‘Tis the season to cosy up for a lovely met-up with friends. And you know what that means? DRINKS. Ditch those too-familiar four walls of yours, and enter a world of beautiful décor, ever-Instagrammable walls and murals and of, course, cocktails. If you’re planning a major catch up with friends this month, check out our guide to the best cocktail bars in Manchester.
1. Sunset by Australasia
One of Manchester’s most beautiful spots, Sunset by Australasia has some of the best cocktails in the city. Pretty in pink and the perfect spot for a ‘girls only’ evening, the bar has a roofed outdoor terrace that makes for the ultimate ‘gram spot. The impressive cocktail menu takes inspiration from its sister restaurant, Australasia, with Asian influences throughout. Fans of Asian food can also enjoy their delicious menu of small plates including dishes such as sushi, tempura and robata grill dishes. Sunset by Australasia, 1 The Avenue, Manchester, M3 3AP.
Unlike other cocktail bars in Manchester, Firefly transforms throughout the day, really coming alive at night. A “late-night LA concept”, Firefly does cocktails, DJ sets and dining West Coast style, with some seriously impressive decor. The restaurant serves up what they describe as Californian Tapas, while the atmosphere transforms into a “mysterious, charming, intimate bar and restaurant” as night falls. Their roof terrace is the perfect spot for girl’s night, with an elevated DJ booth that’ll have you fired up for the night ahead at local clubs. Foodwell, Suite 2, Ground Floor, One New Bailey, Stanley St, Salford, M3 5JL.
Home to three different spaces to explore, this “whimsical” bar is the ultimate hideaway for a night on the town with your friends. The Impossible bar and kitchen transports you to an old fashioned, quirky theatre, with cocktails galore and Asian-inspired pub grub on the menu, while their Gin Possible nest is the perfect hidden spot for indulging in, well, gin! Downstairs, however, is the real treat – with their underground Theatre Impossible turning into a nightclub on weekends, with private booth areas, performances and so much more. Impossible, 36 Peter St, Manchester, M2 5QR.
A classic spot for any Mancunian, Menagerie never disappoints when it comes to girl’s night. The New Bailey spot is notorious for being aesthetically pleasing, with pretty sights to see in every single corner. Think pretty florals, neon signs, birdcages, beautiful furniture and delicious cocktails. The bar and restaurant also serve up an incredible boozy brunch with not one but two brunch courses, as well as their now-iconic marshmallow and Nutella doughnuts that are to die for. Menagerie, One New Bailey, New Bailey St, Salford, M3 5JL.
New kid on the block BLVD has taken over from weekend hotspot Neighbourhood, but that’s not to say its décor isn’t equally as pretty. Adorned in neon with lavish décor peppered with New York influences, BLVD is a late-night spot for dancing, drinking and getting up to mischief with your gals. The bar serves an array of tasty cocktails and wines, while the restaurant offers up an array of cuisines such as Japanese, Mexican and Chinese. Cheers to that! BLVD, The Avenue North, Manchester, M3 3BZ.
6. The Ivy
A bar for every girl’s night list, The Ivy never fails to be its impressive self. With three floors to choose from including their botanical brasserie, oriental Asia room and their eclectic rooftop, there’s plenty to explore at what can only be described as a wonderland of a venue. Their marble cocktail bars literally glow with gold, while every single feature in the Manchester building screams extravagant. Even the bathrooms feature Grecian statues to remind you of the restaurant’s prestigious reputation. Guests can choose from classic brasserie dishes or Japanese sharing dishes, with Asian-inspired cocktails and all the classics available to sup at the bar. The Ivy, The Pavilion, Byrom St, Manchester, M3 3HG.
Located just off busy Deansgate, Motley is part of swanky hotel Yotel, offering stylish, street-side dining at their terrace as well as cosy booths indoors for both guests and passersby. The interior inside MOTLEY has plenty of pops of colour to boost your serotonin level, as well as offering photo-worthy backdrops thanks to its neon lighting, eclectic seating and selection of indoor plants. Serving ‘uncomplicated’ dishes, draft lagers, cocktails and more, guests can expect Mediterranean dishes such as burgers, flatbreads and more, as well as friendly service and a great atmosphere. MOTLEY, 115 Deansgate, M3 2NW.
8. Three Little Words
Sitting pretty alongside the Manchester Gin city centre distillery, Three Little Words is perfectly decorated with plush velvets, industrial lighting and exposed brick – combining Manchester’s iconic industrial vibes with something a little cosier. Naturally, the bar is fully stocked with a variety of gins, as well as boasting one of the finest cocktail menus of all the Manchester bars, with the team creating new and exciting drinks with the seasons. Three Little Words, 12-13 Watson St, M3 4LP.
9. Sexy Fish
Sexy Fish is elegant and aquatic and is brimming with opulence – meaning it’s one of the fanciest cocktail bars to visit in Manchester. You’ll find striking interior features including spectacular artworks from Damien Hirst, plus a collection of iconic ‘Fish Lamps’ from Frank Gehry. Sexy Fish Manchester also features a one-of-a-kind destination bar of glowing pink onyx and glass, where you can sip on four unique Manchester serves, all set against a backdrop of a cascading waterfall. As for the ladies’ restrooms… these can only be described as ‘Little Mermaid meets Barbie’. Sexy Fish, 2 Spinningfields Square, M3 3AP.
Located on Eagle Street, right on the corner of Mackie Mayor, Stray brings a simple proposition: uncomplicated, well-executed cocktails, served in a relaxed setting. Stray’s version of the classics takes drinks we know and love, delivering them with an ever so slight twist and of course, guests can order any classic just how they like it. Featuring forest green walls and exposed brick walls behind the bar. as well as rust orange furnishings, the space gives off cosy and somewhat industrial vibes but pair perfectly with the sleek-looking drinks to create that picture-perfect moment. Stray, 1 Eagle Street, M4 5BU.