From speakeasies to spicy sarnies, here's what we've spotted in the Manchester Food and Drink scene this month...


One Eight Six, Deansgate

Okay, this one isn't brand new per se but following a forced closure after a fire ripped through the building on 1 January 2022, the underground bar has returned this month all guns blazing. Expect live music, killer cocktails and a buzzing atmosphere. 

Piccolino Grande, Wilmslow

Adding to the ever-expanding Piccolino family, Wilmslow now has its own mid-range and somewhat swanky new restaurant from the Italian chain. With an exclusive menu all of its own, Piccolino Grande also boasts a Tuscan terrace, a sophisticated bar and an open kitchen as well as a handmade copper-clad pizza oven. See our video below.

Parla, Northern Quarter

Underneath the Northern Quarter's coolest vegan pizza joint, Purezza, you'll find Parla - a trendy little cocktail bar decked out in speakeasy style. This inclusive bar is a safe space to grab a vegan cocktail, listen to some tunes and even watch great entertainment from local queer artists. There'll be rotating kitchen residencies from local foodies too, starting with Desert Island Dumplings in January.

Hold Fast, Northern Quarter

Hold Fast was one of the NQ's hottest spots for late-night boozing before it closed down. But, like all great things, it's made a comeback - along with its nautical-theme and retro video games. There's resident DJs, open mic nights and cocktails galore.

Fenix, St John's

The highly anticipated Greek-Mediterranean restaurant Fenix has now opened its doors, bringing food and culture from Mykonos to Manchester. Executive Head Chef, Ippokratis Anagnostelis, has built his reputation across a wealth of fine dining establishments in Athens and Mykonos, from Jackie ‘O, Scorpios and Kensho Mykonos to Kiku and Michelin Star destination, Hytrain.

Six by Nico, Deansgate 

Popular fine dining restaurant Six by Nico has opened a second Manchester site on Deansgate, kicking off its series of menus with 'Cooking Tokyo' which will feature until 14 January 2024. 

Linden Stores, Knutsford 

Owners of acclaimed Cheshire restaurant, wine bar & shop, Chris Boustead and Laura Christie, have launched Linden Stores 3.0 in Knutsford. Sharing plates are made using foraged ingredients and produce from the British Isles while the wine list caters to all budgets, focusing largely on sustainable, up-and-coming producers. 


Sud Pasta becomes Rigatoni's

Sud Pasta will cease trading from New Year's Eve, but that's not the last you'll see of the brand. In the New Year, the team behind Sud will be opening Rigatoni's - a new Italian pasta joint that will focus on simple, delicious pasta made fresh daily. Toppings will include nduja meatballs in Amatriciana sauce and brown crab with vodka sauce and tarragon. 

Evuna Altrincham closes its doors

After almost five years, the owners of Evuna have decided to close their Altrincham branch. The tapas and wine restaurant will be closing for good on 30 December, but the other three sites (Knutsford, Northern Quarter and Deansgate) will continue to operate as normal.

Bundobutties return to Bundobust sites

Back by popular demand, Bundobust have brought back their Bundobutties menu. Saving lunchtime diners from sad meal deals at their desk this January, Bundobust will be serving up a range of super sarnies to spice up your dinner.  With two new vegan sandwiches and a whole range of sides, diners can upgrade their Bundobutty to a meal deal (any sandwich, side and a soft drink) for just £9.95. Ditching Dry January? Swap your soft for a pint of Python Premium Lager for £12.95. Available from 4 January – 11 February across all venues. 

2023 12 12 Bundobust Bundo Butties 138
Spice up your lunch Image: Bundobust


Maya, Gay Village - Early 2024

Maya, an exciting new opening from the team behind Isabel Mayfair that was due to open in 2023, had been slightly delayed due to some necessary design changes that are sympathetic to the history of the 20th century warehouse building it will reside in. But we've received an update that the restaurant will be opening its doors in early 2024.

Taking guests from day to night, the venue will consist of an electric bar, canal-side brasserie serving modern-European classics, and lower ground-floor dining room with an ingredient-led menu curated by Northern-born, Gabe Lea, who cut his teeth at Michelin-starred establishments, Le Manoir and The French at The Midland Hotel. 

Scottie Bhattarai, the Founder of Maya said “The design changes were the right thing to do for the architectural integrity of this iconic building.  This means we are now gearing up to open in the new year."

Gino D'Acampo Manchester at INNSiDE by Melia Hotel - February 2024

Celebrity Chef Gino D'Acampo is to open a new brand restaurant in Manchester in 2024. Located at INNSiDE Manchester hotel, the premium Italian restaurant and bar will see a £800k investment in the premises.

The new opening follows the success of Gino's restaurants in Newcastle and Liverpool. The Italian chef also owns and operates upmarket venues in London and Leeds, with three further UK sites planned for 2024. 

Designed by acclaimed international restaurant designer Bernard Carroll, the look and feel of the new premium Italian restaurant and bar will be chic and contemporary, with Gino’s signature feature wallpaper, marble topped tables, brass finishes, and ambient lighting introduced throughout the 200-seated open-plan restaurant and bar lounge. It's expected that the restaurant will open in February. 

2023 12 21 Gino Dacampo Boar Lane Leeds Restaurant Setting
The Leeds restaurant provides an idea of what Gino D'Acampo Manchester could look like Image: Gino D'Acampo Restaurants

Got news to share? Let me know on X @Harley__Young

Read next - Titanic battle of the tartares: Fenix reviewed

Read again - 2023 from above the city: Andy Mallins astonishing drone images

Get the latest news to your inbox

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email by signing up to our mailing list. This is one of the ways that Confidentials remains free to our readers and by signing up you help support our high quality, impartial and knowledgable writers. Thank you!


Join our WhatsApp group

You can also get regular updates on news, exclusives and offers by joining the Manchester Confidential WhatsApp group.

Join the Manchester Confidential WhatsApp Group