Erst: Manchester wine bar named among best UK restaurants by Conde Nast Traveller

Here’s what to expect from natural wine bar Erst, which has been named among the best restaurants in the country by Conde Nast Traveller.

Erst, the natural wine bar and restaurant in Ancoats that is a favourite of critic Jay Rayner, has been named among the best in the UK by the Conde Nast Traveller magazine. It joins the ranks of Michelin winners like Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and the Black Swan in York.

As one of the only a la carte menus on the list, Conde Nast describe Erst as a “Manchester-based natural wine bar that’s raising the bar in the north,” where you can get food that “you really want to eat – and which won’t push you too far out of your comfort zone, or turn a meal out into a challenge.”

Erst’s main selling point is its natural wine selection. Natural wine differs from other wine in that it is made without pesticides, herbicides and other additives. The bar’s website explains that their website is “ever evolving” and can even change throughout the day.

Like their wine menu, the food also changes with the seasons and what is available locally. The sample menu, which you can find on their website, includes small plates that range from simple snacks like olives and focaccia for around £4-5, to grilled hogget leg, artichoke, puntarelle and anchovy for £18. Other items include roast pigeon stuffed with spiced farro, and the steak tartare, three-cornered leek, beef fat and urfa chilli toast, both £14.

The menu has a small selection of dessert dishes, such as the almond and hazelnut tart with orange and rhubarb, or the caramelised bread and bay parfait with cedro, both £7.

Guardian food critic Jayner gave the food at Erst a glowing review in his September 2021 article, calling it “one of the best meals of the year,” and more recently, Telegraph critic William Sitwell gave it four out of five stars, describing the menu “rich, bold and generous.”

In November, Conde Nast also published a list of their 14 favourite Manchester restaurants, which covers eateries of all price ranges, from the city’s only Michelin-starred restaurant Mana to Ancoats bakery Pollen and South Asian street food restaurant Bundobust. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s restaurant Tast also got a mention, and there was also a collective shout-out to the city’s food halls, such as Mackie Mayor, Freight Island and Hello Oriental.