Area Guide: The Northern Quarter

Vinyl! Vintage! Fast-casual dining! The Northern Quarter established its reputation as the trendy part of the Rainy City more than a decade ago. The area is quite thin on residential buildings, so may not be the ideal place for a Manchester Flatshare, but wherever you live in Manchester, it’s always a great place to hang out, day or night.


The creative life-force of Manchester owes a lot to the pioneering galleries, studios and cafes that made the area what it is today. But what can you find now, as the area enters a new generation of shops and clubs?


Oldham Street was a thriving shopping street until the Arndale Centre landed next-door. Now, the Northern Quarter, which has managed to retain the warehouses and industrial shells of the previous century, offers an alternative commercial experience to the Costas, Topshops and Nandos of the City Centre.


Food and Drink

As you’d expect from an area that thrives on creativity and individuality, there are some great places to chow down in the NQ.

Burgers and hipsters are inseparable. If you can judge a hip area by its burgers then the N¼ is in luck. Almost Famous does some of the UK’s best burgers.


Personally, we do not care for their boring menu puns or cluttered, cartoony aesthetic. But their food is insanely good and good value at around £9 a pop.

Pies are a big deal in Lancashire, and Manchester no less. Pieminister is another place that thinks you have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to naming dishes, but again, the food is well able to do the talking here. Amazing range of pies from the traditional to the nouvelle.



Why not kick off your evening with a barrel – or bucket – of laughs at the Frog and Bucket on Oldham Street.


This unique comedy venue hosts young local talent and big names from the national circuit alike. Check out their Thursday Night Live for a £10 ticket to lolstown.

After the jks, it’s time to get srs. Head to Apotheca for some srsly good cocktails.


Evoking the chemistry of Victorian pharmacists, the potions and poisons at this Northern Quarter bar won’t have you lying dead on the floor or losing your ability to speak… unless you have, like, five. Try the Apothecalyspe for their (again – what’s with the crap puns guys) take on the Zombie.

You’ve laughed, you’ve had only four cocktails so you have only partially lost speech and balance. You are now ready for the Soup Kitchen.


No – this is not an orgy in the back of Will Ferrell’s red Toyota Prius. It’s one of the best clubs in the country. Now, there were three hyperlinks in the last three sentences I’m just gonna wait here until you look at them…

See? That was fun, right? You saw a hilarious scene, learnt about some great clubs, and now you know how good the Soup Kitchen is. At any rate, when you’re in the NQ and looking for a club, Sankeys is only a ten-minute drunken stumble away. Ah the joys of Manchester.


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