The best thing for the cold days? A steaming hot cup of coffee at some of best coffee shops this city has to offer.
If you’re a coffee nutter like me and taste, strength and presentation are what you look for in a great cup of coffee, then look no further than here.
Many a time have I been running down Deansgate, skipping over car bonnets doing my best Mo Farah to make the tram to get to my old job on time and have been aching to get into Grindsmith for a decent cup of coffee and not Nescafé blend that makes you want to rip your teeth out afterwards. The shop itself looks inviting, with a cool mural of Walter White in full crystal meth cooking attire in plain view. The coffee is as strong as the atmosphere itself.
Grindsmith, 231-233 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
What better thing to pair with your coffee than a delicious, freshly made (in-house – might I add) pastry? I can’t think of anything. Not only is your sweet tooth in safe hands here, but your love for coffee will be well catered for too. They really know their stuff and have a long CV in the coffee industry. They’ve got a wide selection of roasts and focus on seasonality of coffee flavours throughout the year. When it comes to filter and pour-over coffee you can opt for a Chemex filter coffee, perfect for sharing after dinner.
Blanchflower, 12-14 Shaw’s Rd, Altrincham WA14 1QU
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar
Talking about inviting interiors, Evelyn’s cafe garden theme makes that first sip of a latte on a Sunday morning all the more delicious. It’s almost a haven, with idyllic coffee to match. Even if you like a double espresso, you’d be crazy not to try their Vanilla and Cacoa Nib Mocha or Vanilla Chai.
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, G18 Tib St, Manchester M4
Want to try New Zealand and Australian coffee? Federal is the one for you. What’s the difference? No idea, but it’s bloody delicious. Serving up all your go-to coffee styles and deleeeelicious pastel de natas too. You might even be tempted by an Espresso Martini, why not eh!
Federal Cafe Bar, 9 Nicholas Croft, Manchester M4 1EY
About as independent as a coffee shop can get, the extremely minimal yet vibrant Foundation is great all times of the day, but the extensive coffee selection will keep you coming back morning after morning. Red eye? Black eye? Dead eye? I’m not going mental, these are types of coffee available at Foundation…go find out for yourselves what they are!
Foundation Coffee House, Sevendale House, Lever St, Manchester M1 1JB
New lifestyle and concept store in Altrincham, So Marrakech, gives you the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’. You not only get to tuck into authentic Moroccan food and drink you also get to experience the glassware, plates, bowls and anything else you might use in the cafe before purchasing in the lifestyle store. You can opt for the usual coffee order or try ‘Nous Nous’ which is half espresso and half foamed milk for the real authentic experience.
So Marrakech 25 Market Street, Altrincham, WA14 1QT
Pot Kettle Black
Tucked away in the gorgeous Barton Arcade on Deansgate, PKB pride themselves on their passion for coffee and the quality of their speciality brews. For something completely different and wonderful, try a ‘Wilson’, an espresso over coconut water that will surely kick you up the arse with a burst of freshness.
Pot Kettle Black, 14, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW
Seed & Cherry
If you’re a proper bean-head, Seed & Cherry is the only place for you. The grind size, quantity, and extraction time are all precisely controlled to ensure justice has been done to the complex flavours of the coffee. And, let’s talk about their food – small plates, big flavour. With a chef who has extensive experience in Michelin-starred kitchens, the high quality of the food comes as no surprise.
Seed & Cherry, 20 Church St, Manchester M4 1PN
North Tea Power
The name says tea, the attitude screams coffee. All espressos are made with Deerhunter coffee, a Kenyan speciality. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried an affogato (ice cream and espresso) and North Tea Power is just the place to over indulge on the stuff.
North Tea Power, 36 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA
Fig and Sparrow
Go in and try it and I guarantee you won’t leave before you buy it to take home and enjoy. The coffee is home grown (roasted in Byker man pet) and the kitschy cutlery sits perfectly in its Northern Quarter location. There are also fresh new owners which have brought new menus and sparkly new additions to the cafe.
Fig + Sparrow, 20 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JA
Ancoats Coffee Co.
Pick a country, any country and you can sample their finest coffee right on your Ancoats doorstep. Enjoy rich blends from Ethiopia, El Salvador, Brazil, Peru (the list goes on) and you’ll wonder why you ever even considered instant coffee. It’s an evolving space and a perfect spot for a coffee obsessive.
Ancoats Coffee Co. 9, Royal Mills, 17 Redhill St, Manchester M4 5BA
Nordic style espresso. Doesn’t that make you drool already? It’s the kind of place that Mcdonald’s advert takes the piss out of (with the chemistry set coffee etc), it packs an incredible punch. They’ve also got a space at HATCH on Oxford Road, perfect for those mid-lecture pick me ups!
Takk, 6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
T R O V E
Trove have got it cracked, not least of which by size of the drinks, it’s not about great goblets – quality over quantity is the way coffee should be, and at Trove the balance is spot on; you can even tell by the cups.From Eggs Benedict to home made chutneys, cake & brownies through to BYOB Pizza Sunday Evenings Trove have got small but perfectly formed seasonal menus with something for everyone.
TROVE, 5 Murray St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6HS
This place is my Waterloo. I cross its path every day coming into the office. I could so easily wait a few more steps to make myself a brew at work. Or, I could go into Idle Hands and get one of their quality blends. Which I do. I have literally no power or self-control over their elite coffee – I’m certain it must be laced with something a little stronger than caffeine.
Idle Hands, Dale House, 35 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 2HF
Ezra & Gil
The food menu is simple and delicious and the coffee is good, with plenty of seating. Not to forget it has WiFi and is pet-friendly. Ezra & Gil are everything Pret A Manger wants to be, but will never be. They’re the Joaquin Phoenix to George Clooney. They’re the Billie Eilish to Beyonce. They do good coffee so much better, so much cooler.
Ezra & Gil, 20 Hilton St, Manchester M1 1FR
Just Between Friends
This place kept those living in the city centre alive throughout lockdown, and we owe them a lot. This little diamond is easy to walk past, despite the massive ‘COFFEE’ painted over its shop window and at least ten-person long queue. But, please, do not bypass their espresso. What a woeful mistake that would be. Plus, the teacup-sized cafe has some pretty lush retail for sale (including t-shirts, totes, jewellery and crockery). If you’re not already a regular, add JBF to your list ASAP.
Just Between Friends, 56 Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1LG
Bringing soul to the city, this newbie has some of the best gelato outside of Italy. Serious. It’s made by an Italian family who still use the same recipe from 1931. Pimp up your espresso with a dollop of their gelato in your glass (its called Affogato). The coffee itself is also Italian-approval-worthy, but locally sourced and conscious of their local footprint.
Soul Coffee, 48 Great Ancoats St, Manchester M4 5AB
LEAF on Portland Street
A coffee shop so good they had to do it twice. And then a third time. LEAF was born in Liverpool and has found a second home in Manchester’s former CUBE gallery (a beautiful space, I’m sure I hardly need say). The amount of awards they’ve won for their superior coffee-shop-ness speaks volumes enough. But you can certainly see why.
LEAF, 115 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DW
A little further out this one, you’ll find it tucked away in Poynton just a short walk down from the train station. With roots in Puglia, Italy, you know you’re in good hands for both food and delicious coffee. They use roasted coffee beans all the way from Trieste in Italy and pretty much always have mouth-watering cakes to enjoy on the side too!
Cofano Coffee, 21 School Lane SK12 1AX Poynton