend and we will be back

SL
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 18 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My Daughter & I were attending a play at The Royal Exchange and decided The Rivals to be a great location.
Fantastic choice, the restaurant was not overly busy and had a lovely atmosphere.
We chose to eat from the fixed menu which had some lovely options: 2 courses for £22.
The staff were super attentive and managed time expectations well.

Would return again even if not attending a play.

l
London
3 reviews
Dined on 17 October 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

I love eating here pre theatre. Alway a good veggie and fish choice on the menu. Staff aware you have a deadline of course. I really appreciate being able to come back for dessert or coffee in the interval too.

P
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The perfect place for a pre-theatre dinner at the royal Exchange - we love it.

JT
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 9 October 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great food, surroundings and staff. Good value for a high quality meal. It’s a little cool when sitting by the windows on a cold autumn evening-bit of a draught. Overall very good

C
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 7 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

had a pre theatre dinner with a friend on Monday night. as always, the food is fantastic, efficient & friendly staff & a lovely atmosphere. a treat in itself! would recommend whether you're going to a show or not. we eat there regularly. one of the best restaurants in Manchester & good value for money.

MD
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 7 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and excellent service, with plenty of time to enjoy before the play started and the opportunity to have desert at the interval!

t
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed the varied menu, ambience was very good, along with the service. Have no hesitation in recommending the restaurant to friends

TM
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food was good as always, but we had a vegetarian who thought the veggie prices were expensive for the offer. Given vegetables are usually cheaper than meat, and we weren't having black truffles with morels offered, I (a meat eater) did agree with him. It wasn't something I would normally check up on, but I will do in future. The cheeseboard was its usual star course, although keeping the grapes accompanying them in the fridge is not good, they need to be at room temperature or replaced with a sliced apple or pear, not a big ask surely.