Shopping in Manchester

Creative Tourist

Like retail therapy? Well, don’t we all. But what we like in particular about shopping in Manchester is the variety: independent shops, and the sorts of boutiques that peddle one-off goods, everything from vintage and second hand shopping to limited-run artworks, contemporary craft, independent markets and interesting interiors.

We love print – magazines, posters, screen prints – and we like shopping that shows both a love of place and a love of making.

So here’s our guide to the best shopping in Manchester.

  • 1. Oi Polloi

    Oi Polloi

    Oi Polloi, 63 Thomas Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1LQ - Visit now

    Oi Polloi is an independent menswear store in Manchester. Easily the Northern Quarter’s most high-profile men’s clothing shop and one the finest in the North.

  • 2. Utility Gift Shop

    Utility Gift Shop
    Utility Retail Ltd

    Utility Gift Shop, 128 Oxford Road, University Green, Manchester, M139GP - Visit now

    Utility Gift Shop on Oxford Road is all about products that are new, unique, quirky and cool. High street shopping at its best.

  • 3. Deadstock General Store

    Deadstock General Store
    Deadstock General Store

    Deadstock General Store, 46 Edge St, Manchester, M4 1HN - Visit now

    This small shop has a well curated range of stock that focuses on vintage homeware and gifts. From Japanese hemp socks, to botanical paperweights and HAWS plant misters, each object is beautiful, practical and well made. A great place to browse and buy unusual presents.

  • 4. Rivet and Hide Manchester

    Rivet and Hide
    Rivet and Hide

    Rivet and Hide Manchester, 59 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1NA - Visit now

    Manchester’s newest destination for denimheads, Rivet and Hide stocks a collection of quality, Americana-inspired men’s casual wear and raw selvedge denim – including prized Japanese brands like Momotaro, The Flat Head, and Pure Blue Japan.

  • 5. Rapha Clubhouse Manchester

    Rapha Clubhouse Manchester
    Courtesy of Rapha

    Rapha Clubhouse Manchester, 5 St Ann’s Passage, Manchester, M2 6AD - Visit now

    With less than 20 Rapha stores around the world, and only three in the UK, the Manchester Clubhouse is perhaps testament to the city’s love of cycling and the place to pick up the perfect cycling gift. From African sheep leather mits and vintage merino woollen jerseys, to more everyday garb; it has it all.

  • 6. Manchester Craft & Design Centre

    Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5JD - Visit now

    The thing we love best about Manchester Craft & Design Centre? The fact that you can buy unique, unusual pieces direct from some incredibly talented designers. Being able to see right into someone’s studio, the place where they spend hours trying things out, refining designs and finally putting the finishing touches to the piece you then walk away with… that’s pretty special.

  • 7. Fred Aldous

    © Fred Aldous

    Fred Aldous, 37 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1LW - Visit now

    Nearly 130 years old and still going strong, the Northern Quarter art store stocks much more than just the odd paintbrush. As well as covering all your creative supply needs, there’s wonderfully stocked gift shop and all manner of delightful knick-knacks.

  • 8. Chapter 1 Books

    Photo of a new releases bookshelf

    Chapter 1 Books, 19 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1BY - Visit now

    Independent bookshop Chapter 1 Books is everything you might hope for and more; there are Sherlock Holmes style armchairs, neat café tables and even a running fountain, as well as a fantastic mix of authors – all set in a light, modern space. Chintzy teacups adorn the café, where you can buy tea, coffee and generous slices of cake.

  • 9. Oklahoma

    Image of Oklahoma shop in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Oklahoma, 74-76 High Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1ES - Visit now

    Kitsch homewares, kooky gifts, jewellery and a cafe all vie for attention in this busy little shop. Felt slippers, mid-century-esque vases, cards and Mexican badges are all yours for the taking.

  • 10. Afflecks

    Image of Afflecks Palace in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Afflecks, 52 Church Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1PW - Visit now

    No trip to the Northern Quarter would be complete without a visit to Afflecks Palace, where you’ll find independent shops selling anything from vintage and contemporary fashion through to piercings, as well as superb sweet treats (at Ginger’s Comfort Emporium) and even the tiny Three Minute Theatre on the ground floor.

  • 11. OBJECT, Chorlton

    Courtesy of OBJECT

    OBJECT, Chorlton, 117 Beech Road, Chorlton , Manchester, M21 9EQ - Visit now

    A tiny, carefully-curated independent store in Chorlton with an unwavering devotion to quality, craftsmanship and simplicity. Well worth the tram ride.

  • 12. Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop, 506 Wilbraham Road, Manchester, M21 9AW - Visit now

    If you have ever dreamed of owning a bookshop, it probably looked like this one. Pleasingly petite, family-owned with a good selection of books, and even pet-friendly. Perfect.

Visitor guides

Best vintage fairs in Manchester

Whether you’re looking for classic furniture designs or unique items of clothing, you’ll want our roundup of the best vintage fairs in Manchester.

Second Hand and Vintage Shopping; Manchester, Stockport, Liverpool

Second Hand Shopping

As much about the hunt as the find, the simple pleasure of searching out, rediscovering and breathing new life into forgotten objects of the past has an enduring appeal. Check out our guide to the best second hand shopping to be had in Manchester and beyond.

The inside of a Spanish and Catalan deli

Food Shops in Manchester

We’re not talking supermarkets or department store food halls here: these are Manchester’s truly independent food emporiums.

Vintage Shopping in Manchester

A roundup of vintage shops in Manchester that are pleasingly organised and have strong stock. Get stuck in.

Record Store Day

Record Shops in Manchester

With vinyl sales reaching a 25-year high in 2016, it’s easy to argue that record shopping is in rude health. And while some may prefer to do their crate-digging online these days, there is still an integral place reserved for the humble record shop. We pick out our favourites from around the city.

Levenshulme Market in Northern Quarter photo Ed Sprake 7

Markets in Manchester

We’ve hunted out some of the best, and most eclectic, markets in Manchester.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Cinemas might be closed but independent venues and distributors need any help they can get. We look at some films you can stream and places to donate.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

The elves and the shoemaker. Two green puppets with a male and female actor either side of them.

Families

Need some inspiration for fun and creative family days out? Look no further than our top picks for families across Manchester and the north.

Carcanet exhibition: Carcanet poets Michael Schmidt and Michael Symmons Roberts.

Literature

News of books just out and books worth revisiting, even if you can’t get to the events yourself. Plus a fabulous new exhibition about independent publisher Carcanet, on for the next six months…

Music

Discover the best live music coming up in Manchester and the north this spring and, dare we say it, summer!

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Bringing opera, dance, fierce experimental performance and new writing, there’s much to enjoy in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.

Things to do right now

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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.