El Rincon de Rafa is Manchester’s longest-running Spanish restaurant, having been in the city centre for 30 years, next year.
Hidden away just off Deansgate in the city centre, this family-run Manchester institution offers a relaxed, authentic experience, brought to Manchester from Malaga by owner Rafael.
The menu boasts an extensive selection of tapas and main courses, including paellas. We opted for the favourite’s – patatas bravas (£4.95), perfectly presented in a spicy sauce, and gambas pil pil (£8.25), succulent tiger prawns peeled and sauteed with olive oil, fresh chilli and garlic. It didn’t stop there as the croquetas (£6.25) arrived, which were fabulous, as was the tortilla española (£5.95). It’s hard to beat a traditional Spanish omelette when cooked well.
As you’d expect, El Rincon has a superbly stocked bar with some superb Spanish wines, beers and spirits and guests are as welcome to pop in for just a drink as they are for a full meal. Do say hi to owner Rafa, who can often be found in the restaurant, and you’ll be greeted with warmth and passion from this Manchester institute.
The restaurant is difficult to find but is worth the effort. Close to The Hilton Hotel, turn down St John Street from Deansgate and take the first right.
El Rincon de Rafa
244 Deansgate / Manchester / M3 4BQ
(entrance is on Longworth Street)