First dates give dating a bad reputation. Get past the horror of the opening rendezvous, though, and you’re onto a pretty good formula: two people finding something ace to do. People in relationships should go on more dates.
Whether you’re heading out with your dearly beloved, or meeting a stranger whose face you’ve only ever seen online, the dilemmas remain the same, however: what to wear, what to do and how it’ll go. While we can’t help much with the first and last, when it comes to what to do, we’ve got it covered. So here’s a bunch of different ideas for date places in Manchester – and the rest is up to you. Good night, and good luck.
Here are our top 5 picks
Corridor Bar in Salford will definitely win you off-the-radar points… Tucked away down a Salford back alley and with little in the way of a sign, Corridor Bar is a challenge to find, but it’s also worth it. The ultimate bartender’s bar, the staff here really know what they’re doing when it comes to cocktails. Take a seat and the excellent libations will smooth the date along.
Situated beneath the railway tracks on Whitworth St West, Dog Bowl is a far cry from your average bowling alley. Open till late, this neon-lit venue marries suave cocktails with tenpin pleasure across five full length lanes. Food-wise, think Tex-Mex, with burgers, fajitas, wings and slow cooked meat. We recommend going early to mid-week, as things can get a little rowdy at the weekends. Alternatively, there’s the All Star Lanes at the Great Northern Warehouse.
As all teetotallers know, taking liquor out of the courting process doesn’t necessarily mean you take the spirit out of it. You can learn a lot about someone from their taste in ice cream: if, of all the adventurous flavours on offer at Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, your date goes for vanilla – well, that tells you something. Equally, Ginger’s more glorious desserts are perfect for sharing (we recommend the French Elvis – French toast filled with salted caramel and peanut butter ice cream, Skippy peanut butter, fresh banana and raspberry sauce).
The old ones, as they say, are the best. There’s a reason why food and booze feature so frequently on the dating agenda: the menu as something to talk about, the alcohol as a social lubricant. The Northern Quarter’s Evelyn’s offers a delicious menu and a strong drinks list in an elegant setting. When the preference is for a pint, however, head for the Marble Arch where you can choose between a laid-back cheese board or more formal fare.
Late night ping-pong and inspiring art work make Twenty Twenty Two the Shangri-la for those seeking something different to the usual date formula. This underground bar is a chilled out alternative to the bustling Northern Quarter bars above and, if you’re shy, it’s the perfect venue for breaking the ice with a little friendly competition.
– Evangeline Katz