Outside Eating in Manchester

Polly Checkland Harding

Summer – we’ve got it covered when it comes to drinking, with our guides to Manchester’s best rooftop bars and wonderful beer gardens. But what about when it’s your stomach that’s after the attention? Well, despite being a famously rainy city, the restaurants and cafés in Manchester have still managed to sneak a fair few tables and chairs outside. Risk the weather – here are the best places for outdoor dining.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Rosylee Tea Rooms

    Rosylee Tea rooms on Stevenson Square in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Rosylee Tea Rooms, 11 Stevenson Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1DB - Visit now

    Facing onto the relatively quiet surrounds of Stevenson Square, Rosylee Tea Rooms boasts a good few tables hemmed in by planters on the wide pavement outside. Serving everything from breakfast through to Inka skewers, sandwiches, ‘comfort food’ and afternoon tea, you’re pretty culinarily covered here. It’s also a good place to enjoy a sip of something.

  • 2. Oak Street Café

    The exterior of Manchester Craft & Design Centre.
    Image courtesy Oak Street

    Oak Street Café, 17 Oak Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5JD - Visit now

    A few wooden tables are clustered in a sun spot at the front of the Manchester Craft and Design Centre – order from the Oak Street Café inside and you can sit beneath a glass awning (handy for when the weather is warm, but drizzly) and enjoy homemade soups, salads, quiches, stews and tarts surrounded by hanging baskets and pot plants. The cake is moreish, too.

  • 3. The Oast House

    The Oast House pub in Spinningfields Manchester.
    Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester

    The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard
    Spinningfields, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3AY - Visit now

    Over in the new foodie mecca of Spinningfields (surrounded by the likes of Iberica, The Alchemist and Thaikun) is a 16th century hop kiln – otherwise known as The Oast House pub. Transported brick for brick from Kent, it’s a pretty unusual structure to be stuck in the middle of a city, made all the more so by the massive tepee outside. It does, however, have plentiful outdoor seating, and a good, if not terribly inspiring, menu to be enjoyed.

  • 4. Proper Tea

    Proper Tea Cathedral Quarter Mancheste
    Creative Tourist

    Proper Tea, Manchester Cathedral Visitors Centre, 10 Cateaton Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 1SQ - Visit now

    Bag yourself one of Proper Tea’s outdoor tables and you’ll be right across the way from the magnificence of Manchester Cathedral. A relation of Teacup in the Northern Quarter, this elegant little café serves up the same carefully presented teas (you’ll often be passed a timer to regulate the brewing with) and cakes, alongside toasted sandwiches, soups and salads. They also serve afternoon tea and alcohol – what’s not to like?

  • 5. Slice

    Slice Pizzeria in Stevenson Square Manchester.
    Ben Williams

    Slice, Stevenson Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1JJ - Visit now

    Slice does one thing, and does it well – order a big, flat rectangles of pizza from the counter inside and they’ll pop it in the oven for you until it’s warm and salty and moreish. Served up on a wooden board with a handful of salad, pizza (with a range of well-chosen toppings) is a wonderful thing to enjoy outside; lounge around Slice’s outdoor tables, facing out onto Stevenson Square, and you can almost imagine you’re in Italy.