King Street in Manchester is known for its designer shops and stylish bars and sitting at the top of this chic street is Rosso – an Italian bar and restaurant which arrived with great fanfare to Manchester back in 2009. Set within a beautiful, grand building, you could be forgiven with feeling a bit overwhelmed if this is not your usual end of town. Perhaps best known for being part-owned by Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, we were worried that the highlight of the meal would be spotting a local celebrity but there was only one way to find out...

Rosso restaurant bar on King Street

Rosso's food is delicious, both in how it looks and tastes, perfect for a special occasion. 

The Venue

Inside, we were greeted with an imposing venue with high vaulted ceilings and Roman-style architecture, the setting looks great. A large fireplace and marble topped bar take up a large proportion of the room making it an ideal place for after work drinks or resting your feet after a long day of shopping. The rest of Rosso is a dining area separated into two levels with snug booths and red and black furniture as a nod to the venues owner. The higher level has a glass partition suggesting a private area for maybe some of its more well-known clientele.  

Rosso's bar area is perfect for after work drinks in Manchester

Rosso's bar staff concoct both creative and classic cocktails, with Happy Hour offering drinks from £5. 

The Clientele and Atmosphere

We arrived early evening on a Wednesday, and the bar was busy with people having an afterwork drink, couples on dates and small groups of friends catching up. We were greeted by a welcoming hostess at the door and the bar staff were attentive and friendly. With an early evening special of five cocktails for £5 on the menu we decided to opt for these – that arrived with great flourish and a taste which defied their low price – gorgeous.  The music was relaxed swing, and most evenings, customers are treated to live music from a host of different talents, making no two visits the same.

Rosso exclusive Manchester restaurant bar

The staff at Rosso are welcoming, friendly and attentive, while still keeping the atmosphere relaxed. 

Food & Drinks

With a huge selection of classics, along with a noticeably original cocktail list, a good cocktail menu isn’t an afterthought in this City Centre venue. Pleasantly surprised by the price point, we managed to work our way through a few before choosing from the generous wine list. We chose from the A La Carte menu – I opted for Baked Mushrooms filled with pistachio and blue cheese mousse and my friend got the Bruschetta Caprese. For main course I tried a classic pizza while my notoriously picky French partner ordered steak. While fairly simple dishes our response was positive – a perfect balance of flavours, well-presented and well-cooked. Portions throughout the meal were enormous and bursting with flavour, however undeterred we ordered dessert.  After an Italian carb fest we had just demolished, the Crème Brullee was fantastic with a perfect crunchy top and sweet subtle flavours followed by a small nibble at the cheese board… far too much for our stomachs to bear.

Wall of fame in the bar at Rosso

The Wall of Fame in the bar area shows Rosso's glistening status as a celeb staple. 


Though advertised as a celebrity haunt (which it is – we spotted two separate TV stars while tucking into our dinner) this restaurant over-delivered to us in terms of service and food. Rosso is a great place to splash the cash for a special occasion, it also offers a reasonably priced lunch menu and we will be certainly popping in for a lavish after work cocktail (and at cheaper than most bars, why not?!) With a certain sense of occasion added by the live music, it’s certainly something a little different, which is a speciality for this Manchester venue – a definite must-try for any Mancunian.