As the festive season gets into full swing, it’s usually a time for merriment, cheer and food.
While uncertainty hangs over the Christmas 2021, there will still be a socially-distanced opportunity to push the boat out, explore something new and enjoy good food with your nearest and dearest.
From opulent settings, to cocktails and steaks fit for royalty, Manchester is not short of excellent dining opportunities.
However, as Covid cases rise once more, it’s important to be aware of different venues’ rules and regulations.
Here’s the five restaurants that made it into Opentables’s top 100 list.
Hispi , Didsbury
Coming in at the top is Hispi, the European bistro from Elite Bistros that’s been awarded ‘best overall’ in Manchester by Opentable.
Scoring about 4.6/5 stars on Opentable, the restaurant has been described as being ‘consistently excellent, with great friendly service’.
With a bistro menu available for lunch Wednesday to Saturday and for dinner on Wednesday and Thursday and a main menu which includes wine suggestions, eating at Hispi is a true dining experience.
On their standard set menu, two courses will cost £36 with three at £42.
Ivy Asia , Spinningfields
Ivy Asia, the late night bar/restaurant with a glowing floor made of semi-precious stones, has come top for ‘best ambience’.
It is no wonder as the restaurant is gilded in gold and has patterned Asian fabric booths, silken chairs and a pagoda-style roof covering the bar.
The decoration is one of opulence, as is the style of cocktails and small plate dishes available.
The small plates range in price starting with Nori Tempura at £4 and caviar blinis costing £85.
A DJ plays every night, the small plates have been described as ‘incredible’, and the service as ‘outstanding’. It’s no shock, that the Ivy Asia has achieved a new level of ambience.
Hawksmoor , Deansgate
Winning the award for best service, scoring 4.6/5 stars, Hawksmoor has been described as a ‘great place to take a loved one for a meaningful date/evening’.
The restaurant proudly sells itself as offering the ‘best steak in Manchester.’
While it isn’t a spot for vegetarians, the menu is brimming with a multitude of steak and seafood dishes.
A lot of the dishes are priced by weight, with lobster costing £6 per 100g and a 400g sirloin steak setting you back £34.
The restaurant is located in a late Victorian courthouse and maintains many beautiful features.
Meanwhile, Hawksmoor does their bit for the community, working with ‘Meals for Manchester’, and asking customers to donate to help feed those in temporary accommodation.
Kala , King Street Manchester
From the team that brought you Hipsi, Kala is the second on this list from Elite Bistro, this time as the best in Manchester for value for money.
The two Manchester restaurants share a menu, down to wine suggestions and price.
Two course on the bistro menu at lunchtime will cost £20, for dinner it’s £22.
If one is best overall and shares a menu with best value for money, then booking a table at either of these bistros will surely impress.
Refuge , Oxford Road
Elegant, Victorian splendour, gleaming in tiles, mirrors and big windows, the Refuge is an iconic part of Manchester’s nightlife.
The restaurant/bar which sits at the bottom of the Kimpton tower has come top of the list for handcrafted cocktails.
The cocktails range in price from £8.50 for The Queen’s Peach to £13.50 for The Glamour of Manchester, meanwhile the bar staff will also endeavour to make any classic cocktails not on the menu.