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“Relaxed and delicious”
Review of El Rincon de Rafa

El Rincon de Rafa
Ranked #129 of 2,261 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $13 - $38
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, 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!
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Relaxed and delicious”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We went as a group on a thurs eve, it wasn't too busy. Staff were very helpful, friendly and welcoming. Food was hot, fresh and delicious - knocks spots off la Tasca etc. Good Spanish drinks selection it would appear (Hic!) and I really could have stayed for a few more hours as the surroundings, staff and atmosphere were all nice. Highly recommend this place folks!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Opinionjen21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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981 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
surrey, Uk
Level Contributor
127 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“My favourite Spanish restaurant outside of Spain”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

If you are looking for authentic Spain then look no further. I have been visiting this restaurant over the past few years every time I go to Manchester and you just cant beat it for a truely traditional Spanish feel. If its plush surroundings and attentive service you are looking for then this is not the place. El Rincon is located just off Deansgate, tucked away on a side street. When you approach the restaurant there are no fancy signs, just doors leading off the street down a staircase.
Plain wooden tables and chairs or benches fill the room, the walls are covering in football memorbila and there is a bar with seating. This place is exactly like I used to visit when I lived in Spain and thats why I love it.
It gets extremely busy and you may be turned away or asked to wait at the bar, however I have never been ignored even when they are extremely busy.
The food is amazing, you can choose from numerous tapas dishes or paella - I thoroughly recommend the paella and the sangria.
If you want an evening of great food, buzzing atmosphere where you can chat with your friends or family then I cannot recommend this place more.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank cass1410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“noisy little bar”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

this place is ok for quick bites and a drink more than a meal very busy when we went around 7pm with people coming in straight from work food is ok though

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank acr64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“No Frills”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

At El Rincon, the focus is on the food and atmosphere, the furnishing is on reclaimed wooden benches, tables & chairs, and if dining for a long duration can become decidedly uncomfortable. Quite a 'cafeteria' atmosphere at times, and can become loud, but the tapas style dining is excellent, and the paella is awesome!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Kaz2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Set menu poor”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I went for a set menu with quite a few of us, we were unable to order individually so had to choose a menu, not necessarily a problem but when the food came I was extremely disappointed with the quality, the staff brought the food mainly to one end of the table and missed the other end, I found the food better at la tasca, which I never expected I would. Perhaps the number of dishes they had to bring was overwhelming but I can't say I enjoyed even one of them.


I deffinately won't be visiting again especially not in a big group as it seems a little too much for the restaurant to handle.

I hve been a few times before with just a few people and it was much better, I would avoid the set menu as it is poor quality and value for money.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Manchesterfood123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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