Even with café culture firmly embedded in the psyche of the city, coffee and tea are enjoying a real renaissance at the moment. There's serious variety to not only what's being dished out but also the types of places doing the dishing - especially given that the leaf is every bit as important as the bean these days. Manchester's restaurants are taking both pretty seriously these days - and its bars too, in fact. With such a selection comes the difficulty of choosing, so we've put together our pick of the best cafés and coffee shops in Manchester. Go get your fix.
Manchester's coffee shops and cafés
The Home of Honest Coffee describes itself as and for a Kitchen / Creative Space / Co-working. A Future Artists Company enterprise, it's certainly ambitious in its plans and in its set up, but what's the coffee like?Thankfully, as supplied by Chorlton based Passion Fruit Coffee Roastery, it's delicious, as is the four cheese toastie and the cakes on offer. In fact its simple but varied menu and range of coffees is worth going for alone.
Like the personal sampling room Willy Wonka forgot to build, chocolate haven Bonbon has very quickly been taken under the Northern Quarter’s wing. Serving up a heady mix of chocolates, coffee and luxury, Bonbon is a joint venture between Teacup (located just down the street) and Joey Collins of Troffel, who have given the place a boutique feel with dark wooden furniture and curious paper bag lamps.
‘Icelandic coffee house’ may be a fairly narrow niche, but Takk (‘thanks’) has plenty of fun with it. The inside is characterised by exposed brickwork, graffiti-marked school desks and a very, very strong smell of coffee. Beans are sourced from a myriad of places, with roasters The Barn Berlin featuring heavily on the roster.
Fig and Sparrow refers to itself as a ‘lifestyle store and coffee bar’, and it's a great place to head for a brew and but a gorgeous item for your kitchen.
Located in the thick of the Northern Quarter’s creative boom, North Tea Power brings together casual chic with a raucous attitude to both food and drink. As you might expect, there’s an intimidating array of loose-leaf teas, with an illuminating coffee menu stacked with guest espressos and seasonal offerings, like Deerhunter’s Ethiopian and Costa Rican blend, which is a steal at £2-£3.
The Sponge Sisters Urmston café has a strong ethos going on here with an emphasis on locally sourced, excellent quality food and drink, plus quiz nights, and LGBT evening, board game Tuesdays and much more going on too
Established by Manchester's very own Mr Scruff, whose love of tea is as strong as his love of music (if not stronger), Teacup is a place where you’ll not only find all manner of tea varieties, but an extensive cake menu, cocktails, wines and beers, plus a full lunch and evening meal menu, too.
This artsy tea house is local to the last, drawing on the finest produce in Manchester, some of it conveniently sourced from around the corner. There’s also some damn fine coffee on offer, with Has Bean’s Blake blend the house roast.
Had Alice emerged from the rabbit hole in modern day Manchester and found herself pining for a spot of tea, she may well have ended up at Richmond Tea Rooms. Situated on a side street in the Gay Village, it’s a space of two halves and the tea room has to be seen to be believed.
Although it’s slightly away from the stronghold of coffee bars in the Northern Quarter, Caffeine & Co’s Spinningfields location doesn’t detract from its popularity. Indeed, on closer inspection, it has its own thing going on.
A neglected suburban high street might not seem the most obvious location for a family-run bakery and café, but it’s Levenshulme where Trove has made its home. Like everything Trove touches, coffee isn’t an afterthought – they use Has Bean in their machine and also stock local Mancunian roasters, Pas.
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. Though its reputation has seen its popularity soar, Grindsmith still uses regionally roasted coffee to produce interesting results. You can now find a second store on Deansgate, too.