From the city centre to the suburbs, Manchester’s nightlife is a flourishing elixir of venues. Whether you’re partial to sipping cocktails in a vibrant bar, or prefer a pint or two in a more quiet and traditional setting, Manchester has it all. Home to the legendary Hacienda, and with our very own Night Time Economy Advisor, Sacha Lord, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite hotspots from in and around the city.
If you prefer to have a beer whilst watching the match, then get yourself down to The Director’s Box on Booth Street. A large selection of the finest beers and ciders on the market are complimented by 9 large screens showcasing Sky and BT Sport. This venue can show 4 different live sporting events simultaneously, providing unmatched sports coverage alongside a relaxed drinking environment.
This sports bar boasts an even wider range of alcoholic beverages, with cocktails and spirits on offer with the usual beers and cider. An independently owned, traditional bar set in Manchester’s buzzing Northern Quarter, make this your next stop for a chilled-out time watching the match.
Great pubs are a dying breed across the country as a whole, however Manchester is home to a fair few. Take Gatley’s Horse & Farrier pub, which stands as a premiere drinking destination for people in South Manchester. A recent renovation has seen this long-standing pub take on a slightly more modern edge, combining comfort and class without losing its traditional streak. Being a pub, it also has the benefit of serving every drink you can think of.
Much like the famous Albert’s Shed in Castlefield, this Didsbury based bar and restaurant is one of the region’s go to places for great food & drink with friendly service. All of this takes place in a space that is sleek and modern, with a great atmosphere to match. With an extensive drinks menu, and even champagne Friday’s, you’ll not go thirsty for long at Albert’s.
A quirky and stylish restaurant & bar once again located in the thriving Didsbury area, The Botanist is for those looking for something a little different from their Manchester drinks. The clue is in the name, as this self-proclaimed “horticultural haven” is known for its many unique cocktails with a botanical twist. The eclectic interiors match the drinks menu, creating an atmosphere that is begging to be soaked up.
This tapas restaurant & bar has won multiple awards, having become renowned across the city for, amongst many other things, being a fantastic place to have a drink. Simply walk in off the busy Manchester street and quench your thirst in the first-floor bar. El Gato Negro has a casual and warm atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome.
In the heart of the city centre but feeling like a world of its own, Revolucion De Cuba brings some Latin-inspired nightlife to the streets of Manchester. Cocktails, tapas and rum are the specialities found in this Manchester bar, with both a rum bar and Cuban cocktail bar on hand to provide you with a post-work escape.
The aptly named ‘Brotherhood’ has a classic sensibility that is entirely its own, with no finer example than its drinks menu, or as they call it “liquid medication.” Cocktails, craft beers and whiskey are especially prominent in this place, as are homely screenings of the latest football matches.
Independent and sassy, Roc and Rye is one of the city’s most Instagrammable bars. Nestled at the top of King Street, this late night cocktail bar is insired by Miami’s colourful nightlife – this is reflected in the pink themed interiors, vibrant neons and a nightclub sound system. Join Roc and Rye on Saturday nights for an eclectic mix of cocktails and Manchester drinks at their ‘Cocktail Club’.
Manchester’s self-proclaimed ‘Local Dive Bar’ and home of the 10p wing, Bunny Jacksons boasts pretty much everything that makes a bar great. Live music from quality bands? Check. Cheap, quirky drinks menu? Check. 10p wings and 50p hot dogs through the night? Check. Super late nights and happy hour 9 ‘till 11? Check and check. AND it was the meeting point for a pretty impressive secret gig we went to…
This little gem, hidden away in the Lowry, is the perfect Manchester bar for a pre-show tipple, or a really lovely meal. In conjunction with The Botanist and The Alchemist, Pier 8 contributes to Media City/The Quays’ continuing efforts to situate the area as Manchester’s go-to for a lovely, civilised evening. Try their food menu if you want to experience something really special.
One of our best kept secrets, The Great Northern Bar is a trendy refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. A personal favourite after a big gig, this tiny tuck-away is hidden up on Deansgate Mews just atop the Great Northern Warehouse. With friendly bar-staff and live music from time to time, The Great Northern Bar hosts a wide variety of Manchester drinks, including beers and a world-class selection of gins – this little spot comes with high One-M recommendation.
The Dockyard in MediaCity is the place to be on a sunny afternoon. With all of the buzz afforded by the existing and aspiring media moguls who frequent it as their lunchtime local, it’s one of Manchester’s top ten go to places to spot an industry celeb. Also, the dockyard mac burger is immense.
The Font is one of those magical places that exists outside of the realm of adulthood and responsibility. Nobody in there cares that you’re downing cocktails at 2pm on a Tuesday – they’re only £2 each so it would be weird if you weren’t. They only really care that you recycle.
The Deansgate is one of Manchester’s little gems, juxtaposed a stone’s throw away from the locks and on the same road as Manchester House and Albert’s Schloss, The Deansgate brings a touch of Manchester’s intrinsic humility and homeliness back into the city. That being said, with their beautiful Christmas lights display and secret little summer rooftop bar, The Deansgate retains the element of luxury that we Mancunians have grown to associate with its name.
Or The Oyster Bar is one of those venues in which you can truly feel the essence of a Manchester that has transformed itself into The Northern Powerhouse. The Oldie Worlde pub was moved from Shambles Square in 1999, and now resides proudly in exchange square, allowing Mancunians to observe the buzz of our city through its panelled windows in the corner of a hidden away room, or from their iconic beer garden (if you can get a seat).
A nostalgic speakeasy bar, Riddles is tucked away in the nook of Altrincham’s Market Quarter. Serving up world-class and exquisite Manchester drinks to echo the era of the 1920s prohibition, their resident bartenders are genuine experts in crafting cocktails. With quaint décor and cosy surroundings, this Christmas, there’s also live music to contribute to the local atmosphere.
Set in one of the most original market towns of England, Altrincham Market charters back to 1290. Today, it has been breathed new life and revived into ‘the’ modern market town of the North West. Through a recent and exciting renovation, the Market House has been converted into a ‘permanent gusto hub’, where you can relax with food and a drink, (or coffee, if that’s more your thing) with 10 independent quality food operators, including the country’s favourite pizza place, ‘Honest Crust’, craft beers from ‘Jack in the Box’, BBC Food and Drink Kate Goodman’s wine bar/shop, ‘Reserve Wines’, and ‘Market House Coffee’, serving up Atkinsons of Lancaster coffee. There are no table reservations though, and bear in mind there’s an open table policy!
One of Manchester’s newest and most extravagant characters to the drink and dining scene, The Ivy Spinningfields is home to The Ivy Asia. Serving up Asian inspired cocktails, the entire floor is suspended in magic, hoisted upon a semi-precious stone floor and a striking antique gold mirrored bar. Among a refined menu of carefully crafted cocktails, you’ll find uniquely Asian inspired numbers, such as the ‘Madame Butterfly’, which is a delicate and beautiful Lemon Verbena infused Gin, with Black Honjozo Sake, Copperhead Bitters and Jasmine Syrup. We may not know what half these things are, but they sound like poetry.
Tucked away within Altrincham’s vibrant King’s Court, The Marigot Bar and Café is a world away from Manchester. With walls lovingly adorned with memorabilia collected on voyages afar, this quaint and charming venue recreates the tranquillity of the Caribbean. A low ambience feel is brought by attentive table service and a focus on a traditional drinks menu inspired by tropical islands via chilled beers, zesty cocktails, and fine Caribbean coffee.
Transporting a taste of New York to Manchester’s Deansgate, the brand new and lively Manahatta Deansgate has an opulent but relaxed vibe, and features an indulgent collection of eclectic Manchester drinks. All lovingly crafted by the Manahatta award-winning bartenders, you can sip coolly on American inspired classics, such as the fresh and vibrant Manahatta Spritz, featuring Tanqueray Gin, Campari, lemon, Manahatta cordial and grapefruit soda. There’s also a Bottomless Brunch option at the weekends, so you can indulge to your heart’s content.
Bringing a little piece of Berlin to Manchester, the Honey Trap Club is one of the city’s newest ventures. Hailing from The Northern Quarter, this quirky space draws from the funky basement bunkers of 1990’s Berlin. With a Manchester drinks menu holding brave remakes of old classics, the Honey Trap is avant-garde yet right at home in Manchester’s idiosyncratic NQ.
Light and airy, Evelyn’s is one of Manchester’s most coveted café/bars. Serving up brunch, dinner and cocktails, this space is interior goals. With serene surroundings and plenty of lush green décor, the brunch menu features the ‘Watermelon Martini’, made up of Finlandia, watermelon, grapefruit bitters and rich simple syrup, while the evening menu offers a slighter more out-there ‘Absinthe Colada’, with aluna coconut, Bacardi, Jade 1901 Absinthe, coconut reika and pineapple juice. Perfect for some Manchester drinks.