We’re all probably familiar with the coolest and quirkiest java joints out there in the city, but what about the ones that aren’t just there to serve coffee?

We’ve compiled a list of the five cafes in Manchester that are offering up a little more than just your standard food and drink.

Here’s the rundown…

Bookworms rejoice at The Art of Tea

Covertly tucked behind this Didsbury Village gem, The Art of Tea, is the emporium that is the Didsbury Village Bookshop. Packed with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and selling a whole range of second-hand classics to vintage editions, this is one of the best little bookshops going in south Manchester.

Rummage through their massive selection, stumble upon a great read, order a coffee and get stuck in.

47 Barlow Moor Rd, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6TW, Tel: 0161 448 9323
Café Blah's hidden gallery

Proudly sat on the corner of Withington’s buzzing high street is Café Blah, über cool student and creative hotspot with a Beatnik vibe to match. As you enter, you’ll be greeted by deep tones of red, retro lampshades and Parisian-style tables.

Hidden in the back of this place is a beautifully-curated gallery stocking the work of local Mancunian artists and creators which is available to buy! From pay-as-you-feel prints to original oil painting—the shop floor is bursting with some great decor to add to any of your walls at home.

418 Wilmslow Rd, Withington, Manchester M20 3BW
Crystal shopping at Live Well

At Live Well on Stevenson Square, you can escape the outside buzz and relax in a little carved out space of oasis and tranquillity. Serving up some lovely coffee in their bistro-style terrace seating, there’s also a whole store full to the brim with sustainable goodies, eco-friendly homeware and, of course, all things crystals—this is definitely not your average cafe.

1 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN, Tel: +44 01625 861179
Coffee and record browsing at Eastern Bloc

Another Northern Quarter entry, Eastern Bloc is a brilliant mix of 80s vinyl record shop culture and modern Mancunian cafe culture. With a great patch of outside seating, perfect for when we’re granted a dry day, alongside a stellar collection of vinyl spanning decades—this is a perfect spot to soak in two of the city’s best pastimes. If coffee isn’t your bag, they’ve also got a great range of speciality teas and some hearty scran to wolf down after you’ve tired yourself out browsing through all their epic new releases.

5a Stevenson Sq, Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1DN, Tel: 0161 228 6555
Independent theatre at The Dressing Room café

While it’s a given that we’re spoilt for choice for coffee shops in Chorlton, The Edge’s Dressing Room Café is definitely a standout amongst the whole array of bistro bars and eateries on the main drag. Nestled on the ground floor of the converted church, The Edge Theatre, this is a must-visit if you haven’t already.

With groovy interiors and a great selection of vegetarian scran, head to The Dressing Room Café for a pre-theatre kick of caffeine with a slice of one of their lovely cakes to pair.

The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester Rd, Manchester M21 9JG, Tel: 0161 282 9776
Rhiannon Ingle
Published on:
Sat 6 May 2023