It has been MONTHS, I’d like to say even almost a year since I last did one of my fine dining posts. I am seriously slacking on this whole blogging thing but I promise you that from today onwards I will be consistent!

Manchester is one of the biggest and most exciting cities here in the U.K. and of course it has a huge food scene but where is the best place to go for the finest dining experience? When most people visit cities they never really focus on where they’re eating, however, I love food too much, so much that I have to google the best places to eat before even leaving my house. But today you don’t have to do that because I’m making your life 10 times easier and giving you the top most highly rated restaurants to try out whilst you’re in Manchester.

The refuge

The evening menu consists of tapas-like small plates (Voltini) – perfect for sharing – and delicious larger plates that offer tasty alternatives to standard restaurant food such as belly-stuffed seabass, the lamb shwarma naan burger or hake with black daal. As well as amazing food, after eating why not retreat to the Winter Garden to enjoy a house cocktail beneath the fairy-lit trees.

Manchester House

Known as Manchester’s most prestigious restaurant, Manchester house specialises in some what ‘unconventionally traditional’ dishes, updating classic flavour combinations with unusual twists and breath-taking presentations. The 10 or 14 course tasting menus (vegetarian options available) offer delectable flavours that are designed to give diners a taster of the full à la carte menu with dishes such as steamed pigeon with cherry broth and mustard, carpet clam with morels and asparagus and Manchester tart ice cream. If you’re planning a really special evening, book the chef’s table to watch the kitchen in action or the private dining room to enjoy the views over Manchester while you eat.

The French

Located in the Midland hotel, The French is one of the most elegant and romantic restaurants in the city, it was the location of David and Victoria Beckham’s first date! The evening tasting menu stays true to the refined dining the restaurant is renowned for, albeit with a contemporary twist.

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor is the place to dine if you have a love for steak. Alongside their iconic steak menu (larger cuts such as Chateaubriand or Porterhouse are ideal for sharing while their smaller sirloins, fillets and rumps are frequently talked about as the best in the city), fish is the dish of the day with whole lobster, roast scallops and house-cured salmon appearing as highlights on the menu for those who aren’t so keen on beef. Located on the edge of Spinningfields inside a Victorian courthouse, the interior of the restaurant is suitably grand, with upcycled reclaimed materials used throughout.

El Gato Negro

With a place in Restaurant Magazine’s Top 100 this is a must. The city centre’s only Michelin Bib Gourmand, Lancashire Life’s Restaurant of the Year, and Manchester Food and Drink Festival’s Newcomer of the Year, there is no stopping Simon Shaw’s King Street Restaurant. The food is as good as ever, but it is the setting, the location and that delightful al fresco rooftop bar that make this a place to return to.