Five of the best bars in Manchester

  • Sharebar
image from shutterstock

Where would you drink in Manchester? In a new city it’s easy to join the crowd and end up at a mediocre place serving over-priced drinks with a bunch of people you are convinced are the ‘missing link.’ No fear as we run down the five best watering holes in Manchester – don’t worry there’s something for every one!

Cloud 23
No one goes to Cloud 23 for the drinks. No one goes for the company. No one goes for the price. Located in Manchester's tallest building, there’s only one thing that the Hilton’s high level cocktail bar boasts that you can’t get better elsewhere in town and that’s the view. The bar is a dizzying 23 floors up, with floor to ceiling glass windows - on a clear night you can see the bright lights of Manchester laid out below like a illuminated map, even in bad weather it's worth watching the clouds roll in from the Penines. Best bar for those who are new to the city. 

Cloud 23, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ - www.cloud23bar.com

Epernayimage from epernay.co.uk
If fizz is more your thing, head to Eperney. Specialising in champagne, they have a wide range of vintage and rare champagnes – plus over 80 cocktails for you to work your way through, many of them bubbly based. If you want to impress, why not book a champagne masterclass and wow your friends with you new found knowledge? Make sure to sit in the back, with the large glass windows looking over the street life below - as the light fades, twinkling fairy lights appear along to match that merry twinkle in your eye. Best for those who want a classy night out that’s not too rowdy.

Epernay, Great Northern Tower, Unit 1A, Watson Street, Manchester M3 4EE - www.epernaychampagnebars.com

Keko Moku
For something a bit different, head in to Manchester’s Northern Quarter, where Keko Moku’s tiny but mighty frame is certainly not lost in the raft of other bars you find up there. It's always party time at Manchester's original run shack; the staff not only supply a rip-roaring time, but are trained so well they always pick out the best drinks for you, whilst infusing you (and the cocktails) with their infectious love and knowledge of this cane based spirit. For a tiny place there's a huge selection of spirits to choose from, an array of lethal/unusual cocktails and some of the best barmen this side of the M25. Ensuring that the good people of Manchester love/know as much about rum as them, they run a monthly rum club (it's FREE!) showcasing a different rum each month - with plenty of free sips, cocktails and give aways; because they love you/rum that much. Best for those who want a party but with quality drinks and friendly people.

Keko Moku, 100 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1HP - Facebook

Marble 57 Thomas Streetimage from flickrhivemind.net
Like beer? Check out Marble 57 Thomas Street – the baby brother to the Marble Brewery pub, but thankfully less out in Manchester’s wastelands and more in bewteen other bars you can have follow on drinks at (well, if you want to, but you can quite happily make 57 Thomas Street your residence for the evening, it's that good). What marks out Thomas Street as special is the vast array of craft beers/lagers from all over the world, the outstanding knowledge of the staff and the fact that it’s also a microbrewery (they brew at their main pub, about ten minutes walk out of town). At any one time there will be four of their own cask ales on and plenty of bottles from their range (Ginger is beautiful, think Crabbie’s but a proper ale and not sweet/mass market; Session is a smooth and super easy to drink and I also recommend the Earl Grey, good bitter ale with a lighter, floral charater from the tea they steep in it). Oh and they have a cracking selection of meats and cheeses if you get a bit peckish (including my favourites Epoisses and Stinking Bishop). Best for the real ale and proper lager afficianado (there's no Carling).

Marble on Thomas Street, 57 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1NA - www.marblebeers.co.uk

Hangingditch
Small, yet perfectly formed, Hanging Ditch in an oenophiles dream - not just a wine shop, but somewhere to sup a glass at the end of/start to/during a busy day. The staff track down the best wines the world has to offer, taste every one just for you (hard job, hey?) and then put the best ones on a menu for you to try. The shop is tiny, with a few window seats for you to sample your find in as you watch the world bustle by – however, they have an outside pavement terrace which thankfully quadruples the seating, be quick though - it's positively packed when there’s a day without rain (there’s not that many in Manchester!). Best for wine heads – whether you know a little or a lot, the staff are friendly, helpful and will always find just the right tipple for you.

Hangingditch, Brittanic Buildings, 42-44 Victoria Street, Manchester M3 1ST - www.hangingditch.com

Manchester at night image from shutterstock