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Mackie Mayor
Photograph: Pexels / Paul Cook

The 11 best coffee shops and cafés in Manchester

From gourmet roasters to greasy spoons, these are the best coffee shops and cafés in Manchester right now

Written by
Rob Martin
Lucy Lovell
Liv Kelly

A decent cup of coffee is about so much more than the coffee itself. Whether you’re just after a much-needed caffeine hit, or looking for an aesthetic little spot to catch up with a pal, the vibes matter just as much as the beans. 

And Manchester’s swathe of artisanal coffee houses really do have it all. From an oat flat white to an almond macchiato, a matcha latte to a good old fashioned cow’s milk americano, everyone’s perfect mug can be found somewhere in this city. This list includes everything from your classic greasy spoon to quirky brunch spots, so have a gander of our top picks for coffee shops and cafés in Manchester.

🥓The best brunch spots in Manchester
🍝The best restaurants in Manchester
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🛍️The best things to do in Manchester
🏘️The best Airbnbs in Manchester

This article was written by Rob Martin, a writer based in Manchester. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

Top coffee shops and cafés in Manchester

Ezra and Gil
Photograph: Ezra and Gil

1. Ezra and Gil

This dream of a café in the Northern Quarter is perfect for anyone who has ever freelanced or needed a place to plug in and crack on. It’s open all day, so if you want a light pastry and a strong coffee early on or if you’re looking for a vegan lunch or a pasta bowl, you’re covered. Ezra and Gil’s a menu for kids, too, and it’s an easy venue to spend far too much time in.

All the Shapes
Photograph: All the Shapes

2. All the Shapes

Sure, Prestwich may not rival Ancoats when it comes to food and drink, but there’s a lovely bunch of indie joints that are well worth the 20-minute tram from the city centre. Our favourite is All the Shapes, a casual bar-restaurant-café serving up fun, family-friendly vibes. Its speciality coffee is best enjoyed with a wedge of cake on the pretty, sun-soaked terrace.

Fig and Sparrow
Photograph: Fig and Sparrow

3. Fig and Sparrow

Northern Quarter café Fig and Sparrow not only does a great food and drink, you can also shop for lovely things while you’re there, from small gift items to glassware to art. It’s dog-friendly, too – just make sure they don’t knock anything over (it’s not exactly a big place).

Photograph: Lupo Instagram

4. Lupo

Lupo sits on an industrial estate in Prestwich – not the most obvious or beautiful of places – and could easily be mistaken for a garage lock-up if it weren’t for the outside seating. Inside, it’s a different world, with the superb quality of the food on offer as surprising as the interior. 

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  • Coffeeshops

While Salford’s Grindsmith is an easy one to miss, excellent coffee and chilled-out surroundings ensure that many who do find it make a note to come back. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 by mobile coffee heavyweights Peter Gibson and Luke Tomlinson, the eco-friendly wood-clad pod does at first look like a laboratory, with multiple coffee syphons emitting wonderful aromas.

Mackie Mayor
Photograph: Pexels / Paul Cook

6. Mackie Mayor

Two floors of Grade II-listed Victorian finery – including a stunning glass ceiling – make up Mackie Mayor (named after Ivie Mackie, a local alderman who opened the venue in 1858 as a meat market). It’s a vibrant food and drink market in the Northern Quarter. And many come for the great food and drink offering but Wolfhouse Coffee offers some of the best java around. Dive into a range of espresso-based bevs and fancy pour-overs.

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  • Coffeeshops

Takk is a love letter to Scandi coffee houses, and it’s been serving up hygge vibes to savvy Mancunians for years. It now has three outlets across the city, but we still love its Northern Quarter branch the most. It serves guest coffees from Europe and beyond: the house brew is a single origin from Finca Miravalle in El Salvador.

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When family-run café-bakery Trove opened in the small suburb of Levenshulme, it changed the Manchester coffee game. Now it’s expanded to not one but three sites, adding Ancoats and Marble Street venues. But expansion hasn’t meant any loss in quality and Trove continues to be one of the very best places for coffee in the city. Or is that three of the best?

Siop Shop
Photograph: Siop Shop Instagram

9. Siop Shop

Bright, friendly and with stacks upon stacks of homemade doughnuts: there aren’t many places we’d rather spend an afternoon than Siop Shop. If you can drag your gaze away from the perfectly plump sweet treats – the dreamy flavours include millionaire shortbread and chai topped with pecan nuts – then there’s a stonking coffee selection to explore, too.

Idle Hands
Photograph: Idle Hands

10. Idle Hands

This laid-back Northern Quarter café has a loyal following – not least for its incredibly moreish cream pies. Idle Hands is also loopy about coffee, offering a selection of rare filters from guest roasters. Nordic-style beans are your best shout; regular names include Munich-based Man Versus Machine and London’s Dark Arts Coffee.

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  • Cafés

Somewhere between trad greasy spoon and trendy bar, Koffee Pot is a Manchester institution. It’s moved a few times in the city centre, but has now settled on Oldham Street. The vibe is about as Northern Quarter as it gets here: street art on the walls, hot Vimto by the mug and huge, no-nonsense fry-ups. There’s a pleasingly no-frills brew, too, locally roasted by Ancoats Coffee. Filter coffee is just £1.60 and comes served in a proper mug. This is your ultimate hangover destination. 

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