At the Albert Square end of Princess Street, before it descends into drunken, school-leaver silliness by the Village, is a restaurant that is old enough to be the dad of those A-level celebrating teens. Established in 1968, Armenian Taverna is one of Manchester’s oldest restaurants. This tiny spot in the centre of town is unassuming-looking, but the menu is anything but. Bringing the meaty, flavoursome dishes that define Armenian cooking to Mancunians for nearly fifty years.
Mancunians (and Brummies, Geordies, Scousers and everyone else for that matter) will tell you that the British media is London-centric to a fault. The northern dining scene is overlooked in favour of the (more readily accessible) restaurants on the national press’ doorstep. Consider for a moment then that Albert Square’s Armenian Taverna has featured in that most North-London metropolitan elite of all North-London metropolitan elite broadsheets, The Guardian. Yes, Princess Street’s own Armenian Taverna managed to lure The Guardian’s food critic up north and was rewarded with effusive praise. But if knitted cottage cheese fans are not enough to impress, the food here certainly will.
The food at Armenian Taverna is enough to convert the neighsayers, put off by the Princess Street’s restaurant’s retro interior. Once diners have found Armenian Taverna (something that can be tricky even for native Mancs) they are treated to a menu of meaty delights and vegetarian delectables. The food is hearty, filling and above all else tasty – this is not a restaurant that fits easily with modern Manchester’s stark minimalism, and that might well be its biggest charm. The food comes first here, and for diners around Albert Square, they can rest assured that after nearly 50 years in the business the team at Armenian Taverna know exactly what they’re doing.
Good food, good atmosphere. Latvian waiter slightly rude and too self confident when talking to customers, but in general this does not worsen impression about the restaurant
Great restaurant, food and service. Proper freshly home- made meals in combination with delucious wines! You will keep talking about this place weeks after the visit
Lovely evening in a very relaxed atmosphere, the staff were very helpful and friendly, without being too 'present'. The food was beautifully cooked, full of flavour and reasonably priced.
Fabulous food, especially vegetarian sharing platter. Staff could not be more helpful or friendly, When one of us became ill they did all they could to support.
We visited Armenian restaurant to try something new in Manchester and it was out first outing since we had our daughter. Me, my wife and our baby daughter visited the restaurant in the evening. The ambience was excellent but as it is in the lower ground it was a bit of a hassle to take the pram and pushchair but it was totally worth the effort. Right from the start all went well, we were greeted and made comfortable by the waiters. I would specially want to thank Victoria for her excellent hospitality. She gave us an overview of the menu and she suggested us some of the most traditional Armenian food which was excellent. We had the meat platter to share for 2 which had a good variety, tasty and sufficient for 2. The Amaretto for an aperitif was a good start. For the main course I had the Lamb Goulash and my wife had the Chef's Mixed Khorovac. Both were excellent. We would definitely visit this restaurant again.
We tried the cold vegetarian mezzeh and it was very good. The restaurant have large selecton of char grilled meats, fish and vegetables, you can see the chef through a glass window all on steamy smoke doing his work. The char grilled marineted lamb chops I had were very well seasoned with herbs or marinated. It was nicely cooked with nice chunks of meat and still juicy. Wine was tasty. A kind, attentive , helpfull staff. We asked for a swap of potatoes for cus cus for grilled salmon in marinated cabage (very nice) and it arrived flavoured with some herbs that gave it a citrus like taste to go very well with fish. We had a table for two, which was medium-small. The staff managed well to keep it tidy all the time. Background music is probably modern music of respective area where the cuisine comes from.
I took a group of family members to celebrate the visit of a second cousin from New Zealand. The atmosphere was welcoming and the decor adds to that. During dinner, our second cousin was delighted to hear from his father, an ex-pat from Manchester originally, that he remembered celebrating his 18th in the same Taverna. The food was lovely, as ever though a little too hot/chilli to be completely authentic Armenian food on this occasion - perhaps a new chef? The meal was rounded off with 20-year old Armenian cognac - very special indeed and warmed delightfully before our eyes by the host. A wonderful evening and highly recommended to anyone who likes Greek and Middle Eastern food but is searching for a slightly different angle.
We have loved this restaurant since the 1980's so we were a little apprehensive because tonight was our first visit since its refurbishment. It has retained its atmosphere and the decor is lovely. The food, as always, was delicious. We shared a vegetarian platter for our starter - a generous selection of tasty dips, cheese, felafal and a savoury pastry. Our main course was a selection of mixed grilled chicken and meat - beautifully cooked and presented with fresh herbs and a delicious sauce. Finally, good coffee complimented the very special Armenian Ararat brandy - a real treat. Lovely service too! Highly recommended.
The restaurant was tucked away and was really quiet but staff were lovely and couldn't do enough for us. The house wine was very good value at £8.50 for a half carafe. The best thing about the place is definitely the food - the portions are huge and it is all very tasty. I would recommend the mixed grill or the minced lamb with pitta and fried egg, and definitely the meat mezze for two to start (we actually shared between three and it was plenty!). Overall this is a hidden gem, I would definitely go back.
The Armenian Taverna was a great experience. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. I would totally recommend an evening at this restaurant for something a little bit different. My only criticism is the noise level. With everyone talking, it did feel like I had to shout a bit. And then as there is someone playing the piano, people then talk louder to hear themselves over the music. Probably not something that can be easily solved, but just something to bear in mind. Also, would be a more authentic experience if the piano player would play something Armenian! :-)