Manchester is the second biggest city in England, surrounded by the beautiful Pennine mountains. It’s a hub of activity, well known for its iconic music scene and pioneering innovations in engineering and science.
We’ve enjoyed all this city has to offer since we were founded here in 2009. And as it’s our 10 year anniversary this summer, we thought we’d share our 10 favorite things to do in Manchester.
With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, we’ve sampled many local cafés for their food and as a place to work. Here are a few that have stood out over the years. We absolutely love the French toast at Takk, their simple menu focuses on quality ingredients that hit the spot every time. If you can get a table, Federal also do a great breakfast and then there’s Ezra and Gill whose brioche French toast and posh babyccino are delectable.
We know a thing or two about coffee here at Capsule, and the Northern Quarter has a spectacular collection of coffee shops - you’re spoilt for choice. But if we had to pick one from all those we’ve frequented over the years it would have to be Idle Hands. You’ll find at least one of the team there most mornings.
The John Rylands library is a must see. The Victorian Gothic architecture on Deansgate is a sight to behold. It was built in memory of John Rylands over 100 years ago and has one of the world’s finest collections of rare books and manuscripts. We recommend wandering the stunning corridors and enjoying the quiet space.
With such a vibrant music scene it’s no surprise that there’s a plethora of record shops in the Northern Quarter of the city with a mix of new music and second-hand classics. Browsing the stores and chatting to the friendly fanatics that run them is a lovely thing to do. We like to visit Clampdown Records during a lunch hour to search for some of the classics.
Afflecks is an interesting place, home to independent stalls selling a spectrum of goods you’re unlikely to find in your average department store. Hours will vanish by as you browse the eclectic range on offer. And when you’re ready for a sit down, Ginger’s Comfort Emporium upstairs serves the most delicious ice cream.
Manchester is a big fan of the English game, football - you may call it soccer. Manchester City and Manchester United are the two global clubs based close to the city. You can pop along to these iconic stadiums for a tour or to simply purchase some memorabilia. If you’d like to learn even more about the beautiful game, the National Football Museum is worth checking out too.
If craft beer is your thing, there’s quite a collection of breweries you can visit for a tasty tour. Most have a tap room where you can sample the goods and take some home. Our favorites are Blackjack and Seven Brot7hers, both within 10 minutes of our office in the Northern Quarter. If you prefer gin, you’ll enjoy the Gin Experience at The City of Manchester Distillery. Not only do you get the tour, but you even get to create your very own gin to take home with you.
There’s an abundance of quirky bars, cafés and restaurants in Manchester. We’ve spent time in a fair few over the years and here are the three that stand out the most. The underground drinking den, NQ64, rekindles childhood memories as you challenge yourself to a selection of retro arcade games or classic consoles. The retractable roof on the top floor of El Negro creates an absolutely gorgeous experience when enjoying authentic Tapas on a sunny evening. Then there’s the well loved speakeasy, The Washhouse. It’s disguised as a laundromat, where the unique experience begins as soon as you make the booking and continues with each fabulous cocktail.
There’s a mix of music venues to satisfy every taste in the city, from the huge Manchester Arena, to the beautiful Bridgewater Hall. The team tends to visit the intimate venues more regularly to stay up to date on new music, such as Night and Day or our other favorite, Band on the Wall. All get a big thumbs up for a great night out.
We’ve already mentioned El Gato Negro for their authentic tapas and we have to mention the famous Curry Mile for its wealth of South Asian restaurants. Based just outside the city centre in Rusholme, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you arrive. If sushi is more your thing, try Umezushi, we think it’s by far the best for fresh, quality dishes. Then there’s good old Rudy’s for truly sumptuous Pizza.
We hope you you found the list helpful and enjoy your time in the city. Don’t forget to pop by and say hi when you’re exploring the Northern Quarter, we’re just on the corner of Dale Street.