With the threat of climate change on the horizon, it’s time to forget the aircon and take advantage of the slightly-worrying increase in temperature and eat outside, basking in the rays of the sun which will surely one day devour us all. But while it’s a cause for concern, for sure, we still need to eat so why not do it while wearing a t-shirt, shades and shorts?
But Manchester is known for its inclement weather, so where best for al fresco dining? We’ve hunted high and low to bring you the best restaurants in Manchester which offer a dedicated outside area where you can nibble at small plates or devour huge plates of grub, whatever takes your fancy. Here’s our guide to the best places to eat outside in Manchester. Our tip? Bring a backup big coat for when the weather will invariably change. You can thank us later.
Here are our picks
20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now
Probably the most dramatic views over the city, you can enjoy the sun while eating outside, twenty floors above the hustle and bustle. Thanks to new chef Hugson, the restaurant’s menu is becoming worthy of its views – fantastic British cooking, made with fresh ingredients and an eye on innovation without ever spilling over into gimmickry.
Zouk, Unit 5 Chester Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5QS - Visit now
As you’d expect from a restaurant that’s been packing them in for well over a decade, Zouk rarely disappoints. All the dishes are high quality and the restaurant itself has a pleasing modern feel. Eat and drink outside, and enjoy the sweet shisha aromas throughout the hot summer months.
GRUB Manchester, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M4 4HF - Visit now
The legendary street food festival GRUB Manchester’s permanent home is under Archway 6 on Temperance Street (just behind Piccadilly train station), where it has set up a full-time events space and live music venue called Fairfield Social Club. Every Friday and Saturday sees the GRUB Food Fair, serving up an incredible variety of freshly-prepared food and drink from local independent businesses and grassroots traders – it’s even better in the sunshine.
Scene Manchester, 4a Left Bank, Manchester, M3 3AN - Visit now
Scene is one of the best Indian restaurants in Manchester, and there’s no better place to enjoy their spicy food than on their outdoor terrace. Every dish has been finessed into the best version of itself, never overpowered by spices, only enhanced. This is Indian food at its best.
18 Castle Street
Castlefield, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4LZ - Visit now
Famous for its packed crowds during the summer months, Duke’s 92 is one of our favourite Manchester pubs. This is a canalside suntrap, and the ideal place to take in Castlefield’s charms.
Foundry Project, Smithfield Market Buildings, Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M41BD - Visit now
The self-styled ‘happiest place in town’ has landed at Thomas Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, replacing Bluu Bar in the historic Old Smithfield Market. An excellent outdoor space to eat and drink makes it an ideal location to soak up the sun with a drink and a bite to eat.
The Alchemist, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3HF - Visit now
The Alchemist is one of Spinningfield’s most long-standing places to eat out, and despite the influx of restaurants snapping at its heels, it’s busier than ever, in no small part to the superb outdoor eating space.