The Rivals

4.4
702 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
£25 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Gastro Pub
Top tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Lunch
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 Round 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
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Gastro Pub, British, European
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of Operation
Lunch:


Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 3.00pm


Dinner:


Monday – Saturday: 5pm - 10pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
0161 615 6666
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment Options
MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress Code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive Chef
Anna Fysh
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking Details
The following NCP Car Parks offer 20% discount to all our customers. Simply validate your ticket at the theatre's box office.

NCP MARKET PLACE, Black Friars St.

Tarriff info:
2hrs - £5.00
2-4hrs - £9.00
4-6hrs - £13.00
6-24hrs - £18.00

NCP KING STREET WEST

Tarriff info:
2hrs - £7.00
2-4hrs - £15.00
4-6hrs - £17.00
6-24hrs - £25.00
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Beer Garden, Cafe, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Offers

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1,000 point tables

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

What 702 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
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
JS
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing, don’t think I’ve ever had such tender beef! Lovely atmosphere and perfect for post theatre. Highly recommend.

Report
Helpful
JC
Manchester
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food very good. Coffee was terrible. Cold and tasteless.

Report
Helpful
J
Yorkshire
24 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent staff, good food. reasonably priced, Nice and quiet, but got a bit noisy during the interval (we didn't watch the play).

Report
Helpful
PD
1 review
Dined on 12 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent to put you in the right relaxing mood to watch the play.

Report
Helpful
JD
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Warm friendly place with lovely atmosphere, tasty food and good drink selection. Very pleasant experience. Looking forward to next visit.

Report
Helpful
JH
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We attended on the night of The Mysteries and the restaurant was efficient and pro active enabling us to complete our dinner in the limited time available- yet let us feel unhurried.
Food was excellent.

Report
Helpful
IP
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Very busy, pre-performance. Menu options reduced. Service was not slow, but rather rushed. The place was full. Wearing hearing aids myself, it was filled with extraneous conversation-noise, which made sustained conversation a bit of a challenge. Perhaps it would be fairer to assess this venue without the collective underlying sense of getting through the meal! Table booked for 6:15, served by 6:45. Good for pre-performance eating though and food cooked and presented nicely. Next time, I will remember to book for 6:00!

Report
Helpful
DH
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and setting. We will be back and have already recommended the restaurant to friends

Report
Helpful
FM
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were pleasantly surprised at the venue, the food and the service - the food was so good I made a point of telling the Head Chef how much we had enjoyed everything. Just one suggestion - use linen napkins and also tablecloths - the restaurant deserves this extra touch.....

Report
Helpful
L
Surrey
2 reviews
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great ambience, loved the wall art. Good menu, nice croquettes, duck leg and outstanding crumble. We had our dessert in the play interval which was great. Good wine selection too.

Report
Helpful
JS
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 9 November 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Our experience would have been better if the main course had arrived earlier. As it was we were pushed for time before the theatre.
Also lighting a bit dim.
Good but not as good as it could have been.

Report
Helpful
PK
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waitress was wonderful .wonderful. wondeful and even more wonderful ( does this count as the 50 characters?)

Report
Helpful
A
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Apart from no facility for tipping (we would have!) this was ideal pre Play meal - beautifully presented food, not too heavy (play was over 3 hours) Service very good and mindful of deadline, booking v straightforward. We had the fish and the gammon hock. Recommended

Report
Helpful
RM
London
1 review
Dined on 7 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Brilliant start for a night at the theatre. Food was excellent and the portion size just right. The vegan main was particularly delicious. Staff helpful and extremely polite. Turns a trip to see a play into a more special and memorable occasion.

Report
Helpful
IK
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 7 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb menu reflecting seasonal produce. One of the best restaurants in Manchester - one of its hidden gems!

Report
Helpful
S
Manchester
13 reviews
Dined on 5 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great place for a pre theatre meal. Friendly helpful staff and good veggie and fish choices for pescatarians.

Report
Helpful
K
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly atmosphere, great food, excellent service. Would highly recommend 👍

Report
Helpful
OT
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another outstanding experience at The Rivals . Superb changes to the menu since our last visit with a knowledgeable, relaxed and professional front of house team. I would strongly recommend The Rivals for a breadth of tastes and good humoured team members all delivered in a pre-theatre "blink of an eye".

Report
Helpful
KS
1 review
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great venue for early evening pre-concert meal. Service very friendly and efficient despite being busy. Food delicious and ambience buzzing but not too noisy. We were sitting close to the open kitchen so aware of cooking smells but that did not detract from our overall positive experience.

Report
Helpful
JB
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 27 October 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The soup was amazing-not enough choice for the main course in the 2 course for £22 and don't think the beef dish justified the extra £2 charge I would have liked a few more vegetables and fewer potatoes

Report
Helpful
CW
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyable evening, a group of 12, would certainly go again

Report
Helpful
B
1 review
Dined on 22 October 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Slightly annoyed when the item I wanted (beef) was still being cooked. This was a pre-theatre dinner and was at around 5:50 for a 7:30 play. Starter was nice (goats cheese) but the main, hake, was just OK. Desert was good.
Service was very good.
I liked the place.

Report
Helpful
CG
1 review
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and quick service. Really good wine list too. Wasn’t noisy or too busy that we were forgotten about. Staff were friendly and attentive but didn’t fuss and left us to chat and eat in peace.
Would highly recommend this place. The food is gorgeous and was well worth paying a little extra for.

Report
Helpful
T
1 review
Dined on 19 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came here on a Friday afternoon for a birthday celebration. We wanted somewhere with character, good food and affordable and Rivals fitted the bill perfectly. It was the first time we had eaten here and we mostly went for the set lunch menu - 3 courses for £22. I thought as it was in the centre of Manchester, the portion sizes would be tiny but I couldn't have been more wrong. There was plenty on the plate and it was all hot and delicious. Our waitress was incredibly helpful and very friendly and we will definitely making several return visits 😊

Report
Helpful
BT
1 review
Dined on 18 October 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent and friendly staff, good value and good choice. As visitors to Manchester a good experience. Barrie Thomas.

Report
Helpful
SL
1 review
Dined on 18 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Brilliant food ambience and service. Excellent choice and variety would highly reccomend

Report
Helpful
CM
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great venue for a pre-theatre meal, good food, pleasantly served, reasonably priced.

Report
Helpful
CW
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely food, service, relaxed atmosphere and excellent value for money.

Report
Helpful
C
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went for an anniversary meal we were seated promptly with excellent table service. Food was presented beautifully and tasted great.

Report
Helpful
VS
1 review
Dined on 11 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Really enjoyed the food and service was excellent as I was early and my companion late. Find the decor rather dark. Probably in need of a revamp with something more cheerful.

Report
Helpful
H
Manchester
6 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

It was good but no proper salad starter really available ( choice of heavier ones and goats cheese, which I don’t like) and when I asked for one ,it was a few undressed leaves with smoked salmon. The salmon was very nice but please can chefs give a decent salad with a dressing please ?!!

Also,they should put some bread on the table or a roll ,like abroad.

They could have added a few grapes or tomato or something to make it better than I would serve at home myself.
Main course very good and dessert good too.

Wine dear£26 (but nice )so for a mid week early doors meal ,including tip and a couple of lagers was £100 for two people which I think is expensive before going to the theatre.

Report
Helpful
JD
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Lovely meal & great that we could have our dessert in the theatre show interval

Report
Helpful
JB
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The service was very prompt and friendly. The menus are very reasonably priced, espeicially from the set menu and there are good options for vegetarians. Being in the Royal Exchange building gives it a special ambience.

Report
Helpful
SB
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The staff were friendly and helpful. The menu, however, was rather disappointing. Dishes did not quite live up to their description- my 'aubergine tagine' was in fact three slices of fried aubergine sitting on top of a pile of , quite tasty but, over apricotty, quinoa.

Report
Helpful
EA
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We have never had a bad experience at this restaurant. We used to just use it for pre-theatre meals but are happy these days to pop in for lunch anytime. Food is always good and reasonably innovative, and well priced.

Report
Helpful
M
1 review
Dined on 2 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I really enjoyed the meal and so did my two friends.
Very good food and service.

Report
Helpful
JS
London
1 review
Dined on 1 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit to Rivals and it did not disappoint. Great welcome from lovely staff and fabulous food. The pre-theatre menu is great value. Would definitely recommend .

Report
Helpful
CD
1 review
Dined on 1 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely staff and great value for money. Goat's cheese starter was absolutely delicious but the main Chicken Milanese was a little dry and the portion was huge! However I always love eating here. It's always a lovely experience

Report
Helpful
DR
1 review
Dined on 1 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Interesting vegan dishes much appreciated, quiet allowed easy conversation, excellent unobtrusive service, a good malbec and reasonable value, overall a very positive experience

Report
Helpful
TO
1 review
Dined on 25 September 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 1

Food is not nearly as good as when it was “The Round”
Portion sizes increased at expense of quality

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
18