Most Northern Quarter fans have been to, or heard of Common bar. I took my brother along to see what this Manchester staple had to say for itself after a brand new revamp…

The Venue

A stone’s throw from the heavy footfall of Thomas Street, Common is accessible yet discreet. As we walked in, the smell of freshly baked jam donuts hit us… and we were immediately sold. Common has bare interiors made fresh with brightly coloured muslin drapes, textured wooden walls and minimal furniture. We loved it because it was immediately chilled-out, unpretentious and the number of full tables showed it was clearly popular. With several areas to sit, you can find room for groups of all sizes, fit for boozing, schmoozing, and choosing your next culinary feats.

common northern quarter review food 

A minimalistic, rustic and simple approach to top notch eating in Manchester.

The Atmosphere and Clientele

Common bar definitely has a northern heart, welcoming everyone from your average Joe to your normal Nancy. You could come in dressed in whatever attire you please, and nobody would bat an eyelid. The backing track of chatter and laughter is the most prominent sound. Common is the kind of place you go to have a thorough catch-up with friends as the first priority, whilst also being sure in the knowledge of great food and drink to accompany your socialising…

common review manchester restaurant bar

Thumbs up to Common, most definitely. 

The Food and Drink

The beer menu is a small, inviting piece of card that showcases Common's aptitude for off-piste beers such as American Dream and Hoptimista. My brother's favourite of the bunch was Blackjack, a rich flavoured option that again showcased Common's tendency for craft beers and independent producers; while being slightly more expensive due to its artisan touch, quality is paid for.  

Being a sucker for grub and the variety that it brings, we opted for a selection of six small plates for our main meal including a sumptuous, spiced lamb taco (£5.50), beetroot cured salmon with horseradish and pistachio (£6) and sticky chicken with fiery hot kimchee, these plates all being a testament to the rustic, artisan slice of food that Common are so inherently known for, and trumping most other Manchester restaurants at. For dessert, I decided to try out a Strawberry Mule cocktail at a reasonable £7, which was syrupy sweet and refreshing after such a wealth of savoury flavours; All packing an affordable and fresh punch. 

common review 1

A selection of small plates showcases Common to the best of its ability. 


A humble Manchester success, Common bar’s fab food, delicious drinks and friendly atmosphere should be Common knowledge. A-thank you.