Nowadays the city is awash with some truly excellent Chinese restaurants, offering everything from the strictly traditional, right down to the ultra-modern, via some fantastic street food options. There’s something for everyone here and some truly authentic experiences…
An unassuming little entrance in China Town opens up into one of the city’s best and most authentic Chinese Restaurant experiences. Just a quick look as you walk past lets you know exactly what you’re in for – those lovely Peking ducks hanging in the window – always an indication of a proper good Chinese restaurant. Add to this the rave reviews from everyone else I’ve spoken to who has been and it should be high up on your list of places to visit. Although they are pretty commercial when it comes to ordering; they tell me the Sweet & Sour Chicken is fantastic. I’ll check it out as soon as I can.
Happy Seasons Restaurant, 59 Faulkner St, Manchester M1 4FF
0161 236 7189
Salt & Pepper
Everything tastes better when it’s coated in salt and pepper seasoning, and Salt & Pepper have used this as the basis for their whole business. And judging by how busy this place gets – they’re absolutely smashing it. They’ll be open again in the Arndale Market at the beginning of July, so get yourself down there on your lunch and get yourself a beautiful box full of salt and pepper goodies.
Salt & Pepper, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
If you’ve never been to Tattu before then I should probably warn you – it’s nothing like the other restaurants on this list. In fact, it’s a slight stretch placing it on this list in the first place – although yes, they do Chinese food, Tattu is so much more. Since opening, this stunning space has been doing a rip roaring trade serving up fantastically elaborate cocktails, some truly stunning dishes and providing the perfect backdrop for a quiet romantic evening or a cracking Saturday night – all with an oriental twist. The food is modern Chinese / Asian fusion so you should expect Chinese but also Japanese influences. It’s hard to explain – just go.
Tattu Restaurant and Bar, 3, 4 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB
0161 819 2060
Specializing in the art of the Chinese Hotpot, all three levels of One Plus offer something a bit different! It’s an authentic and unique dining experience in the heart of the city, featuring a rice and noodle bar, traditional hotpot and also a Chinese BBQ and an a la carte Seafood menu! The most exciting part is definitely the hotpot, though. Traditionally eaten with a dipping sauce and from a communal broth shared with friends and family One Plus offers the individual broths with food delivered from a ‘sushi style’ conveyor belt so whatever catches your eyes, pop this into your tasty broth and eat when ready.
One Plus 42 Charles St, Manchester M1 7DB
A review from Observer food critic Jay Rayner back in 2019 catapulted this frankly quite odd place on Ashton Old Road into the city’s consciousness – and since then they’ve kept up their excellent Chinese dishes and fresh AF seafood. You wouldn’t expect much from this place from the outside but go in and you’ll find loads of live seafood that is then masterfully prepared and cooked in a huge menu of authentic dishes. If you’re looking for a true Chinese restaurant experience in Manchester – this is the place.
Live Seafood, 63 Ashton Old Rd, Manchester M11 3WU
Absolute institution in the city; Yang Sing has been serving up top-class Chinese nosh since 1977 – way before I was even a twinkle in the milkman’s eye. Not only has this place won more awards than Meryl Streep, there’s tons of authentic services that they offer on top of their fantastic menu. There’s scope for some truly grandiose private events, as well as cookery classes and workshops to work on your wok tossing skills. But ultimately it’s about the food and Yang Sing never fails to disappoint – it’s probably the most authentic gourmet Chinese you can get in town – get their Satay Beef Thins and you’ll never go anywhere else again. It’s currently closed for refurbishment, but make sure you pop by once it reopens its doors!
Yang Sing, 34 Princess St, Manchester M1 4JY
0161 236 2200
Oh Mei Dumpling
Winner of the MFDF Best Street Food Trader in 2020, Oh Mei Dumpling is surely the city’s leading authority when it comes to food wrapped around little bits of dough. All of the dumplings are handmade, served with Asian slaw and dipping sauces but it’s all about the sublime fillings; with the classic Pork & Prawn always present alongside ever-changing options such as Spicy Beef, Fried Tofu and plenty more. Check their social channels for where they’ll be next!
Founded by Henry Yau, WowYauChow was launched to share his individual take on Chinese concept cooking. The family-run Chinese eatery works with and develops old family recipes to provide a relaxed, casual dining experience with a street food twist! The Honey Sesame Chicken is to die for, as well as the Salt n Pepper Steak and its great selection of Bao Buns. The best bit is undoubtedly their bottomless brunch and lunch options – where you can get endless dishes and booze for as little as £ 30pp.
WowYauChow, 59 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham WA14 1DS
This place has SO MUCH under one roof; a food market and dining hall, offering fast and fresh Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, alongside a modern Chinese bakery and on-site supermarket – serving a vast array of international products and ingredients. It’s a great destination for trying some new cuisine, but also to pick up the ingredients and give it a go yourself at home!
Hello Oriental, Unit 3B South Pavilion 2 Symphony Park, Manchester M1 7FS
Lotus Plant Based Kitchen
If you live down South Manchester way and fancy some Chinese food – you should probably give Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen a try – you won’t regret it. Available for eating in or take away, this quaint place just further down from the Red Lion in Withington can provide your hungry stomach with plenty of juicy Chinese dishes – all of them vegetarian or vegan. There’s quite a few dishes which feature ‘mock meats’ which are pretty good themselves, however Lotus really shines with its veggie and tofu dishes. Like some sort of flavor-magicians they manage to make the usually bland tofu taste like there’s a party in your mouth and all the cool people are invited. Much healthier than getting a Donner Kebab and chips.
Lotus Plant Based Kitchen, 536 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 4BY
0161 445 7457
Favorite Chinese restaurant of pretty much every footballer who has ever played in or even thought about the city of Manchester, Wings has gained a reputation as a bit of a star haunt and somewhere you can get cracking food with the potential that you’ll be sitting next to Paul Parker or Ian Dowie. In that respect you could say that’s like the Chinese San Carlo. And like San Carlo I’ve never had a bad meal in here – granted I’ve only ever been in once but I was impressed with the range of dishes – with a menu probably longer than War & Peace; the top-notch Dim Sum are a must.
Wing’s Restaurant, Heron House, 1 Lincoln Square, Manchester M2 5LN
0161 834 9000
Basically the go-to place in the Northern Quarter for anyone looking to get their mouth round a Spring Roll and suck on some noodles. Run by three sisters, Sweet Mandarin has weathered the relentless on-going changes in the NQ, continuing to provide authentic Chinese food at a pretty decent price. I remember a fair few years back they were even featured on The F Word, a TV show by everyone’s favorite craggy-faced chef Gordon Ramsey. They were competing in the final 5 for the Best Local Chinese restaurant in the UK and only went and bloody won it. Clearly Gordon was impressed, which is not an easy task – he probably doesn’t even like Vimto – the miserable sod.
Sweet Mandarin, 19 Copperas St, Manchester M4 1HS
0161 832 8848
A food truck in Piccadilly Gardens, you’d probably be inclined to not expect too much from this place – but you’ve been sorely mistaken. Gerry’s offer up Chinese crepes called ‘Jianbing’ and they’re absolutely bloody brilliant, filled with a variety of vegetables, meats and spices. It’s one of the city’s best-kept secrets and they make for a fantastic lunch option when you need something super tasty and don’t want to buy a crappy meal deal sandwich.
Gerry’s Jianbing, Piccadilly Gardens outside Santander bank (near Burger King)
Blue Eyed Panda
This Ancoats eatery has been impressing since opening with their menu of traditional Chinese dishes, dim sum and a pretty impressive range of vegan and gluten-free options. They do a Salt & Pepper Platter here which is something you should definitely get. Like definitely.
Blue Eyed Panda, 3 Jersey St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6JA
0161 207 8788
Another restaurant that has seemingly been around for longer than the Great Wall took to build – Red Chilli has two locations – one slap bang in China Town on Portland Street, the other slap bang in StudentsVille on Oxford Road. I’ve only ever been to the one on Portland Street but when my Magic Bus goes past the other one it looks massive – and it’s usually got a fair few people happily scoffing and bantering away in it. The menu is excellent, the prices very reasonable, their salt and pepper wings divine and they once did Deep Fried Ice Cream that I used to impress a girl on a date once. Cheers fellas!
70-72 Portland St, Manchester M1 4GU
403-419 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9WL
A Chinese restaurant specializing in everything vegetarian and vegan, Ruyi combines the wonders of Chinese and Oriental cooking – without using meat! Throughout years of hard-work and refinement, the restaurant’s chefs have stumbled across the best meat substitutes, from soya to authentic vegetable goodness, the menu is extremely accessible and packed with all your usual favorites! If we were to recommend anything, it would have to be the salt and pepper ‘chicken’. It truly is one of those dishes that you’ll never be able to get enough of.
Ruyi Vegetarian, 101 Manchester Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9GA
Little Yang Sing
Much like their ‘big sister’ up the road, Little Yang Sing is the perfect place for the quintessential Chinese experience. Always the highest quality and a huge menu, it’s all about their Dim Sum and big range of vegetarian options – with the Spicy Aromatic Aubergine and ‘Chicken’ stir fry taking center stage. It’s open 7 days a week and has a broad selection of beers and wine to complement all of its wonderful food, too!
Little Yang Sing, 17 George St, Manchester M1 4HE
A great spot for vegans or those wanting to dabble in the diet! Jai Vegan uses a chicken alternative in many of its dishes, recreating classics such as Salt and Pepper, Sichuan and Dumplings. It also offers a Vegan ‘Lamb’ Skewer in a black pepper sauce and other dishes using fresh, tasty vegetables with traditional herbs and spices. Trust me, everyone will love this one. Even the meat eaters.
Jai Vegan, 70-72 Portland St, Manchester, M14GU