Now that the sun has made an appearance I thought it prevalent to do a roundup of the hidden beer gardens around the City Centre which are ripe for getting sloshed in while slowly burning your head throughout the day. Of course, on a sunny Saturday, the entire population of Sale gets in the Mini convertible that their dad bought them and descend upon the likes of Dukes 92 and Oast House. Well here’s some places that might be a little quiter…
To be fair, the Atlas outdoor terrace is pretty well known; and although it seems smaller than it used to be – it’s still pretty big meaning you’re pretty much always guaranteed a seat in the sun. On top of this, a quick trip in the shade to the bar will reveal a selection of gin that would bring a tear to the notoriously stoic Queen Victoria’s eye with its sheer variety and majesty.
Atlas, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
The Crown & Anchor
There must have been two decorators employed by The Crown & Anchor, located on the corner of Port Street and Hilton Street in the NQ. Inside the bar looks like it has been kitted out by a bloke who found 1000 blue neon bulbs down Cheetham Hill and needs to get rid of them in his garage to make room for his mam’s double bed. Outside however, looks like it’s been designed by Charlie Dimmock, off her tits on too much miracle grow – and it looks fantastic. The perfect hidden beer garden to waste a Saturday afternoon while your bird is spending 220 quid in Primark.
The Crown & Anchor, 41 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EE
The Deansgate Tavern
Although The Deansgate could be considered a very standard boozer, it does benefit from a fantastic roof top beer garden where I can always guarantee you will find someone to chat and banter with while enjoying the views of Beetham Tower literally looming directly above. The pub is one of those places that could be located anywhere in the UK – inoffensive and very safe – but brave the corporate shrill and you’ll be rewarded with a great terrace.
The Deansgate Tavern, 321 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ
The Lower Turks Head
This place stood derelict and sagging for years – overlooked and overtaken as the rest of the NQ was renovated, wooden furniture was installed and exposed brickwork – exposed. But since being bought and spruced up, The Lower Turks Head has become a firm favourite in the NQ – especially amongst visitors arriving to Shudehill or Victoria from the outer ‘burbs. They have a great selection of booze, but more importantly – a fantastic beer garden on the top floor which stays in the sun longer than Dale Winton’s bikini line.
The Lower Turks Head, Shudehill, Manchester M4 1EZ
If you are an absolute legend, with impeccable taste then you are just like me and would enjoy nothing more than sipping on a strong Belgian beer while chatting shit in the sun with some mates. Bar Fringe effortlessly provides all these things, with a large garden at the back rammed with plants and punters enjoying the great ales and booze.
Bar Fringe, 8 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JN
The Briton’s Protection
This traditional boozer should be the first port of call for anyone who enjoys a tipple of whiskey. They have over 300 different types of the stuff, and even run regular whiskey tasting sessions so you can distinguish between your Jack Daniels and your Kwik Save No Frills varieties. In addition, they have a brilliant beer garden round the back – which is obviously why it’s in this list. Expect some lively banter.
The Briton’s Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5LE
Black Dog NWS
Known more for it’s dark, underground vibes – it may come as a surprise to many to realise that the Black Dog on New Wakefield Street is home to a rather large rooftop terrace which is also undercover should the Manchester rain make an unwelcome return halfway through your cocktail. There’s plenty of other stuff going on here as well, including pool tables and karaoke, as well as a massive menu mostly consisting of tasty burgers and freshly made pizzas.
Black Dog NWS, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP
The White Lion
To be perfectly honest, I think only Mr Magoo could call The White Lion’s beer garden ‘hidden’ – but I’ve added it here in a more figurative sense as opposed to physical. Anyone walking down Liverpool Street will not fail to notice the garden, but I don’t think many people would think of heading here if they woke up at the weekend and it was sunny. Which is a shame because this is a great traditional boozer, with tables outside big enough to hold up to 6 pints and 6 bags of Seabrook crisps at any one time.
The White Lion, 43 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NQ
This hidden-in-plain-sight gem located right at the far end of Deansgate Locks has a rather lovely little beer garden overlooking the canal which is unlikely to get too full – allowing you to enjoy their large selection of ales, beers and wines in relative peace and tranquillity. Or choose from their extensive cocktail menu while slowly getting drunk and shouting terrible Rosie and Jim jokes at passing narrow boat captains.
Lock 91, 9 Century St, Manchester M3 4QL
Again, I don’t believe this terrace is particularly ‘hidden’ but with plenty of outdoor space along Canal Street already, it’s often overlooked by many. The huge, gaping hole left over from that failed hotel opposite is a bit of an eyesore, but otherwise the view isn’t entirely that bad and if you can manage to get past the bouncers and their ‘gay test’ on the door – it gets pretty lively in here after dark too.
G-A-Y, 63 Richmond St, Manchester M1 6JB
A dependable student favourite, the beer garden round the back of The Courtyard is big enough to hold about 1000 young lads and ladies with fad haircuts and empty lecture schedules. There’s even heated sofas and big screen tellies near the front in case it gets a bit nippy. Expect great value drinks and cheap food which may both equally contribute to your sudden onset of diabetes – but who cares when it’s this sunny and this cheap.
The Courtyard, 2 Chester St, Manchester M1 5SH
Pie and Ale by Bakerie
The Spanish love nothing more than having an ice cold bowl of soup while sitting outside in the sun, most likely drinking some delicious Estrella Damm. In contrast, us British can sit outside in the sun and have a big juicy pie, steaming hot gravy and a real ale at Pie and Ale just off Lever Street in the NQ. It’s not exactly summer food, but you can’t beat a pie – and with a varied selection of over ten, with plenty of additional sides and light bites – you can’t go wrong.
Pie and Ale, Unit 1 & 2, The Hive, 47 Lever St, Manchester M1 1FN
It seems as if all of these hidden beer gardens are located in old traditional boozers – and the Burton Arms is no exception. Pop in, head to the bar for a fizzy lager, grab a packet of Chorizo Pipers crisps and take a stroll to their large beer garden round the back for some banter and experience the ‘characters’ that you just don’t get in those posher places elsewhere.
Burton Arms, 31 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ
The Bridge Tavern
Although it suffers from being a bog-standard, nothing to write home about kind of place, The Bridge Tavern on Bridge Street does have a nice little hidden roof terrace if you want to escape the busy bars around Spinningfields when the sun is shining. Don’t expect anything special, and you can’t be disappointed – the garden will keep you full of vitamin D while the lagers and microwaved food will keep you full of beans.
The Bridge Tavern, 58 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BW