Searching for the best restaurants in Ancoats? This culinary guide to one of Manchester’s coolest neighbourhoods has you sorted.
From delicious pizza, which is arguably the best in town, to authentic Asian cuisine, decadent brunch options, and innovative fine dining, Ancoats stands out as a gastronomic destination in its own right.
Having lived on the outskirts of Ancoats for several years now, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the local dining scene well. I particularly love how this neighbourhood fuses the big names on the Manchester food scene with some hidden gems.
This round-up of the top restaurants in Ancoats covers a variety of price points and cuisines. I’m confident that whichever spots from this list you decide to visit, an excellent dining experience awaits you.
The 8 Best Restaurants in Ancoats
Ancoats, home to some of the best restaurants in Manchester, has something for every budget. In this guide, restaurants are listed in order of affordability, ranging from budget-friendly options to premium fine dining experiences.
£ | Vietnamese | 146 Oldham Rd, M4 6BG
While some of the best places to eat in Ancoats are clustered around the bustling Cutting Room Square, there’s much more to explore in the slightly less glamorous corners of the neighbourhood.
Interestingly, over the years Ancoats has become a destination for Vietnamese cuisine. You’ll find a couple of contemporary eateries serving westernised versions of this Asian cuisine in a trendy setting. However, for a more authentic experience, I recommend venturing out to the Oldham Road edge of Ancoats.
Here, you’ll find several family-run Vietnamese joints that are sure to please your palate without stretching your budget. I especially recommend Pho No.1 – a place I’ve been to numerous times and always enjoyed.
The setting might be basic, but the food is delicious and full of flavour. I’m a fan of their aromatic pho, a Vietnamese classic, but I can also vouch for their tasty starters, ranging from light summer rolls with prawns to sumptuous betel leaf wraps.
To top this off, we rarely spend more than £40 for a meal for two. Just a small caution: occasionally, their card terminals don’t’ work, so it might be a good idea to have cash on hand or be prepared for a bank transfer.
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
£ | Italian | 9 Cotton St, M4 5B
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, a delectable staple of Manchester’s culinary scene, remains a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.
While Rudy’s now operates numerous outlets in Manchester and beyond, the original location sprang up in Ancoats in 2015. The founders thought it was fitting to establish their pizzeria in Manchester’s original ‘Little Italy’.
In the late 19th century, many Italian migrants moved to the UK, seeking political and economic stability. Many made Ancoats their home and some even pioneered Manchester’s ice cream industry.
Today, Rudy’s celebrates its Italian heritage through its excellent menu. Its exceptional pizza is prepared using the traditional Neapolitan method. This ensures you’ll enjoy a light, fluffy dough topped with the finest quality ingredients.
From classics such as Margherita and Capricciosa to imaginative, seasonally-inspired specials, there is a pizza for every taste. Complete your dining experience with a dessert of gelato and an Aperol Spritz, enjoyed in their outdoor seating area overlooking the Cutting Room Square. It’s easy to feel as though you’ve been transported to Italy.
You can book a table at for Rudy’s Ancoats here.
Blue Eyed Panda
££ | Chinese | 3 Jersey Street, M4 6JA
Blue Eyed Panda is easily the top choice for Chinese food in Ancoats. While the dishes have been adjusted to suit the British palate, with the level of spice being toned down a notch, the place offers a variety of delightful classics in a pleasant setting.
Drawing inspiration from Ancoats’ industrial past, the restaurant features a laid-back atmosphere coupled with a modern, industrial aesthetic. Its varied menu incorporates dishes from both Cantonese and Szechuan cuisines.
The Cantonese portion of the menu features timeless favourites like roast meats, dim sum, wan ton soup, and crispy duck served with hoisin sauce. On the other hand, the Szechuan offerings include delectable dishes like ma po tofu, hot poached beef and monk fish, and a range of Szechuan-style stir fry dishes.
Szechuan cuisine is infamous for its high levels of spice. However, I’ve found that although the Szechuan dishes on the Blue Eyed Panda menu are spicy, the heat is not overwhelming. Everyone’s perception of spice is different though, so proceed with caution if you have a low tolerance.
My other favourites on the menu are the aromatic crispy duck that comes with pancakes and the fluffy Char Siu Pork Bao. I also enjoy their Chef’s special crispy beef. It’s not the healthiest but is perfect as an occasional indulgence.
If you’re living in Manchester, Blue Eyed Panda may deliver to your area. We’ve often found ourselves enjoying their food from the comfort of our home when we’re not in the mood to go out.
SUD Pasta Kitchen (formerly Sugo Ancoats)
££ | Southern Italian | 46 Blossom St, M4 6BF
Another eatery that would make the old Italian community of Ancoats proud is SUD Pasta Kitchen, formerly Sugo.
SUD specialises in Southern Italian cuisine with their homemade pasta dishes being the star of the show. The menu changes with the seasons, but no matter what time of the year you visit, you are guaranteed a delightful dining experience in relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Their classic, House Sugo orecchiette pasta with an eight-hour beef and pork shoulder ragu is a must-try. My personal favourites are their seafood pasta dishes. The exact ingredients may change throughout the year, but there is always a good quantity of high-quality seafood on offer.
Complementing the main menu is an on-point selection of starters and desserts. A word of warning, the main pasta dishes are quite filling, so pace yourself if you want to try different things.
££ | Modern British | 41 Blossom St, M4 6AJ
Drawing its name from the first recorded name of the local area, Elnecot stands as a stylish, laid-back neighbourhood bar and eatery that caters to diverse tastes at all times of the day.
Be it an evening feast curated for shared dining experiences, innovative cocktails, traditional Sunday roasts, or arguably the finest brunch in Ancoats, Elnecot has a knack for satisfying culinary cravings regardless of the day.
Featuring the finest local ingredients, the menu embraces traditional food preparation methods like pickling and fermenting. While maintaining a distinct British essence, Elnecot’s cuisine doesn’t shy away from embracing global influences. Take, for instance, the irresistible fried chicken burger adorned with Lancashire cheese and Savoy kimchi.
The interiors tastefully fuse industrial and rustic elements, boasting an imposing concrete bar, neon lighting, and vintage tables and chairs. When the weather permits, you can also opt for alfresco dining in Cutting Room Square.
A personal Elnecot highlight was a Valentine’s Day dinner. A special menu had been crafted for the occasion, making for a memorable night out with my husband. It’s worth keeping tabs on any seasonal specials they might host.
With its ever-changing menu and creative flavour combinations, Elnecot is a place worth travelling to Ancoats for. If you haven’t been for a while, this is your sign to revisit it.
£££ | Mediterranean Tapas | Cutting Room Square, Blossom Street, Ancoats, M4 5DH
Canto is the go-to destination for Mediterranean-inspired tapas in Ancoats. This attractive spot fuses Portuguese design touches with industrial aesthetics to create a casual dining atmosphere.
Canto’s menu, consisting of small plates designed to be shared, is a culinary journey through Spain, Portugal, and beyond. This gastronomic offering is perfectly rounded off with a great selection of cocktails, spirits and European wines.
My personal favourites include the delicious Jamón croquetas, polenta served with spinach and a poached egg and garlic and chilli prawns. Alongside their regular menu, Canto keeps things exciting with seasonal specials.
At the time of writing, Canto is running an offer where you can sample three dishes for just £18 during off-peak times throughout the week. This deal offers an opportunity to enjoy a delectable meal without breaking the bank.
However, as offers are subject to change, be sure to confirm its availability before your visit. Check Canto’s three for £18 offer and book a table here.
£££ | Modern British | 9 Murray St, M4 6HS
Erst, one of the most highly accoladed restaurants in Ancoats, is known for its exquisite selection of natural wines and seasonally inspired small plates.
The compact yet meticulously curated seasonal menu is a food lover’s delight. It’s a celebration of top-notch local ingredients, transformed into simple, yet incredibly pleasing dishes.
Complementing the culinary experience is an excellent selection of both natural and traditional wines. If you’re new to the world of natural wines, a visit to Erst offers the perfect chance to get to know their unique flavours.
The restaurant’s interior, inspired by minimalist Nordic design, boasts beautiful natural finishes, contributing to a warm and inviting atmosphere. The space exudes a cosy and relaxed vibe, perfect for social gatherings.
While Erst is a destination for fine dining, it shuns pretentiousness and stuffiness. Instead, expect a casually sophisticated ambiance accompanying a meal of genuine, delectable food.
Moreover, compared to typical fine dining establishments, the fare at Erst is reasonably priced.
You can book your table for Erst here.
££££ | Modern British |42 Blossom Street, M4 6BF
As Manchester’s only Michelin star restaurant, mana is the ultimate choice for those seeking an extraordinary dining experience for a special occasion.
With its modern perspective on fine dining, mana features a contemporary, Scandinavian-inspired setting that exudes a casual ambience. At the heart of the restaurant, the open kitchen acts as the stage where culinary wonders come to life.
Chef-Patron Simon Martin, an alumnus of Noma, the acclaimed Copenhagen restaurant repeatedly crowned the best in the world, guides the kitchen at Mana. Therefore, diners can anticipate a medley of unexpected ingredients, artistic presentation, and a truly memorable gastronomic journey.
Mana serves the same menu for both lunch and dinner, providing two options: a full tasting menu priced at £195 per person, and a reduced version for £95 per person.
Given the popularity of this culinary hotspot, reservations are a must. To book your table, click here.
And there you have it, a curated list of the best restaurants Ancoats has to offer. Despite its relatively compact size, this Manchester neighbourhood is undeniably a gourmet’s haven. Be it authentic Vietnamese and Italian cuisine, inventive fine dining, or modern, cosy bistros, there’s a dining experience awaiting every palate and for every occasion.
Whether you’re vising Manchester for a weekend or have made the city your home, a visit to Ancoats for a meal or two is a must. And for those who’ve already had the pleasure, the dynamic food scene here is certain to lure you back for another delightful gastronomic experience.
If you’re looking for other things to do in the city, check out this guide to the best museums in Manchester. There are some great options waiting to be discovered.
FAQs: Best Restaurants in Ancoats
The nearest Metrolink tram stop to Ancoats is Market Street, which is just a short, approximately 10-minute walk away. Alternatively, you could also use the New Islington tram stop, situated around a 15-minute stroll from Ancoats.
Ancoats was once a derelict and deprived area with not much going on. However, it has undergone a remarkable transformation thanks to substantial investment. It has morphed into a vibrant urban hub, brimming with independent cafes, craft beer bars, and even a monthly artisan food and craft market.
Today, Ancoats serves as the base for several creative companies, and the area’s former mills have been converted into new apartment blocks. Recognised by Time Out Magazine as one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods, Ancoats presents a great place to both visit and live in, especially for those who thrive in urban settings.
Yes, Ancoats is technically a suburb located just northeast of the city centre, but not of the white picket fence variety. It was once an industrial hub that eventually became derelict due to a decline in manufacturing. In the last few decades, the former industrial buildings have been converted into apartments and offices. That’s why Ancoats has a more urban, rather than suburban feel.
Enjoyed this guide to the best restaurants in Ancoats? Bookmark or pin it for later.