Being home to a plethora of genuine Manchester food and drink institutions such as Barbakan, Marble, and Unicorn (to name but three) Chorlton has long played an important role in the city's culinary scene. But the southern suburb hasn't always lived up to that reputation when it comes to actually getting a decent meal. Pubs and bars aplenty, but restaurant food really worth shouting about - perhaps not. That criticism can no longer be levelled though. There are definitely now more than enough reasons to hungrily hop on a tram out of town, here are our some of our favourites.
Bar San Juan
Whilst the city centre has been experiencing a bit of Iberian invasion over the last few years, those in the know have been enjoying the outstanding tapas at Bar San Juan for years. Beech road's most popular venue gets rowdy most nights of the week, is great fun, but you'll find real quality food is on the menu too. Pick what you like from a menu that celebrates traditional dishes alongside more inventive cooking and you'll be impressed, but the slow cooked lamb parcels in red wine reduction are seriously not to be missed.
Bar San Juan, 56 Beech Rd, Manchester M21 9EG
0161 862 0276
Double Zero Pizzeria
Named after the grain of Italian flour best used to make your pizza and pasta just so, Double Zero must know what they’re on about. Sri Lankan owner, Nip, has brought his passion for Neapolitan pizza to this bustling little venue where space is in short supply but quality food certainly ain't. Pay the cheap corkage and you can drink your own wine, although apparently Italians are more likely to sup beers with pizza, so feel no shame in grabbing a 4 pack from the Co-op over the road instead. You could choose one of your old favourites from a varied menu, but if you’re going to bring your own, why not create your own too, with 3 toppings for a fiver.
Double Zero Pizzeria, 368 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AZ
0161 943 8980
Much of the interesting stuff happening in Chorlton at the moment is out at its fringes. Just as the strip of Barlow Moor Road opposite the bus station has really started to feel like the place to be, a flurry of new venues at the other end of town has rejuvenated the area round the old swimming baths. One such place is Gray's Larder, an intimate little eatery serving unpretentious but bold flavoured food. Well worthy of a visit for their scotch eggs alone, you can also enjoy one of the best Sunday dinners in Manchester, and there's a new early diner menu to tempt you through their doors now too.
Gray's Larder, 123 Manchester Rd, Manchester M21 9PG
0161 286 1961
Middle eastern food is well represented in South Manchester, with plenty of choice in Didsbury, Withington and of course Chorlton itself. One place that's gone from strength to strength though is Jasmine - since opening nearly five years ago they've had to expand in to the unit next door - and they're still packed out every weekend. Why not grab yourself a bottle (it's another bring your own) and follow the crowd? All the usual kebabs and mezzes are well represented, and their homemade bread is fantastic, but for something a bit different try the Fateh Jasmine, delicious chunks of lamb layered with vegetables and yoghurt then topped with toasted nuts and pitta.
Jasmine, 569 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AE
0161 881 1442