Last night we were thrilled to be revealed as the winners of CityLife Awards 2016’s ‘Best Restaurant‘ category at a ceremony at Crazy Pedro’s in Manchester.

Simon Shaw from El Gato Negro celebrates winning Best Restaurant award

Chef patron Simon Shaw with Lucy Lovell and Simon Binns from the MEN. (Photo: Joel Goodman/Manchester Evening News)

El Gato Negro was shortlisted alongside some of Manchester’s brightest and best restaurants so we’re honoured to have been voted as the city’s best, winning with more than a third of the public vote.

In a city with as dynamic and exciting a food culture as Manchester it’s a particular honour to be awarded ‘Best Restaurant’, and at the awards ceremony last night – surrounded by friends old and new – we were reminded how talented and welcoming everyone has been since we opened in February 2016.

At the ceremony Chef Patron Simon Shaw said

Wow, what a buzz! We’ve been open less than a year but the Manchester public have really embraced us and been so receptive of our vision and offering. This sets us up for a very exciting 2017, coming as it does just a few weeks before our first anniversary, and we have plenty of exciting plans for this year. Thanks for all the support and loyalty from our customers.

Coming on the heels of a run of accolades in 2016 – gaining a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand, Newcomer of the Year at the MFDF awards, Lancashire Life’s ‘City Restaurant of the Year‘,  and debuting in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100 has been a remarkable and inspiring experience.

A huge thank you to our incredible staff, suppliers and supporters… we really couldn’t have done this without you. We are so proud of the team here at El Gato Negro. As for our customers, thanks so much for helping us to make us feel so at home in the heart of Manchester in our first year. We look forward to serving you to the very best of our ability in the future.


As the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla from the markets on King Street remind us, the festive season is here! We’re very excited about our first Christmas in the heart of Manchester, and the forthcoming new year heralds the end of an incredible 2016 for El Gato Negro. There’s plenty on and we look forward to seeing you over the holidays… let the celebrations commence!

Opening hours

We’re open as usual until Christmas Eve, when our last food service in the restaurant will be at 6pm. The restaurant is then closed for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Our last food service on New year’s Eve will be at 9pm. We’ll be holding a select ticket-only event upstairs in The Black Cat at 11pm, to see in 2017 in style with cava and pinchos. Full details on this event can be found here.

Sat 24th (Christmas Eve)  Last service 6pm
Sun 25th (Christmas Day)  Closed
Mon 26th (Boxing Day) Closed
Tues 27th/Wed 28th 12:00–14:30 / 17:00–21:30
Thurs 29th 12:00–14:30 / 17:00–22:00
Fri 30th 12:00–22:30
Sat 31st (New Year’s Eve) 12:00–21:00 then private event
Mon 1st-Thurs 5th Closed

Christmas decorations at El Gato Negro Manchester


Since we recently increased our capacity to meet demand we’ve more space for smaller and larger parties alike, and are still taking bookings throughout December. We offer set menus for larger groups, which have proved incredibly popular since they were introduced. If you’d like to make a reservation please contact our host team. As there’s so much demand for our regular dishes – including our recently refreshed autumn menu – we’re not offering a specific Christmas menu, but look out for specials in the ground floor bar as well as the restaurant.


Adding a touch of seasonal spice with a Spanish theme, we’ve been serving mulled sangria since the beginning of the week – something which has proved a welcome winter warmer for customers stepping into our ground floor bar off the street! Look out for some very special festive cocktails upstairs in The Black Cat too.elgatonegro_mcr_05sept2016-0397_1500px

Christmas presents

If you’re looking for a perfect present, why not purchase one of our gift cards? They’re the tastiest gift option around and whether the recipient’s dined with us or not, we’re sure they’ll be gratefully received!

Christmas gift cards at El Gato Negro

Christmas gift cards at El Gato Negro

StreetSmart restaurateurs in Manchester

Alongside some of Manchester’s best establishments we’re proud to be supporting a fantastic charity initiative for the rest of 2016: StreetSmart.

It’s a brilliantly simple, clever scheme and is focused on supporting local organisations which help the homeless in Greater Manchester. Between December 1st – December 31st we’ll be adding a discretionary 2.5% service charge onto each bill. Our customers get to enjoy great food and know they’re helping StreetSmart do something great too. Every single penny we raise contributes directly to the work being done in Greater Manchester to enable homeless people to build a better life for themselves. 

Simon Shaw, founder and Chef Patron at El Gato Negro said: “We are delighted to be taking part in StreetSmart and through this campaign want to support those charities working locally to get people off the streets and integrated back into society. It’s a simple way for us to join this worthy cause and at a time of year when the focus for people is very much on giving. People can really make a difference whilst enjoying themselves with a small charge on their bill.”

Please take the opportunity to have a real impact on the community in our area, and help us support StreetSmart in 2016. Thank you!StreetSmart logo

New expanded upstairs dining at El Gato NegroWe’re pleased to announce that, in order to meet incredible customer demand, we’ve now extended restaurant seating onto the top floor of our historic building, creating an additional forty covers. This expansion, coupled with an updated booking process and a refreshed autumn menu, means El Gato Negro will be enjoyed by more diners than ever before in the months ahead.

Chef patron Simon Shaw says

“Since opening we have been blown away by the response. Such has been the demand that we’ve made the decision to extend our food offer into The Black Cat, so our guests can enjoy the dining experience across all floors.”

The increased number of tables now provides the ability to accommodate parties of up to sixteen, in time for the Christmas season. The venue is also now available for private booking. Interested parties can book by calling our expanded host team on 0161 694 8585 or make a reservation online.

We’ve taken the opportunity to update the food offering on all three floors. The ground floor bar sees a newly expanded menu, ranging from ‘para picar’ bar snacks and charcuterie through to some of our classic dishes, as well as daily soups and sandwiches. No reservations are required for the bar.

Grilled mackerel fillet with beetroot salad, horseradish dressingOur restaurant on the middle floor has introduced an autumnal menu refresh, with a range of appealing new dishes already proving a hit with diners.

“Autumn nights are drawing in and we’re looking forward to sharing the seasonal additions to our menu. As time has gone on I’ve wanted to experiment and to introduce new and exciting dishes. I’m really pleased with the additions we have on offer and look forward to hearing people’s reactions to them.”

We also now offer an express lunch option in the restaurant, based around six of our signature dishes. Whether you’re looking for a quick working lunch, or you’d like an introduction to some of our classics, the set lunch is perfect. Choose three dishes from the selection of favourites for just £15.

The top floor, with its signature retractable roof which is unique to Manchester, has been been a talking point since we opened in February. Our iconic bar, The Black Cat, will continue to create a cornucopia of incredible cocktails, and diners on this floor will be able to enjoy the incredible aspect and al fresco experience when weather permits.

With these developments coming in the same month as El Gato Negro picking up three notable industry awards, November’s proving to an incredibly exciting time. We hope you can join us to experience the expanded range of dining options and menus soon.



City Restaurant of the Year winner was El Gato Negro, Manchester. Photographed here are Richard Jones and Simon Shaw

City Restaurant of the Year winner was El Gato Negro, Manchester. Photographed here are Richard Jones and Simon Shaw

Another week, and more great news for the team at El Gato Negro! We were delighted to be nominated in the 20th Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards in our first year since we moved across the Pennines from Yorkshire.

It feels like longer than six months since the magazine gave a us a rave review but as Chef Patron Simon and Head Chef Richard made their way north to Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Blackburn on Monday they had time to reflect on the thrilling pace since then: hitting our stride in our new restaurant in Manchester, further honing and refining the food and drink offering, and building the team to service the unprecedented customer demand.


It was a real honour to be crowned ‘City Restaurant of the Year’ at the awards, and to be surrounded by the great and good of the Lancashire and Lakes food and drink sector. A brilliant and inspiring evening, discovering more about how dynamic and progressive the food and drink scene is in the North West right now. You can watch a video of the event here.

A handsome restaurant that serves some of the best Spanish food found in the north. You could be in downtown Madrid.

October has been incredible for El Gato Negro. This is the latest in a trio of awards this month – picking up Newcomer of the Year at the MFDF awards and receiving a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand – and adding these in the same year we debuted in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100 has been amazing.

As always, we want to credit our staff for the win: this award has been earned because of the skill, dedication and hard work across our whole team. It’s because of them we’ve been able to make El Gato Negro Manchester what it is today… and we’re aiming to continue to grow and improve as we move forwards. Thanks too to our customers for all your support and enthusiasm!