Take a walk down Market Street, the main shopping street in Manchester, and you’ll find an abundance of coffee shop chains and fast food vans all serving varying forms of coffee. Starbucks alone like most major cities has 18 branches in Manchester. Whilst popular, they don’t necessarily capture the unique vibe and atmosphere that the city has to offer its visitors and commuters. Head a little bit further out of the centre to the likes of the Northern Quarter or Deansgate, however, and you’ll find some of the best coffee shops that Manchester has to offer.
Run by passionate locals, there are speciality coffee roasters, the best and cheapest coffee on the market, an espresso served with doorstop slices of homemade cake, and all just a 5-minute walk from the centre. So, on your next visit to Manchester, look beyond the pricey coffee chains and be sure to pay a well-deserved visit these hidden coffee house gems.
Ever wondered what would happen if two rugby players decided to set up their own coffee shop? Well, we’ve got the answer. Sounding very much like the beginning of a joke, two rugby players decided to open up their own coffee shop in a quaint arcade located just minutes from the bustling Arndale shopping centre, thus giving Manchester PotKettleBlack. And not just any old rugby players mind, league legends Jon Wilkin and Mark Flanagan are the brains behind this operation. Although not visible from the street, this coffee shop is constantly busy with commuters, office workers, and tourists. Whilst the location hasn’t worked for previous ventures, it seems to add to PotKettleBlack’s charm. Afterall, where else can you take a yoga class in the morning followed by a great cup of coffee before you head to work? PotKettleBlack has recently ventured out into other projects, such as gin tasting evenings and workouts on the roof space. They are currently setting up to open their second premises in the busy Spinningfields area.
Arguably, this is part of a chain of “cafes”, but not as you know it. Formed in Moscow, Ziferblat currently has 20 sites located across Europe, with plans to expand rapidly over the next few years. This pay-as-you-go cafe opened their Northern Quarter Ziferblat site in 2015 and have since gone on to secure two other locations in the city. Priced at just 8p per person, per minute, Ziferblat offers visitors comfortable seating, a fully stocked kitchen where you can make your own drinks and food and a collection of board games. A great place to while away the rainy Manchester hours, you’d be forgiven for passing the Northern Quarter location without noticing it was there. The hosts often take it in turns to bake delicious cakes, scones and even quiches which are all included in your price and everyone is welcome, including dogs. If you’re on the go, take in a reusable coffee cup and get a barista-style coffee and cake for less than a pound.
Ancoats Coffee Co
Already a well-established coffee roaster providing Manchester coffee shops and businesses with their home-roasted blend, Ancoats Coffee Co set up their first coffee shop in 2015. Less than 10 minutes walk from Piccadilly train station, this cafe is at the top of the list of quality food and drink traders in the city centre, and it’s clear to see why with their locally sourced food, including bread from the Manchester-famous Pollen Bakery, and homemade bakes. Still very much focused on creating and selling their roast coffee, you can watch the coffee roasting and weighing take place at regular intervals throughout the day, so grab your cup of coffee, sit back and relax. Get involved with their regular tasting events, or pick up all the tools to create your own great coffee at home. Backed by a dedicated and passionate team of budding roasters and baristas, if you know your coffee then a visit here is a must-do if you’re in the area.
This Canadian and American style diner is the place to visit for a dining experience if you’re in Manchester. Inspired by the breakfasts of New York and the charm of Canada, this little eatery isn’t far from the city centre, although you will feel miles away when you’re nestled in at one of the tables tackling a stack of pancakes and sipping a great cup of coffee. The perfect place to hang out with friends, Moose Coffee is perhaps one of the best places to eat in Manchester, and that’s made better by the excellent coffee choices. The coffees here are made up of blends of South American and African coffee beans, providing a deep and mellow flavour. If you like sweet coffee, try the Moose Macchiato for a truly decadent coffee journey.
Perhaps one of, if not the best-hidden coffee shop in Manchester, Lawn Coffee is a much-loved secret of the locals and a much-needed spot of tranquility in the bustling city. Slap bang in the middle of the city located in the award-winning Princess St. Hotel, Lawn Coffee isn’t visible from the street which makes it even more charming. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, this is a must-visit. Ancoats Coffee provide the beans, you choose the method by which it is made – espresso, V60 or Aeropress, you decide! Locals in the know pop in to escape the bustle of the morning commute and dull coffee chains to grab their to-go coffee and a delicious bakery item to set them up for a busy morning. I like to relax and spend an hour or so here with a newspaper and coffee just watching the Manchester crowds go by.