Great First Date Bars in Manchester, UK

Junkyard Golf Club cocktails
Junkyard Golf Club cocktails | © Junkyard Golf Club

Freelance Travel and Music Writer

Not sure where to head in Manchester on your first date? We’ve got your back.

Manchester’s nightlife scene has it all. From retro arcade games and competitive crazy golf bars to stylish rooftop terraces and quirky hideaways, here are some options for wowing on your first date.

Albert’s Schloss

Managed to swindle a date with a fellow beer lover? Then this is the place for you! Albert’s Schloss brings plentiful Bavarian tradition to Manchester with this unique Tankovna, serving ‘the freshest Pilsner this side of the Danube’. Not into beer? That’s handy then because as well as their Alpine cocktail menu, there are Push For Prosecco buttons on each table.

Junkyard Golf Club

Whether you’re looking to show off your competitive side or just want to break the ice, Junkyard Golf Club is definitely one of the most unique bars for a first date. This boozy version of crazy golf boasts an eclectic UV-style setup with a nine-hole course full of random props and surprises along the way. With five well-stocked bars and a selection of epic bar snacks, all that’s left to do is ‘putt up’ or shut up – that is, if you’re confident enough to take your date here.

Cloud 23

For a more sophisticated first date approach, you may want to head to the highest point in Manchester. Cloud 23 can be found on the 23rd floor of the iconic Beetham Tower and offers unrivalled views of Manchester and beyond. Ostentatious in both design and presentation, Cloud 23 is the place for bespoke cocktails, stylish champagne taster boards and even lavish afternoon teas.

Manchester House – Lounge on 12

For further views of the city, head to Manchester House for Lounge on 12. Sleek décor and comfy booths await your arrival at this mixed-use bar and restaurant, which offers lunch and dinner amongst its varied selection of cocktails. Impress your date at this industrially modern hangout in the sky that also has four terraces with retractable roofs, perfect for watching the sunset on warm summer evenings.

Science and Industry (Cain & Grain)

If you’re looking to head a little off the beaten track, Cain & Grain should be right up your street. This New York-themed bar can only be found if you know where to look – but if you find the crate-covered door, you’re on the right track. Cane & Grain boasts three floors of beer, bourbon, rum and ribs, with each level taking on a different theme. Take a risk and treat your date to a surprise.

The Fitzgerald

Sticking to the US theme is The Fitzgerald, a speakeasy-style champagne and cocktail bar in the Northern Quarter. Expect 1920s vintage décor and live jazz on certain nights in this mysterious bar, which retains its quirky accolades as its Great Gatsby vibe complements its series of cocktail masterclasses perfectly. The Fitzgerald is an ideal place for any Gatsby fan or those looking for a fun first date.

20 Stories

Many of Manchester’s bars are inspired by the city’s impressive and illustrious past – and 20 Stories is no different. 20 Stories’ name takes inspiration from stories of Manchester’s proud heritage and is split into two parts: its restaurant serving modern British cuisine and a classy cocktail bar. Its pièce de résistance, however, is the lofty location and terrace and also being incredibly affordable for a bar of its kind. You won’t be disappointed.

Convenience Store

For a first date with a twist, look for the ‘Not another fucking Tesco Express’ neon sign on the corner of High Street and Edge Street in the Northern Quarter. What may look like your average newsagent is actually a downtown US-style cocktail bar with fully stocked shelves of retro sweets to tickle your taste buds. To make things even more confusing from the outside, it’s even called Convenience Store.

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