Nobody has done this before, have they??
I know two things in this world; I know Manchester, and I know good coffee.
Fortunately for me, in the last ten or fifteen years those two things have coalesced into some kind of monster. As if in rebellion to the armies of ‘quick coffee’ places (of which I’m a fan, no judgements cast here), the ‘artisan coffee house’ has been flexing its muscles and working on its ground game to take on these flashy multinationals at every painted corner and hip quarter of this great city.
This is a list of my top 5 coffee spots in central Manchester, all tried and tested by yours truly…many, many times over.
The O.G of hipster coffee in Manchester, and the place that engendered my love for all things caffeine. North Tea has it all; super friendly owners and staff, a whole mess of coffees, pours, hot foods, cold foods, teas and booze. It’s precision size always maintains a buzz to the atmosphere, without feeling like you have to sit in a strangers lap to get five minutes respite from the Manchester elements. The perfect place to work, write, meet with friends or clients, or to just pitch up at one of their ‘off street’ tables outside and read a book or smoke a few hundred cigarettes.
North Tea Power, don’t test.
A take-away Flat White from Takk will kick you clean upside your head, it has saved my day on many stuttering occasions. By all means hang out here; it’s four walls adorned with cool local artists on display, well thought out classroom style seating that is perfect if you need a place to get shit done, and a cool little ‘library corner’, but if you need a quick shot of that good coffee en-route to that bastard Platform 13, or just to get you through to your dinner hour, then I’m telling you, those baristas know how to make a mean take away coffee.
The ultimate Sunday morning coffee place in town! If you’re feeling a little ‘hipster healthy’ they’ve got you; that avocado toast with chia seeds and a matcha latte is all your Instagram feed ever needed, or, hide in plain sight, tip your Trilby to your best side, point your winkle pinkers to the sky and in hushed tones, order yourself the pengest sausage barm and builders brew this side of Salford Precinct. Pick up some organic ingredients from their little in-house store and boom, meal prep pictures for the next month. Ezra and Gill is the friend you always wanted.
The Foundation Coffee House sits up above ground level half way down Lever Street, on an inconspicuous block it can quite easily be strolled right by, but take a second to mount the six or seven steps and you will be entered into a world of coffee and food that doesn’t miss the mark. Spacious almost beyond belief, a solid menu that doesn’t try to do too much, it just does everything it does well. Kick back, connect to the wi-fi and have a crumpet with your latte, it’s fine, no one is watching.
Coming in hot, the new kid on the Manchester Coffee scene. Built into one of the railway arches opposite Deansgate Locks (access from the First St side of the arches). This is a pure coffee experience, half roasters and half cafe, it really does smell as good as you would imagine having a roaster next door does. The pours here are superb, don’t come for a brunch photo opportunity, come for the coffee and stay to support DIY Mancunian innovation.
If I’ve missed out any of your favourite spots, I’m sorry. Top 7 just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Feel free to comment and let me know what coffee delights i’m underestimating, or missing out on altogether.