With everything that’s going on at the moment, the hospitality industry has really been hit hard. First they were closed indefinitely, then they were allowed to fully reopen (with social distancing) and now they’ve been given a 10pm curfew. Earlier this past week, loads of hospitality businesses took to social media to #cancelthecurfew. And it’s no surprise, with venues reporting a fall in revenue of over 60% following the curfew’s implementation. With that being said, here’s a list of my favourite little restaurants in Manchester that would be really appreciative of some extra footfall right now. 

 

El Capo

I am a huge fan of Mexican food, and El Capo is hands down my favourite in Manchester. The atmosphere of El Capo is amazing, always bustling and busy but the dark aesthetic with the neon lights seals the deal for general vibes. The food is amazing, highly recommend the huge plate of nachos and jalapeño poppers, and the cocktails are just as good. Since lockdown they’ve introduced some outdoor seating, which is perfect for when you want a drink outside without sitting in the centre of Stevenson Square. They always have a deal going, whether it’s £1 Taco Tuesday or Vegan Thursdays, and they’ve recently launched bottomless Sundays! If you’re a lover of Mexican cuisine, El Capo should be your next visit. 

Bab

A restaurant that makes having a kebab on a weekday normal? Yes please. Bab has the strapline “a kebab worth sitting down for”, and that really sums it up completely. It’s a cute little restaurant nestled down a side street just off Stevensons Square, but that just adds to its charm. The Greek Fries are to die for. Paprika fries loaded with feta, olives and chilli? Yes please. Nice cocktail menu, great food menu, an all round fab place for a midweek meal out.

Trof

If you’re not really sure what kind of food you fancy but you want somewhere with a nice casual vibe and decent drinks, Trof is your place. Their menu is anything from breakfast to burgers to Katsu curry, and there’s enough vegan options for you to feel fully catered for and not have to plump for the one vegetable dish. The vegan Katsu curry is amazing and could actually beat the chicken version for me. I’ve been a few times and not once have I been disappointed. Great food, great vibes and a decent price. 

Ply

Although I’m a massive Mexican food fan, pizza is the one true love of my life. And let me tell you, I have tried a lot of pizza in Manchester. My goal is to try every nduja pizza that Manchester has to offer. There’s one place I keep coming back to for their nduja and salsiccia pizza. Ply. Cocktails are amazing. The venue is big enough that you’re pretty much guaranteed a table and you can pretty much watch your pizza being cooked in front of you in their pizza oven. This is a staple for me if it’s midweek and I’m looking to catch up with friends. Would highly recommend. 

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Bank Holiday feast 😍 #PlySquared

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Ciaooo

As a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur, Ciaooo are killing it. Ply do a great job of the nduja, that can’t be denied. However, the base of Ciaooo pizzas, the cheesy garlic bread, the different flavour combinations. If you’re looking for a pizza experience, Ciaooo is the place. The pizzas are as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious. They’re always fully loaded with toppings and you can even get a burrata in the middle of your pizza. I urge you to visit here if you want Instagram worthy pizza. 

Evuna 

Finally, my favourite tapas place in Manchester, Evuna. My friends actually laugh at me for always wanting to go here, but it’s just that good. There’s a NQ and Deansgate venue, so you’ve got the option depending on what works best for you. Both sites are just as cosy, Spanish and make you feel like you’re sat in España. The dishes are amazing and truly authentic, and their Spanish wine selection is just as incredible. The paella is the best and I’m even a huge fan of their honey aubergine (big for an anti veg person like me). If you’re looking for a chilled but still slightly sophisticated meal out, perfect for a Friday night with your friends, please visit Evuna. 

 

And there you have it. Six of my favourite Manchester restaurants. The hospitality industry really needs our help, so please book your tables and visit. Also, don’t be that person that books and never shows, that’s worse than never booking at all. Enjoy!