Whether it’s been a hard day shopping, you over did it last night or you’re a caffeine junky that can’t go five steps without their next fix – don’t worry, in Manchester you’re never going to go short of the good stuff.
In recent years Manchester’s café culture has boomed. I first arrived in the city ten years ago and even if I didn’t have a taste for coffee yet, I spent many an afternoon traipsing round the centre trying to find somewhere that either wasn’t a chain or that actually served something drinkable. These days I can’t take the first step on a shop till you drop spree without a caffeine injection – luckily, there now are plenty of amazing places for me to take my pick:
1. Salvi’s, The Corn Exchange
Tucked away at the bottom of the Corn Exchange, looking out on to the hustle and bustle of Exchange Square, Salvi’s can be hard to over look – it’s a tiny little deli and mozzarella bar that’s been trading quietly for the past year and has built up a dedicated following through their winning formula of great staff, fresh food and the best espresso this side of Naples (or at least in Manchester).
Sit at the bar and talk to the staff, find a cosy table or (if you’ve very lucky with the weather) sit on one of their pavement tables and watch the shoppers pass, pretending you’re in Rome (that’s a big pretend).
2. Home Sweet Home, Edge Street
Home sweet Home does exactly what it says on the tin – it really is a home away from home.
Serving up homemade cakes, cookies cooked to order (with milk on the side for dipping), milkshakes and cheese toasties it’s just the place you should head if you need a little comfort.
Decked out in pastel blues, vintage touches and mismatched furniture mixed in with some very friendly staff, it really does feel like you’re back in your mum’s kitchen getting all the comfort you need.
3. North Tea Power, Tib Street
North Tea Power is a haven for those who want to hide from the hustle and bustle of town - here you’ll find relaxed beats, white walls and quirky prints plus a vast array of speciality coffees, teas, cakes and sandwiches.
Owned and run by coffee and tea enthusiasts, this is the place in Manchester to head if you want to find single estate beans, pour overs and tea-espressos (I kid you not).
4. Teacup, Thomas Street
Get in quick – there’s always a queue at Teacup! With the longest loose leaf tea menu possibly in the world and a great selection of eats, Teacup is a buzzy café that’s owned by the DJ Mr Scruff.
There’s a big emphasis on local, fairtrade and organic produce without it shoving it in your face. Not the cheapest place to eat, but the afternoon tea works out at great value for the amount of food you get (share one between two, it’s massive!) @teacupandcakes
5. Eastern Bloc Records, Stevenson Square
Where can you shop for records and get a great coffee? Eastern Bloc’s your answer. A tiny little café and record shop they specialise in dub step, drum and bass, jungle, house, electronica and techno, oh and the best carrot cake muffins you’ll ever try.
Chilled out atmosphere, always good music playing and you might even get to spot one of their famous clients!