Serving the best in Italian food and wine, Piccolino Caffe Grande is a Manchester must for authentic pizza, grilled meats, homemade pastries and gelato. And the interior is an absolute delight.  Designed by local interiors legend,  Bernard Carroll (San Carlo, the old Reform Club and many more), a huge cafe-style seating area curves past various bars, to an open kitchen complete with glowing pizza ovens and a wood-fired grill.

Fine wines line the walls while a terrace-style section comes with floor-to-ceiling doors that let the sunlight spill in. It’s people watching heaven, and a must for that special occasion. From couples to business types, urbanites to family birthdays – they’re all here. And the all-new vegan menu was just the push we needed to revisit.

It’s short but sweet which is an underrated quality in a menu. Arancini with butternut squash and sun-dried tomato infused vegan mayo are bite-sized flavour bombs, followed by various vegan pastas. I loved the sweet potato gnocchi, beautifully complicated by cavolo nero and almond pesto while the homemade fettuccine included hits of miso and bay. Think pasta classics with a grown up edge.

There’s just one dessert option; chocolate torte with fresh raspberries which is big enough for two. I was thinking about trying to keep things on a tee total track too, but the  house negroni is just too good. I did complement it with a ‘vir-gin’ cocktail though; Everleaf Marine and tonic. This seaside-inspired herbal mix, has a wild hint of caramel and I’ve since ordered a bottle online. All in all, a bijou new menu, in a beautiful Mancunian institution.



Piccolino Caffe Grande,
8 Clarence Street, Manchester M2 4DW
, varies
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Sat 8 Jan 2022