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“Legendary Tapas joint”
Review of El Rincon de Rafa

El Rincon de Rafa
Ranked #137 of 2,356 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $13 - $40
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: El Rincón de Rafa is Manchester's longest-serving independent Spanish restaurant, having been in the city centre for 22 years. A family run establishment, El Rincón is regularly described as a 'hidden gem' and offers a relaxed, authentic experience, brought to Manchester from Málaga by owner Rafael Cabrera-Vargas. El Rincón offers a large range of tapas and main courses (including paellas) and a fully stocked bar with a huge variety of Spanish beers (both bottles and draught) and wines. The off the beaten track but central location of El Rincón (close to the Hilton hotel - turn down St John's St from Deansgate and take the first right) ensures an unbeatable authentic Spanish atmosphere, but with hidden nooks and crannies for a more intimate feel. The restaurant doesn't accept bookings for two, seating couples at a number of tables on a first come, first served basis. Customers are also welcome to visit just the bar for food and/or drinks. Que aproveche!
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Been frequenting El Rincon for over 20 years...well before the tapas chains arrived in town..excelllent /choice of dishes, good service buzzing atmosphere and my favourite Rioja. If I was to be critical food maybe lost a tad of quality over the years - but still best tapas in Manchester.

1  Thank NomadicLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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731 - 735 of 1,016 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2012 via mobile

So... It was all ok... But lacked passion. Plus I felt like I was back at school in the dining hall. Staff weren't over friendly but seemed run off their feet. Food was nice... But several dishes forgotten. The place was rammed so they must be doing something right perhaps I just picked their off night... I'll go to Evuna next time.

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1  Thank Dickie1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012 via mobile

I had mixed reviews about this place, but a friend of mine said it was good when he visited a whole back so I thought I would give it a try!
What a mistake.
Dreadfully bad service,and food and looks like it needed a good wash!
The waiters and waitresses are arrogant and have no concept of customer service!
One of the girls with dark hair obviously has never worked in restaurants and almost slammed all of our food down and same with the bill.
I will not be going back and will not be listening to that friend again that recommended it to me.

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1  Thank maddick s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Dined at El Rincon on Saturday. Took us a while to locate this little gem but well worth the hunt! Quite a lot of fish dishes on offer if you enjoy fish but for those of us who aren't fish lovers there is plenty of other delicious offerings to try. We had a lovely early evening/ late afternoon meal. We hadn't booked but were made welcome as we sat at the bar enjoying pre meal drinks! The staff were extremely friendly and never stopped smiling, we will definitely be going again now that we have found it! Food, service and atmosphere fantastic and not overpriced.

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1  Thank HILARY K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

I would love to visit this brilliant atmospheric bar restaurant more frequently, as it is like a little flavour of Spain in central Manchester. Unlike so many 'theme' pubs and bars, which are predictable, like the Irish, or American, venues, where a thin veneer of pseudo character is an applique on top of a pre existing establishment, (not all, I concede) 'el rincon' engenders a real Spanish 'buzz', and having just come back from Barcelona and a walk down the Ramblas, memories came flooding back. The downside, for me, is that I live so far away, and that prices, even for city centre Manchester, are a tad on the high side, but the clientelle are generally lively, in a positive way, and interesting, with many using the bar as regulars, either for an early evening drink before going home, or on to other venues, and others coming in later and making 'el rincon' their local.

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1  Thank Phil W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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