The best bars in the Northern Quarter

We’ve rounded up the best bars and pubs in Manchester's Northern Quarter right now.

By Steven Pankhurst | January 30th '22

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The nightlife hub of Manchester, Northern Quarter is packed with some of the best drink dens and cocktail bars in the city. Whether you’re looking for a romantic candlelit wine bar, a slick spot for a cocktail or an escapist tiki hideout, we’ve rounded up the best watering holes in the neighbourhood for your evening rendezvous.

The Daisy

You’ll find this subterranean wine bar & cocktail den through one of the most popular brunch spots in town, Evelyn’s. With inspiration taken from the Pigalle district of Paris as well as Los Angeles and the inspired cocktail culture of NYC, the bar is a vision in monochrome tiles, mid-century furniture, plush fabrics and jewel tones.

The Daisy, 44 Tib St, Manchester, M4 1LA

The Whiskey Jar

Set in an old textile mill that’s been beautifully restored, The Whiskey Jar specialises (as you’ve probably guessed) in a huge variety of whiskies. Home to no less than 400 options you’ll find everything from Irish whiskey to world blends and signature cocktails. The bar also plays hosts to a range of popular events like their famous open mic nights and whiskey festivals.

The Whiskey Jar, 14 Tariff Street, Manchester, M1 2FF

District Basement Bar

Set beneath District’s restaurant, a futuristic vision of Bangkok’s fire-and-barbecue-lined streets, the basement bar sees a Blade Runner inspired set-up where the District experience continues. The cocktail menu is inspired by Thai cuisine, and has been developed to draw on every sense, with sight, smell and taste being heightened with every sip.

District, 60 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
districtmanchester.co.uk

Behind Closed Doors

Northern Quarter’s debauched cocktail bar complete with vintage erotica being played throughout. If you’re after a late one, this is the spot to go – playing boogie, soul & up beat funk all night long.

Behind Closed Doors, 93 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LW
bcdnq.com

The Castle Hotel

One of the Northern Quarters oldest drinking holes and certainly one of our favourites. Sat on Oldham Street since 1776 and revived after a short closure in 2009, it is a tonic to an ever-growing bar-chain culture. With an an impressive list of interesting and eclectic events held in the high-ceilinged and beautifully beamed room at the back, you are bound to find something of interest going on here. They have an array of different bands playing from one night to the next as well as excellent and well attended literary events, film launches and more.

The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham St, Manchester, M4 1LE

Common

This place is one of the areas original hipster haunts – a favourite of many in Manchester’s creative communities. It’s a colourful bar serving daily changing beers, inventive cocktails and New York-style pizza courtesy of Nell’s.

Common, 39-41 Edge St, Manchester, M4 1HW

Arlo’s

An all day deli + wine bar that’s probably the best people watching hang out in the Northern Quarter. They serve a small but mighty selection of classic cocktails, alongside natural wines.

Arlo’s, 15 Hilton St, Manchester M1 1JJ

Night & Day

A live music institution, where tomorrows stars come to play and the stage where the legends of the past have graced. The likes of Alex Turner, Guy Garvey and Johnny Marr have performed at this Northern Quarter venue.

Night & Day, 26 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JN

Trof

A Northern Quarter staple – the kind of place where you can hang out day or night, whether it’s for food, drinks, or dancing. They do a fantastic all-day breakfast and incredible roast dinner on Sundays. You’ll find a range of local and imported craft beers, and upstairs a bourbon bar with over 40 kinds on offer.

Trof, 8 Thomas Street, Manchester, M1 1EU

The Bay Horse Tavern

A modern take on a Victorian Pub, a laid-back spot with charm and personality to spare, a home away from home to relax in warm and comfortable surroundings with a vast range of gins, craft beers and other libations.

The Bay Horse Tavern, 35-37 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1NA

The Millstone

A pub that refuses to allow the normal rules of society (and sometimes physics) to apply. A place where you’ll hear someone belting out Whitney Houston on the karaoke at 11am on a Tuesday morning. It’s one of the best pubs in the entire city, if only for the sheer entertainment value going on in here. A must visit any day.

The Millstone, 67 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1LQ

NQ64

A basement bar adorned in glow-in-the-dark graffiti and filled to the brim with all sorts of arcade machines, dance machines and consoles with all your favourite games from your childhood.

NQ64, 9 Short St, Manchester, M4 1AA
nq64.co.uk

Port St. Beer House

A beer-enthusiasts’ drinking hole where you will find nothing but craft beers from here, there and everywhere.

Port Street Beer House, 39-41 Port St, Manchester, M1 2EQ
portstreetbeerhouse.co.uk

Cane & Grain

A three floor party bar, taking its inspiration from the previous site – a legendary Northern Quarter skate shop and party hangout. The ground floor is a nod towards the 80’s skate scene and the hedonistic excesses that were prevalent in that decade. Science & Industry is a subtler affair upstairs with full table service where a dedicated drinks laboratory has been created for experimentation with flavour and scientific techniques. The Second Floor houses The Liars Lounge, which is the second incarnation of the award winning Tiki Dive Bar and Caribbean Rum Shop.

Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1NA

Beatnikz Republic

A bar/taproom from modern microbrewery Beatnikz Republic Brewing Co. (which is less than a mile away), offering tastings in a renovated grade II–listed building. They’ve got 14x keg and 4x cask lines with half dedicated to their own beers and half to guest beers.

Beatnikz Republic, 35 Dale St, Manchester, M1 2HF
beatnikzrepublic.com

El Capo

A Mexican cantina that aims to authentically capture the sights, sounds and of course – the tastes of Mexico. El Capo also serve up a wide selection of beers, ales, cocktails and wine, alongside one of the city’s biggest selections of Tequila and Mezcal – with over 50 bottle from all over Mexico available.

El Capo, 12 Tariff St, Manchester, M1 2FF

Lono Cove

An immersive escapist Polynesian cocktail paradise with slick contemporary finishes, resort chic and enough tropical flourishes to make you forget the Manchester rain this Autumn.

Lono Cove, 14 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1DH