Ancoats & New Islington

Creative Tourist

Ancoats, just off the Northern Quarter in Manchester, is one of the city’s most increasingly desirable neighbourhoods. In fact, it recently made Time Out’s ‘11th coolest neighbourhood in the world’.

Layer upon layer of history makes Ancoats, an Area of Conservation since 1998, really special. Once home to the textile mills that established Manchester’s reputation as ‘Cottonopolis’, the district was also a centre of manufacture for machinery, glass and newspapers, with a population of over 50,000 in the mid-1800s.

The street signs are named after the notorious street gangs, or ‘scuttlers’ who once patrolled and fought here; so Bengal Street for the Bengal Tigers, Angel Meadow for the Angels. As industry moved on, however, the area declined, leaving 80% of business space vacant in the 1990s. Now, the beautiful red-bricked factory buildings are being renovated as flats, and small, independent businesses are opening all over the place.

Ben Williams, Creative Tourist
Ben Williams, Creative Tourist

Ancoats is undergoing a period of rapid change – it may well look very different in just a few years’ time. Cutting Room Square is currently Ancoats’ hub, a wide open space with public art and benches that used to be where bales of cotton were cut. But the neighbourhood stretches way beyond this, and takes in everything from grassroots theatres to Grade-listed churches via many, many eateries and drinking holes.

It’s a fantastic area to explore, if you know what you’re looking for. And that’s where we come in.

Our top picks

Hope Mill Theatre

Hope Mill Theatre, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 7JA - Visit now

Sitting in a Grade II-listed former Mill on Pollard Street, Hope Mill brings exciting fringe theatre productions to Manchester’s thriving live theatre scene. The kind of risk-taking venture we love.

Parade ensemble


Canto, Fairbairn Unit A, Fairbairn Building, Henry Street, Manchester, M4 5DH - Visit now

Canto is a stalwart of Ancoats’ Cutting Room Square, with an ever-growing reputation based on its inspired take on Mediterranean tapas.

Ian Jones


KERB, 49 Henry St, Ancoats , Manchester , M4 5DH - Visit now

KERB has the lot. It’s a neighbourhood natural wine store and bar with an online delivery service plus the occasional exhibition by talented local artists.


Hallé St Peter’s

Hallé St Peter’s, 40 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6BF - Visit now

Ancoats’ most iconic building, this Grade-II listed church was recently renovated by the Halle Orchestra to be used as a venue and rehearsal space.

Image of Halle St Peters from across Cutting Room Square in Ancoats, Manchester.
Ben Williams


Mana, 42 Blossom St, Manchester, M4 6BF - Visit now

Mana is the proud owner of Manchester’s first Michelin star since 1977. With chef and co-owner Simon Martin (who cut his teeth at Noma, food fans) at the helm, this is a hugely-respected fine-dining restaurant, and a must for gourmands visiting Ancoats.



Erst, 9 Murray St, Manchester, M4 5BN - Visit now

Mana might have won the Michelin star, but while that’s more a destination event for those with deep pockets, Erst is the true heart of Ancoats – a neighbourhood restaurant with delightfully friendly staff, affordable small plates and a wine list for everyone from the amateur drinker to true boffins.



Nam Manchester

Nam Manchester, Unit 2, 33 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6AJ - Visit now

Nothing represents the rebirth of Ancoats better than this beautifully modern Vietnamese street food restaurant and its intriguingly-named ‘audiophile bar’, which provides the area with a much-needed club-style space.


The Hip Hop Chip Shop

The Hip Hop Chip Shop, 44 Blossom St, Manchester, M4 6BF - Visit now

The Hip Hop Chip Shop is a hip hop-inspired, non-traditional chip shop, after moving from Spinningfields to the Northern Quarter, it now has a perminent home in Ancoats.

The Hip Hop Ship Shop

Café Cotton

Café Cotton, Flint Glass Wharf, 35 Radium Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6AD - Visit now

Famed for its lunch time deals, Café Cotton is a welcome canal-side Mecca for sandwiches, coffee and cake.

Stacks of croissants


Flawd, 9 Keepers Quay, Manchester, M4 6GL - Visit now

Flawd is one of Ancoats’ most exciting young venues, offering beautifully prepared small plates alongside a range of natural wine that rivals any other in the city.


Rudy’s Pizza

Rudy’s Pizza, 9 Cotton Street, Ancoats, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5BF - Visit now

Founded in 2015 by Jim Morgan and his partner Kate Wilson, you’ll find Rudy’s Pizza in cities all over England these days. But there can only be one original…

Image of Rudy's Neapolitian Pizza, Ancoats
Ben Williams

Companio Bakery

Companio Bakery, Unit G.06 Flint Glass Wharf, 35 Radium Street, Ancoats, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6AD - Visit now

Started by artisan baker Russell Goodwin, Companio Bakery sells freshly-baked bread from a small unit in Manchester’s Ancoats. They are open Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9am to 3pm, and then from 4pm to 6pm at Victoria Train Station where homeward bound commuters snaffle up any remaining bread.

St Michael’s

St Michael’s, 36-38 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG - Visit now

Also under the management of the Hallé, St Michael’s was founded in 1859 and became the heart of Ancoats’ Little Italy Community. Now it plays host to some unmissable events.

Image by Chris Horkan

The Edinburgh Castle Pub

The Edinburgh Castle Pub, Henry St &, Blossom St, Manchester, M4 5AW - Visit now

The Edinburgh Castle has a new executive chef in Shaun Moffat. Born in South Africa, Shaun has concocted an all-new menu that lives up to the high standards of this great restaurant, and then some.

Edinburgh Castle

Ancoats General Store

Ancoats General Store, 57 Great Ancoats Street , Manchester, M4 5AB - Visit now

Ancoats General Store serves the local community as a (largely) sustainability-focussed convenience store. They also play host to rotating street food venders, creative workshops run by makers or local brands, events, plant stalls and more.

Image courtesy of Ancoats General Store

The Jane Eyre

The Jane Eyre, 14 Hood St, Ancoats, Manchester , M4 6WX - Visit now

The Jane Eyre bills itself as a neighbourhood bar, but it’s much more than that. This Ancoats venue has an impeccable reputation, with the kind of word-of-mouth hype money can’t buy. Why? Because the food and drink options here are as first-rate as it gets.

Ian Jones

The Horsfall

The Horsfall, 87-91 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 5AG - Visit now

The Horsfall is a venue and programme of activity building on the work of 42nd Street, an innovative Greater Manchester young people’s mental health charity.

Cask Ancoats

Cask Ancoats, Cottonfield Wharf, 2 New Union St, Manchester, M4 6FQ - Visit now

The sister venue to the original Cask on Liverpool Road. Situated in one of the many, many new-builds in Ancoats and New Islington, Cask Ancoats doesn’t retain much of the original’s shabby chic, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and the beer choice is brilliant.

Cask Ancoats
Creative Tourist

Where to go in Manchester

Fairfield Social Club

Launching in spring 2024, Fairfield Social Club is a multi-purpose site next to Angel Meadows Park in the Green Quarter.

Manchester Wine Tours

Manchester Wine Tours is a relaxed, fun wine tour, taking in four or five venues across three hours, plus six high-quality glasses of wine.

The Little Sri Lankan

The Little Sri Lankan is an acclaimed pop-up caterer, specialising in Sri Lankan food events in around Manchester and the North.

MUSU Restaurant & Bar

Musu is a modern Japanese restaurant and bar in Manchester City Centre, specialising in awe-inspiring food. We take an advance look at their festive menu. 

House of Fu Manchester

First Leeds, now Manchester. Expect picture perfect ramen, gyoza and cocktails at the upcoming restaurant and cocktail bar.

City Centre

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