If you checked out what we did over the latest half term, you may have noticed that we managed to fit in a Croma restaurant review whilst on a trip to Manchester city centre. It was somewhat nostalgic as Croma in Manchester is based on the corner of where my college was based and was a regular haunt for my friends and I. Liv and I went along on the review to help in celebrating Croma’s 20th birthday – highlighting how old I am, as I celebrated my 18th birthday there only months after it first opened! A true gem in Manchester’s crown, read on to find out why you need to visit!
Based on Clarence Street opposite Albert Square, the original Croma restaurant was founded in 2000 and has branched out since with restaurants also based in Prestwich, Chorlton and Didsbury. Serving absolutely delicious Italian cuisine, covering mouthwatering pizzas, fresh salads, pasta bakes and more, if you are looking for a chilled out dining experience in a bustling city, this is the place to go!
The restaurant has a fantastic vibe – contemporary, light and airy but also with an intimate feel to it. We dined at lunchtime and despite the restaurant being busy with diners enjoying a hearty lunch, we didn’t feel crammed nor rushed.
The restaurant is perfectly positioned for city centre workers, those exploring the city on a shopping or day trip, for celebration meals or a meal out with family or friends, but most importantly it is totally family friendly! Children are offered a kids pack upon being seated, with crayons and puzzles that will keep them entertained, alongside a fantastic 3 course child’s menu. Liv decided that she was quite hungry after our long session of finding climbing shoes, so plumped to eat off the main menu… which is a rather awesome menu! Check out the Croma Menus here.
If you would like to relax and enjoy a drink with your meal, there is a well stocked bar serving alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.
What we ate at Croma Pizzeria Manchester
Croma Restaurant Starters
Garlic Bread – £3.25 – optional toppings extra
Was the garlic bread as amazing as I remembered? Oh yes it was! The uniquely shaped garlic bread, almost hand shaped was as fresh and tasty as I recall and the perfect starter. I ordered mine with topped mozzarella (£3.85) and it was still the taste sensation I remember.
Baked Dough Balls – £3.25
Served with garlic butter, Liv opted for the dough balls which were baked to perfection – with a crispy shell and soft dough centre, these are great for sharing or eating at leisure.
The starter menu also features options that aren’t as heavily carb loaded such as: Buffalo Mozzarella, Bresaola & Artichokes, Garlic Prawns and more.
Croma Restaurant Main Meal
Half/Half – Antara (full price £10.25) and Pulled Pork, Apple & Nduja (full price £12.95)
I am a total creature of habit and was beside myself to see my favourite Antara pizza on the menu! Featuring Peking duck, plum and hoisin sauce, spring onions, cucumber, mozzarella and fresh coriander with no tomato base, this was always my go to choice when visiting Croma. Full of flavour and utterly mouthwatering, I always felt like I had eaten the best pizza ever. Then I saw the ‘New Manchester 11″ Specials’ section of the menu and noticed the Pulled Pork pizza! Featuring slow roast pork with Cambozola cheese on a maple syrup apple roasted base, dressed with Nduja paste and a drizzle of red pepperonata sauce, there was a real dilemma! Plumping for an old favourite or the complete unknown, the pressure was on!
Until our fabulous server suggested I just go for a half/half pizza and have the best of both worlds! Genius, absolute genius! It really is the small things that can make someone’s day, this made my week! Dilemma over, I was able to enjoy both pizza options in one – both were sublime. The pulled pork was tasty, juicy and an amazing Winter warmer pizza, something totally unique. The Antara, will always be a favourite! Even now, I couldn’t choose between the two so shall definitely be opting for half/half in future! If you are ever undecided between two pizza options, this is a great way to satisfy your cravings for the options!
Americana Pizza – £9.35
Liv’s choice of pizza was much easier than mine, plumping for the Americana which features pepperoni, mozzarella and tomato. Hot green peppers (£9.95) can be added to give the pizza an extra kick, but Liv decided to play it safe on the day! I have never seen her wolf down a pizza as quickly, she really was in her element. All the pizzas have a homemade thin base which crisps up to perfection and are made with the freshest ingredients. If you do not have enough time to eat in the restaurant, you can always opt for the takeaway option!
Croma Restaurant Desserts
If you get to this point and fancy a dessert, then there are many to choose from to finish off your meal in style. There are a range of hot drinks also available and I chose a super comforting hot chocolate, which was the perfect end to such a wonderful meal. Liv had checked the dessert menu as soon as we were seated as was adamant she would finish with the Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding – £5.95 – the dessert option that is her absolute favourite!
I was lucky to capture that image as Liv was already hovering with her spoon! 🙂
We could not have enjoyed our meal at the Manchester Croma restaurant any more than we did! The food, the ambience, everything about it was perfect and it brought back many, many great memories from my teen years. To be able to take Liv there and enjoy the foods I did when I was only slightly older than her was amazing. She walked away a fan of the restaurant, just as I did 20 years ago! Another highlight… the paper table cloth covers are fantastic for keeping children… and adults suitably entertained whilst waiting the short time for food!
The vibe of the restaurant is something quite special – busy, but not too busy and I love the fact the kitchen is open plan downstairs and if seated downstairs, you can watch all the food being cooked and inhale all the fabulous smells.
Seating area downstairs.
I couldn’t recommend a trip to Croma, whether the city centre based restaurant or another branch in the Manchester area highly enough and hopefully you will make lots of memories there too! It is well worth following Croma Pizzeria on social media for special events and offers! You can check out further details over on the Croma website.
Have you ever been to any of the Croma restaurants? What is your favourite pizza?