The northern capital boasts a plethora of delicious and authentic pasta haunts, from cool celebrity hangouts to cosy, traditional eateries. Here, we present to you a rundown of some of the best Italian spots in Manchester.
Sugo Pasta Kitchen
Image credit: Sugo Pasta Kitchen
If you’re looking for Southern Italian pasta fare executed perfectly, be sure to head to Sugo Pasta Kitchen’s Ancoats location, at the epicentre of what was once Manchester's own Little Italy. Fresh, Pugliese pasta offerings include the strozzapreti with broccolini, anchovy butter and pangrattato (breadcrumbs) and cavatelli with red king prawns, langoustine bisque, ‘nduja and fennel. Buon Appetito!
The Pasta Factory
Image credit: The Pasta Factory
Shudehill's favourite pasta joint is headed by a group of childhood friends from Turin, in the north of Italy. This no-fuss eatery boasts an exceptionally authentic taste of Italia - as to be expected. The menu is informed by a number of family recipes, including reginette al ragù di Nonna Marce, with its traditional pork sausage and punchy ‘nduja ragù, or bucatini ai funghi - a favourite among vegetarian diners and carnivores alike!
Upscale dining meets modern Italian cuisine at Manchester favourite San Carlo. The King Street venue boasts an airy and elegant dining space, exceptionally-curated wine list and stunning seafood-led menu. Though the menu is formidable, we especially enjoy the rigatoni alla Norma, with creamy aubergine, Tagliolini Granchio, featuring delicately-sweet hand-picked Devonshire crab, and rustic Zitoni Toscanini, with authentic Tuscan spiced sausage and pecorino.
The San Carlo group boasts somewhat of a monopoly on Manchester's pasta joints, with restaurants scattered throughout the city. Sister restaurants include Fumo, Fiorentina, Cicchetti, Gran Cafe and Bottega. The last is an upmarket champagne bar boasting majestic views of the city’s historic Corn Exchange and Shambles Square from the second floor of the bustling Selfridges building. Despite their focus on bubbles, this venue offers some pretty tasty and impressive pasta dishes. Some of our favourites include pappardelle all’Anatra with duck ragu, or their gnocchi Sorrentina with tomato, mozzarella & basil.
Salvi's Mozzarella Bar
Image credit: Salvi's Mozzarella Bar
Boasting some of the best, imported Italian produce in Manchester, Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar is a gem in the city’s culinary scene. Located in the bustling Corn Exchange, owner Maurizio nurtured this much-loved deli-cum-restaurant to the success story it is today. Salvi’s menu offers pasta-fare reminiscent of the sunny Campania region which Maurizio calls home, with stand-out dishes like the pasta con pancetta e zucchini, with creamy courgette and a hint of garlic, or the pasta con Tonno (tuna), Bottarga and Stracciatella, which makes for a punchy yet light bite, perfect for dining al fresco on their terrace.
Celebrity endorsement aside, Rio Ferdinand’s Rosso boasts one of the most beautiful dining experiences in Manchester. Located on the popular King Street, the stunning Grade-II listed building, with exquisite domes reminiscent of classic Italian architecture, serves as an elegant backdrop to some great pasta offerings. Our favourites include the decadent ravioli funghi al tartufo (with truffles and mushrooms), or hearty fregola con spalla d’agnello affumicata - a delicious blend of the Sardinian pasta pearls, smokey herbed lamb shoulder and aubergine.
Image credit: Don Giovanni
As an award-winning icon of Manchester's Italian dining scene, Don Giovanni proudly celebrates its heritage, being the oldest independent Italian in the city. Don Giovanni demonstrates principles at the heart of Italian cooking, boasting dishes prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients, ensuring delightful and quality offerings. Our favourites include their ravioli neri al granchio, with crab and a delicate butter sauce, and the decadent melanzané parmigiana - a robust starter option of baked aubergine, scamorza and parmesan cheese.
Bringing delicious pasta dishes up and down Britain, Piccolino is a reliable chain that feels independent, offering authentically influenced pasta in an upscale setting. Italian Carrara marble adorns the sophisticated dining room, which offers a likewise elegant menu. Highlights include the ravioli di granchio, with sweet crabmeat and delicious seafood-infused butter, and tagliatelle al sugo di cinghiale, with its sumptuous ragù of wild boar, pancetta and red wine.
Their thoughtful menu takes time to educate diners on the heritage of ingredients used - a sentiment very much so in the spirit of Italian cuisine, with a focus on fresh and gourmet produce. Just off the bustling Clarence Street, Piccolino’s Manchester location was awarded the accolade of the best Italian in Manchester in 2019 by The Manchester Awards - high praise indeed!
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