With Manchester being famed for its rain, it’s not often we get the chance to drink outside. But when the sun does come out to play, here’s BarChick’s list of the best places to run to… Wouldn’t want to miss out on crucial sunshine boozing time would you?
A new kid on the Spinningfields block, the bar has prime position in the centre of town for a real Manchester summer drinking session. Kick back on one of the deckchairs and grab a Pimm’s and lemonade while listening to summer grooves. They’ve kept the cocktail selection short and simple with a few classics plus their own Long Bar Iced Tea. On Thursdays a huge outdoor screen shows old school films on the lawn, so get there early to get a good spot. There’s also a DJ in the evenings at weekends and live sport on the big screen every day.
The Lawns, Hardman Square, Spinningfields, M3 3JE
Another new addition to the ever popular Spinningfields, In Bloom is a new garden bar which sits comfortably on the green oasis of The Lawns. Covered in flowers and greenery with its own gardener, the bar grows its own herbs and berries on site. There’s an outdoor barbecue to compliment the range of ales from local breweries or one of their botanical inspired cocktails.
The Lawns, Hardman Square, Spinningfields, M3 3EB
Hidden away in the centre of town, this new smokehouse and liquor store has a roof terrace for sun catching as well as all your meat and booze needs. The terrace is super cool with plenty of picturesque greenery and lighting, perfect for enjoying one of the Garden of Eden style cocktails on offer. There’s a secret entrance to the bar and restaurant through the Deansgate pub downstairs, and there’s live music at the weekend, score.
321 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ
This hidden hangout is an early 19th century lock keepers cottage recently refurbished to its former glory and features not one, but two private terraces. The first is home to a weekend BBQ and hog roast, and the second is attached to a games room, fun times! They have a huge cocktail list plus some impressive sharers such as the Big Big Apple served in... a big apple. Hang around when it starts to get dark and the real party starts… and keeps going until 4am.
Lock Keeper’s Cottage, 9 Century St, Manchester, M3 4QL
This rooftop bar has some of the best views in Manchester and hosts many a launch party or BBQ throughout the summer months. Lanterns, Pimm’s and carnival entertainers are a regular feature so book a ticket to one of their events to make sure you don’t miss out. Half the garden is reserved for residents with a hot tub, sun loungers and a glass veranda so book a stay at the hotel for the full playground experience.
Great John Street Hotel, Great John Street, Manchester, M3 4FD
On the outskirts of Spinningfields, this cool brick lodge is one of the best suntraps in town, with a great big beer garden, well stocked bar and live music all year round. There’s a huge beer selection with wheat, ales and plenty of fruit options to quench thirst on a hot summer’s day. A happy halfway between a pub and a bar, food is served all day including fresh deli boards and big meaty chicken or lamb kebabs, nice one.
Crown Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AY
Grab your shades and get down to Dukes 92 as soon as the sun comes out and you’ll bump into pretty much the whole of the Manchester population. This place has one of the most popular beer gardens in Manchester and it’s no wonder with its great views and balcony bar overlooking the Castlefield basin. There’s food on offer all day including a grill menu, and pizzas and salads for some chilled eating before you get on the hard stuff. Get there early to make sure you get a good seat and let the drinking commence.
18 Castle Street, Deansgate Locks, Manchester, M3 4LZ
Complete with Bruce the Black Dog’s dog house, a private bar and chilled sofas, the terrace at Black Dog NWS is a great place to catch some rays when the sun’s out in Manchester. There’s an extensive cocktail list to plough your way through with great drinks offers through the week and even a roofed area to protect you from the Northern elements if the good weather bails. Forget the disposable BBQ, they’ve got it covered with a permanent one on the terrace serving burgers and kebab skewers plus an all-day breakfast menu. Sold.
11-13 New Wakefield Street, Manchester, M1 5NP
Located across the water from Dukes 92, The Wharf is a proper cosy pub with a nice big sun terrace overlooking the canal and the boats passing through Castlefield basin. If you’re after food they serve classic pub grub plus other home cooked specials - if you’re around on a Sunday make sure you check out the roast dinners. There’s a proper restaurant upstairs and loads of places to sit outside so grab a beer or check out the wine list with over 50 to choose from it’s definitely a winner.
6 Slate Wharf, Manchester, M15 4SW
If Champagne’s your thang then Epernay’s terrace is where you wanna be. Chill out on the balcony with views of the Amphitheatre below for the most refined summer drinking in Manchester. With over 100 different types of Champagne and 80 different cocktails, the bar is the perfect place to unwind in style or seduce your date as the sun goes down on the pretty candlelit tables.
Great Northern Tower, Unit 1A, Watson Street, M3 4EE.
This elegant glass fronted cocktail bar and restaurant features one of Manchester’s best kept secrets, an intimate rooftop with a city garden feel. It’s a super classy drinking destination with an outdoor cocktail bar where you can chill on the sofas and watch the city below. They’ve got you covered (literally), with a retractable roof just in case that famous Manchester rain tries to spoil your fun.
14 John Dalton Street, Manchester, M2 6JR
BarChick’s favourite Manchester tiki bar has got you covered when the sun comes out with the addition of its outdoor seating area for summer. Grab one of their famous tiki-cocktails in true Hawaiian style, and when the sun goes in take the party downstairs to the tropical paradise below
19A Back Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 2PB
If the sun’s not making you feel like you’re on holiday, the Grand Pacific Bar & Garden definitely will. The baby sister of Australasia has now opened its sophisticated outdoor garden bar, with ornate canopies and loads of greenery to make you feel like you’re hiding somewhere far, far away. When the sun comes out get here quickly and grab a seat on the nautical themed sofas because they serve the best high tea menu in town - three tiers of sushi, and then a huge selection of sweet treats served with Champagne… as well as a luxury cocktail menu.
1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AP
For more Manchester bars check out our Manchester city guide