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12 of Manchester’s cosiest bars

Confidentials    1 year ago

The nights are flipping freezing, Beetham Tower is whistling through her two front teeth and all we want to do is snuggle up with our mates with a great cocktail.

Luckily Manchester is a veritable warren of excellent drinking establishments that tick all of the boxes and then some.

Unrivalled British produce and a cracking Sunday roast from Elnecot, maybe? Or how about a speakeasy-style bar disguised as a Northern Quarter pawn shop? Dusk til Pawn can certainly help with that.

We’ve whittled together some of Manchester’s best bars that are known for their cocktails, kegs, snacks and small plates to keep you roasty-toasty while it blows a gale outside the window.

  • A cocktail from Dusk Til Pawn, a bar disguised as a pawn shop, on Stevenson Square, NQ, Manchester.
    Northern Quarter

    Dusk Til Pawn

    Restaurant - Bar

    With a window full of ancient TVs and H Samuel jewellery, you could mistake this place as a relic from the ‘80s when the NQ wasn’t even the NQ it was just that bit of town between Piccadilly and Shudehill.

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  • Manchester City Centre

    Wood & Company


    With its disguised entrance and back street location, Wood & Co has the feel of a secret speakeasy only frequented by those in the know. The unmarked door is on South King Street, in between Cross Street and Deansgate. Descend the steps and you’ll find yourself in a tiled, sleek space centred on a marble bar that stretches the length of the room.

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  • Cocktail served at the Jane Eyre in Manchester
    Book Now Ancoats

    The Jane Eyre

    Restaurant - British

    The Jane Eyre is a self-styled ‘neighbourhood bar’ offering seasonal food, classic cocktails and local beers. Presided over by Eyre siblings Jonny and Joe, it is, mildly disappointingly, not a Gothic homage to the Yorkshire based tragic-heroine but actually named after their late mum. 

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  • Inside Elnecot, one of the new generation of restaurants in Ancoats, Manchester.


    Restaurant - European

    Named after the first recorded name for Ancoats, Elnecot (meaning ‘lonely cottages’) takes its influence from historical cooking methods with lots of fermenting, a little foraging and a few nose-to-tail dishes.

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  • The cheese and meat sharing board at Haunt - a recommended wine bar and coffee shop in Manchester city centre.
    Manchester City Centre


    Restaurant - European

    When Peter Street lost its Caffe Nero it gained Haunt, an independent coffee shop and wine bar. Stepping inside, you feel like this corner spot in the beautiful St George’s House, with its views of the Midland Hotel and Central Library, has finally got the classy occupier it deserves.

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  • A classic negroni at cocktail bar Henry C in Chorlton, Manchester.
    Book Now Chorlton

    Henry C

    Restaurant - American

    Serving up Po Boys and great cocktails, Henry C is a cosy neighbourhood bar in Chorlton with a heavy New Orleans influence.

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  • Cocktail served at Three Little Words
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Three Little Words

    Restaurant - Global

    Three Little Words is housed under the arches at the lesser-visited end of Watson Street, near Beetham Tower. Inside you’ll find the Spirit of Manchester gin distillery, a cocktail bar, and a kitchen serving small plates with thoroughly decent cooking. It’s certainly a place worth knowing about.

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  • Didsbury

    Our Neighbourhood Bar

    Restaurant - Italian

    Our NeighBourhood Bar in Didsbury is perfectly placed for forays in to Manchester’s most popular suburb right next to the West Didsbury tram stop on Lapwing Lane.

    Owner Grant Ashdown cut his teeth in the fashion industry, but moved in to pizza in 2017 when he opened the northern franchise of Margate’s GB Pizza Co. Keen to pursue his own vision for the space, Our Neighbourhood Bar was born in Early 2021.
    Unlike nearly every other pizza maestro worth their mozzarella, the team at GB Pizza Co focus on the thin and crispy variety rather than the sloppier, floppier Neapolitan pizza. The tear of a slow-proved Neapolitan crust is a thing of beauty but by the final slice, beauty often gives way to bloat.

    The pizzas at GB Pizza Co are so light you can gorge on them without reaching for the Gaviscon.

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  • Inside Overdraught MCR, a craft ale bar in Levenshulme, Manchester housed in a former bank.
    Book Now Levenshulme

    Overdraught MCR

    Restaurant - American

    Overdraught MCR opened its doors in October 2019 with a name that’s a cheeky nod to the previous incarnation of the venue as a TSB bank.

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  • The colourful interior of Station Hop bar on Stockport Road in Levenshulme, Manchester
    Book Now Levenshulme

    Station Hop

    Restaurant - British

    Another CAMRA award-winning boozer on Stockport Road to add to Levenshulme’s enviable drinking scene. Station Hop is a gorgeous, colourful little bar stocked full of interesting cask and keg ales, cans and more. Sip on a stroopwaffel porter from Blackjack, a CBRB/Northern Monk collab yuzu IPA or maybe a rhubarb and oolong saison from By The River Brew Co.

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  • Take a seat outside CAMRA award-winning bar Fred's Ale House in Levenshulme
    Book Now Levenshulme

    Fred’s Ale House


    Launched in 2015, Fred’s Ale House in Levenshulme is a CAMRA award-winning, beer lovers’ haven with numerous extra benefits. There are six real ales as well as a wide range of craft beers, lagers and on Thirsty Thursdays, it’s £2.50 a pint on selected cask ales and ciders.

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  • Two bottles of red wine on display at Wine & Wallop, a wine bar in West Didsbury, Manchester
    Book Now Didsbury

    Wine & Wallop Didsbury

    Restaurant - European

    Conveniently located opposite West Didsbury Metrolink station, Wine & Wallop Didsbury is a cosy retreat where you can sample an interesting selection of wine, micro-brewed ales and cask ciders, accompanied by a light lunch or a few nibbles.

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