With our top picks of bars in Manchester, we’ve tried to go for a spread – both geographically, and in terms of what each has to offer. So, a wonderful sherry bar on Stevenson’s Square, snazzy cocktails high above the city, and everything in between. All are here and ready to ply you with drinks, drinks and more drinks. All kinds of alcohol in all kinds of settings, in short. Cheers!
Here are our picks
Common Bar, 39-47 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now
Tucked away on the aptly named Edge Street in the Northern Quarter, Common is a favourite haunt of many in Manchester’s arts communities. The reason, essentially, is that everything they do is forward-thinking. From their top selection of beer to their rotating art exhibition to their array of poetry nights, musical performances and arts workshops, the bar do innovation well.
Flok, 5 Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DN - Visit now
Flok is the kind of place the Northern Quarter was originally focused on – left-field, sophisticated and welcoming to all. It’s a sophisticated but unassuming space, with a wide selection of drinks and quietly excellent food. If you’re done with rowdy tiki bars and restaurants who care about Twitter likes more than food, then Flok is about to become your new favourite home from home.
Terrace NQ, 43 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1NA
After a few years, Terrace is now firmly established as the new star on the Edge Street block. With high-quality drinks, well-priced food and friendly, charming staff, this busy venue is our must-go-to bar after a day’s work. Previous champ and near-neighbour, Common, has gone off the boil lately, with slow service, sub-par food and indifferent front-of-house, but fear not, Terrace has picked up the slack and then some.
The Alchemist, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3HF - Visit now
Drinking at the Alchemist is an exhilarating experience. The phrase ‘with a twist’ is often overused, but it’s impossible to describe its selection of cocktails without it. Equally, it’s a wonderful looking space, full of high ceilings and intricate lighting that portrays both artfully-prepared booze and guests in the best light.
Cloud 23, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4LQ - Visit now
Cloud 23 towers above the city in more ways than one. Just off Deansgate, with stunning views over the city, this is where to wine, dine and wow your date for the evening. The drinks menu is both forward-thinking, with a long list of snazzy cocktails, and quite simply, straight-up fun. Live out your inner Del Boy and ask for a cocktail umbrella.
Salut Wines, 11 Cooper St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 2FW - Visit now
With a staggering 44 wines by the glass, partly due to the regularly changing selection of bottles in its Enomatic wine preservation machines (or ‘wine jukeboxes,’ as they’re colloquially known), Salut is one of the best bars in the city for exploring new vintages. It has a lovely, wide-windowed feel and a small menu of tapas-style plates.
Sandbar, 120 Grosvenor Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 7HL - Visit now
Sandbar, just off Oxford Road in Manchester, is a well-loved watering hole, with a great selection of ales and some eccentric seating. A popular venue with students and academics, see their WiFi password for proof.
Trof Northern Quarter, 8 Thomas St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1EU - Visit now
Northern Quarter stalwart Trof is still one of the top destinations, whether you’re looking for top-quality pub grub, a solid array of drinks or just a friendly place to hang out and drink coffee. A firm Creative Tourist team favourite, even after all these years (ten at the last count).
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.
Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.