The Wharf has one of the largest outdoor areas in Manchester and as it’s in Castlefield, the canalside views aren’t bad either.
It’s a Brunning and Price pub so service is pretty good and the food is decent but unlikely to blow your socks off. Having said that, it’s a bit more adventurous and varied than standard pub grub. Expect things like charred mackerel with pineapple, kimchi and apple dashi, ribeye steak and chips, or chicken with pecorino truffle rosti, confit Jerusalem artichoke and sherry jus.
The Wharf is spacious and airy with quieter nooks to be found here and there. Downstairs has a buzzy pub atmosphere while upstairs is more like a restaurant although it’s the same menu served throughout.
Perhaps because of the restaurant-feel to the upstairs, care and thought has gone into the wine list. There are far fancier places which don’t do wine as well as The Wharf. There is also an excellent collection of gins and whiskies.
It’s done out well in typical Brunning and Price style, although it’s a little identikit as is often the way. Despite the air of Victorian industry that pervades, The Wharf was purpose-built as a pub in the 1990s. However, a map from the 1880s shows the pub was built on an open area of land with travelling cranes on gantries where goods were stacked beside the canal, so the name still holds.