The Best Bars in Manchester, UK

Cocktails in Manchester | © Anthony Delanoix / Stock Snap
Cocktails in Manchester | © Anthony Delanoix / Stock Snap
Photo of Emma Lavelle
1 June 2017

Manchester’s nightlife is legendary. Whether you prefer quirky hidden bars, traditional pubs specialising in craft beers or elegant cocktail dens, this city has it all. If you’re looking for the very best bars in the city centre, you’re in luck. We’ve carefully curated a list of the hippest haunts to sip a drink – just remember to drink responsibly!

Port Street Beer House

Bar, Pub, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, British, $$$
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Beer lovers rejoice! We’ve found your mecca and it’s tucked away on a quiet side street in the Northern Quarter. Port Street offers two floors and a back yard filled with seating, although you’ll struggle to find a place to perch at this increasingly popular beer joint. Previously voted as the North Manchester CAMRA pub of the year, you’ll find a staggering array of beer behind the bar, both bottled and on tap. Prices are a little higher than neighbouring pubs, but it’s worth it to sample some of the best beer in the city.

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Terre Gelée tasting 👌🏻

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Dusk Til Pawn

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, British, $$$
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Hidden behind a window masquerading as a pawn shop on Stevenson Square, this tiny cocktail bar is one of the Northern Quarter’s best kept secrets. Inside, you’ll find an eclectic cocktail menu boasting unusual house specialities alongside more traditional options. You’ll likely fancy sampling a few drinks, so try to find a seat and get comfortable for a couple of hours. Don’t miss your chance to select a few songs on the free jukebox.

The Fitzgerald

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Contemporary, $$$
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The Fitzgerald, Manchester | © The Fitzgerald
The Fitzgerald, Manchester | © The Fitzgerald

The entrance to this prohibition-themed bar is tucked away down an alleyway just off Stevenson Square, but has clear signage if you know where to look. Once you ascend the small staircase, you’ll find yourself in a speakeasy where dry ice mists off decadent-looking cocktails and the bar staff are all dressed the part. If you’re lucky, there may be live jazz music to entertain you as you sip on sophisticated drinks.

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Drink time #nom # cocktails #fitzgerald

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Another Heart to Feed After Hours

Bar, Contemporary, $$$

Located just across the river in Salford, a couple of minutes’ walk from Deansgate, coffee shop Another Heart to Feed has recently launched an After Hours bar that serves up some of the best cocktails in the city centre. Its location helps to ensure an exclusive feel, away from the hectic bars of Spinningfields and the Northern Quarter and the delectable cocktails including espresso martinis alongside more eclectic options will definitely keep you coming back for more.

Allotment Bar

Bar, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, Pub Grub, British, $$$
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Another bar tucked away in the Northern Quarter, Allotment has a more refined ambience than its neighbouring drinking dens. As its name suggests, there is a botanical theme to the bar, stretching from its living wall and collection of greenery to its comprehensive gin menu, one of the most extensive in the city. Cocktails all have a botanical theme, gin tastings are available via bookings and there’s even a variety of fresh lemonades on offer for those who aren’t drinking.

Cloud 23

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Contemporary
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Cloud 23 Mancheste
Cloud 23 Manchester | © Cloud 23

If you like your drink with a view, you won’t find anywhere better than Cloud 23, on the 23rd floor of the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate. Arrive dressed to impress and ensure that you have plenty of cash to flash, as this bar definitely isn’t the cheapest in Manchester. If you’ve never visited, it’s definitely worth popping in for at least one drink to admire the view. We recommend trying their signature Stratospheric cocktail that combines gin, champagne and delicious fruity flavours in a striking glass.

The Alchemist

Restaurant, Contemporary, Cocktails, British, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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Located in Spinningfields, the most exclusive area of the city centre, The Alchemist specialises in delighting its drinkers with unusual cocktails that emit smoke, combine unusual flavours and even change colour. The cocktail menu is suitably laid out akin to the periodic table, with drinks displayed according to their taste. We recommend straying away from the safe options and trying something new and delicious.

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