With the arrival of spring comes the first promises of sunshine and, being British, of course we’re already thinking about where to go for that first sun-soaked pint.
At last, after several years spent drinking in makeshift beer gardens set up in the streets, life feels like it’s going back to normal – and with the sun finally starting to stick its head out, we expect we’ll be seeing plenty of packed beer gardens soon enough.
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, the biggest and the most hidden beer gardens in the city to help you to make the most of the good weather.
You might actually stand a chance at getting a seat in one of these, if you’re quick enough.
Thomas Street and Edge Street
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 and Edge Street can now fill the roads with tables and chairs in one giant beer garden, but being such a busy stretch it’s often the first place punters think to go for a drink in the sun.
You’ll find the likes of Fierce Taproom, Common, Ad Hoc, Terrace, Smithfield Social, the Bay Horse Tavern, Cane and Grain and Wolf At The Door all being given the al fresco treatment.
Terrace also has a gorgeous little hidden beer garden upstairs, and if you find yourself really struggling to find a perch head over to Trof which has a tiny little hidden beer garden on its middle floor.
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 more people spilling out onto the green lawns surrounding them.
Down here you’ll also find Bar Barca and Albert’s Shed, both in prime position for soaking up some rays with a broad array of seating on offer.
It’s one of the prettiest spots in the city centre too, right on the water with narrow boats and plenty of lush greenery in view.
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 was one of the only venues that really focused on an open-air offering.
It’s still the same today – masses of tables in the heart of Spinningfields, with bleacher seating all the way round, plus live entertainment and a belting Aperol Spritz.
Hatch’s little village of shipping containers, each one home to an independent business (from food 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 in the midst of the pandemic and is another great outdoor space for getting the drinks in when the sun is shining.
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.
Neighbouring it, meanwhile, are two of Manchester’s oldest pubs – Sinclari’s Oyster Bar and The Old Wellington – both of which also boast large sun trap beer gardens, for those after something a little more traditional.
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.
Cutting Room Square
Set in the middle of Ancoats, also known as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, Cutting Room Square is guaranteed to get the sun all day long – and with plenty of bars here to choose from you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a seat one way or another.
From Vietnamese restaurant and bar Nam, which serves delicate fruity cocktails alongside a range of beers, to classic pub reborn Edinburgh Castle and brilliant cocktail bar Jane Eyre, drinkers are spoilt for choice.
Add to that rock bar Jimmy’s, wine pros Blossom Street Social, and local brewery bar Seven Brothers, and you’ll soon see how easy it is to spend a whole day drinking down here.
Featured image – Terrace
Hit Stockport sandwich shop Rack is opening a second cafe in Sale
Stockport’s favourite sandwich shop is coming to Sale, it has been revealed this week.
The small but mighty butty shop is expanding, as owners unveiled plans to open a new cafe and brunch spot inside a former barber’s shop in Sale.
Set to open on School Road later this year, the team will move into a characterful and quirky space in M33 following a full refurbishment.
With a hidden entrance down a side alley and then up a flight of exterior stairs, it might not be the easiest to find but – based on the calibre of butties coming out of their original shop – we know with certainty this will be worth seeking out.
Promising to keep it ‘all things sandwich’, just as they do at the original Stockport shop, on the Sale menu fans of things in bread will be as well catered to as ever with a dedicated grilled sandwich menu, plus staple breakfast butties and regular specials.
That’s not all, though. Given the increased size of the new space, the Rack team is also planning on introducing a new brunch menu – although details are currently being kept under wraps.
Sharing the news with fans online in a post that has been liked over 500 times, the Rack team wrote: “Huge Sandwich & Brunch Announcement.
“We’re opening a brand new sandwich and brunch spot on School Road in Sale M33! Taking over the space that once was a quirky first floor barber shop on the high street – The entrance is down the side alley and up the stairs, it’s got bags of character.
“Swipe to see how buzzing we were to start smashing walls down and see some of the progress. Keep your eyes peeled for progress pics and the menu drop – opening soon!
These are Manchester’s favourite takeaways, according to Deliveroo
When it comes to finding the best takeaways in our area, we don’t mess about – and neither does Deliveroo.
The original restaurant-quality food delivery service is celebrating eight years in Manchester this summer – and after nearly a decade of championing independent eateries, the team has noticed that when it comes to ordering in we Mancs are creatures of habit.
According to new insights published by the food couriers, Manchester locals can’t get enough of Salford’s sell-out smashed burgers, with the Burgerism Meal Deal being the most popular dish in the city.
Other top orders include Egg Fried Rice from Oodles and Margherita pizza from Rudy’s, followed by 8 Boneless Pieces from Wingstop and – last but not least – the OG Kebab from German Doner Kebab (GDK).
However, when it comes to local favourites, biryani, ice cream, and cookies all top the list of the most searched-for dishes in Manchester, with searches for biryani rising by 39% in the last two months.
Finding also discovered that Friday night at 7pm is the most popular time for Mancs to order on Deliveroo, with more orders being placed in central Manchester, Chorlton and Withington than any other neighbourhood.
Since its launch in Manchester eight years ago, more than 4,000 local restaurants have signed up to the platform.
Deliveroo has created work for more than 5,900 people in the city and surrounding areas, with the majority of these being the Deliveroo riders who deliver your food which is cooked fresh to order and brought to your door within 30 minutes.
Deliveroo has also remained committed to supporting local businesses in Manchester, with 60% per cent of its restaurant partners being local independent restaurants, creating new revenue streams for homegrown culinary talent.
Burgerism, Zumuku Sushi, and Proove Pizza are the top three small businesses that have been supported by Deliveroo over the past eight years.
Across these eight years, Deliveroo has become a city staple, with the top neighbourhood for restaurant orders being Central Manchester, whilst in second and third spots are Chorlton and Withington, respectively.
American cuisine has been a consistent favourite for all Manc orderers over recent years, alongside German, Mexican, Greek & Thai.
And that’s not all, Deliveroo data can also reveal Central Manchester is the neighbourhood that orders the most burgers, whilst Hulme is the city’s vegan capital, and residents in Salford can’t get enough of wings.
Daniel Soile, City Manager for Manchester, said: “Our whole team here at Deliveroo is delighted that our rapid growth in Manchester over the past eight years means that customers have more choice, restaurants are able to increase their revenue, and riders have the opportunity to choose well-paid, flexible work.”