El Gato Negro

Acclaimed chef-driven tapas bar with eclectic wines and sherry, in a vibrant setting with rooftop terrace.

Monday: 12pm - 10pm
Tuesday: 12pm - 10pm
Wednesday: 12pm - 10pm
Thursday: 12pm - 10pm
Friday: 12pm - 10pm
Saturday: 12pm - 10pm
Sunday: 12pm - 10pm

The Black Cat, or El Gato Negro, launched with deserved fanfare in 2016. Since then, it has held its place at the top of Manchester’s packed Spanish cuisine scene by providing exceptional contemporary tapas dishes and equally impeccable service. Before we get to the food, though, let’s talk about the address itself, which would be worth the trip alone, although it helps that when you get here a Michelin Bib Gourmand-rated dining experience is guaranteed, courtesy of celebrated Chef Director Simon Shaw.

Located in a historic townhouse on prestigious King Street, the building is divided into separate floors, each with a distinct feel and flavour. During warmer months, customers also have the opportunity to dine on the pavement in true al fresco style, enjoying a view onto one of town’s most iconic areas. Inside, the ground floor is taken up by an evocative bar with seating for food. A larger capacity middle storey restaurant waits just above as well as the chef’s table, which adds extra thrill and theatre by placing you on the edge of the busy open kitchen. Finally, head to the upper level to the spectacular roof terrace — complete with retractable cover — the icing on the cake. 

The menu itself at El Gato Negro focuses on quality rather than volume of options, but still packs plenty of choice. The Para Picar range offers some excellent bits to start, from Catalan bread to the Bikini toasted sandwich of Jamón Serrano, Manchego, and Truffle Butter. Meanwhile, the Charcuterie boasts delicacies such as the Picos Blue Cheese with honey and crystal bread, and Manchego with bittersweet figs and olive torta, alongside a full board overflowing with incredible meat and dairy. Elsewhere, Meatballs, Chargrilled Lamb Skewers, Harissa Spiced Chicken with Mojo Picón, and Vegetable Paella Arancini with smoked aubergine purée are also highly recommended. A light lunch is available, too, with three dishes for £18, while monthly specials are advertised through social media so keep an eye on those channels. Finally the booze – expect excellent cocktails, free flowing Sangria, extensive spirit selections, and a stunning range of Old World wines with an emphasis on Spanish producers.