Cosy pubs near the Manchester Christmas Markets where you can hide from the madness

Sometimes you just need a break, let's be honest...

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 6th December 2023

The Manchester Christmas Markets are in full flow for another year, and they are BUSY.

Once again, thousands of people are pouring into the city centre every weekend and evening to browse the massive range of food, drink and gifts being sold from the village of wooden huts that have appeared in town.

And there’s no denying that the markets do bring plenty of festive cheer to town, with Nutcracker mugs in every hand and people munching on sausages as they walk.

But when the hustle and bustle and the cold all gets a bit much – and if you’re anything like us, one or two drinks at the Christmas Markets is plenty – you’ll be looking for respite.

And by respite, we mean a pub.


So here are the best pubs that are very near the Manchester Christmas Markets without actually being in the thick of it.

North Westward Ho

This stunning new pub has been created by Pomona Island, the much-loved local craft brewery, and it’s handily located within staggering distance of the Market Street, Piccadilly Gardens and King Street Christmas markets hubs.


Pomona Island has taken on a chunk of the former Chaophraya restaurant, turning the grand arch-windowed red-brick building serving their own craft beers – from the easy-drinking Factotum, to the excellent Phaedra pale ale.

And boy is it cosy – North Westward Ho feels like a proper Manchester pub that has been styled with dark wooden details, ornate tiling, wall sconces, oil paintings, dark green ceramic brick times, and loads of cosy corners.

Read more about it here.


19 Chapel Walks, M2 1HN

Victoria Tap

The Victoria Tap is a new beer bar that’s completely transformed a corner of the station that was previously home to a bin store, and it’s a perfect place to pause between the Cathedral Gardens Christmas Markets and your train home.

You won’t miss your train either – on the wall inside the pub is a departures board that advises how many pints you can fit in before your train leaves.

Northern breweries on the taps at Victoria Tap include Brew York, Blackjack and Runaway, plus a good selection of European beers from the likes of kostritzer, Bitburger and Schremser.

Inside there are traditional parquet floors underfoot and a dark green bar running almost the whole length of the micropub.


Find out more here.

Victoria Station, M3 1WY

Cafe Beermoth

This bar is at complete odds with its location – the sight of its cosy, calm interior at great odds to the madness of Market Street it sits behind.

Like an oasis in the dessert, Cafe Beermoth provides serious salvation when you need it most.

The Belgian-style beer cafe champions drinks from across the UK as well as further afield into Europe and America, though it has a strong bond with Manchester’s own Runaway Brewery.


It’s one of those places you can visit solo or with a massive group and still be welcomed with the same open arms.

Brown Street, M2 1DA

Micro Bar

You wouldn’t think that the place to escape the madness of the Manchester Christmas Markets would be the Manchester Arndale, aka the biggest shopping mall in town and one that is RAMMED with shoppers in December.

But wedged into a corner of the Arndale Market is Micro Bar, a teeny tiny pub with a good selection of German and Belgian beers on keg plus hundreds of bottles and cans in the fridges.

If you’re quick and lucky, you can get a seat overlooking High Street and feel extra smug that you’re on the quiet side of the glass.


Arndale Food Market, M4 3AH

The Sadler’s Cat

Formerly known as The Pilcrow, this shed-like pub on Sadler’s Yard is now in the very trustworthy hands of Cloudwater Brewery.

The space itself was built by local people through a series of workshops, with members of the public creating everything from the tabletops to the lampshades.

There is, of course, Cloudwater beers, but also plenty of others to choose from, a menu of natural wines, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.

It’s also stumbling distance from Cathedral Gardens – you can practically skate here from the ice rink.


Hanover St, M60 0AB


Disappear from St Ann’s Square – where you can barely move for gluhwein and tinsel – and down into the cave-like wine bar that is Corbieres.

Something of a Manchester institution, this brilliant bar has a jukebox loaded with great music, and a decent range of wines and beers.

It also does free pizza with any drink purchased, Tuesday to Friday 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

AND, as they’re advertising themselves as an escape from the markets, they’re even happy for you to bring the food you buy at the markets into the bar.


2 Half Moon St, M2 7PB

Mr Thomas’s Chop House

Any of the Chop Houses are guaranteed to be maximum cosy, with their Victorian interiors still largely in tact and menus full of massive stodgy food.

There are two that are both right near the King Street batch of Christmas Markets – Sam’s is beneath the previously mentioned North Westward Ho, while Albert’s is within that iconic tall skinny building on Cross Street.

At this time of year they’re extra festive thanks to soft white fairy lights and candles.

52 Cross St, M2 7AR

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Featured image: The Manc Group