Indoor dining is back from today and we can’t wait to welcome you back inside and ensure you feel right at home. Of course we’ve still got outdoor space, but we know this spring the mixed weather’s left everyone looking longingly at the indoor tables to sit down with their respective parties.

We’ve all enjoyed the ability to socialise with our nearest and dearest after a long winter, but it feels fantastic to be able to return again to a world of indoor socialising too. Canto was created with one thing in mind – creating great tapas and drinks for the best of social occasions – and it really comes to life with the sound of eating, drinking and good cheer with friends and family.

Indoor dining at Canto

And talking of family, have you heard of the newest addition to ours? Our new Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant Habas is opening on June 3rd in Manchester city centre! Chef patron and creative director Simon Shaw has long been influenced by many aspects from across the region and after years of planning we’ve been able to bring to life his vision of fresh, bold and exciting tastes in another beautiful heritage building. Find out more and be one of the first to have the opportunity to book a table.

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your time with us. Please be assured that, as always, your safety is paramount. You can read more about our Covid-19 safety procedures here.

We’re so excited to welcome our customers back from Monday 12th April with our five week al fresco pop-up Tapas on the Terrace. Like you we can’t wait for the pleasure of eating and drinking out again. We’ll be serving up a special selected menu, ideal for outdoor dining!

  • runs from April 12th to May 16th 2021
  • Mediterranean-style outdoor dining only, on Blossom Street and Cutting Room Square
  • we’ll be fully complying with council licensing conditions, using reusable plastic drinks vessels
  • a bottle shop and deli takeaway will also be available

We can guarantee delicious Mediterranean tapas, but not Mediterranean weather… so feel free to bring your own cosy blankets and toasty layers to add extra warmth.

Book your table now

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your time with us. Please be assured that, as always, your safety is paramount. You can read more about our Covid-19 safety procedures here.

While our doors are currently shut due to the national lockdown, we can’t share any of our Mediterranean tapas dishes with you. We can however share the exciting news that we’ve been listed in the 2021 edition of the Michelin Guide United Kingdom*

The guide says “Grab a seat at the counter to watch the chef’s hard at work preparing a mix of vibrant Spanish and Portuguese small plates. The fish dishes are the best, along with the delicious Portuguese custard tarts. The room has a fun, industrial feel and is decorated with traditional blue tiles.”

Canto is one of only eleven restaurants in Manchester city centre listed in this year’s guide. Those eleven include Manchester’s only Michelin starred restaurant – congratulations to our Ancoats neighbours Mana for retaining their star – and our sister restaurant El Gato Negro who have retained Manchester’s only Michelin Bib Gourmand for the fifth year running.

Chef Patron and Creative Director Simon Shaw said “In what has been such a tough year for everyone, to see Canto listed alongside El Gato Negro is something else.  To be recognised by the Michelin Guide in such a short space of time is a great achievement and hopefully something we can build upon from here.  He’s not a fan of the spotlight but this is deserved recognition for Carlos, and I couldn’t be more pleased for him.  It’s exciting to think what we could continue to achieve.”

And while we can’t serve you in person at present, you can still enjoy a specially curated range of gift sets from our webshop – featuring wonderful wines, spirits and fine foodstuffs – so you can enjoy a taste of our restaurants at home! Click and collect and nationwide courier options are available.

* This year, the Michelin guide is being published in a digital format only, both on their UK website and via the brand new iOS app.

Michelin guide good cooking

We’re delighted to be extending our opening hours and taking part in the ‘Eat Out to Help Out Scheme’ from Monday 3rd August. Backed by the government, it’s a great way to show your support for the hospitality industry… and it’s great value too!

  • every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3–31 August 2020
  • offers a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in

There’s no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Customers can’t get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking. Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.

We hope you can join us soon… and eat out to help out!

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your time with us. Please be assured that, as always, your safety is paramount. You can read more about how we’ve made our Covid-19 safety procedures here.

Eat Out to Help Out serving photo

It is with great sadness we have to announce that as of tomorrow (Friday 20th March) all three El Gato Negro restaurants, along with our sibling restaurant Canto, will temporarily close.

The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented change and impact in our industry and wider society, and we would not have reached this decision unless we felt it absolutely necessary. However the welfare of both our valued guests and incredible colleagues is our utmost priority and, whilst the government hasn’t yet enforced restaurant closures, we believe it is our responsibility to do so for now.

We are so proud of the valuable contribution each and every member of our team has made in the story of the business, which has grown successfully since we moved to Manchester in 2016. Until recently 2020 promised to build on that success; just last week El Gato Negro in Leeds was awarded two accolades.

Regretfully, the temporary closure means we must end the employment of many of our brilliant colleagues here at El Gato Negro and Canto. Our staff will, and always have, come first. This is without doubt the hardest part of the impossible situation in which we find ourselves, and we truly hope that we will reunite as a team when we reopen in the future. Until then, we will look out for each and every individual to the very best of our ability; offering guidance and support where we can.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of our restaurants and our offering, business diversification and takeaway or home delivery is not an option for El Gato Negro and Canto, as it is for some of our much-respected friends in the trade.

These are incredibly difficult times, and words we never imagined having to write. We do so, confident that we will see a way through this, as we work to reopen our doors once again.

Thanks to all our guests for their loyalty and support; without you, alongside our team, we could not have achieved what we have so far. We wish you all well and look forward to updating you on our future plans soon.

Take care of one another, and let’s all look forward to brighter days ahead.

At Canto the well-being and safety of our customers and our staff is our primary concern.

Please be assured we are following all advice issued by the government around coronavirus, and will continue to maintain the highest standards of care and cleanliness in our restaurants.

We have always adhered to the highest standards – we’ve been awarded 5 star hygiene ratings – and we have implemented enhanced hygiene practices. These include additional cleaning with professional cleaning products, providing access to hand sanitiser throughout the restaurant, and ensuring our strict food hygiene policies are adhered to.

Our business is open as usual and we are working hard to provide financial stability for our colleagues. We thank you all very much for your custom and ongoing support. The future is hard to read but as a business we’re committed to be clear and transparent in our communications with customers.

We’re thrilled to unveil our new summer menu. You’ll find it reflects the warmth and brightness of summer by being fresh, seasonal and light. Head Chef Carlos Gomes has crafted a range of tapas dishes calling on all his influences to bring summer to your table… no matter what the Mancunian weather brings!

Want to evoke the flavours and feelings of a holiday by the Med? You’ve got to try the grilled sea bream with basil and Manchego risotto. Everyone was fighting over the grilled chorizo, roasted potatoes & piquillo pepper purée during our trials. For the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine, order a plate of the gloriously-rich 18 month cured Ibérico ham shoulder.

Fancy adding a little spice to your order? Then chargrilled pork skewers, harissa spiced hummus & chimichurri is your thing. Or savour the flavours of polenta, spinach, poached egg & Manchego cheese.

We can never get enough veg in our lives, and customers love how Carlos can elevate a simple vegetable to new levels. After you’ve tasted the green beans with sugared almonds, garlic & paprika you’ll feel the same way! There are five new veggie dishes (including three vegan). Be sure to check out new classics like the burrata with confit tomatoes, basil & crostini; the aubergine, red pepper & tomato flatbread with caramelised onions. And try not to lick your fingers after eating the vegetable tempura with orange sweet and sour sauce!

Finally, we’ve listened again to customer feedback. Group diners can enjoy our popular 3 for £15 deal too! Choose 3 dishes for just £15 (Wed-Sat before 7pm and all day Sunday) from marked dishes on the menu. Ideal for a relaxed business lunch or a meal after leaving work.

Grab one of our pastel de nata and a hot drink for just £3.50*.

You may already know we make our delicious and extremely moreable pasteís de nata daily on the premises… and they never last for long. And with this special offer, they’ll go even faster! Available to eat in or take away.

If you’ve never enjoyed a pastel de nata before (seriously, where have you been?!) then we’re pretty sure you’ll adore them. Portugal’s take on an egg custard has a wonderfully rich, sweet centre and is encased with light pastry before being baked at a high temperature to give the characteristic leopard-spot finish. They’re a classic and rather addictive, especially when pared with a great coffee. Now you can enjoy this marriage made in heaven at a great price – either in Canto, or to take out.

*Not available after 5pm on Saturdays.

Pastel de nata and coffee at Canto

Carlos has updated the menu recently, with some popular specials being promoted from the boards to the main menu, along with a selection of new and old favourites. Inspired by Carlos’ culinary influences you’ll find plates from Portugal and further afield, adding a modern take on traditional Iberian dishes as he does so well.

There’s an expanded petiscos selection to choose from (including the ridiculously addictive mushroom croquetas with black garlic mayo which started as a special). There are also more vegetable dishes, taking advantage of the bounty spring brings. Plus there are some welcome additions sitting alongside some of the dishes which have established themselves as house classics since we opened last year. What will your favourite be?

Also we’ve brought back our popular ‘Canto selection’. Join us everyday until 6pm and enjoy a selection of our signature dishes. Choose 3 dishes for just £15 (available Wednesday–Sunday) from marked dishes on our main menu. It’s a great deal and a perfect way to start off the evening and get a taste of Canto. See what dishes you’ll choose from the menu.

If you’ve visited us recently you may’ve noticed we’ve subtly updated our interior, and expanded our opening hours as part of a spring update.

With recent glorious sunshine streaming through the full-height windows overlooking Cutting Room Square and Blossom Street, you’ll be glad we’ve added some frosting and curtains to make sure the light’s welcome, rather than distracting!

The introduction of soft leather seating, casual booths and a selection of high tables is a natural evolution of the space; perfect for catching up over a drink or some casual dining, creating cosy corners for groups or those that just want to hide away with the Sunday papers. Plants hang from wooden frames and soft furnishings add texture and extra comfort.

Canto interior 2 - soft furnishings

Speaking on the new additions, Creative Director & Chef Patron Simon Shaw, said: “We’ve made a few adjustments to the interior of Canto. Until we opened the doors and really lived the space we couldn’t, with the best will in the world, know if we’d got the design right. Now we’ve had the opportunity to see how people use the space and more importantly, how they want to. We’ve made a few tweaks in response to that and they feel right.”

Head Chef Carlos Gomes, added: “I’m really pleased by the response we’ve had. Our ambition has always been to create a real neighbourhood restaurant; somewhere you can pop in for a coffee with the papers, wine with friends or relaxed meal. The interior enhancements provide the perfect space in which to relax, whatever the occasion.”

Due to customer demand we’ve also increased our opening hours for spring, and are now open on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 5pm.