Where to find a great pint of Guinness in Manchester city centre

We love a pint of Guinness, but sadly not all of them are up to par.

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 16th March 2023

When it comes to finding a good pint of Guinness, it’s fair to say that not all Manchester boozers are created equal — however, we do believe we have some of the very best outside of Ireland.

Some pints are thin and watery, some have a bit of a bitter taste and some are missing that all-important signature creamy head. All things you want to avoid. In fact, if you go into a pub and see any of this our advice is to run.

Any bartender worth their salt will tell you that there’s a certifiable art to pouring out a proper pint of the black stuff, starting with a two-part pour: a practice considered sacrosanct for literally hundreds of years. Your pint should be properly poured with 3/4 of it filled with old stout, rested, then topped up with new, and when the drink is done a white residue should remain around the glass.

These, as we know them, are the very basics but serious Guinness drinkers can likely reel off a whole list of other criteria that we haven’t even touched on. For now, though, that’ll do and these are the very best places that boast not just a good but a great pint of Guinness in Manchester — in no particular order.

The best places for a Guinness in Manchester

1. Mulligans – Deansgate

Well, if there was a ranking of the best Guinness in Manchester, this place would be almost universally considered at the top.

Widely renowned for having the best pint of Guinness in Manchester hands down, if it’s authenticity you’re looking for then Mulligans of Deansgate is a must.


An authentic Irish bar with live music almost every night and plenty of cosy snugs to tuck yourself away in, it’s typically packed to the rafters and bartenders pride themselves on never, EVER leaving a bubble in your pint.

2. The Bay Horse Tavern – Northern Quarter

This equally cosy Northern Quarter bar on Thomas Street is another good choice for those looking for a great pint of Guinness and some bloody good food while they’re at it.


Bay Horse always has deals on too, including a pie and a pint for a tenner on Mondays, which might be one of the most affordable prices for a Guinness and a good meal in the city centre full stop these days.

3. Peveril of the Peak – Central

A historic city centre boozer, the Peveril of the Peak is not just one of Manchester’s most beautiful and historic watering holes but also one of its most unique public houses with a fascinating history.

Run by one of Britain’s oldest and longest-serving landlords, come for its bold green tile-clad exterior and stained glass windows and stay for a very smooth pint of Guinness.


4. The Castle Hotel – NQ

Another great NQ pub, this time on Oldham Street, The Castle Hotel is another spot you can completely rely on for quality Guinness. Its pours have even been accredited.

The real ale pub boasts lots of charming little corners, a small beer garden out back, a great jukebox and a gig room where you can watch local bands whilst sipping on proper pints.

5. Kiely’s Irish Bar – Great Northern Warehouse

In at number five is one of the very best Irish bars in Manchester for our money and that’s Kiely’s over on Great Northern. Prone to lots of spill-over from the busy scenes on Peter Street and Deansgate strip most weekends, you’ll find plenty of people heading in here for a great pint of Guinness.

With live music and sports on the box most days, not to mention plenty of room for the big crowds on match days and the likes of St. Patrick’s name day, you can count on this place for plenty of the black gold and good vibes.

6. The Crown & Kettle

This gorgeous Grade II-listed freehouse sits on the border of Ancoats and the Northern Quarter dates all the way back to 1774 and is literally oozing history.


Reopened in 2005 in cooperation with English Heritage and lovingly refurbished not long ago, it has an incredibly fine and unusual ceiling, a brilliant pub quiz and one of the best pints of Guinness in the neighbourhood.

7. Edinburgh Castle

Whilst we’re talking about Ancoats, the elegant Edinburgh Castle also deserves a very honourable mention for its Guinness pour.

This refurbished Victorian boozer not only boasts Manchester’s most elite chip butty and great food all-round from its stunning upstairs restaurant but is also widely considered one of the best places for a pint of Guinness in town. Trust us.

8. O’Shea’s Irish Bar – Central

Obviously, we have to talk about O’Shea’s. This Irish bar is widely considered a go-to for a good pint of Guinness, with some even reporting they prefer their pints to Mulligans — controversial, we know, but this is a democracy after all.

During the pandemic, the bar also made a splash in the city by opening a giant outdoor Guinness garden and you can rest assured it’ll be one of the best places to spend Paddy’s Day this year.


9. The Deansgate – Deansgate

Another historic boozer recently reborn after a couple of years of sitting boarded up on the busy Manchester stretch from which it takes its name is one of our personal favourites, The Deansgate.

Now under the ownership of Greene King and serving up a cracking pint of Guinness from its ground-floor and first-floor bars alongside a hearty pub grub menu, what’s not to like?

10. Lass O’Gowrie – Oxford Road Corridor

Oh, she’s a bonnie wee Lassie, the Gowrie. One of the best-loved city centre spots you’ll ever have the pleasure of popping in for a pint, the Scottish-founded but heavily Irish-influenced pub knows a thing or two about pouring a proper pint of Guinness.

What’s more, we just love spending time in here full stop as there’s always plenty on; whether it’s a quiz or open mic night or you simply just want to sit out on their fairy-lit balcony terrace hanging over the River Medlock, it’s an absolute jewel in the Oxford Road Corridor‘s crown.

11. O’Neill’s – Printworks

An absolute dynasty when it comes to Irish bars across the UK, we couldn’t not put O’Neill’s on this list as no matter how busy they get every Friday and Saturday they never fail to pull a good pint of Guinness.


With Waxy O’Connor’s having left the Printworks a little while back, it’s now the go-to place for a solid stout in the popular leisure and entertainment venue, plenty of punters all over the country consider it their go-to for the craic.

12. Duffy’s Bar – Chorlton

Heading just outside of the city centre for our next tipple, there are some locals living in the enclave of Chorlton and beyond that believe Duffy’s is the very best pint of Guinness anywhere in Greater Manchester; better than Mulligans, O’Shea’s, Kiely’s — all of them. Big words.

We’d never be so bold as to fall on our swords when it comes to such a precious debate that people are always so passionate about, but what we will say is that this regular Man United pub is a very good place to split the G.

13. The New Oxford – Salford

Another gem located just outside of the city limits and down the road from Spinningfields is The New Oxford in Bexley Square on Chapel Street. Recently restored and absolutely glowing, it’s not only one of the prettiest traditional pubs you’ll find in 0161 but it does a bloody good Guinness.

With Irish roots and staff behind the bar, as well as an authentic vintage pump shipped straight over from Temple Bar in Dublin, the sip in this place is just as sublime as the setting. An extremely underrated spot.


14. The Old Nag’s Head – Deansgate

Another big stronghold for Reds — well, the biggest in the city centre, certainly — The Old Nag’s Head isn’t just a good place to watch the footy or make a fool of yourself on karaoke, the staff also serve up a pretty decent pint of Guinness too.

You might struggle to get a seat when United are and they do often have a bit of queue on the busier of nights, but the atmosphere in here is great, the dancefloor upstairs is dynamite and the rooftop terrace is a wonderful hideaway when the sun is out.

15. The Station – Didsbury

Last but not least, we’re giving the nod to another pub located outside of the city centre and that is The Station, which also happens to be one of the best pubs on the Didsbury Dozen bar crawl.

A fave amongst the suburbs locals and old boys going for a scoop in the afternoon, this is another one that many people put firmly forward as number one in the argument for the best pint of Guinness in Greater Manchester, not to mention at a decent price.

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Feature Images — The Manc Group