As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to fall, cocktails loaded with ice are set aside for cosy coffees and steaming teas, perfect to warm us up on a crisp Autumn evening. Luckily for us, central Manchester has a great selection of cafés that can all provide your fix of hot drinks. And why not treat yourself to a thick slice of cake while you’re at it?
Here we profile 10 of the cosiest cafés in and around the city to help you make the most of what Manchester has to offer.
Step back in time at Sugar Junction. Situated on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter, Sugar Junction was born from a passion for baking, a love of good wholesome food, excellent coffee and everything vintage.
The interior is decorated with pin-up and war posters, and the sounds of authentic music gives Sugar Junction a warm, past-time vibe.
A good selection of homemade cakes and sandwiches are available, as well as its renowned Afternoon Tea. Sugar Junction is also proud to offer 18 blends of tea and gourmet coffee. If you fancy something a little stronger, why not try their range of vintage cocktails which are throughout the day?
ManCoCo is a small, expert team of coffee roasters based on Hewitt Street with many years of experience and passion for all things coffee, bringing varieties from around the world here to the heart of Manchester. They are dedicated to creating exclusive, small batch blends for customers to enjoy.
ManCoCo only purchases the finest sustainable, ethically sourced speciality grade Arabica green coffee beans. All of the coffee is sourced from identifiable single origin farms, estates or small farm cooperatives.
If you fancy a brew, ManCoCo’s Roastery is situated in one of the quirky railway arches just off Deansgate. Here, speciality coffees are served in ManCoCo’s own Artisan Coffee Bar.
Caramello is based in the heart of Didsbury Village, a beautiful suburb of Manchester where rustic pubs and chic bars line the wide, leafy streets. Caramello is all about the love of food and drink in a unique environment where people can expect fabulous food, amazing coffee and an assortment of pastries and homemade gelato.
Everything on the menu has been handcrafted by Caramello’s talented chefs, and includes everything you could want for brunch and breakfast.
This independent coffee shop began its story in Deansgate’s Barton Arcade, launched by rugby league stars Jon Wilkin and Mark Flanagan in 2014. Serving speciality coffee and internationally-inspired brunch, they expanded to open a branch in Spinningfields in 2018 on the ground floor of No.1 Spinningfields tower.
Pot, Kettle, Black’s menu features modern twists on classic dishes, plus a wide range of vegan and gluten free options.
As a registered charity, The Mess Café serves up home cooked food whilst playing a part in reducing reoffending in Manchester by helping vulnerable people rebuild their lives through socially responsible business. Its teams work in a number of prisons and young offender institutions across the North West of England, with strong partnerships with local homelessness and rehabilitation charities.
As for food and drink, the Mess Café partner with the Coffee Advocates Micro-Roaster in Cheshire for its beans, and uses local suppliers and fresh produce in all of its food.
ClockWork is a new kind of social space, where everything inside is free except the time you spend there. It costs 8p per minute to enjoy everything that ClockWork has to offer, from meeting rooms, coworking and events spaces and, of course, eating cake and having a brew!
ClockWork has 43 kinds of tea, its own special Ziferblend coffee, a wide variety of cakes, biscuits, brownies, fruits, breads, cereals and other soft drinks and snacks – and on top of all that, it’s child- and dog-friendly too!
Takk is an Icelandic-style coffee house found in the Northern Quarter. When opened, Takk’s owner, Philip Hannaway, said that ‘it’s not a themed coffee bar, but we wanted to capture the spirit of a downtown Reykjavik hang out.’ As well as coffee, Takk also offers a nice selection of sandwiches, croissants and pastries.
Another Northern Quarter gem, Ezra & Gil is a true neighbourhood hang-out with a vision to provide a simple menu of the best food and drinks products, served in a welcoming and wholesome space. Ezra & Gil means ‘Helper’ and ‘Happiness’ and opened back in 2015 in an old un-occupied former clothing showroom.
An independent coffee bar in – you’ve guessed it – the Northern Quarter, Fig and Sparrow is known for its homely vibe, good coffee and locally sourced craft goods. Its window seating has recently been revamped, making it perfect for sitting with a latte and watching the world go by.
Fig and Sparrow are proud to use a local Manchester coffee roaster, Grindsmith Coffee, and its blend called ‘Sixth Day.’
Just on the edge of Northern Quarter this time, Café North is an independent café serving fresh, home-cooked food. At every opportunity, Café North source its ingredients locally to ensure fresh, quality food.
Its menu boasts a wide range of popular brunch and breakfast items, including the classic full English (called the North breakfast,) a variety of poached egg dishes, pancakes, waffles and sandwiches.