Roof Terraces in Manchester

Chris Horkan

Despite being a city known for its rain, Manchester does boast occasional good weather. It also, more convincingly, boasts plenty of great food and drinks spots to cater for all budgets. So, when the going’s good, where do Mancunians head to enjoy the city al fresco eating and drinking?

For more places to enjoy the sunshine, take a look at our guide to the best beer gardens in Manchester.

Our top picks

20 Stories

20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

The new kid on the terrace bar block is 20 Stories – Aiden Byrne’s restaurant and bar at No 1 Spinningfields. A large proportion of this sky-high venue is dedicated to its outdoor terrace, which offers panoramic views of the city from an enviable 19th-storey setting. With an expansive cocktail menu, plus over 20 gin options and a cigar menu, it’s perfect for that special occasion.

El Gato Negro Tapas

El Gato Negro Tapas, 52 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 4LY - Visit now

While its main restaurant offers some of the best tapas in Manchester, El Gato Negro’s second floor is the place to be on sunny days. With a retractable roof, this King Street spot offers an extensive cocktail menu, as well as an impressive Spanish wine and sherry list. You can also order the likes of mini Catalan chorizo with Aspall cider, jamon Iberico croquetas and chacuterie boards – to help soak up the alcohol while soaking up the sun.

Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester

Terrace NQ

Terrace NQ, 43 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1NA

The clue’s in the name for this Thomas Street staple. Rise up above the dimly lit, elongated bar for one of most airy terraces in the Northern Quarter. Forewarning though: as soon as the sun is out, it’s standing room only.

Terrace

Black Dog Ballroom NWS

Black Dog Ballroom NWS, New Wakefield Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5NP - Visit now

One of Manchester’s most beloved roof tops can be found at Black Dog Ballroom, the New York-inspired speakeasy and eatery best known for its fancy fast food, cocktails and pool tables. Take a peek upstairs and you’ll find a light, airy space, with atmospheric fairy lights and squashy sofas dotted alongside a BBQ area in the corner. Big screens at either end can usually be found showing the football, or films. Best of all, most of the terrace is part-covered – creating a warm greenhouse effect and the possibility of staying dry sipping a cocktail in the rain.

Creative Tourist

Big Hands

Big Hands, 296 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9NS

You’ll probably spot Big Hands’ roof terrace a few minutes before arrival, with a huge advertising billboard on its back wall, and tall leafy plants camouflaging the seating area. This is shabby chic at its finest – white plastic seating with eclectic plant pots at every step. Sit in the wrong seat and you may find yourself enjoying one of a selection of craft beers from the bar downstairs whilst overlooking a car park, and yet there’s something unassuming and laid-back about this roof terrace which means you’ll always feel at home.

Image courtesy Big Hands.

Épernay

Épernay, Great Northern Tower, Unit 1A, Watson Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4EE - Visit now

Technically more of a balcony than a roof terrace, champagne bar Épernay is a sophisticated affair, with candles in wine bottles creating a romantic, almost Parisian, atmosphere. The balcony is a great spot for people watching, overlooking the comings and goings from the Great Northern Warehouse. Definitely one of the pricier options, this is a perfect weekend date night, or when treating yourself.

Image courtesy Épernay.

The Deansgate Tavern

The Deansgate Tavern, 321 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ - Visit now

Often in the shadows of neighbouring Beetham Tower, this traditional pub can – at certain times of day – be the ideal place to soak up some rays while enjoying a real ale or pinot. You’ll find its roof terrace hidden away on the tavern’s top floor.

The Deansgate Tavern

Great John Street Hotel

Great John Street Hotel, Great John Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M33 4FD - Visit now

A converted Victorian school house nestled on the edge of Spinningfields, the Great John Street Hotel has perhaps the biggest terrace in Manchester, with its Roof Garden Playground offering one of the best views across the city. The atmosphere is relaxed and decadent, with large lanterns littering the floor and clusters of cocoon shaped wicker seats. Book ahead where possible, as weddings and parties take over during summer weekends.

Great John Street Hotel in Spinningfields in Manchester.

King Street Townhouse Hotel

King Street Townhouse Hotel, 10 Booth Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 4AW - Visit now

Despite an already healthy roster of roof gardens in Manchester, there are still more to come. Boasting Manchester’s first rooftop infinity pool, the King Street Townhouse Hotel offers visitors panoramic views across the city.

King Street Town House Hotel in Manchester
Image courtesy of King Street Town House Hotel

Where to go in Manchester

Ancoats
Bar or Pub
Finders Keepers

Welcoming waterside bar in New Islington Marina, serving a wide array of carefully-curated cocktails.

City Centre
Restaurant
Climat

Highly-regarded wine-led, French-leaning wine bar and rooftop restaurant in the city centre.

Manchester
Restaurant
Manchester Wine Tours

Manchester Wine Tours is a relaxed, fun wine tour, full of the city’s best food and drink, led by an effortlessly engaging host.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
Henry C

Henry C is an intimate neighbourhood bar in Chorlton, serving up superb quality drinks.

Manchester
Restaurant
11 Central

11 Central is a new bar and microbrewery launched by local brewing legends SEVEN BRO7HERS BREWING CO at the Central Bay site in Salford.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
Kennedy’s Irish Bar

A fan favourite in Altrincham, Kennedy’s Irish Bar offers live music, a vibrant atmosphere and undoubtable Irish charm and hospitality.

Manchester
Restaurant
Axe & Cleaver

This is the perfect pub for an indulgent weekend, following up a long countryside walk with a hearty and high quality meal.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
On Bar

This multifaceted venue is primarily an award winning gay bar in Manchester’s Canal Street area – but that is not all…

Manchester
Bar or Pub
Vanilla

This award winning bar is open six nights a week due to popular demand. Described as the ‘mecca of the north’ for the lesbian community, it is no wonder why.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
Cruz 101

Everything you want in a Canal Street club can be found here. Cruz 101 – better known as Cruz – is an institution, and a must-visit in Manchester.

Salford
Restaurant
Old Pint Pot

This lively spot could be considered a jack of all trades – pub, restaurant, events space and live music venue.

Manchester Visitor Guides

Sunday Roasts in Manchester

Looking for the finest roast dinners in Manchester? Look no further. We've picked out the very best Sunday dinners in the city.

Federal Cafe Bar
Breakfast in Manchester

Manchester is strong with the breakfast force, and has some impressive form where brunch is concerned. Here’s our pick of the city’s morning glories.

Blossom on trees in Manchester
Parks and Gardens in Manchester

There are more green spaces in Manchester than you might think. We've picked out some of the best parks and gardens in and around the city.

Bars in Manchester

The best new bars in Manchester, plus some old favourites for good measure.

Stately Homes in the North

The North of England is blessed with countless stunning stately homes, many dating back decades and even centuries. Here are some of the very best.

UNITOM bookshop
Bookshops in Manchester

Manchester is a UNESCO City of Literature, so of course there are a few go-tos for books. Read our guide to discover the best places to pick them up.

Manchester Restaurant Deals

Manchester's restaurants are bending over backwards to create deals that take the sting out of eating out. Here are the best of the bunch for January.

Spotlight on

Father's Day in Manchester and the North

This year's Father's Day is Sunday 16 June. Get out and about and spend some quality time with the old man in Manchester.

Take me there

Culture Guides