Rob is an avid traveller and self-confessed 'man of the world'. He is passionate about his home city, Manchester, & travelling the world.
A Neighbourhood with Plenty of Character
Where is West Didsbury
An Interesting Mix of Restaurants
Today, West Didsbury is a peaceful suburb that has developed a unique identity as a foodie heaven with no less than sixteen restaurants in a half mile stretch!. In this article I present eleven of the best. Most of these are along the main drag of Burton Road with a couple just off Burton Road on leafy Lapwing Lane. Enjoy the pictures and I hope to see you in the neighbourhood one day! Be sure to click the active links to check out the menu's on each of the restaurants' websites.
Outdoor Cafe Culture in Manchester
An Introduction to West Didsbury
West Didsbury is a leafy suburb in Manchester, located approximately four and a hlaf miles from Manchester City Centre. This South Manchester neighbourhood is an area where many mill owners and textiles bosses lived during the years of the industrial revolution and 'cottonopolis' - a term often used to describe Manchester in the 19th century because of its reputation as being the international centre of textile production and the international trade of cotton garments. Manchester City Centre during the 19th century was filled with mills and warehouses where hundreds of thousands of people worked. Forming a doughnut around the City Centre were the workers dwellings - essentially over-populated slums. The bosses built there large houses in the suburbs away from all the factory smoke and away from the workers and their families. West Didsbury is full of these old huge houses.
If you're looking for somewhere stylish but relaxed to eat in West Didsbury, look no further than the Metropolitan. Standing tall at the junction of Lapwing Lane and Burton Road, The Metropolitan is an iconic West Didsbury landmark. The Metropolitan is large building that has a full restaurant as well as a large bar area that also serves meals in the bar.
On Sundays you can treat yourself to a delicious (and filling!) traditional English Sunday lunch. One of my favourite places for a Sunday roast in Manchester. The price for a three course Sunday Lunch is £19.95 and is great value for the quality and quantity of food on offer. The Metropolitan is also open every day for breakfast and serves meals, snacks and cakes throughout the day.
For a Taste of Nepali Cuisine: The Great Kathmandu
Standing across the junction from The Metropolitan on the other side of Burton Road is ever-popular Great Kathmandu restaurant. As baffling as it sounds, given that I've said that all these restaurants are in a half mile stretch, The Great Kathmandu is one of four Nepalese restaurants in West Didsbury. The Great Kathmandu is the original though having opened it's doors almost thirty years ago. For years The Great Kathmandu had a legendary reputation in Manchester but as other Nepalese restaurants and other more adventurous Indian restaurants opened a lot of the gloss was taken away from the The Great Kathmandu. However, this didn't stop the family from buying up the empty building next door a few years essentially doubling the size of their Burton Road restaurant. They must be doing something right because it's full practically every night of the week!
Get This Awesome Camera!
Greens, from TV celebrity chef, Simon Rimmer
Greens, on Lapwing Lane in West Didsbury, is owned by celebrity Chef Simon Rimmer, famous for his appearances on the weekly Sunday Brunch programme on Channel 4 in the UK. Greens is a very popular and highly regarded vegetarian restaurant producing seasonal menu's offering exciting and adventurous vegetarian dishes. During the day Greens has good value offers on soup and sandwich deals and there is also an early-evening special price menu. Sundays are when the restaurants are at it's busiest but generally a reservation is required for any evening.
Piccolino West Didsbury
Situated on Lapwing Lane in close proximity to Greens and The Metropolitan, and directly next door to The Lime Tree, Piccolino is all about Italian style and elegance. Although Piccolino is part of a chain of 21 other Piccolino restaurants around the UK, one of these located in Manchester City Centre, the locals of what is by and large an 'independent' West Didsbury restaurant scene don't seem to have any problem with that. The terrace area at the front of the restaurant is a perfect advert for tempting people inside. People dine on the terrace all year round, glass of Prosecco in hand, tucking into a delicious signature Italian dish.
Folk Cafe Bar
Folk is more of a bohemian hipster cafe car than a straight-up restaurant but the food is excellent. The menu is rather limited but they offer great breakfasts, including smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel which is absolutely incredible. They offer light bites throughout the day such as homemade fish finger butty and they also offer a fantastic range of cakes and sweet stuff. Folk is an great place all year round but really comes into its own in the Summer where there outdoor space makes for an excellent base to while away a summers afternoon and watch the world go by.
Albert's on Barlow Moor Road
Albert's Restaurant and Bar on Barlow Moor Road in West Didsbury is a family-run business that seemingly goes from strength to strength. Opened in in 2010 (replacing a very tired and rundown old pub), Albert's Restaurant and Bar is the second opening in the 'Albert's family' following on from the hugely successful Albert's Shed that opened in Castlefield in central Manchester in 2004. Albert's Restaurants and Bar provides a predominantly British menu with universal favourites like gourmet burgers, Filet Steak, Risotto's and classic stone-baked pizzas. If the sun's out then the terrace is guaranteed to be packed - even if the temperature is sub-zero! Fridays at Albert's Restaurant and Bar are especially popular amongst the West Didsbury locals when Pierre Mignon Grand Reserve Brut Champagne is offered at half price.
Volta is probably the coolest place to be seen in West Didsbury. Again, like Folk, Volta has more of a bar vibe than a traditional restaurant vibe - but obviously no one told the chef that as he is belting out dishes that would give some of the city's finest restaurants a run for their money.
Where Volta really excels is in its Sunday Roast. if you can't decide which meat to have there's an option to have them all on a sharing platter for 2. Also try the cauliflower cheese - you won't regret it! They only use seasonal vegetables and they use locally sourced meat and other ingredients where possible.
The Lime Tree
Consistently voted as one of the top restaurants in the North West of England, and one of the longest-standing restaurants in the area, The Lime Tree is a West Didsbury institution. It easily outdates every other restaurant on this list apart from The Great Kathmandu. There's a reason that The Lime Tree is consistently at the top of the West Didsbury restaurants list: the food is phenomenal! Although the restaurant started out as a French restaurant it soon evolved into a restaurant that was at the cutting edge of modern British cuisine. Ever week this menu changes but every week diners are guaranteed a great dining experience.
West Didsbury Restaurants Poll
© 2013 Robert Clarke
Deonne Anderson from Florence, SC on July 07, 2013:
A wonderful job of highlighting restaurants in the West Didsbury area. This is a valuable resource for those planning to visit the area in the near and distant future. Voted up and useful.