She’s talking about coffee AND Manchester again, lads. Hold your horses! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my obsession with coffee. And for those who are new: Hi! I’m an ex-barista coffee snob that writes travel articles fueled by caffeine!
Coffee is one thing, but then there’s Manchester. The other love of my life. Ever since moving to Manchester 5 years ago, I have been in love with the city, its people and its atmosphere. And guys, Manchester’s coffee scene is top-notch. Yes, there are 18 Starbucks branches in the city centre alone (including my old Starbucks – hi friends from Malmaison!), but I’m talking independent coffee shops. As a student, I spent a lot of time in coffee shops trying to finish essays and portfolios. Now I’m self-employed, not that much has changed.
This guide is perfect for those who are visiting Manchester for the day and are looking for a good place to grab breakfast, lunch or a coffee. But it’s also a great place to start when living in Manchester and looking for places to work/study or simply to find new hidden gems to visit!
Best Specialty Coffee Shops in Manchester
Ezra & Gil (NQ)
Let’s start this list with one of my all-time favourite places in the Northern Quarter: Ezra & Gil. The number of hours I’ve spent here with my laptop sipping away at a second or third americano… Crazy! Their website says Ezra & Gil is a “true neighbourhood hang-out” and I couldn’t agree more. Their friendly atmosphere, great coffees and probably the best breakfast in Manchester all add to this being the first cafe to be featured in my guide.
The cafe is dog-friendly, has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and a wide variety of teas and coffees. Alongside the food and drinks, Ezra & Gil also sell coffee beans, reusable cups, metal straws and other merchandise.
Address: 20 Hilton St, Manchester M1 1FR
Opening hours: 7:30 AM – 8 PM Mon-Fri // 8 AM – 7 PM Sat-Sun
Foundation Coffee (NQ)
Another Northern Quarter-based independent cafe where I have spent (and continue to spend) many many many hours is Foundation Coffee. Not only is it a perfect place to work or study, but they also serve a great breakfast, brunch and lunch – making Foundation Coffee a perfect place to meet up with a friend as well as getting some stuff done. It’s one of the coffee shops I always take people to when I’m showing them around Manchester because I feel like it captures the atmosphere of the Northern Quarter really well. Quicky, a bit industrial and creative.
But apart from a great cup of coffee, Foundation Coffee in the Northern Quarter also holds many great events. On Monday evening, you can find a weekly yoga class here and every Sunday, they hold a movie night! Alongside the exhibitions that can be found inside the cafe, I love the little coffee merch they offer. Literally everything a coffee lover could want in their house (I still NEED that coffee tea towel!).
Address: Sevendale House, Lever St, Manchester M1 1JB
Opening hour: 7 AM – 6 PM Monday // 7 AM – 8 PM Tue-Wed // 7 AM – 10 PM Fri / 9 AM – 10 PM Sat-Sun
Idle Hands (NQ)
Coffee and Pies. With a “cool-classroom”-vibe, plants and huge windows to let in tons of natural light – Idle Hands is another must-visit speciality coffee shop in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. One thing I love about their coffees is that there is always a choice between different roasters. And they change constantly! Keep an eye out on their socials to see which ones they have in store now – but it’s always fun to try different beans and roasts! Then there is breakfast, lunch, cakes and pies – which adds perfectly to a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Idle Hands also specialise in coffee training, which I think is super cool. If I didn’t have barista experience, it’s totally something I’d be interested in. Even now, I think there is a lot I can still learn about coffee – and Idle Hands seem to stay on top of the best ways of the industry.
My good friend Demi (Bein Kemen) and I always meet up at Idle Hands because we simply love the atmosphere. It’s cosy, their coffees are BOMB and the plants and artwork on the wall make it the perfect place for us to meet. Demi made this amazing piece of art inspired by Idle Hands (pictured below) – and I think it captures the essence of the cafe perfectly!
Address: 35 Dale St, Manchester M1 2HF
Opening hours: 7:30 AM – 6 PM Mon-Fri // 9 AM – 7 PM Saturday // 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday
Just Between Friends Coffee (NQ)
In 2018, Just Between Friends Coffee joined Manchester’s coffee scene. Located right next to one of my favourite Manchester-based flower shops (Northern Flower), this independent coffee shop sits just off the main street in the Northern Quarter. Alongside a few awesome brunch/lunch items on their menu, they serve a d*mn good coffee. Keep an eye out on their IG, where they share some guest filter coffees from different roasters all across the world!
Alongside coffee and lunch, they also sell coffee beans, reusable coffee cups, and ethical jewellery made by Big Metal London. Their coffee is usually served in cups from Kaffee Form, a company that makes cups and saucers from recycled coffee grounds (I know right? So cool!). You can also buy the cups from Just Between Friends.
When at this independent coffee shop, check out the area in the back. Here, you will find a little place to sit outside – a bit more peace and quiet plus fairy lights!
Address: 56 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LG
Opening hours: 7:30 AM – 4 PM Mon-Fri // 8:30 AM – 4 PM Sat-Sun
TAKK (NQ & Hatch)
With three shops across Manchester, this Icelandic-inspired independent coffee shop is definitely popular with the locals (including me!). The artisan coffee shop is another perfect spot to sit down with your laptop and get some work done while sipping away on some of the tastiest coffees in Manchester: TAKK knows their coffees. Their house roast is a single-origin coffee from Finca Miravalle in El Salvador and they feature some of the best guest-roasts from all across Europe. I love that you can try different types of coffee and the baristas are always more than happy to teach you something about the guest-roast.
Of course, you can also get some top-notch breakfast and lunch at TAKK (in the Northern Quarter cafe only). They also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Address: 6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF // Hatch, Oxford Rd, Manchester
Opening hours: 8 AM – 5 PM Mon-Fri // 9 AM – 5 PM Saturday // 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday
Plants, coffee, lunch and cocktails – that’s Evelyn’s for you! I feel like Evelyn’s is one of those “must-visit” hotspots in Manchester city centre, and it’s understandable why it’s being recommended by so many other bloggers. The atmosphere is lovely, as is the staff and the food and drinks are to die for. They offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and also have a great menu for dinner-time. So if you’ve visited any of the other cafes for breakfast, brunch and lunch – you can end up at Evelyn’s in the evening. Perfect for some sneaky Instagram shots. I mean, look at those plants!
Address: 44 Tib St, Manchester M4 1NB
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10 AM – 11 PM // 9 AM – 10:30 PM Sat/Sun
Pot Kettle Black (Barton Arcade)
Located in the beautiful Barton Arcade, you can find one of my all-time favourite coffee spots: Pot Kettle Black. They have another shop in Spinningfield, but this one is my favourite. Probably because of the beautiful interior of both the cafe and the stylish Barton Arcade.
Perfect for breakfast, lunch and your daily caffeine fix! Because it’s so central to basically anywhere in the city centre, I find Pot Kettle Back the perfect place to meet up with a friend or a client. They also have some amazing vegan and GF options – which is always a big win.
Address: 14, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW
Opening hours: 8 AM – 7 PM Mon-Sat // 9 AM – 5 PM Sunday
Hidden under the railway arches in Castlefield, you can find Manchester’s very own Coffee Roastery: ManCoCo. This hidden gem in Manchester may not be as widely known as some of the other cafes I’ve mentioned, but it’s one of the best places to go to when it comes to coffee. Just walking up the road, you can smell the freshly roasted beans coming your way – HEAVEN.
At ManCoCo, you can buy freshly roasted beans, but also try some of the speciality coffees at their artisan coffee bar. They specialise in roasting small batches, making sure you’ll always get freshly roasted beans. The roasting literally happens in the back of the store! It’s cosy, and there are enough spaces to sit down with a laptop to do some work or read.
Address: 84 Hewitt St, Manchester M15 4GB
Opening hours: 7:30 AM – 4 PM Mon-Fri // 8:30 AM – 5 PM Saturday // Closed Sunday
Princess Street Hotel isn’t just a great hotel, it’s also the place to find another lovely Manchester-based coffee shop: Lawn Coffee. With a tasty Brazillian Single Origin roast as their house coffee (which is provided to them by Manchester’s very own Ancoats Coffee Co.) and beautiful interior, Lawn Coffee deserves a place on this list.
Apart from coffee, Lawn Coffee has over 20 speciality teas. It’s not as ideal to work at due to the lack of plugs, but I’d definitely recommend it as a place to meet up with a friend. When doing so, definitely try their afternoon tea – Lawn Coffee do an amazing job on those!
Address: Princess St. Hotel, 18-24 Princess St, Manchester M1 4LG
Opening hours: 7 AM – 6:30 PM Mon-Sat // 7 AM – 5:30 PM Sunday
There you have it, my favourite independent coffee shops in Manchester! Keep an eye out on this post for future additions to this list as I always love finding new hot spots. And please, add your own favourites in the comments if you think I missed a good one!