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.
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.
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.
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.
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
~ 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.
This fantastic family-friendly Italian pizza restaurant located off Deansgate and just around the corner from the Town Hall and Manchester Opera House was previously known as The Olive Press. A popular restaurant from Knutsford's Living Ventures group - the same people behind Gusto, Grill On The Alley, The Alchemist, Oast House and Australasia - it boasts a char grill and brick fired oven which helps produce the finest pastas, risottos, stone baked pizzas, seafood and meat dishes.
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.
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.
One of the newest in the collection of Jamie Oliver's hugely successful high street Italian restaurants, opened in the former Midland Bank building on King Street in February 2012. Many original features of the 1930's Grade II listed building have been retained, including marble clad columns, intricate mahogany wall panellings and a number of historic art deco whilst the private dining room is housed within the original bank vault. Fresh pasta is made daily on the premises and the seasonally changing menu offers rustic, simple dishes inspired by what you'd find ordinary people eating over in Italy.
~ 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
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.
~ 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