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Written by Luke Bull - 01 March 2023

22 unmissable Manchester bars

One of the quickest ways to assimilate yourself into the pace of a city is to pop into a bar and order a drink – you can sit back and take in the city’s character, the architecture and, of course, the local booze. Whilst hitting up the first bar you find in Manchester may seem like a good idea, realistically it’s best to have a few quality drinking holes in mind.

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1. The Manchester bar for multi-storey fun: Yes Bar

Charles Street, Manchester

Spread across four floors of an old auction house, Yes bar has quickly established itself as a Manc favourite since opening in 2018. The Charles Street spot plays host to a dizzying array of shows, whilst the multi-floor setup means you can still slip in for a quiet (and affordable) pint with friends. Oh, there’s also a roof terrace.

2. A Manchester bar that never loses its mojo: MOJO Manchester


Situated in the heart of the city’s Northern Quarter is Mojo Manchester. This popular bar and music venue has a reputation for its lively atmosphere and eclectic music selection, and offers a mix of funk, soul, rock, and indie tunes that keep its guests dancing all night long.

Inside, the decor is a mix of vintage and rock 'n' roll, with dim lighting, leather booths, and an array of retro memorabilia that adds to the unique vibe.

The bar serves a wide selection of cocktails, spirits, and beers, with a particular emphasis on American bourbons and whiskies. Alongside its regular music events, the venue hosts a variety of themed nights, including quiz nights and karaoke.

Located near the Manchester Victoria station, this bar is available for private hire and can hold up to 60 guests.

The Whiskey Jar, Northern Quarter Bar 1
The Whiskey Jar, Northern Quarter Bar 2

3. The Manchester bar that'll spirit you away: Whiskey Jar

Northern Quarter, Manchester

This inimitable Northern Quarter spot lives up to its namesake – take a peek behind the bar and you’ll see a wall of glinting bottles of the good stuff (we tried to count but gave up somewhere around the fiftieth bottle and ordered an Old Fashioned).

With regular live music, moody Grade II listed surroundings and a downstairs area you can hire out, The Whiskey Jar is the place to go if you want to summon your inner Bogart.

4. A thrilling cricket bar in Manchester: Sixes Cricket Manchester


Sixes Social Cricket is a unique and exciting venue that combines the thrill of cricket with the atmosphere of a trendy bar. This one-of-a-kind destination offers an immersive experience for cricket fans and bar-goers alike, with a range of activities and amenities to enjoy.

In this modern and stylish venue, you can play a game of indoor cricket with your friends or watch a live match on one of the many screens located throughout the venue. The bar offers a range of delicious food and drink options, including a wonderfully crafted “Bread + Butter” cocktail.

The club is available for private hire and can accommodate up to 200 guests, large enough for corporate events, birthday parties, and other special occasions.

Night and day cafe Manchester Northern Quarter Bars 2

5. The Manchester bar for culture vultures: Night and Day

Oldham Street, Manchester

A true icon of Oldham Street, the 30-year-old institution has maintained its credibility as other Manchester bars succumb to trends and fashions. Night and Day have stayed resolutely shabby and cheerful, and you’d be hard pushed to find a better place to sink a few pints in the city. With rotating art exhibitions, live music, DJ sets from local artists, outdoor seating and decent pizza, there's plenty else to entertain besides the booze.

True to its name, this Manchester bar is the perfect place to watch the world go by come sun or dusk.

6. A Manchester bar that's strictly business: El Capo


El Capo is a vibrant venue that merges Mexican culture with Manchester. The venue's design is inspired by the lively street culture of Latin America, with a funky and eclectic decor that includes vintage posters and quirky antiques.

This bar serves delicious Mexican street food such as tacos, burritos, and empanadas. For drinks, there is an extensive menu full of tequila, mezcal, and rum.

The venue has a spacious outdoor terrace for you to enjoy. Inside, the venue boasts a lively bar area, a cosy basement bar, and a private function room that can be hired for events (150 guests).

Matt and phreds manchester bar 2

7. The Manchester bar for jazz hounds: Matt and Phreds

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Another point for Manchester's Northern Quarter (sorry, Deansgate, it is what it is), Matt and Phreds is a dedicated jazz bar tucked into the shade of Tib Street. With live jazz six nights a week, and an impressive array of drinks to keep you starry-eyed, we had to include this one. Watching your wallet? Swing by on a Tuesday, when happy hour lasts all night long.

8. A Manchester bar for the most competitive: Pong & Puck


As the name suggests, Pong & Puck is a bar that offers guests the chance to play two of the most popular bar games around. The bar is a lively and energetic spot that offers a variety of drinks to accompany the games, including beer, wine, and cocktails.

The space is a short walk away from Deansgate station. It can be hired exclusively, with a capacity of 280 guests. Expect a competitive yet relaxing atmosphere that features a lot of pizza and drinks.

The Castle Hotel pub Manchester 1
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9. The Manchester bar 250 years in the making: The Castle Hotel

Oldham Street, Manchester

Another Oldham Street icon, don’t be fooled by the name – The Castle is definitely a bar, and one with pedigree, at that: The Castle, despite name changes, can trace its roots all the way back to 1776.

If history doesn’t impress you then the no-thrills, candlelit interior should have you comfortable and ready for a tipple in no time at all.

10. A Manchester bar that combines darts and drinks: Flight Club


Flight Club accurately describes the scene inside the venue: one where darts will be flying around. The space features an interactive and engaging experience that combines the excitement of darts with the atmosphere of a modern bar.

The decor is stylish, with comfortable seating, elegant lighting, and plenty of space for groups of all sizes. Flight Club offers a full bar with a range of drinks, from craft beers to creative cocktails, and a food menu featuring a selection of shareable plates and snacks.

The space is close to the Manchester Piccadilly station and can be hired exclusively, holding up to 300 guests.

Crazy pedros manchester bar 2
Crazy pedros manchester bar 1

11. The Manchester bar for margaritas and margheritas: Pedro’s


With two locations to choose from in Manchester, Crazy Pedro offers a distinctive take on the classic pizza and booze combo. For drinks, you can expect an array of gaudy coloured cocktails, frozen margaritas and ice cold beers on tap. Soak it all up with a classic slice of pepperoni or branch out into weird and wonderful toppings like doner kebab – it just about works.

The biggest draw, though, is the 4am closing time, meaning you can keep the (pizza) party going well into the morning.

12. One of the happiest bars in Manchester: Foundry Project Manchester


Foundry Project is just a stone's throw away from the Manchester Victoria station. This trendy venue can host a wide range of events, from corporate functions to private parties and celebrations.

What sets Foundry Project apart from other bars in the city is its lively and happy vibes. The atmosphere is always buzzing with energy and the venue is well-stocked with a variety of beers, wines, cocktails and spirits, an ideal combination in ensuring that the party goes all night long.

The entire venue can accommodate up to 450 guests.

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13. The Manchester bar for a sky-high sip: Cloud 23

Deansgate, Manchester

Taking the phrase ‘up-market’ literally, Cloud 23 is a vertigo-inducing cocktail bar that occupies the 23rd floor (get it?) of Manchester’s very own Barad-dûr, Beetham tower.

Run by the Hilton group, Cloud 23 is one to book if you’re looking for the perfect Instagram shot. Just try not to look down.

14. A Manchester bar with reliably great drinks: The Liquor Store


This stylish bar located in the city centre is accessible from Manchester Victoria station. The rock ‘n’ roll music provides for an electric atmosphere and gets every ounce of your body moving.

The bar offers a wide selection of premium drinks and cocktails as you can tell by the name. Try Manchester’s own “Proper Manc”, a beautiful blend of Manchester Gin’s Fac 51 ‘The Hacienda’, local honey, vimto, apple, lemon and ginger.

For those looking to host a private event, The Liquor Store offers exclusive hire of its elegant space for up to 140 guests. Whether you're planning a birthday party, corporate event or wedding reception, the bar's experienced events team can help you create a bespoke package tailored to your needs.

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15. The Manchester bar that's a laundrette, honest: The Washhouse

City Centre, Manchester

Hitching their horse firmly to the ‘let’s turn anything that isn’t a bar into a bar’ wagon, Washhouse have nonetheless managed to circumvent the gimmick pitfall by focusing on exclusivity and quality.

You’ll have to make a booking to gain entrance to the ‘secret’ bar (we won’t ruin the entry process here, just get ready for some bewildering misdirection), but the cocktails are worth it, we promise.

16. A Manchester bar with delicate wines: Provence


A charming bar near Salford Central station, Provence offers those looking for a romantic date or a night out with friends an exciting gathering spot. With rustic decor and a cosy ambience, the place proves to be quite relaxing.

The star of the show at Provence is their wine selection. From classic French wines to exciting new labels from around the world, there's something to suit practically every taste and budget. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a glass or two with your meal, Provence has you covered.

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17. The Manchester bar with a secret formula: Science and Industry

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Another day another hidden bar, apparently. Whilst the lack of visible entrance is enough to make you lament the days of the doorway, Science and Industry get a pass on the back of their genuinely award-winning cocktails.

Located behind some crates in the Northern Quarter’s Cain & Grain, S&I take a genuinely fresh approach to cocktails, experimenting with ingredients like bee pollen, pistachio syrup and Sage Infused Armagnac – getting in might seem like a hassle, but getting out will feel worse.

18. An American-inspired Manchester bar: Salt Dogs Manchester


Step inside Salt Dogs and you'll be transported to a world of American culture. From the neon signs and graffiti-covered walls to the upbeat music, every element of this venue is designed to give you an authentic taste of the USA.

When it comes to food, Salt Dogs is renowned for their mouth-watering chilli dogs. This American classic pairs nicely with the venue's lively and energetic atmosphere.

You can access this bar within a ten-minute walk from Manchester Oxford Road station. This place is available for private hire for up to 100 guests. Come experience the vibrant energy of this bar for yourself.

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19. The Manchester bar for multiplayer madness: NQ64

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Ducking your head into a graffiti-strewn, subterranean entranceway you’d be justified in bracing yourself for the thud of techno and the body heat of a hundred gyrating students.

Instead of bug-eyed dancers, though, what awaits is the warm neon glow of an arcade. Yes, NQ64 serves nostalgia by the glassful, allowing you to race Yoshi, lightning-kick Ryu and mash guitar hero all whilst getting merry. Count us in.

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20. A Manchester bar with a devilish dash of theatrics: The Alchemist


As you enter The Alchemist, you’ll immediately notice the artsy and theatrical vibes coming from every corner of the bar. The decor is sleek and stylish, with a contemporary twist. The dim lighting and moody atmosphere create an intimate ambience.

This bar is renowned for its signature cocktails, which are crafted and presented in a theatrical manner. Bartenders often put on a show as they mix and shake the ingredients in front of you, creating an unforgettable experience. The extensive menu of innovative cocktails is served with a unique twist.

This is a must-visit destination for cocktail enthusiasts or anyone looking for a fun night out in Manchester.

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21. A German-inspired Manchester bar: Albert’s Schloss


Albert's Schloss is a German-inspired bar known for its lively atmosphere, delicious food, and wide selection of refreshing drinks.

The bar is full of live entertainment which includes DJs, live bands, and even brass brands so those hoping to dance the night away can look no further.

The food menu features German-inspired dishes such as schweinshaxe, as well as other Alpine state-inspired dishes such as fondue.

The bar offers private hire for up to 150 guests.

22. A Manchester bar with an authentic rock ‘n’ roll vibe: Jimmy’s


Jimmy's is an authentic rock ‘n’ roll bar that offers a unique blend of old-school charm and contemporary style. The bar boasts a unique and eclectic decor, which features vintage furnishings and retro artwork, giving it a distinct and stylish feel.

This bar offers a great selection of drinks, including a wide range of beers, cocktails, and spirits, as well as a delicious food menu that includes classic pub grub and more adventurous dishes. Try the cauliflower candy or the deep fried chocolate bars.

The venue features a spacious dancefloor, as well as cosy booths and private spaces for those looking for a more intimate experience. If anyone wants to host a private event, Jimmy's is available for hire for up to 120 guests.

Check out the best bars in Manchester

We've put together the best bars in Manchester for you to find and book. From activity bars for a corporate day out to cosy pubs to swanky cocktail bars, Manchester is full of amazing bars for you to explore. Take a look at all our bar venues in Manchester. Alternatively, tell us exactly what you need and we'll make sure the very best Manchester bar venues respond to your enquiry.

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