The 12 Best Places to Drink in Manchester

For those visiting for the day, or looking for somewhere new to hang out with friends, here’s my round up of the best 12 places to drink in Manchester

I was so pleased with how many people read and loved my post on the 12 Best Places to Eat in Manchester. Well this is the follow up, focusing on the best places to sit down and have a bevvy when you’re roaming around the city, day or night. Of course there are far more bars and restaurants than this, but these are the ones that immediately spring to my mind when I’m deciding on a drinks venue. 

1. Home Sweet Home

This place is fantastic for American style food, but also for the drinks they serve. It’s one of the main reasons I go to this cafe. You need to try one of their milkshakes, and if not, the hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows is a wonder. Check out the menu here

Price Scale

This isn’t the cheapest cafe you’ve ever been to, but its fairly reasonable for the area of the Northern Quarter it’s in. About £4.50 for a milkshake.

Recommendations

Like I said, the milkshakes, with cookie dough, Oreos, peanut butter malt, its all the good stuff that you’re craving. Otherwise, the hot chocolate is divine, just make sure you ask for marshamallows on top.

Location

Edge Street in the Northern Quarter, behind Teacup and Richard Goodall Gallery

2. Dusk Till Pawn 

This is a hugeee favourite of mine. Me and Alex used to go here after we had been on date nights, sinking into a booth in the corner of this intimate bar and sipping on delicious cocktail after delicious cocktail. Although there are so many winners on this menu, the Rhubarb and Custard cocktail, with a side of custard in a shot glass, is absolutely incredible. Check out some more of the menu. 

Price Scale

Not too extreme, with cocktails at around £6.50 each, but they’re so special, you’ll find you don’t mind paying out for something so delicious. 

Recommendations

For the guy out there that loves Bourbon or whiskey, this place has 6 shelves of whiskeys to choose from. Plus the guys behind the bar can whip up a pretty awesome cocktail. The Rhubard and Cocktail is a must, as is the Pawn Star Martini. Say hey to Steven or Max behind the bar!

Location

On Stevensons Square in the Northern Quarter, inside a dark door that claims to be a Pawn Shop outside, so prepare to walk in and be surprised. 

3. Australasia

Australasia made it into my 12 best places to eat, as quite frankly, it is insane. But the drinks there are also a firm favourite. This is the perfect place to go along to with a friend for some cool, atmospheric drinks in the white-washed wood bar, or a great place for a date. It gets busy but if you can get a leather booth, you’re set for the night. Check out the drinks menu. 

Price Scale

This place isn’t as pricey as you’d assume, but it’s certainly not the cheapest. You’re looking at £4.50 for a Martini lemonade, or £8 for a cocktail, but they really are wonderful.

Recommendations

The Kir Royale is my favourite whenever I go here. What could beat Prosecco with Creme de Cassis? For the guy who loves Bourbon, the Boulevardier cocktail is also a winner. 

Location

The glass box sticking out of the floor outside of the Armani store in Spinningfields.

4. The Alchemist 

The Alchemist serves great food, snacks and lighter meals, but they also have one of the best cocktail menus I have ever seen. With their outdoor area, lit and heated by lamps, you can sit here with friends and chat throughout the whole evening. Check out more of the menu.

Price Scale

Not too bad, with cocktails at around £7.95 a pop which is such good value for the ingredients that go into these masterpieces.

Recommendations

The passion fruit meringue martini, with a meringue foam added to the top and lychee mixed inside, is absolutely incredible for the lady that loves fruity cocktails.

Location

You can either visit the Alchemist on New York Street, or there is one in the Spinningfields area.

5. The Botanist 

There are a number of Botanist restaurants around the country, but one recently opened in Manchester which you may have read my review for. This is a great place to take a family member for a bite to eat, or with your partner on a date night. It’s just something for everyone. But their drinks are also pretty spesh. Check out the drinks menu.

Price Scale

The cocktails here are around £7, which is fairly low priced for such a tasty cocktail. But they also sell Watering cans for £25, where your cocktails will come in a quaint can for you to pour amongst your group.

Recommendations

The strawberry and cucumber breeze, really is the most light and refreshing cocktail for a summer’s day. Or any time of the year for that matter.

Location

On Deansgate, in the area with lots of bars and restaurants lining the streets before you get nearer to Marks and Spencers.

6. The Bakerie 

The Bakerie is a really chilled and laid back eatery in the Northern Quarter, just off Stevensons Square. It’s a great place to eat if you’re a fan of homemade bread and old school English food, but it also has a pretty cool atmosphere for a relaxing drink with a friend or a group. 

Price Scale

General prices for wines and beers, with bottles ranging from £15 to £70 if you’re feeling spendy. A bottle of Rekorderlig will set you back by £4.50 with a draft beer at around £3.50. Check out the menu for more prices.

Recommendations

This place specialises in Wines, to go with the excellent bread they make, so if you’re after a bottle, this could be the place for you. Yet they also have a lot of bottled beers and draft, with cocktails at a really great price. Its one of those great all rounders. 

Location

Just off Stevensons Square in the Northern Quarter.

7. Harvey Nichols Brasserie and Bar

I absolutely love this Brasserie, after heading there a couple of times with friends and with my mum for Mothers Day. If you get a seat by the window, the views over Manchester are really lovely and the food and drink are a great accompaniment. This is the sort of place to go if you feel like dining somewhere luxurious, chic and fashionable, without a ridiculous price tag. 

Price Scale

Check out the menu. A glass of Prosecco is £5.95, so you usual standard price of a glass. The bottles of wine are a touch more pricey, but it all suits with the style of this designer shopping paradise. 

Recommendations

This is a lovely place to sit with a glass of Prosecco or a Bellini, as we did on the day we dined in the photograph. 

Location

Inside Harvey Nichols, next to Selfridges down the side street of high-end stores.

8. BrewDog 

For the guys, or group of lads (or ladies) who fancy a pint, Brewdog is a cool little bar on Peter Street in the centre. You have probably heard of Brewdog, seeing as they have bars all over the country and sell their products in stores now, but the idea is that they brew their own special beers and IPA’s with a variety of strengths and flavours. 

Price Scale

Check out some of the cool beers they serve. They serve reasonable beer prices, around £3.50 with the higher strength beers going up to around £5. 

Recommendations

I would just recommend trying all of the beers you can in here, as some of the flavours are really cool. In honesty I’m not expert on any drinks, let alone beers, but I know from experience visiting here, it’s a big winner with the lads. I stuck to a vintage style cherry coke and it was awesome. 

Location

On Peter Street, just off of Deansgate near to Revolution de Cuba.

9. Selfridges San Carlo Bottega 

Just like Harvey Nichols, the Selfridges San Carlo Bottega restaurant is floating above the city, with lovely views and even nicer prosecco. Just as an alterantive to harvey Nichols, this is somewere I love to take a break from shopping, with a friend or my mum, for a quick chat over wine. By the way, the photo above is not from Selfridges, but this is my usual gesture when I’m drinking said Prosecco. 

Price Scale

The same as Harvey Nichols but perhaps a little more expensive. Around £6 for a glass of Prosecco, but the snacks and nibbles to accompany are not too bad at all. 

Recommendations

I would generally get myself a glass of Prosecco and some olives, but the wines will be just as lush. 

Location

Second floor of Selfridges, directly opposite you as you come up the escalator.

10. Hilton Cloud 23 Bar 

In honesty I haven’t been to Cloud 23 in quite a while, but it always sticks in my memory as somewhere pretty breathtaking to have a drink. The express lift whisks you up to the 23rd floor, where you can look over the sights of Manchester for miles. This is the most expensive on this list, at around £11 per cocktail, but they truly fill them up with alcohol. A big tip too, is to book yourself a seat for the fireworks displays in Manchester at New Year or Bonfire Night. The views are gorgeous. But be careful, you need to be dressed pretty smart and arrive at a suitable time or you could be waiting quite a while to get up to the bar. 

Price Scale

The most expensive cocktails in the city I would guess, but you certainly get what you pay for as the alcohol content is really high. 

Recommendations

Any of the cocktails will see you well. The Cornetto di Cloud sounds incredible though. Check out some more of the cocktails in the menu. 

Location

Inside the Hilton Hotel at the bottom of Deansgate. You can’t miss the building, it’s the tallest skyscraper in the city, that looks like a stood up Playstation. Not my analogy, honestly. You wait for the lift in the lobby and it takes you up to the 23rd floor. 

11. The Oast House

The Oast House is a little slice of the Swiss Alps in the heart of Spinningfields. It looks like a wood chalet, with smoke billowing from the chimney pots and someone cooking meat on a spit outside. This place is really cool and has only grown and grown in terms of local admiration. You find most workers in this area will retire to the Oast House after work for a final pint before they head home, but for drinks with friends this is perfect. They also have a huge outdoor area that is covered over by a canopy, so you can all sit outside on white benches for the evening. 

Price Scale

The usual prices really, with bottles of wine ranging from £15 to £40. Great for an after work bottle.

Recommendations

I would go here for a bottle of wine in honesty, as they don’t really specialise in cocktails. I would head to the Alchemist, its sister bar around the corner, if you’re after that sort of thing. But for a bottle of wine, you can’t go wrong in this cool environment.

Location

Just down the Avenue in Spinningfields, past the Mulberry and LK Bennet stores.

12. Revolution de Cuba 

My final recommendation, and again somewhere I haven’t managed to take a picture for, but somewhere I adore for a night out. Revolution de Cuba is a great place to eat, and even better place to go and dance. 

Price Scale

Cocktails are around £7.50 with bottles of beer around £4-5. So it’s quite a pricey night out, but so much fun. They bring out cuban dancers and play such a brilliant playlist of upbeat cuban influenced pop – think Mambo number 5. 

Recommendations

They serve everything here, especially lots of types of rum. But you can also get beers, bottles, wines, and every type of classic cocktail. They serve teapots filled with cocktails for £17.50, and it’s such a cute idea for groups of girls out on a night out. 

Location

Just on Peter Street, below Brewdog and near to Deansgate. Its pretty huge so you cant really miss it.

And there we have my top 12 recommendations. There is something for a date night, afternoon drinks, quiet brunch, or for groups of gals or guys on a night out, so hopefully you find somewhere new to try. Let me know your recommendations below too, and I’ll be sure to try them out next time I’m back in the North. Enjoy!

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Some of these items may have been sent to me for review. Please see my disclaimer for more information