We all know how it is: arrive in a new place and have absolutely no idea how to acquaint yourself with the new turf. It’s easy to follow the crowd, but check out our Top 5 visits to the places that may not have necessarily crossed your mind.

Alternative partying at Islington Mill (pictured)
It won’t be long before the people thrusting flyers into your hand outside Sainsburys becomes a tad grating. Just when they become unbearable, head down to Islington Mill, an arts organisation based in Salford guaranteeing some of the best alternative nights that make what the promo wankers are selling look pale in comparison. Events here cover all manner of bases, from arts and culture to retro teen movie-themed sleepovers. The upcoming Autumn itinerary is pretty solid, with Salford Music Festival, psychedelic audio-visuals from Dan Friel and Moon Duo’s Sanae Yamada, a Vogue Brawl night and many others all set to grace the impressive setting of this former Victorian mill.
James Street, Salford, M3 5HW, islingtonmill.com

Embrace the legacy at MOSI
Manchester’s famous for its innovation and technological developments, so it would seem rude not to come here and embrace precisely those attributes. The Museum of Science and Industry celebrates this rich history of the city, passing it on to younger generations and newbies to the area with its surprisingly diverse range of activities and exhibitions. Coming up there’s the Manchester Science Festival from the end of October, as well as a real ale festival during September’s last weekend for those a bit overwhelmed by all the serious tech.
Liverpool Road, Castlefield, M3 4FP, www.mosi.org.uk

Thursday laughs at The Comedy Store
Even with the abundance of student nights, the tail-end of mid-week entertainment can run thin before the weekend kicks in. Thursdays, however, don’t have to be quite so boring nor necessarily dedicated to essay-writing thanks to stand-up at The Comedy Store on Deansgate Locks. The Store’s popular Thursday nights are a regular on our weekly comedy picks and are a good way to break up a week of straightforward boozing.
Every Thursday, Arches 3 and 4 Deansgate Locks, Whitworth Street West, M1 5LH, Students £5 (non-concessions £10), www.thecomedystore.co.uk

Get filthy at Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn
If you’ve just arrived to the city you may not have heard of Almost Famous, a semi-secret burger joint that burnt down not so long ago. Luckily, its legacy lives on with sister restaurant Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn, which takes a stateside road trip and transforms it into the dirtiest and tastiest Vegas-Mexican inspired grub, with burritos, tacos, nachos all on the menu. The food is good and the atmosphere is relaxed, so take an evening to bask in the warmth of a glowing neon sign claiming ‘Jesus Loves Tacos’.
100-102 High Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1HP, www.lucklustliquorburn.com

Sip, sip, sip at Apotheca
One day you’ll find yourself in a bit of a predicament, whereby those cheap drinks no longer satisfy like they used to and you’ll find yourself yearning for actual flavour to fill that void. When that day comes (and boy, will it), head down to Apotheca, where such a thirst can be quenched by an extensive menu comprising quality, innovative mixes nestled among classics done well. Singlehandedly shattering the image that cocktails are for screaming girls after something sugary, tasteless and bright blue, these cocktails are the proper job, and by catching their 2 for £9 deal on selected drinks (all day throughout the week, and until 7pm at weekends), the cheap-to-flavour ratio isn’t even that much of a compromise.
17 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1FS, www.apothecabar.co.uk

The best of the rest: Most of these you’ll stumble upon eventually, but be sure to catch a flick at Cornerhouse, check out the varied exhibitions at 2022NQ, chow down on the best roast dinner in Manchester at The Parlour, head down to Salford Quays to The Lowry, warm up over some cheap but hearty food before a bit of a boogie at Soup Kitchen, and enjoy some tiki drinking fun at Hula, The Liar’s Club, Keko Moku or the new addition to the kitsch nightlife, Zombie Shack.

Jess Hardiman
Published on:
Wed 18 Sep 2013