Not just for heavy boozing, Deansgate has some major food highlights too
Deansgate. Synonymous with bars and raucous nights out - and a station where only some trains decide to stop. Ask most people who are not from Manchester where they go out when they visit our city and they'll probably namecheck Manchester's most famous street.
One of the main routes running through the city, it’s a playground for obnoxiously loud cars, teetering party-goers and the even more precarious House of Fraser (still here last time we checked). But dig a little deeper and there's a lot going on, high and low. Up high, there are a cluster of indie gems on the hard-to-find (but worth it) Deansgate Mews and one of the highest bars in the city over the road, whilst on the main drag, you'll find some high-end chains and a few OGs.
We've had to be strict with this one. There's no side road action in this guide, nor are there detours into Spinningfields or up onto Peter Street. We have made a quick detour to Deansgate Square for a really good cocktail though. We're talking strictly Deansgate. Trust us, there's enough going on to keep you occupied.
Here’s our list of the very best places to eat and drink on Deansgate.
Regular visits to 3 Hands Deli gave us an inkling of what to expect at Another Hand, but nothing could have prepared us for how impressive it has turned out to be. Just ask our reviewer, Neil. Serving brunch through to dinner, with comfy orange velvet booth seating and an open kitchen where you can watch dynamic duo Julian Pizer and Max Yorke plate up, it’s the jewel in the Deansgate Mews crown. Expect the menu to change seasonally, but dishes like rare breed pork belly brined in lager and Dormouse chocolate with beetroot and olive oil should give you an indication of the statement small plates on offer.
Another Hand, Unit F, 253 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
A self-described “Manchester icon for over two decades” (modest), Atlas Bar sits on the very end (or start) of Deansgate depending on your perspective, in front of the looming Deansgate Square towers, over the road from the tram and train station. If you like gin it’s worth a visit - there are over 570 different gins behind the bar at the last count. The railway arch pub also likes to feed, covering breakfast, brunch and lunch. A solid people-watching spot too, as people filter out of the stations.
Atlas Bar, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
This all-day European "drinkery" situated deep in Deansgate Square comes from the international award-winning brothers behind Schofield's Bar, Joe and Daniel Schofield, together with friend and wine expert James Brandwood.
Nestled at the feet of the dominating Deansgate Towers, Atomeca’s menu aims to showcase the best of UK and European produce. Serving tea, coffee and pastries in the morning - moving to cocktails, small plates and artisan cheese and charcuterie platters in the afternoon and beyond. The cocktail menu is small but perfectly formed and there is of course a great wine list if you prefer (or if you've worked your way through all the cocktails and want more).
On a typical weekend, you might stumble across a BBQ in collaboration with Cinderwood Market Garden or a wine tasting evening featuring unusual picks of fine European wine.
Atomeca, 1B Deansgate, Owen St, Manchester M15 4YB
If you’re happy to search high and low for a decent cocktail, few reach the literal heights of Cloud 23. Situated high above Deansgate in Beetham Tower (on the 23rd floor), the sky bar deals in fantastical cocktails, afternoon tea and of course dramatic views. Whether you’re on the hunt for something extra to sip on and be seen with or just fancy one of the classics, Cloud23’s ever-changing cocktail menu has something for everyone. The fearless among you might enjoy standing on the infamous glass section of floor and looking down at the road below. Erk.
Cloud 23, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ
For over 30 years, Dimitri’s has been in its spot on Deansgate which means we’re more than happy to refer to it as a Manchester institution. A family-run business, Dimitri’s deals in Greek and Mediterranean food as well as drinks and live music. The ornate arcade at the back of the building allows for covered alfresco dining and seats on Deansgate make for a popular people-watching spot. Take your pick when it comes to the food. Meze classics include the likes of moussaka, spanakopita and dolmades, or go large with an Olympian mixed grill featuring lamb chop, chicken, sheek and lamb kebabs, loukanica and chorizo sausages and fries.
Dimitri's, 322-326 Deansgate, Greater, Manchester M3 4FH
The multi-award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate shop is known internationally for its exceptional micro-batches of chocolate bars. Working out of a tiny unit on Deansgate Mews, Isobel Carse uses her own bean grinder to create some truly exceptional flavours inspired by the origin of the cocoa beans she uses - from Guatemala to the Philippines.
For something a little different try the Bread & Butter bar, blended with browned butter and toasted sourdough for a nutty, caramelly crunch that has won gold at the Academy of Chocolate “Golden Bean” awards.
Dormouse Chocolates, Unit O, Deansgate Mews, Manchester M3 4EN
Walking past Evuna on Deansgate it’s hard to not feel a pang of jealousy for those people that sit outside. On a sunny day, they’ll be there, bathed in sunshine, a glass of wine or beer, smiling, scooping a bit of sauce up with bread or nibbling on patatas bravas. Of course, that person could be any of us. Wines are of course Spanish with plenty of punchy riojas as well as more easy-drinking fruity Garnacha blends - and Cava too, natch. A Manchester tapas institution, the extensive menu takes in everything from Iberian pork cheeks and oxtail with rice to gambas, pulpo and calamares as well as at least four different types of patatas. Top tip, bob a few doors down to Limited Fashion for some garms to go out on the town in.
Evuna, 277-279 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EW
Come rain or shine there’s that queue on a Saturday morning. Sure, we love to queue in this country but that queue should give you an inkling of what awaits inside. Undoubtedly among the top three best coffee shops in town, Federal’s Deansgate outpost is an Antipodean-inspired brunch utopia with influence coming from co-owner Claudio's Portuguese roots. The pasteis de nata custard tarts here are definitely a reason to queue as is the top notch coffee. Elsewhere, brunch highlights include perennial classic smashed avo on sourdough with chilli and poached eggs, French toast with mascarpone, berries and salted caramel, and corn fritters with eggs, avos, lime creme and sweet chilli. There's also a long-standing bagel lunch deal and cocktails into the evening.
Federal, 194 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3ND
You can always count on Hawksmoor. Steak or seafood, it always delivers - and the wine list is one of the best in the city. Situated in The Courthouse building on Deansgate, the London-born chain has settled in extremely well up North thanks to its fantastic service, top provenance and relaxed atmosphere. Don’t underestimate the power of parquet floors, beautiful tiling and panelling to complement roasted scallops to start and a 400g British-bred sirloin main - anchovy hollandaise essential. As passionate about cocktails as it is about steak there’s also a nifty BYOB Monday Wine Club which is only a fiver corkage.
Hawksmoor, 184, 186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
Holy Grain Sourdough Bakery
3 Hands Deli is no more. Long live 3 Hands Deli. But don’t worry, you can still get those glorious sandwiches down the way among the comfy surrounds of Another Hand. What remains at Holy Grain is that same sought after Holy Grain sourdough which you can pick up by the loaf to create your own carby treats.
Holy Grain Sourdough Bakery, Deansgate Mews, Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
An oldie but a goodie. Plenty on offer at Katsouris, possibly even to the point of being daunting. If choice makes you nervous, come with a plan. Morning pastries, lunchtime sandwiches (available in half or full size, and they're huge), paella, continental sausages. Greek-inspired but not Mediterranean-limited, there’s plenty of space to eat in if you don’t fancy taking away. There’s also a decent deli selection with everything from sausages to tinned tomatoes and pasta, to continental biscuits. For us, you can’t beat a coffee and an assortment of Cannoli.
Katsouris Deli, 113 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BQ
There are tons of tapas bars in Manchester now but La Viña, which opened almost 20 years ago, has stood the test of time so it must be doing something right. Actually, it's a bit of an unsung hero of Deansgate with a menu that takes it beyond the average. Think black alioli with your fried calamari, pork ragout and bechamel stuffed into your cannelloni (toped with grilled manchego) and a proper tortilla, runny in the middle. You'll also find ambitious dishes like slow-roasted pork knuckle with olive oil mash, Pedro Ximinez jus, piquillos and artichoke or, for sucker lovers, octopus tentacle with green olive salsa, piquillos and paprika. The wine list is nice and varied but it's a chilled glass of fino sherry you really want. The perfect accompaniment to a working lunch.
La Vina, 105/107 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BQ
Lions Den is one of the most hidden pubs in Manchester, thanks to its secluded positioning above Deansgate. With live music, open mic nights, and pool tables, it's the perfect end to a Deansgate Mews crawl. Benches outside line a lovely little sun trap where you can enjoy craft ales, continental beers or gin cocktails. During the summer, the pub even holds a mini-festival out on the Mews as well as regular gigs and band showcases.
Lions Den, Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
If you’ve come for cheese and wine, you’ll not feel short-changed on Deansgate Mews. You could - in fact, you definitely should - do a Deansgate Mews crawl from one end to the other. The Mews is another reltively new opening, this time from Bradden Quayle, the man behind Alvarium in the Northern Quarter. Opened in July 2021, small plates, charcuterie and wine are the main draw. Cheese from The Crafty Cheese Man and a grazing selection of olives and hummus are joined by the welcome addition of signature cocktails. On hot days, The Mews have even been known to offer "doggie ice cream" for your furry pals.
The Mews Bar and Charcuterie, Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Moving down onto Deansgate Terrace down the side of the Great Northern, Platzki was founded by Polish chef Lukasz Mazurek and his partner Przemek Marcinkowski. After a stint on Deansgate Mews, Platzki has now found a more permanent and homely spot on the main road where it transforms humble and traditional Polish cuisine into something more modern and adventurous. Dishes include the famous fusion platzkis (Polish pancakes) and weekly changing pierogi (Polish dumplings). If you're looking for an alternative to a Sunday roast, there are also hearty dishes like duck meatballs with potato puree and prunes, or pork neck with purple spuds and gravy. The menu changes constantly with the seasons so do check socials for the latest details. You can also pick up special homemade cheesecakes and desserts - the charming staff frankly won't let you resist. This place is popular, so booking's advised.
Platzki, 229 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Part decadent cocktail bar and part restaurant, Rendition is the sort of spot that gets (tastefully) champagne showers busy on a Friday and Saturday night but then also serves the sort of daintily plated dishes throughout the week, and weekend, that might surprise people. Name-checking Arthur Potts-Dawson of World Food Programme advocacy and River Café fame as exec chef early on gives you an insight into the ambition.
Rendition, 209 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3NW
Rosa's Thai Cafe
Sharing a building with Hawksmoor, this casual Thai diner was founded by Saiphin Moore who began with a tiny stall in Shoreditch and now has restaurants all over the UK. The menu takes in recipes from Saiphin's childhood in Northern Thailand and uses ingredients she imports especially from her mother country - working closely with (and paying fairly) the producers. You'll find Thailand's world-famous red, green and massaman curries, naturally, but we love veggie dishes like the stir-fried aubergine in yellow bean, soy sauce, chilli and sweet basil. Who can resist coconut sticky rice and mango for dessert?
Rosa's Thai, The Old Courthouse, 184 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
Siam Smiles is famous amongst foodies in the city, Chef May is a bit of a legend on the scene. She only took up cooking when the chef left and her professional training came down to watching YouTube videos of Thai cooks. Nevertheless, the food tastes like it has been years in the perfecting – and in a way, it has: real recipes passed down from generation to generation.
The food is addictive with plenty of chillies for those who like their food with a kick. You’ll find dishes like moo ping (grilled skewers of marinated minced pork), kuitiew tom yam (minced pork, fish balls, BBQ pork and vegetables in extra hot pork broth) and koaw moo deng moo grob (steamed jasmine rice with BBQ pork, pork belly in gravy and chilli dip with a bowl of clear soup).
Siam Smiles, Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
If you’ve wondered what Topkapi Palace is named after, it’s a museum in Istanbul’s Fatih district that in the 15th and 16th centuries served as the palatial residence and HQ of the Ottoman sultans. It’s probably this sort of pedigree that has kept the Deansgate Turkish restaurant of the same name going since 1979. The family-run restaurant headed up by chef Seref Dursun serves every kind of kebab from shish to doner to bursa to adana to pilic. The extensive menu also takes in everything from moussaka to swordfish as well as meze favourites like humus, tabule and borek passed down the generations. The adjacent takeaway is ideal for a grab and go before (or after) you get on the beers.
Topkapi Palace, 205 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3NW
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