Whenever there’s even a bit of sunshine in Manchester, seemingly thousands of people want to sit out to dine, and more importantly drink, al fresco. What’s more, with social distancing becoming the new norm, outside drinking spots have never been in higher demand. So here some of the best Manchester beer gardens, terraces and drinking spaces that you can enjoy over the summer weeks…

The Pilcrow

Located in the up-and-coming NOMA District, The Pilcrow has been dubbed ‘The Pub that Manchester Built’, as it was erected with the help of unskilled volunteers. Thankfully, it’s still standing. But, anyway, it’s the outdoors bit that’s of interest to us. It has a large terrace that opens directly onto Sadler’s Yard – a newly created public square – giving it a sunny aspect. The pub has a rotating roster of cask and keg beers, plus loose-leaf teas and Ancoats Coffee. Food-wise, there are sharing boards, sandwiches, and snacks – all freshly made and sourced from local suppliers.

Sadler's Yard, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AB, Tel: 0161 834 4989

This ever-so-hip food and drink destination can be found in the student corridor, under the Mancunian Way. The traders are based in shipping containers, but there’s also an open-air courtyard which is not in the shadow of the flyover. The permanent fixtures are Öl, a nano brewery/keg bar; and Takk, a Scandinavian-inspired coffee shop. The other sellers change quite frequently, giving visitors new experiences throughout the year. Currently, it has an vegan street food experts Herbivorous and summery tapas from Abeja. The perfect place for summer drinks!

103 Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7ED, Tel: 0333 323 2238
The Briton’s Protection

Just along the road from the currently closed Rain Bar is this bona fide Manchester icon which dates back to 1806. Surrounded by new and revamped buildings, it feels like the last bastion against modernity. However, it’s much cooler and more inclusive than its name and exterior might suggest. The small but perfectly formed beer garden at the rear can be a real sun trap… at least for a few hours a day. The pub is renowned for its whiskies and indeed whiskeys. You’re unlikely find a bigger selection anywhere in the city. Other, more summer-friendly drinks, are also available.

50 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, M1 5LE, Tel: 0161 236 5895
First Street

Hidden away just behind Oxford Road, First Street is fast becoming a not-so-secret hangout spot for art lovers and the after work crowd. This little corner of town has plenty to offer; including Chef Simon Wood’s restaurant Wood, The Gasworks beerhouse and the increasingly popular Bunny Jacksons with their even more popular 10p chicken wings. It’s also home to city-centre arts, cinema and theatre space HOME, where folks can grab a much needed hit of culture amid the hustle and bustle of town. However its the street’s sun-trap centre that’s the real appeal here – and on a sunny evening it really comes alive with beach-style deck chairs, over-sized board games and ping-pong tables for visitors to enjoy. There’s even a giant TV screen showing Wimbledon and other sporting events during select months throughout the year.

First Street Manchester, M15 4FN
Stevenson Square

Stevenson Square in the heart of the Northern Quarter has become the impromptu hub of outdoor drinking in Manchester City Centre. Surrounded by the likes of Flok, music hall The Soup Kitchen, cocktail experts Dusk ’till Pawn, the subterranean Lost in Tokyo and games-hub Seven Sins – a brand new outdoor seating area has encouraged drinkers from all of the areas bars to enjoy a cold one in an airy, socially distanced layout. As if that wasn’t enough to lure you down, the square also has some of the city’s best food spots on its restaurant. Enjoy a wood fired sourdough pizza from Ply, a takeaway snack from the recently opened health restaurant Another Heart To Feed or even an iced coffee from Foundation – all under the summer sun.

Stevenson Square, The Northern Quarter, Manchester
Thu 13 Aug
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Sat 10 Oct 2020