Get us in your inbox

Search
The Marble Arch, Manchester
Photograph: Marble Arch

The 15 best pubs in Manchester

Fancy a pint? These are the absolute best pubs in Manchester for drinks, food and live entertainment

Rob Martin
Written by
Rob Martin
Advertising

One of Manchester’s great strengths is the way it constantly evolves. Just look at neighbourhoods like the Northern Quarter or Ancoats and you’ll see what we mean.

And while Manchester has seen its fair share of gentrification over the past few years – just take a look at all the fancy restaurants – there are still plenty of great traditional boozers that thrive, getting the basics right and delivering warm welcomes, great beers, wines and cocktails, and quality food.

So no matter what kind of public house you prefer to while away your time in, our list is here to help guide you to the coolest, most atmospheric pubs in Manchester right now.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Manchester

Best pubs in Manchester

Eagle Inn
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

On a back street just off Trinity Way and down the road from Elbow sanctuary Blueprint Studios, The Eagle Inn is a relic, dating back to 1903, lovingly brought back to life and infused with a youthful exuberance from those who restored it. The live music programme is totally at odds with the Victorian setting, and we love it that way.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

Owned by former Beautiful South and Housemartins lead singer Paul Heaton, this Salford institution has tapped into the regneration of Chapel Street with a loveable mix of old and new styles. Some features like the lovely woodwork and tiled flooring date to Victorian times, and we really love the carved-wood, cathedral-esque performance space on the top floor.

Advertising
  • Bars and pubs
  • Breweries

If you were putting together a dream pub in your booze-fuelled mind you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more perfect place than the Marble Arch. Admire beautiful tiled walls and floors dating back to the heyday of pub architecture while you explore one of the city’s best selections of ales, lagers and liquors, plus food that goes far beyond regular pub grub.

The Crown & Kettle
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

If there’s a pub with a better ceiling in anywhere in the world, we haven’t been to it. The rest of the building isn’t bad, either; it’s Grade II-listed and dates back to the early nineteenth century. Just on the cusp of the Northern Quarter, the Crown and Kettle is a neat hybrid of hipster scene pub and good-and-proper local. The beer is decidedly craft: local brewers Privateer, First Chop, Blackjack and Shindiggers are all regulars on cask and from further afield there are guest lagers from the likes of Camden Town and Runaway breweries.

Advertising
The Briton’s Protection
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

Just across from the neon and fake tan of Deansgate Locks, The Briton’s Protection could not be further removed in both vibe and decor. A proper old-fashioned boozer with a well-stocked bar that even has a serving hatch at the back, this is the kind of place that wears its nicotine-stained curtains with pride.

Dating back to 1811, this delightful gastropub now finds itself slap-bang in the heart of the trendiest neighbourhood in all of Manchester, Ancoats. It has a great menu and selection of drinks, a cosy, relaxed atmosphere and lovely staff. Sunday roasts are a highlight but it’s a fantastic place to sit in a candlelit corner nursing a drink any day of the week.

Advertising
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

Housed in a beautiful Tudor building in the centre of town, Sinclair’s is home to the city’s biggest beer garden. Unfortunately, the secret is well and truly out, so as soon as the sun starts shining you’ll find it awash with drinkers enjoying a lager that’s almost half the price of what you might find just a few streets away in the Northern Quarter.

The Molly House
  • Bars and pubs

The eighteenth-century equivalent of a gay bar, a Molly House was a place where men could meet others like themselves without fear of prosecution and public hanging. These days, the only worry is finding a space at the bar.

Advertising
Grey Horse
  • Bars and pubs
  • Breweries

Manchester’s Portland Street is often seen as a bit of a no-man’s-land, a forgotten road between the Village and Chinatown characterised by a chocka bus route and dangerous crossings. It’s not a destination, more a path to the next place on the map. But that’s what makes the pubs that reside here so much more special, including the awesome Grey Horse.

The Beagle
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars

Taking a brave step outside the Northern Quarter, The Beagle has found its feet after shaky beginnings. Dressed head-to-toe in wood and 1970s-inspired fabrics, the bar doesn’t lack class. Nor does it lack drinks, which focus on real ales and craft beer.

Advertising
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

This tremendous old pub down by Piccadilly Station looks from the outside like it won’t last another strong wind, but hosts an ace mix of club nights and live gigs. It’s ideally located as a feeder pub for the Mayfield Depot development, so you can grab a cheap pint before heading off there.

The Angel
  • Bars and pubs
  • Gastropubs

The Angel is a pub on the outskirts of the Northern Quarter serving a fine range of well-priced, locally brewed bitters. Liverpool Organic Brewery and White Lion can usually be found on the pumps, and on-tap lagers go beyond the usual mass-produced swill.

Advertising
The Castle Hotel
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

One of Manchester’s most popular pubs, The Castle on Oldham Street has proven to be one of the Northern Quarter’s big success stories since its refurbishment in 2009. Originally founded in 1776, it’s well known in indie rock circles as the site of a legendary interview between John Peel and Ian Curtis in 1979, and today pays heed to its musical heritage with several weekly gigs at its own charming music hall.

Mother Mac’s
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

Mother Mac’s is supposedly one of the most haunted pubs in Manchester, which is one of the many reasons a lot of punters are afraid to go in. That’s a shame: this is a damn good pub and, once you’ve consumed a couple of pints, you’ll be treated like family by those who dwell within.

Advertising
The Wharf
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs

Let’s get things straight: The Wharf is a chain pub. But it’s a chain pub run by the Good Pub Guide’s pub group of the year, Brunning & Price. Which isn’t exactly a watertight seal of approval but it’s at least some indicator of what you’ll get.

And if it’s tip-top mixology you’re after?

The 11 best bars in Manchester
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars

They say that Manchester is a city that thinks a table is for dancing on and, well, after a few drinks at the best bars in Manchester, you’ll not only agree, but probably be actively encouraged to hop on the nearest stable surface. 

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising

      The best things in life are free.

      Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

      Loading animation
      DĂ©jĂ  vu! We already have this email. Try another?

      🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

      Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!