Just a couple of years ago it would’ve been difficult to find a handful tapas bars in Manchester worth shouting about, however the recent invasion of great Spanish food has now left us spoilt for choice. With that in mind we thought it was about time to pick our way through the finest – some old, some new – and highlight a few of our favourite small plates in the city.
La Bandera doesn’t feel like your average tapas bar. With it’s bright, modern looking interior and inventive menu owner Yashin Dadashnejad has created something a little bit different. Hailing from Tenerife, he has brought with him some local dishes you might not yet have discovered like jardin del teide, a sort of Canary Islands take on tiramisu. If you like the idea of sampling something a little bit different, try the squid ink croquettes, they’re worth the visit alone.
2 Ridgefield, Manchester, M2 6EQ
0161 833 9019
On our recent trip to Iberica we were wowed with their new menu, a new grill section and a number of new tapas dishes have really upped the ante at the popular Spinningfields restaurant. There’s also an extensive selection of some of the magnificent meat and cheese that Spain has to offer, in particular the iberico ham is fantastic. For something refreshing on a warm night try the Salmorejo with apple granite, it’s a delicious cool puree of tomato, bread, oil and garlic.
14-15 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HF
0161 358 1350
El Gato Negro
Such was the fanfare and excitement that surrounded El Gato Negro’s relocation to Manchester it seemed difficult to see how the restaurant’s opening couldn’t be at least a little bit anticlimactic, but it’s proved a massive hit and quickly established itself as a firm favourite with the city’s foodies. An attractive setting with rooftop bar, great cocktails and truly brilliant food make it the full package, and probably your best bet for date night. It’s difficult to pick favourites from their alluring menu, but the lamb skewers with harissa are something very special indeed.
52 King St, Manchester, M2 4LY
0161 694 8585
Pinchjo’s Tapas Bar
There are more than enough places to while away a few hours down on Burton Road in West Didsbury, but Pinchjo’s is real favourite with locals, so they must be doing something right. There are no Michelin starred executive chefs or ten page wine lists, but the welcome is friendly (often lively!), the food is tasty and it’s just a really nice place to be – maybe that’s why it feels a little bit like you’re holiday when you’re in there on a sunny Manchester evening. On a menu that does classic dishes well, what better place to start than with the seafood paella and maybe a cocktail…
192 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 1LH
0161 434 2020
Starting life as a wine merchant back in 2002, Evuna also do some great food from their two locations – on Deansgate and in the heart of the Northern Quarter. You’ll find inventive specials like orange and fennel marinated pork belly alongside well executed classics like patatas bravas. And of course, their voluminous collection of wines is also a unique selling point, there are many exclusives that are not available from anywhere else in the UK. Settle in for the evening and taste your way round Spain with matched tapas and wine at one of their regular events, or just pop in and pick some yourself, the half seabass with garlic and chilli dressing goes great with the Trascampanas Sauvignon from Rueda.
79 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1LQ
0161 833 1130