Cool and Quirky Bars in Manchester
We know your game. You're looking to impress your mates by taking them to Manchester's quirkiest bars, aren't you? That's perfectly understandable - the city sure comes up trumps when it comes to eccentric hangouts. Whether you're looking for a themed bar to jet you off to a more exotic climate or a top-secret basement boozer, this city has all the credentials. We thought it'd be handy to gather our favourite cool and quirky Manchester bars in one place.
Last updated on 17th January 2018
Start stretching out those arms, make sure than lunch is in check and, most importantly, get practicing your victory strike dance because Dog Bowl is a playground for all the big kids who love to sling a bowling ball at some pins and call it a night out. Obviously, there's booze involved, and food if you will, but this Manchester bar is strictly a competitors zone. Bowl on!
For something a little different, head to the American inspired Cane and Grain in Manchester's Northern Quarter. The venue has been created by the experienced Ross Mackenzie and the cocktail expert Lyndon Higginson, and will offer the city's hungry revellers a characterful spot to enjoy delicious ribs, mouth-watering burgers and many other great Southern recipes.
Cabana puts the fun back into Brazilian styled bars with their vibrant interior and playful cocktails. They serve a selection of Brazil-inspired drinks, such as the flavoured Caiprinhas to the blended Batidas. While drinking their tasty array of cocktails, why not sample some of their food: everything from grilled spicy Malagueta Chicken to sweet potato fries, all while sitting in their cool up-scaled interior.
With Asian small plates and cool industrial interiors, Cottonopolis is a top choice for date night in the Norther Quarter. Pop in for a drink to try their comprehensive selection of sake, or if you're feeling something classic, the bartenders will know your tipple.
Originally opened in London, Dirty Martini has finally landed in the north and it's just as good as we all expected. There's a huge choice of martinis, neon angel wings and one of the city's most generous happy hours.
Black Dog NWS makes the list on account of its haphazard, multi-leveled layout, its indoor-outdoor atrium and its incredible roof terrace - easily one of the city's finest summer drinking spots. With a private karaoke booth, selection of pool tables and even its own basement club, Black Dog NWS keeps the surprises coming. If that's not enough, their hot sibling in the Northern Quarter is also worth a peek.
Blending quirky dive inspired bar with cocktail wonderland, Be At One is a menagerie of neon lights and roaring drinks deals combined. Not only one of the coolest bars in Manchester, Be At One are churning out some of its most unique cocktails, with even the likes of ice cream and Oreo's getting a look in.
With the promise of cocktails and carbs, The Laundrette on First Street is somewhere we can get onboard with. Cocktails are quirky and unique with a whole host of different ingredients, while food comes in the form or moreish pizza.
When it comes to rule breakers and noise makers in Manchester, there's no quirky bar quite like Albert's Schloss. From steins and sausages, to heaped plates and heaving live performances, you'll be dancing on tables before you know it.
From its craft beer down to its burgers and roast dinners, Trof may be the more casual of the quirky bar in Manchester bunch, but you're sure to love their vintage vibe, retro furniture and exposed brick aesthetic.
A cool bar in Manchester situated in the Northern Quarter, Matt and Phred's is a jazz joint famous for its live music, tapas and prohibition style interior. Another neon sign signals the entrance and just gives it a cool look from the outset. Perfect for a chilled night of live music and great drinks with friends, Matt and Phred's is seriously cool.
Laundry day getting you down? With more than just soap suds and was cycles on offer, this super secret Washhouse is a hideout among Manchester's 'in the know' revelers. Dump your clothes in exchange for a tumble through the dryer where you'll discover a lair of liquors, lusting and who knows what else?
Another Northern Quarter cutie, Behind Closed Doors hasn't been around for long but the bar is already making a splash. With very naughty vintage images, telephones on tables, DJ decks in a shopping trolley and a secret location, this bar is ticking all the right boxes.
Whisking you away to a blend of warmer clients and snappier drinks is one of the most unique bars in Manchester, Tusk. Not only hailed for their cool tankards of Instagram worth drinks, their interiors are a blend of hipster, Africa and modernity combined.
Vintage charm meets cocktail finesse at this unusual Manchester bar. A wonderland for those that fancy harking back to the days of prohibition, Fitzgerald is primed for evenings of craft cocktails, romantic nooks and lush, live jazz.
With three bars across the city, The Alchemist is a great choice. The New York Street venue is one of our faves, with a party atmosphere come the weekend and a short distance into the centre of town.
With a neon sign out front, Hula Tiki Lounge is a basement haven and is a homage to all things Tiki. This cool Manchester bar has quirky interior and is supplemented by a staggering rum and cocktail menu that could literally keep you busy for hours! With sporadic limbo competitions, Hula Tiki Lounge is cool and quirky personified.
From the same people as Crazy Pedro's; Bunny Jackson is a hopping, rocking blues joint. Billed as Manchester's greatest Juke Joint, the bar plays hit after hit, along with huge Americana vibes and brash interiors including a motorbike and men's genitalia on the bathroom door.
Quirky because it's so freakin' hard to find, this secret bar in Salford was voted one of the most covert drinking dens on the planet. It's worth seeking out though, once you get there you'll be treated to awesome tunes, dancing on the tables and some of the finest cocktails in Manchester.
A stunning cantina bar with great tapas, Sandinista does Cuban inspired cocktails, live music and has great album artwork covering its walls. Named after The Clash's 4th album, Sandanista is cool to the core and throws great parties till 3am every night of the week.
Disguised as a bog standard newsagent, Convenience Store might not first strike as a top place to grab a cocktail. But find the 'not another fucking Tesco Express' sign, and you're in for a treat as the bar mixes up arcade games, slushy drinks and a top playlist.
Make sure you've got your phone at the ready when you visit The Menagerie, as the venue is seriously Instagrammable. Located in a former office block in Salford, the bar's old life is swept away with interiors that include bird sculptures suspended from the ceiling, neon signs and plenty of floral features.
Those who aren't in the know will be forgiven for striding straight on past Dusk Til Pawn. Hidden behind the pretence of an old pawn shop window, this is a speakeasy-styled joint featuring a free juxebox, comfy sofas and killer cocktails. Kick back with a drink or two, hear your favourite tunes ring out and embrace Dusk Til Pawn's quirky charm.
This pasture of botanical inspired boozing and lounging is quite the beau in Manchester's bar scene. If you fancy a little shrubbery to shake up your cocktail experience, then Allotment Bar is a recipe of countryside charm and floral arrangements waiting to be devoured. Go all green fingers at this joint and nestle under the hanging ivy with a tipple in hand.