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. 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.

  • 3. 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.

  • 4. 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.

  • 5. 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.

  • 6. 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.

  • 7. 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.

  • 8. OBJECT, Chorlton

    Courtesy of OBJECT

    OBJECT, Chorlton, 519 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester, M21 8QA - Visit now

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

  • 9. 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.

  • 10. Pop Boutique Manchester

    Image of Pop Boutique's shop front on Oldham Street in Manchester
    Ben Williams

    Pop Boutique Manchester, 34-36 Oldham St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    A clothes shop on the ground floor with a home furnishings section in the basement – the one and only Pop Boutique.

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 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

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

A Salford leisure centre, a city centre library and a Manchester museum – theatre can happen anywhere. Here’s our guide to the best performances popping up across Manchester and the North.

Cinema

Valentine’s ideas, hard-to-see queer cinema and the best in new releases — we’ve got it covered.

Kimsooja, To Breathe. Photo © Jaeho Chong

Exhibitions

Inspired by the meditative qualities of space and eastern notions of the Void, Kimsooja’s mesmerising installation at YSP’s historic chapel heads our top pick of exhibitions this month.

Big Up! Courtesy Theatre Rites / Helen Murray

Families

See Mer-folk in a Human Aquarium, experience Trouble at t’Mill and the world of nocturnal animals after dark. Then break all the rules in new show Big Up!

Literature

Those darling buds are coming back to life in live literature land as 2019 gets properly underway, and we’ve plenty to look forward to – from performance poetry and soundscapes to readings from magazines, memoirs and award-winning short stories.

Music

We have some hotly anticipated gigs coming up in Manchester and the north over the next few months! Read about them here!

Tours and Activities

In this month’s roundup of best Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North, we highlight the pottery and craft workshops giving you some cathartic and creative opportunities to get making.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

PERSPECTIVES – Venture Arts
Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry