What’s Cooking? JLife’s Top New Restaurants in Manchester

By October 29, 2019 Features-Manchester
Pizza on tray, selective focus

From the rustic pleasures of Neapolitan pizza, to refined twists on classic British pub grub, discover the fresh faces shaking up the Manchester city centre culinary scene.

Three Little Words

New restaurants in Manchester need to stand out, and Three Little Words does exactly that! Beneath the railway arches of Watson Street, local distiller, Manchester Gin has taken up residence, transforming the Grade II listed space into the Spirit of Manchester Distillery, housing the cocktail bar and 70-cover restaurant, Three Little Words.

Interior shot of Three Little Words, a new restauraunt in Manchester

Three Little Words

Looming over the bar is a four-metre-high copper pot, known affectionately as Wonder Wend, capable of churning out over one million bottles of mother’s ruin each year.

The brick vault to the left of the bar houses the multi-level restaurant; copper-tinted mirrors and climbing vines forming the backdrop to chic marble tabletops and velvet upholstery.

Head chef Jimmy Carr doesn’t joke around, using botanicals from around the world to create a seasonal ‘gin-spired’ menu comprising small and large plates, such as sole and samphire with caper and dandelion greens, alongside plenty of vegan options including tofu noodles with lemongrass, grapefruit and “earthy stock”.


Bull & Bear

Celebrity chef and lifelong Manchester United fan Tom Kerridge is set to kick-off the Bull & Bear restaurant in Manchester’s Stock Exchange Hotel on 15th November. The fine dining eatery will form part of the historic building’s relaunch as a luxury 40-bedroom hotel, pioneered by former-United star co-owners, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, under the banner of GG Hospitality.

As the esteemed owner of three acclaimed Buckinghamshire gastropub ventures, Kerridge hopes to bring his recipe for success to the north, using everyday ingredients to create refined takes on traditional pub fare.

The restaurant houses 120 covers beneath the grand dome of the former trading floor. Dishes will include chicken Kiev with cauliflower cheese, ‘the Coach burger’ with smoked brisket and dill pickle, as well as fish fritter of the day with pease pudding and tartare sauce.

United fans can also get a flavour of Kerridge down at Old Trafford football ground. As the club’s most recent signing, the three Michelin-starred chef has been commissioned to supply the gourmet pies on match days.


Franco Manca

Not short of good pizza places, Franco Manca is the new kid on the city centre block, pitting itself against the likes of local institutions Rudy’s and Honest Crust as it bids for a slice of the market.

Starting life in Brixton Market a decade ago, the Neapolitan pizza joint has since expanded to over 50 branches across the UK, and even has a restaurant in the Aeolian isles of Sicily.

Serving up a menu of authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, you can expect age-old recipes using ingredients sourced from Italian independents – the starter culture for its famous slow-rising sourdough base acquired by founder, Giuseppe Mascoli, from the heart of Naples.

Franco Manca likes to mix it up, with seasonally changing menus and daily specials – one of its recent creations has even been designed by Rome-based Michelin-starred restauranteur Roy Caceres.


Bistrotheque at Cultureplex

In an unmarked warehouse between Bethnal Green and Hackney, ex-Placebo keyboardist Xavior Roide plays the ivories while East London’s most talked-about brunch is served.

As part of its ambitious Cultureplex development, the hipster pioneers behind the original Bistrotheque recently launched their eponymous sister-venture in a former Ducie Street warehouse behind Manchester’s Piccadilly station.

In a major redevelopment, the seven-story cotton goods depot will accommodate an aparthotel, fitness studio and “cultureplex”, a self-styled cultural hub housing a coffee counter, collaborative public workspace, a 38-seater cinema programmed by HOME, and last but not least, Bistrotheque.

The bar will serve cocktails including a vodka ‘Culturetini’ with champagne vinegar and bitters and an espresso martini made with coffee from local roasters, Ancoats Coffee. While over in the 80-cover restaurant, chef director Blaine Duffy has downed pans in Shoreditch to head the open plan kitchen, tasked with delivering an exercise in simplicity. The uncomplicated menu laced with decadent touches includes fried polenta with wild mushroom bean broth and truffle and Swaledale fillet steak with smoked bone marrow butter.


Planning on venturing out of Manchester? We’ve still got you covered! Check out our recent feature on Leeds’ latest restaurant openings!