From industrial to innovative: Manchester's top bars and cafes


From industrial to innovative: Manchester's top bars and cafes

Over the years, Manchester has transformed into one of the United Kingdom's most vibrant cities, offering everything from kitsch cocktail hangouts to cozy cafes serving up artisan coffee.

These days, fantastic places to spend some time in Manchester are certainly not in short supply.

Here are just a few of the best: 


1. Dusk Til Pawn, Northern Quarter

This Northern Quarter hangout is one of Manchester‘s best cocktail bars. Disguised as a pawn shop from the outside, the interior emanates an uber-cool prohibition vibe. This dimly lit establishment is popular with locals during the week for post-work tipples. For the weekends, however, it turns into a bohemian party venue where the music is turned up and the drinks really start to flow. 


2. 20 Stories, Spinningfields

20 Stories is a fabulous example of how Manchester has shaken off its reputation as a glum northern city and jumped head first into the twenty-first century. The stunning outdoor terrace which is, unsurprisingly, on floor 20 of Number One Spinningfields, offers breathtaking vistas over the entire city. It’s the dream spot for a cold beer or an Espresso Martini in the sunshine. While the indoor restaurant is not to be disregarded, it’s the outdoor area that’s the hottest ticket in town. 


3. Big Hands, Oxford Road

Located close to the Whitworth Gallery on Oxford Road, in the heart of the city’s vibrant student community, Big Hands reigns king as one of Manchester‘s top cafe bars. Excellent pub grub, classic tunes and German beer make this a perennial favorite for those looking for a good time on a budget. Their rooftop terrace is also one of Manchester‘s best spots on those rare but much coveted sunny days. 


4. Soup Kitchen, Northern Quarter

Located in the ever-trendy Northern Quarter, Soup Kitchen is halfway between charming café in the daytime and a bohemian club by night. They serve a range of sandwiches, soups and meals as well as excellent coffee during daylight hours, but once the sun goes down, the live music kicks in, and you can party away until the small hours of the morning. 


5. The Temple, Spinningfields

This subterranean hangout is one of Manchester‘s top bars and is a bit of a hidden gem. Tucked away at the bottom of Oxford Road, The Temple serves a solid selection of beers and wine at a reasonable price, especially for the city center. 


6. The Deaf Institute, Oxford Road

Set in a Grade II listed building, The Deaf Institute has become something of a Manchester legend. Downstairs, the drinks flow and excellent pub-style food is served, while the upstairs is a top music venue showcasing both established and upcoming acts. 


7. Teacup Kitchen, Northern Quarter

This Northern Quarter tea shop is one of the best cafes in Manchester, serving a beguiling array of different teas. Along with the classic English staple, coffees, cakes and sandwiches also adorn the menu. If you fancy something a little stronger, then the solid selection of beers and wines is sure to satisfy your cravings. 


8. No 1 Canal Street, Northern Quarter

Located at the top of Manchester‘s famed Canal Street district is this elegant restaurant and bar. Delicious food, wine and cocktails are served in a cool and buzzy environment with plenty of outdoor seating. Relax, sip on your favorite beverage and watch the world go by.


9. The Night and Day Café, Northern Quarter

Cafe, art gallery, bar, restaurant and music venue: The Night and Day Cafe is Manchester‘s top multi-functional venue. It’s bohemian vibes and vintage interiors attract both the hipster and office crowds, and you can order everything here from a simple coffee to an innovative cocktail. 


10. Albert Schloss, Spinningfields

Set in a stunning, converted Victorian building, Albert Schloss is Manchester‘s best Bavarian beer house, serving up a fine range of beers, cocktails and wines. The German food is also top notch, and the big wooden benches are great for long boozy brunches with friends or after-work beers with colleagues. 


From the bohemian Northern Quarter to the stylish Spinningfields, Manchester‘s fantastic selection of bars and cafes both reflects the city’s past and demonstrates the vibrant modern town it has become.

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