Here in Manchester, all roads lead to football, and music, but mainly football. The FA Cup final will see Manchester United go up against neighbours Manchester City for the first time ever in the competition, so of course we’re all going to want to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately for us, the final is taking place at Wembley, like all major finals, so only the lucky 90,000 will get to see what’s likely to be a historical football event in the flesh, which is where our pubs, bars and venues come in. As Manchester prepares to turn red or blue, here’s our guide to the best places in town to catch the FA Cup final this Saturday 3rd June.
1. Freight Island
Come together to watch the FA Cup final live on the huge screens within the sports bar fanzone and main area at Freight Island. Expect plenty of beer, top-notch food, arcade games and entertainment for all to enjoy. There are some necessary rules: no colours/football shirts or any item of clothing deemed to be inappropriate or offensive, with all customers required to pre-book, plus more logical guidelines available on the website. Expect Freight Island to be football mad from 12pm this Saturday 3rd June. 11 Baring St, Manchester, M1 2PZ.
2. Boom Battle Bar
What could be better than watching the footy with your mates? Getting free beers with it, of course! Boom Battle Bar is usually a haunt for competitive mates to battle it out with a game of shuffleboard or axe throwing, but now the competition is hotting up for football fans with the FA Cup final being screened. The bar has 100 free Heineken beers to give away and will be available on a first come, first served basis to any customers who sign up for the pleasure. Fans will simply need to show the email they receive when signing up from this page. So sign up and get cheering for your team, whether you’re red or blue. Unit 2A, The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester, M4 2BS.
3. GRUB at Arch 12
GRUB will be at Arch 12 on Dantzic Street for the big game with a fully stocked bar, great food courtesy of traders Gatto Pizza and Manchester’s warmest welcome, so you can watch the game in the arches away from the fever pitch of the city centre. At just £5 to reserve you a spot, which includes your first drink at the bar, you can’t beat a good GRUB shindig, and it’ll be a neutral environment so reds and blues are all welcome – but be on your best behaviour! Tickets are available here. 12 Dantzic St, Manchester, M4 4DN.
Everyone knows Bierkeller as the place to go for good beer, dancing on tables and a generally upbeat atmosphere. All of this comes in handy when watching the football, too, so we’re lucky that Bierkeller will be showing the FA Cup final in Manchester. Their dedicated Shooters Sports Bar was made for this kind of event, and the team are excited to welcome fans this Saturday, so book in to sip on refreshing drinks, savor delicious food, and soak up the electric atmosphere. The Printworks Withy Grove, Manchester, M4 2BS.
5. Cafe Football
The clue’s in the name with this one, and Cafe Football will be living up to its name this Saturday. Founded by Manchester United legend and pundit Gary Neville, Cafe Football is part of Hotel Football, just a stone’s throw from Old Trafford, so you can imagine the FA Cup final screening will be open to United fans, but City fans may want to stay away. Book your table here so you can eat, drink and soak up the beautiful game this Saturday. 99 Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester, M16 0SZ.
6. BOX Bar
BOX Bar is Deansgate’s most popular sports bar and offers a slightly elevated sports-watching experience, but don’t fret, it can be as raucous as any pub when it comes to Manchester football. The FA Cup final will be screened at BOX on Saturday, no doubt taking over all the amazing screens it boasts, meaning any seat is the best seat in the house. Enjoy great drinks and amazing food, cheering on the red or blues – book a table here. 125 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BY.
7. Bowlers Exhibition Centre Fanzone (UTD only)
Unfortunately for City fans, Bowlers Exhibition Centre will host a FA Cup final fanzone exclusively for United fans. The Red Square event takes over the multifunctional venue this Saturday, which is used to hosting all-day raves and conventions, hosting the biggest ever Manchester United Fanzone in the UK. The mega event will cater to 6000 Manchester United fans, with the FA Cup final being shown on the biggest screens in the UK, alongside live DJ’s before and after the game, food stalls, a great choice of beers, a massive away day atmosphere with merch stalls, all being family friendly with kids welcome too. United families… unite! Tickets must be pre-booked here. Longbridge Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1SN.
8. Shack NQ
Known more for its excellent foodie options, mainly amazing burgers, Shack in the Norther Quarter also boasts booths with their own screens, as well as TVs around the venue. For booths to watch the FA Cup final places must be booked, but if you’re lucky you can turn up on the day and watch the big game on any of Shack’s screens – of course nothing is guaranteed. If you fancy something a bit more artisan with your football, Shack’s the place to go, as you can nibble on fast food treats whilst sipping a cocktail (or beer) – because why not? Shack NQ, 69 High St, Manchester, M4 1FS.