In the late 1800's, thousand of Italians made new homes amongst the mills and factories in the run down area of Manchester city centre called Ancoats, or 'Little Italy' as it became affectionately known.
Whilst the inhabitants became the pioneers of the modern day British ice cream industry they also introduced generations of Mancunian Italians to the city.
Today there are over 120 Italian restaurants and pizzerias in Manchester and the surrounding area.
Successful Italian Restaurant chains like San Carlo, Piccolino, Gusto, Croma, Felicini, Pesto, The Olive Press, and Est, Est, Est all started in the area, whilst there's hundreds of excellent independent Italian ristorantes in Manchester too.
Whether you're looking for fine dining Italian cuisine or a cheap pizzeria, fresh made pasta or gluten and wheat free doughs, there are Italian restaurants in Manchester to suit everybody's requirements.
~ 4 mins walk to Swinton train station
(14 mins journey from Manchester Victoria) ~
A traditional family-ran pizzeria and restaurant in Swinton, widely recognised as the best Italian in Manchester and very popular with celebrities despite its unfashionable location. Photographs on the wall show many repeat visits from the entire Manchester United, Manchester City and England football squads amongst others, whilst some dishes are named after the restaurant's famous frequent visitors.
Situated in the most scenic location in Manchester city centre, a stunning position on the banks of the Bridgewater Canal in the heart of Castlefield, an urban heritage park and conservation area with one of the best alfresco dining spaces anywhere in the city, this popular restaurant offers an unashamedly British menu with some hints of Italian and favourites from around the globe.
This light, bright and luxurious Italian trattoria just off Albert Square specialises in fish and seafood courses. Classic Italian dishes are given a modern twist with influences from across the Mediterranean and from modern British cuisine. Two private dining VIP rooms and a downstairs bar and club offer added exclusivity whilst being close to the theatres makes it ideal for pre-theatre dining.
This very popular family-friendly pizzeria just off Albert Square, which has remained the city's benchmark for quality great value pizzas since opening back in 2000, is a proud independent local restaurant. From this city centre side street base, Croma has now grown into a popular national chain.
Very popular, modern Italian restaurant on Oxford Street, close to the Bridgewater Hall, Palace Theatre and Opera House. A varied menu offers a range of Italian delicacies from Funghi Ripieni to Osso Bucco and high quality steaks, fresh pastas and quality pizzas. A beautiful private function room is also free to hire and can accommodate upto 50 guests.
pizzeria in the Northern Quarter, offering great value for
money fresh pizzas, made and proved on site using a special
recipe which includes traditional, whole-wheat, gluten-free
and dairy-free dough bases. As well as pizza, there's also
a range of pasta dishes, lighter salads and speciality dough
Per Tutti Cafe, Bar & Grill is an Independent Family run business offering Modern European food just off Deansgate opposite the Hilton Tower. This is perfect location for anyone visiting the Opera House, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Central, Castlefield and The museum of Science & Industry. With Deansgate train station & Castlefield Tram stop only a short walk away.
Rio Ferdinand's plush Italian restaurant and celebrity haunt stands proudly at the top of Manchester's prestigious King Street in a stunning 116-year-old Grade II listed building. The reasonably priced a la carte menu has a wide selection of favourite dishes including pizzas, pastas, steaks and freshly prepared fish dishes, including some named after the Manchester United star himself.
~ 8 mins walk to Urmston train station (18 mins journey from Manchester Victoria) ~
Located on the Nags Head roundabout, this locally popular traditional Italian restaurant in Davyhulme is only a short walk from Urmston station and just five minutes drive from The Trafford Centre. Acclaimed for its friendly service and great food, they specialise in pizza, pasta, meat, fish and rice dishes. It's also a popular destination for celebrations with an 80 capacity private function room upstairs
~ 16 mins walk to East Didsbury station (14 mins journey from Manchester
Situated on the main thoroughfare in the trendy area of Didsbury Village, this bustling restaurant from Knutsford's Living Ventures group is inspired by the elegant charm of a classic Italian ristorante with a contemporary buzz, a modern, stylish interior and al fresco seating.
The biggest all-you-can-eat world buffet in Europe, which serves up to a whopping 700 guests at any one time. Located on Deansgate near the Manchester Arena and the shops, this plush family-friendly restaurant opened in May 2011 and quickly became the busiest restaurant in Manchester, offering over 300 freshly made dishes from around the world that include Italian pizzas and pasta, Mediterranean, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Cajun, Tex Mex, English, speciality desserts and more.
Inspired by the traditional grand cafes of Europe, Gusto is all about making the everyday exquisite. See, Gusto believe being grand doesn’t have to be a big deal. Within the classic, ornate Elliot House on Deansgate is the flagship of Gusto, full of the glamour and elegance a person needs…Hints towards the 1920’s and Manchester’s local heritage combine with tall ceilings, a grand island bar, private dining rooms and a collection of seating areas to make this Gusto one for every occasion.
~ 3 mins walk to Cheadle Hulme station (20 mins journey from Manchester Piccadilly) ~
This imposing glass fronted restaurant on Station Road in Cheadle Hulme allows diners to watch the world go by whilst sat in the modern, stylish interior, which mixes the elegant charm of a classic Italian ristorante with a contemporary buzz. Part of the Knutsford's Living Ventures group, this is one of the region's most popular chains.
In the heart of the Northern Quarter on Stevenson Square. A bustling bar that serves up sourdough, Neapolitan pizzas from its mirror tiled, wood fired oven. Its carefully crafted drinks menu includes twists on classic cocktails and craft beer sourced from local and international brewers alike. PLY is a fresh, creative space and design-led concept and in addition to its specialty menus serves up a varied and interesting program of creative exhibitions and events.
International Italian group Vapiano has opened it’s first UK restaurant outside of London The group which is famed for its freshly made pizza dough, pasta and salads alongside the best buffalo mozzarella, meats and cheeses has set up shop in the newly revitalised Corn Exchange. The 400 cover restaurant spans two floors and boast a 100-year-old olive tree and fresh live herbs on the tables. It will offer Manchester’s diners a unique concept as the restaurant is self-service with guests enjoying face-to-face interactions with chefs as they cook their dish to order, just how they like it. Guests order and pay using a smart card system - one per customer - meaning everyone pays for what they order, avoiding the need for tricky bill splitting at the end of the meal.