Summer has finally arrived and with temperatures set to soar in Manchester, people will be flocking outside to beer gardens.
With a heatwave on the horizon, the city’s streets will likely be packed with revellers sipping on cocktails and drinking pints out in the fresh air.
We all know the pain of walking pub-to-pub trying to find a seat on a sunny and/or warm Manchester day, so we’re rounding up the best beer gardens in the city to get a seat.
Some of them are massive, some of them are overlooked, but either way, you might actually stand a chance at getting a seat in one of these – if you’re quick enough, that is.
Thomas Street, Edge Street and Stevenson Square
This was one of the few positives to come out of the pandemic – removing vehicles from a back-to-back stretch of the Northern Quarter.
It means that the bars along Thomas Street, Stevenson Square and Edge Street can now fill the roads with tables and chairs in one giant beer garden.
You’ll find the likes of Common, Flok, Terrace, Smithfield Social, the Bay Horse Tavern and Wolf At The Door all being given the al fresco treatment.
Wine and charcuterie bar The Mews sites on the often-forgot Deansgate Mews walkway, wedged between the tail end of Deansgate and the Great Northern Warehouse.
Its large, secluded outdoor area is the perfect place to try when everywhere seems full – as this hidden gem delivers in spades on food, drink, and sunshine too.
Up here you’ll also find the likes of Siam Smiles cafe, Whistlepunks, Another Hand and Lion’s Den.
Crazy Pedros, Bridge Street
Drenched in sun for the best part of the day, the beer garden at Crazy Pedro’s also happens to be huge – having benefited from a pavement extension thanks to Covid.
You can drink margaritas and enjoy slices of pizza all day here whilst soaking up the rays, but we do recommend trying for a table early – it does tend to get pretty packed come the late afternoon / evening.
Two beer garden institutions both stand in the canal-side setting of Castlefield.
Both The Wharf and Dukes 92 are stuffed to the brim with pub-goers in spring and summer, thanks to their massive terraces – with the terrace at Atlas Bar also a good consideration, being somewhat hidden at the back of the bar, it’s often overlooked by sun seekers.
It always helps that Castlefield is one of the prettiest spots in the city centre, too.
Escape to Freight Island
This hospitality giant was initially purpose-built with social distancing in mind (wasn’t 2020 a wild ride?!), leading to a seriously roomy outdoor space.
While the bulk of the action has now shifted indoors to the Ticket Hall, Freight Island’s colourful outdoor space is back in its element – now open seven days a week.
You’ll find street food traders like One Star Doner Bar, Madre tacos, Batard, Voodoo Ray’s pizza, Burgerism and Mi & Pho all trading here, on this formerly-forgotten patch near Manchester Piccadilly.
The Oast House
Beer gardens seem to be everywhere in Manchester these days, which is of course a good thing, but we still have a soft spot for the original outdoor watering hole.
Cast your mind back a few years and The Oast House (and its grassy Spinningfields counterpart The Lawn Club) was one of the few venues that really focused on an open-air offering.
It’s still the same today – masses of tables in the heart of Spinningfields, with live entertainment and a belting Aperol Spritz too.
Hatch’s little village of shipping containers, each one home to an independent business (from food and drink to retail), is a true all-weather venue.
Part of it is sheltered by the Mancunian Way that soars overhead, other parts are heated by patio heaters, and parts are left in optimum position for soaking up some sunshine.
The rooftop terrace that overlooks the whole space is our personal favourite.
This ‘secret garden’ bar opened right in the heart of the Northern Quarter last year.
Tucked behind those big mint-green wooden boards on Dale Street is a cluster of picnic tables and wooden huts festooned with fairy lights and plants.
It might not be the tropics, but they’ve got the cocktails to trick your tastebuds into thinking it is – we’re talking frozen strawberry daiquiris and frozen pina coladas. Oh, and there’s beer too.
The Corn Exchange
Another corner of the city where bars and restaurants spill outside alongside one another is the Corn Exchange.
Its residents – including Salvi’s, Banyan and Cosy Club – almost all have their own terraces, but it’s the ones on the Exchange Square side who get the most sunshine.
You might have to queue a little while, but with so much seating, you’ll be sipping a drink in the sun before you know it.
Featured image: Escape to Freight Island
A Japanese fine dining restaurant is opening in the former Randall & Aubin site
A new Japanese fine dining restaurant will open on Bridge Street in Manchester this October, bringing a theatrical ‘multi-sensory’ dining experience to the city.
Giving diners the chance to dine from specially created 7 and 11-course tasting menus or opt for a traditional ‘chef’s choice’ experience at its six-seat Omakase counter, bosses say it will offer a contemporary interpretation of Japanese dishes currently not seen outside of London.
Called MUSU, which translates as ‘infinite possibilities,’ the restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Patron Michael Shaw, who has worked at top eateries including Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Richard Neat’s eponymous restaurant in Canne.
Shaw has spent the last 18 months honing his passion for Japanese cuisine in preparation to open MUSU and will bring on Head Sushi Chef Andre Aguiar, who has trained under renowned Japanese sushi master YugoKato, to head up the kitchen.
When MUSU it opens its doors on Bridge Street on 6 October, diners will be treated to a new tasting menu concept that promises to deliver a ‘multi-sensory dining experience.’
Its menu is divided into three sections – Sentaku, Kaiseki and Omakase – giving diners the choice between ordering dishes a la carte style, opting for a set seven or eleven-course tasting menu, or entrusting the chef to create their ‘perfect menu.’
As for the new high-end Japanese restaurant’s design, MUSU’s multi-million-pound interiors will boast bespoke Italian furniture, subtle mood lighting and bespoke Geisha-inspired walls, with a bar made from Dekton stone, banana leaf patterned brass and onyx.
A huge festival dedicated to the wonders of Spanish cuisine is coming to Manchester next month.
Organised as part of country-wide celebration by Spanish brewery Estrella Galicia, the festival will bring some of the city’s finest Spanish and South American chefs together for a vibrant mix of tapas tours, foodie masterclasses and high-end tasting menus.
Hosted cross Manchester, London, Cardiff, Brighton and Newcastle, locals can take part in the ultimate Spanish food tour with selected restaurants offering their best-selling tapas plates with a pint of Estrella Galicia on the side.
Former Masterchef contestant Caroline Martins of the Sao Paulo Project will host a special tasting menu at her current home inside Ancoats’ Blossom Street Social, mixing traditional Spanish dishes with influences from her home country of Brazil in Central America on Sunday 11 September.
An official Estrella Galicia Chef Ambassador for 2022, Martins has made quite a name for herself since arriving in Manchester – appearing on the Great British Menu earlier this year and wowing local diners in Ancoats with her Alice in Wonderland-style food.
Known for serving weird and wonderful creations like edible ‘beef fat’ candles, marshmallows topped with tongue-numbing Jambu flowers and desserts disguised as poisonous mushrooms, Caroline has become something of a local sensation since moving to Manchester in 2020.
Elsewhere across the festival, local tapas favourites Evuna, La Bandera and the family-run staple El Rincon de Rafa will all get involved in a special tapas tour across the city on Thursday 29 September.