We’ve found some top places to celebrate (or commiserate) with family and friends
Graduation season is upon us. If you've spent the last six months holed up with your dissertation, your exam notes and a jar of Nutella, now is the time to leave all that behind and celebrate. But once you've had your obligatory photo taken outside Manchester Town Hall in your mortar board and gown, where do you go to raise a glass to yourself and your student debt?
Below we've picked out some special restaurant deals for graduation celebrations, the kind of places you can take your folks to for a free glass of bubbly without fear of them sitting on a forgotten chip or frowning at the menu asking 'what's a deconstructed cheesecake?'
Gusto - £10 off Prosecco
Situated within the classic, ornate Elliot House on Deansgate, Gusto’s tall ceilings, central island bar, private dining room and variety of seating areas, make this a grand choice for every occasion. The menu is upmarket Italian with a variety of good pizza and pasta dishes as well as main courses and steaks to suit a range of tastes.
Deal: £10 off every pre-ordered bottle of Prosecco for graduation celebrations.
Where: 4 Lloyd Street, off Deansgate, M2 5AB
Don Giovanni - three courses for £28 and complimentary Prosecco
This upmarket Italian restaurant was established in 1984, making it the oldest independently-owned Italian in Manchester. It recently had a refurbishment to give it a contemporary glamorous look and they have managed to get dishy Michelin starred chef Jean Christophe Novelli on board to create some dishes. All their pizza and pasta dishes are made on the premises from scratch using the freshest seasonal ingredients, sourced locally from Italian and British producers, many based within Greater Manchester.
Deal: Three-course Italian set menu for £28, including a glass of Prosecco.
Where: Peter House, 1-2 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5AN
Grafene - complimentary Prosecco
Modern British cuisine and fine dining is on the menu at this smart restaurant on King Street, named after the Manchester-discovered wonder material. The bar serves a range of interesting and experimental cocktails and the wine list is impressive. If you’re after more of a daytime option, they serve a cracking afternoon tea.
Deal: A glass of complimentary Prosecco per person when a table of four guests or more is booked in advance.
Where: 55 King Street, M2 4LQ
James Martin Manchester - two courses for £25, three for £30
If your first year student Saturday mornings were usually spent watching cooking shows, you might want to take the family to James Martin’s Manchester restaurant. There’s no guarantee he’ll be there of course but here you’ll enjoy classic, seasonally changing à la carte and special menus using the finest local produce.
Deal: Two-course set menu for £25, three-course set menu for £30, plus a complimentary glass of Prosecco.
Where: 2 Watson St, Manchester M3 4LP
Artisan - half price Prosecco
If you’re after somewhere that manages to be both casual and special occasion, then look no further than this huge restaurant and bar set in a 12,000 square foot, semi-industrial space in Spinningfields. Cooking at Artisan centres around their wood burning stove; think flatbreads, meat, fish and salads. There are also a few private dining areas for larger groups.
Deal: Half price Prosecco.
Where: Avenue North,18-22 Bridge Street, M3 3BZ
Mr Coopers House and Garden: two courses £24 or three for £28
This eclectic restaurant at the front of the ground floor of The Midland Hotel has been designed to look like a house with different sections; lounge in the garden amongst the cascading wall of plants and birch tree, enjoy drinks in the library or relax in the leather booths of the study. The seasonally changing menu is modern British, but with more far reaching culinary influences. The bar is well known for creating excellent cocktails.
Deal: Two courses £24 pp, three courses £28 per person. Includes with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne
Where: The Midland Hotel, Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS
Zouk Tea Bar & Grill - glass of fizz
This is an Indian restaurant off Oxford Road serving a contemporary take on authentic Pakistani and Indian dishes. You’ll find seafood or steak, korma or karahi, with lots of interesting vegetarian choices too. A theatre kitchen allows diners to catch all the cooking action, adding to the general buzz. There is a range of tables available – cosy two seaters, booths for sharing or long banquettes for parties. You might want to take advantage of their new veranda with a city view or go al-fresco in the Sheesha Lounge, complete with exotic Egyptian tobaccos.
Deal: A glass of complimentary Prosecco for graduates, or a whole bottle for parties of four or more when booked in advance.
Where: Unit 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, M1 5QS
Marco’s New York - three courses for £17.95
Family-friendly, reasonably priced restaurant chain inspired by one-time three Michelin starred chef Marco Pierre White’s Italian heritage and his love for New York. The menu is a mixture of Italian-inspired dishes and American classics, serving everything from fresh pasta, handmade pizza and ribs to New York style cheesecake. All dishes are placed in the middle of the table to be shared by guests in the traditional Italian style of dining.
Deal: Three-course set menu for £17.95, plus drink specials also on offer.
Where: White building, MediaCityUK Salford M50 2EQ
Sapporo Teppanyaki - complimentary Prosecco for grads
This is the place for those who like a bit of theatre with their food. Diners sit at one of several communal dining squares, each with a Teppanyaki chef in the centre manning a hot flat grill. The culinary theatrics of speed chopping and food flinging make this a fun dining experience. The Japanese menu includes sushi and sashimi. Stir-fried noodle, rice and hot dishes with meat, fish or vegetables are cooked in front of guests.
Deal: A glass of complimentary Prosecco for graduates.
Where: 91-93 Liverpool Rd, M3 4JN
Per Tutti - three courses and Prosecco for £25
The name of this independently owned Mediterranean restaurant means ‘for all’ - which you'd know if you studied Italian - and they’re well known for their friendly and approachable customer service. They’re open all day for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, aperitivo and dinner and it's a handy place to meet up with family and friends to celebrate at any time of the day. Groups of 12 or more can pre-order from a set menu to make things even simpler.
Deal: 3 courses for £25 including glass of Prosecco - available anytime throughout July
Where: 3-11 Liverpool Road, M3 4NW