We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Hidden gem”
Review of El Rincon de Rafa

El Rincon de Rafa
Reserve with OpenTable
El Rincon de Rafa is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #125 of 2,254 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $13 - $39
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Kids, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff
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!
bolton lancs
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Great lunch here, authentic Spanish food in great surroundings (could be back in Spain again) Food much better than chain tapas bars,loads of choice including specials,and quite reasonable prices.Five of us chose 2 dishes each plus bread and olives and were quite satisfied.Wine very good too.It was quiet when we went around 12.15 but I expect it fills up later.A bit hard to find but well worth the effort.Staff great too

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bibli0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

976 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    499
    253
    87
    72
    65
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Monza, Italy
Level Contributor
44 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Good restaurant...unfortunately was too salted!!”
Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

good spanish restaurant where you can try spanish specialties.
All waitress are very gentle, spanish tone speaking which make you forget you are in the old industry revolution area of Manchester.
No pimientos do padron available, which is a shame if you want to remember back time spent in baleares or galicia region ;)
Also fish variety is poorer compared to a spanish tapas one...but maybe they adapted list to local taste.
Unfortunately friday evening food was pretty salted...need to return to discover if is another peculiarity or was only a 1-off ;))

Prices are in average

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sgsuper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“A bit of Spain in rainy Manc”
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Came here on a Friday afternoon in October, for my wife's birthday.

I go into town quite often, but still found this place hard to find. For the clubbers out there it's next door to the old Ampersands, just behind Deansgate.

I've found the La Vina/La Tasca places OK in the past, but none of them are as good as this. Very autentic place with wooden table, and lots of pictures of the owner meeting United & City players.

The waiting staff are all Spanish, and it's great to here the banter between them and the chefs in their language (we're huge fans of Spain and it's islands)

We decided to get 6 tapas dishes between us. One white meat and 1 red, garlic mushrooms, meatballs in sauce, prawns, and a chilli dish. We also got a huge stack of bread (wedgy type).

The food was cooked perfectly,every single plate was finished. My favourite was the chicken thighs that were cooked in a orange sauce - my wife loved the prawns.

For drinks they had a good selection of wines, but as we had a long night ahead of us, we went for a pint of Cruzcampo each. Gorgeous cold beer!

The bill was under £40, which was excellent value for such lovely food.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Young-MostoniansM40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skelmersdale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very popular secret restaurant but no treat for a vegetarian”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Despit the hidden location of this restaurant (a cavenous basement down a back alley), this restaurant is always busy with a good atmosphere, it's the most authentic Spanish place in Manchester according to my Spanish boyfriend, although i would prefer Juan Sanchez in Chorlton.
Be warned though, if you're planning on taking your vegetarian girlfriend out for a treat then this is a selfish option, she'll go home with a stomach of chickpeas and wine whilst your gorge yourself and go home shaped like a plum.
Also they don't take bookings for less than 3 people it's normal to wait at the bar for a table to be cleared.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Esme W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
49 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Great Tapas”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

The food is excellent and equal to what you would find in Spain. Hard to find if you are not from Manchester. We went there three nights over a four day period.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Travelingduncs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed El Rincon de Rafa also viewed

Manchester, Greater Manchester
Manchester, Greater Manchester
 
Manchester, Greater Manchester
Manchester, Greater Manchester
 

Been to El Rincon de Rafa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing