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Guide

15 of the best Manchester pubs

4 weeks ago

Confidential Guides began life just focusing on recommended restaurants but we’ve expanded way beyond that now. Our Pubs section is growing a cracking rate. Here’s 15 of our favourites in Manchester – ranging from traditional boozers to foodie pubs to big social honeypots where you can meet up with all your mates and sip pints in the sun.

We’ve got plenty more Manchester pubs listed plus pubs in Liverpool, Cheshire, Lancashire and beyond. Use the search bar and filters to find what you want.

  • The Bay Horse Tavern Manchester
    Northern Quarter

    The Bay Horse

    Pubs

    The Bay Horse Tavern, to give it its full moniker, describes itself as “a modern take on a Victorian Pub” and, with its dark hues and warm woods, puttering candles and kitschy knick-knacks, and range of gins, craft beers and “other libations”, it may well straddle the eras.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    The Black Friar

    Pubs

    The Black Friar stood empty and unloved for almost 20 years before reopening in summer 2021 after a substantial renovation project. Now a modern British restaurant and a traditional pub, it has two distinct settings with menus to match.

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  • The interior of the Britons Protection pub in Manchester.
    Manchester City Centre

    The Britons Protection

    Pubs

    The Britons Protection pub has a place in the heart of many a Mancunian. It’s been here since the early 19th century and has Grade II Listed status thanks to its 1930s’ features and traditional layout.

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  • The petite beer garden at The Castle Hotel in the Northern Quarter.
    Northern Quarter

    The Castle Hotel

    Pubs

    The Castle Hotel is one of the big names on Manchester’s gig circuit. This 18th century pub, covered in brown glazed tiles, has a buzzy atmosphere. It’s small with a busy bar whose beautiful tiling pairs well with the exterior. There’s also an 80-capacity (80 newborn babies perhaps, 80 full-size humans? Never) music hall putting on gigs by well-regarded local promoters and a bijou beer garden out the back.

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  • The grand, gothic exterior of The Crown & Kettle on the border of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats
    Ancoats

    The Crown & Kettle

    Pubs

    The Crown & Kettle is Manchester’s most beautiful pub. The landmark Gothic building on the corner of Oldham Road and Great Ancoats Street is just as impressive inside with high ceilings that are wonderfully ornate and descending stonework which used to house chandeliers. But even though it dates from 1734, it feels fresh and modern.

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  • One of the roof gardens at The Deansgate pub in Manchester city centre
    Manchester City Centre

    The Deansgate

    Pubs

    The Deansgate is a bit of a landmark pub in Manchester, having been in this spot for 200 years.

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  • Edinburgh Castle Manchester Table
    Ancoats

    Edinburgh Castle

    Pubs

    The Edinburgh Castle is a fortification for fortifying yourself, full of hearty British fare. This defence against hunger has two parts. No, not motte and bailey, but an upstairs restaurant and a downstairs pub. Upstairs, downstairs and all the connotations that go along with that.

    The downstairs is a traditional old pub with a welcoming drinking zone and a separate eating area. Traditional pub or not, this is much more than just some Scampi Fries. In fact, this is some of the very best pub food in the city.

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  • Sunday lunch at Founder's Hall on Albert Square, Manchester city centre.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Founder’s Hall

    Pubs

    Founder’s Hall is a smartly-refurbished pub with an enviable position on Albert Square. It serves up comforting pub food and a vast range of beers.

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  • The Kings Arms is a cosy pub with an upstairs theatre.
    Blackfriars

    The Kings Arms

    Pubs

    The Kings Arms is a glorious reincarnation of what was once a backstreet boozer. The main bar is a lovely oval room edged with ox-blood leather button-back benches, while the snug looks like an update on your nan’s front room. Outside there’s a suntrap terrace. It’s all done out beautifully but not in a way that detracts from its history or announces itself too boldly.

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  • Outside the Lass O'Gowrie.
    Oxford Road

    Lass O’Gowrie

    Pubs

    Manchester classic the Lass O’Gowrie won Best Pub in Britain in 2012 but suffered a loss in income (and a change of landlord) when the BBC building opposite closed. It’s now very much a Greene King pub but it still retains much of its character and charm.

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  • The Marble Arch pub in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Manchester City Centre

    The Marble Arch

    Pubs

    George Orwell may have named his ideal (and imaginary) pub The Moon Under Water but Wetherspoons on Deansgate was not what he had in mind. It’s The Marble Arch which has all the qualities that mark it out as the perfect boozer.

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  • Drinking in the sun at The Peveril of the Peak
    Oxford Road

    Peveril of the Peak

    Pubs

    The Grade II Listed Peveril of the Peak dates back to the 1820s. It’s had quite the history, and is now one of Manchester’s most iconic pubs thanks to its unique green-tiled exterior.

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  • Interior of The Rat & Pigeon, formerly Mother Macs
    Piccadilly

    The Rat & Pigeon

    Pubs

    The Rat & Pigeon may be Manchester’s newest pub, but it’s an oldie too. The team behind the much-loved Crown and Kettle have taken over Mother Macs.

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  • Mr Thomas's Chop House - a cosy pub in Manchester.
    Greater Manchester

    Mr Thomas’s Chop House

    Pubs

    Thomas Studd and his wife Sarah established their Chop House in booming Cottonopolis in 1867, and it’s still going strong, serving up top-end pub grub in the famous tiled back room restaurant along with flagons and snifters in the bar and on the sunny St Ann’s Square terrace.

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  • The outdoor terrace at The Wharf in Castlefield
    Castlefield

    The Wharf

    Pubs

    The Wharf has one of the largest outdoor areas in Manchester and is it’s in Castlefield, the canalside views aren’t bad either.

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