If you’re planning a night out in Manchester, don’t restrict yourself to the city centre. Hop on a tram and head to one of the southern suburbs to discover a selection of the best bars in the city. You won’t find bustling clubs, but if laid-back bars serving elegant cocktails, fancy spirits and craft beer are your thing, Chorlton and West Didsbury are the places to be. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the amount of bars available – here are seven of the best.
Mary & Archie’s, West Didsbury and Chorlton
The original West Didsbury branch of this local-favourite bar is a snug spot for enjoying a quiet drink with friends. Based on the former site of popular bar, Silver Apples, Mary & Archie’s is the perfect bar for all seasons, with cosy seating inside and large front windows that open out onto the street on sunny days. The décor is lovingly eclectic and there’s even a little back room that’s the perfect size for a group of friends to hang out, enjoy a Sunday roast and a couple of pints. Keep your eye on their events calendar for live music and quiz nights, if that’s your thing.
Mary & Archie’s, 111 Manchester Road, Chorlton +44 161 282 2795
Mary & Archie’s, 200 Burton Road, West Didsbury +44 161 445 3130
The Beagle, Chorlton
Chorlton’s hippest drinking den is an offshoot of popular Northern Quarter bar, Common, attracting a similarly cool crowd. The large bar offers extensive seating with a glass-fronted area that proves popular in summer when the windows slide back for extra al fresco seating. The Beagle’s vast selection of cask, keg and bottled beers (including many local labels) keep the punters coming back for more, and there’s also a great menu of Mexican street food to keep hunger at bay.
The Beagle, 456a Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton +44 161 881 8596
Local music fans love Dulcimer thanks to the regular gigs and DJs in its upstairs space, boasting big folk and psych names. Downstairs, the custom-built bar serves an impressive selection of beers, wines and spirits, enticing in a friendly crowd. There’s also a small beer garden out the back that’s often packed full, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Dulcimer, 567 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton +44 161 860 6444
Another popular bar located close to Chorlton’s ‘Four Banks’ crossroads, Electrik is run by the dup behind Manchester’s legendary Electric Chair nights. Unsurprisingly, music plays a big role here with local DJs playing tunes ranging from laid back Sunday sessions to Friday night upbeat electro. Their Sunday roasts are among the best in the neighbourhood with the food menu bringing in the crowds during the day as well as evening drinkers.
Electrik, 559 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton +44 161 881 3315
The Lead Station, Chorlton
There are many bars scattered down Beech Road, one of the most picturesque areas of Chorlton, but the Lead Station is perhaps the most popular. Housed inside a former police station, the interior is large and spacious, with a sizeable terrace at the back for those seeking a drink in the sun. Whether you’re after delicious cocktails, the finest wine, craft beer or a large gin and tonic, their fully stocked bar has everything you need.
The Lead Station, 99 Beech Road, Chorlton +44 161 881 5559
Folk, West Didsbury
During the day, Folk is the perfect place to enjoy a light-bite and a cup of coffee, but come night it transforms into one of the liveliest bars on Burton Road. The sizeable front terrace is often packed with people mingling and dancing to the tunes provided by local DJs. The look of the bar is very DIY (their wooden floor was even salvaged from a local gym) with the outdoor area resembling a hip beach bar on a tropical island.
Folk, 169-171 Burton Road, West Didsbury +44 161 445 2912
This eclectic Chorlton bar is the perfect spot for a lively night out, with loud music and room to dance. Boasting an excellent jukebox, outdoor seating and a prime location close to the tram stop, it’s no surprise that this offshoot of the original Odd bar (situated in the Northern Quarter) is one of the most popular local haunts. Pop into Oddest for a craft beer, cocktails or a celebratory bottle of fizz.
Oddest, 414-416 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton +44 161 860 7515
Planning a night out in the city centre? Here’s a list of the best bars in the hip Northern Quarter area.