Best pubs in Manchester
Owned by former Beautiful South and Housemartins lead singer Paul Heaton, this Salford institution has tapped into the gentrification of Chapel Street with a lovable mix of old and new styles. Some features date back to Victorian times with lovely woodworks and tiled floors as well as a carved wood, cathedral- esque performance space on the top floor.
If you were putting together a dream pub in your booze-fuelled mind you’d be hard pushed to come up with a more perfect construction than the Marble Arch. Enjoy beautiful tiled walls and floors dating back to the heyday of pub architecture whilst you explore one of the city’s leading selections of ales, lagers and liquors, and food that goes far beyond regular pub grub.
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 heavy 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.
Housed in a beautiful tudor building inexplicably located in the centre of town, Sinclair’s is home to the biggest beer garden in the city. 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 that you might find just a few streets away in the Northern Quarter.
In October 2009, the Star Inn became the very first in the country to be taken over and run by its regular customers. Going out for a pint never felt so supportive!
The Angel is a local 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.
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.
Located just a hop, skip and a jump from the neon and fake tan of Deansgate Locks, The Briton’s Protection could not be further away in style. A proper old-fashioned boozer with a well-stocked bar that even has a serving hatch at the back, this is the kind of pub that wears its nicotine-stained curtains as a source of pride.
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.
You can tell by just looking at the place that Knott is a higher breed of bar. Jutting from the side of a railway arch, it seems to have grown organically from its surroundings. There are beer adverts and gig posters in lieu of wallpaper and it’s also handily close to the ring road and Deansgate station, for those who like to work out escape plans.
The eighteenth-century equivalent of a gay bar, a Molly House was once 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.
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: brave the hostile entrance and realize this is a damn good pub and, once you’ve consumed a couple of pints in there, you’ll be treated like family by those that dwell within.
There’s nothing particularly original about this pub – no gimmicks, no heavy branding. It’s just a good pub. It serves beer. It serves fish and chips, and bangers and mash. On Friday and Saturday nights, it has karaoke and the jukebox also plays videos.
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.