The last decade has seen the monumental transformation of a small grid of streets in the northeastern corner of the city – giving birth to one of the most innovative, creative and exciting neighbourhoods in the world.
Ancoats has gone from being the “rough end” of town to leading the way in modern, independent business, home to the city’s best retailers, coffee jaunts, bars and restaurants – a far cry from the dark and dingy backstreets you’d briskly walk down on your way to Sankeys.
The area has been awarded many an accolade over the last few years, including being named 20th in Time Out’s list of the Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World – and with such a diverse range of restaurants and eateries in such a small space – it’s not hard to see why.
Historically diverse, culturally distinctive and constantly evolving, Ancoats is now home to a spectacle of restaurants, from the mighty Michelin-starred mana, all the way through to the family-run tiny Caribbean flavours of Rad’s – Ancoats has it all…
Owned and operated by award-winning chef, Simon Martin, mana offers creative British cuisine with seasonal flavours from across the globe. The fine-dining restaurant is the city’s first Michelin-starred restaurant since 1977, and has also garnered glowing praise from varying restaurant critics and locals who have made the visit. You’ll find that the menu changes regularly as it’s hyper-seasonal, but you can expect an introduction to new tastes and flavours, with dishes spanning the land, field and sea.
mana, 42 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
Jay Rayner approved Erst is a natural wine bar and eatery serving seasonal small plates in an intimate setting. The Guardian food critic said that the restaurant was “one of the best meals of the year” back in 2021, and the chefs are focused on maintaining this praise via a menu of dishes that use fresh ingredients to craft minimalist but unique plates. Erst’s sous chefs, Anna Søgaard is also one half of suppher, who work on creating supper clubs showcasing the work of women in hospitality.
Erst, 9 Murray St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6HS
Home to one of Ancoats’ very best Sunday roasts, Elnecot is a cosy neighbourhood eatery with a glorious menu of brunch, lunch and evening small plates. Its open kitchen showcases the stylised talent of its chefs to an intimate room of no more than 100 people, who seem to come back time and time again to sample their well crafted food. It’s a space made for the more laidback diner that enjoys conversing over small plates and various glasses of wine, and if you do find yourself in there anytime soon, make sure you delve into the Sticky Native Breed Short Ribs.
Elnecot, Cutting Room Square, 41 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
Sugo Pasta Kitchen
Southern Italian pasta specialist, Sugo draws inspiration from its deep-rooted heritage and creativity of its expert chefs to provide guests with hearty plates of pasta. The restaurant began its journey in Altrincham, but has now branched out to Ancoats and, more recently Sale, too, with its carb heavy menu now being devoured by the majority of the city. We can’t recommend trying the house sugo enough – it comes with an 8 hour beef shin, pork shoulder and nduja ragu.
Sugo, 46 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
Sao Paulo Project at Blossom Street
Sao Paulo by chef Caroline Martins is currently based in Blossom Street Social, and offers diners a monthly changing set menu that showcases the best Brazilian ingredients and provides a modern twist to dishes found across the 26 states of Brazil. The restaurant also offers an exclusive wine list composed of the finest Latin American award-winning offerings, as well as traditional Brazilian cocktails and spirits.
Blossom Street Social, 51 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
Housed in a cosy pub that dates back to the early 1800s, Edinburgh Castle is a space with a focus on quality pub grub and a huge menu of ales. Last year, it won Best Pub of the Year as part of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival awards, mainly down to its cracking Sunday roasts and steak sharing boards – made to be dined in Autumn alongside a bold bottle of red.
Edinburgh Castle, 19 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5EP
If you’re looking to dine some delicious Mediterranean tapas dishes alfresco in the heart of Ancoats, look no further than Canto. Its menu is full of food sourced from local suppliers with a strong focus on tradition, and a specially-curated line-up of beers, wines and spirits to accompany each dish. The menu is divided up into vegetable, meat and fish categories, offering something for everyone, but please, if you’re there anytime soon, make sure you try the Scottish mussels with tomato and red pepper sauce and homemade focaccia.
Canto, Cutting Room Square, Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5DH
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
Rudy’s first ever pizzeria is perched on Ancoats’ iconic Cutting Room Square, and I’m sure none of you need to hear how good it is, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Forerunners of the traditional Neapolitan style, the menu is full of fired to perfection plates of dough, which are then topped with a huge list of meats, veg and cheeses and accompanied by endless glasses of Aperol Spritz.
Rudy’s, 9 Cotton St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5BF
Kicking things off in Chorlton in 2017, Katie Lau and her business partner Kevin Chiu opened up Sushi Marvel in Ancoats a couple of years later, quickly becoming one of the most impressive eateries in the area – and part of the famed ‘Far East Alley’ end of Oldham Road. Sat alongside Ca Phe Viet, opposite Wing Yip and just a few doors down from Pho No. 1 and VNam, Sushi Marvel is a fantastic little neighbourhood spot with only the freshest and tastiest sashimi, nigiri, uramaki and more, all prepared daily by their talented team of highly experienced sushi chefs.
Sushi Marvel, 90 Oldham Rd, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5EB
An Ancoats hidden gem, RAD’s serves some of the best Caribbean cuisine this side of the city. The restaurant has an authentic menu of home cooked flavours such as Jerk Chicken and (ironically) mouth-watering Saltfish and is open Monday – Friday with a selection of lunch time deals on offer, too. A must-visit for a Friday afternoon lunch treat.
RAD’s, 62 Jersey St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AY
The waterside natural wine bar serving a small menu of seasonal dishes, Flawd is a relaxing destination to explore some of the UK’s very best producers. The bar sits right on New Islington marina, a picturesque location for a day of sunshine and people watching. The bar has a big focus on championing independents, too, and you’ll see this across its wine, beer and food list.
Flawd, 9 Keepers Quay, Manchester M4 6GL
For the past seven years, Viet Shack has served the people of Manchester with a stunning menu of Vietnamese dishes, put together by friends Nelson and Leo who have a huge love and passion for authentic Vietnamese food. The original Viet Shack opened in the Arndale Market, and is still there to this day, alongside its bigger restaurant on Great Ancoats Street which offers an open and fragrant space to enjoy a huge menu of noodle and rice dishes and their famous Viet loaded fries.
Viet Shack, 65 Great Ancoats St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5AB
The Hip Hop Chip Shop
Starting off life as a solely street food endeavour, the Hip Hop Chip Shop could be found serving innovative and creative chippy dishes from their mobile ‘boom box’ kitchen across the region, from the car park of Whalley Range’s Carlton Club to the busy squares of MediaCity. After years of moving about, they settled with their very own bricks and mortar unit in Ancoats, and have been serving up some of the very best chippy classics and specials ever since. Recently they’ve also been utilising the space for use for events and even live music – all made the better with the addition of battered fish, chippy chips and deep-fried pickles.
The Hip Hop Chip Shop, 44 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
Ca Phe Viet
A brilliant little hidden gem on Oldham Road here, Ca Phe Viet is one of the best Vietnamese places in the city – so keep it quiet and don’t tell anyone unless it gets ruined. I must admit I’m not the biggest fan of Vietnamese food, but I found myself really enjoying the food here. Grab one of their Bahn Mi sandwiches on your lunch break or on the way to another boozer and you’ll be well satisfied. You can also expect the traditional soups including the lovely (and extravagant) Pho Dac Biet Special which contains Steak, Chicken, Brisket, Pork Belly, Pork Roll and King Prawns. Wow.
Ca Phe Viet, 74-86 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 5EB
The Jane Eyre
This boozer has won more awards than Tom Hanks and they’re all deserved, unlike his (he definitely shouldn’t have won anything for Forest Gump). Serving up an impressive range of drinks, including some show-stopping cocktails, Jane Eyre is one of the city’s best places to sit back and relax after a hard day of graft. Add in their excellent food too and you’re looking at a great bar all round.
The Jane Eyre, 14 Hood St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6WX
Blue Eyed Panda
A superb Chinese restaurant that is as authentic as it is impressive. There’s everything you could ever think of on the menu, including all of your favourite classics, plus a few unique dishes that you won’t find elsewhere. I can’t recommend their dim sum enough either, oh and their Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings are lip-smackingly good.
Blue Eyed Panda, Jersey St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6JA
Remarked as a “place where good things happen” by Jay Rayner during his review of Street Urchin back in 2020, this eatery has enjoyed considerable success and acclaim ever since – and for good reason. Street Urchin describes themselves as an “English market diner” so expect the very best in local and seasonal produce, with a particular focus on fresh seafood, loveling prepared by husband-and-wife team Kevin and Rachel Choudhary. Some will denounce that it’s not actually in Ancoats, but I’ll argue that it’s on Great Ancoats Street and thus – gets included in this list.
Street Urchin, 72 Great Ancoats St, Manchester M4 5BG
Ramona & The Firehouse
Are Ramona and The Firehouse actually in Ancoats? Or is it New Cross? The Northern Quarter? Or none of these? The debate can rage forever – with most people unable to agree on what district of the city centre these two actually are in. But we can all agree that they’re both exceptional additions to the city, Ramona with their irresistible Detriot-style pizzas (and that hot honey sauce) and The Firehouse with flame-grilled chicken, small plates, and those fluffy AF flatbreads.
The product of owner Nam Tran’s endless dedication and hard work, NAM on Cutting Room Square is the culmination of years of toil and graft, a love letter to the cuisine of his homeland, written with the help of his family’s traditional recipes with a contemporary, Mancunian twist. NAM is also home to one of the city’s best audio systems in their basement, so you’ll find a diverse range of events for even the most dedicated audiophile.
NAM, Unit 2, 33 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
A daring move into the city centre from their long-standing spot in Levenshulme, TROVE brought their exquisite brunch and dining expertise to the people of Ancoats – to high acclaim. Sitting pretty next door to sister restaurant Erst, the TROVE team have transported everything that made the Levvy location so popular – innovative, seasonal brunch dishes alongside their freshly baked sourdough, pastries, cakes, jams + chutneys, all made in-house by their talented team.
TROVE, 5 Murray Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6HS
Mule & Lucky Ramen
A seamless transition, from an all-day coffee, brunch and cocktail bar cafe to Lucky Ramen – an eatery reminiscent of the backstreets of Tokyo, complete with a menu of bowl, sides and Japanese-inspired cocktails. Mule itself serves brunch until 4pm, 7 days a week, and is home to the Finest office’s greatest Bloody Mary in the entire city. A slick operation that’s equally impressive when doing brunch as they are doing ramen.
Mule, 13 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5AF
Pho No. 1
An exceptional Vietnamese eatery, located on Oldham Road, opposite the Royal Mail Sorting Office, and another key addition to a rather ‘Nam busy stretch of road. They promise “the best pho in town” and it’s certainly up there – as are their excellent authentic Small Dishes – including Summer Rolls, Salt & Pepper Tofu, Traditional Vietnamese Pancakes and my personal favourite – Betel Leaf Wraps stuffed with beef and onions.
Pho No. 1, 146 Oldham Rd, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BG