2016 was the twentieth anniversary of the IRA bomb and Sir Richard Leese’s election as leader of Manchester city council. It was the year 200,000 people turned out for the Olympic and Paralympic heroes parade, and the year Manchester was named the number one most liveable city in the UK, the most competitive location for business in Europe, and one of the most LGBT-friendly places in the world to visit. And record demand for hotel beds proved Manchester’s growth as a tourism destination. Just another year in the life of Manchester.

Here are our most read stories of the year, proving Manchester is a city which continues to excite and surprise.

January 2016

Eight Exciting Manchester Events to Look Forward to in 2016

Guilty As Charged: Middle Aged Man in Lycra Shorts

Heritage Isn’t Just About Bricks and Mortar, It’s a State of Mind, Too

Watch The Big Sports Events at Dive NQ

REVIEW | Walrus (& Tusk) Bar, Northern Quarter

Need To Relax? Try Floating in a Sensory Deprivation Flotation Tank

Corn Exchange Launches Manchester’s First Dining Concierge Service

El Gato Negro Tapas Finally Announces Opening (And Soft Launch) Dates

Junkyard Golf Club Is Back at Great Northern Warehouse – Bigger And Even More Random

8 Simple Mancunian Ways To Beat the ‘Blue Monday’ Blues

Meat-Free in Manchester: Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants For Every Occasion

“Two Frigid Bishops, a Badgers Wang and a Farting Dog For the Wife Please”

Not Your Usual Breakfast in Bed

American Stars Kevin Hart & Ice Cube Ride To Manchester And Surprise Fans

The Fun Police Come To Manchester Offices

Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst To Be Honoured With Statue

NEW Hidden Bar ’17 Below’ Is The Latest Addition To Manchester’s Subterranean World

Breakfast For Every Occasion, Every Day Of The Week

Transformed Tampopo hosts Vegan Street Food Launch

Manchester Water Taxi Service (Waxis) To Launch This Year

Chinese New Year in Manchester: Family, Symbolism and Food

February 2016

Great Northern Warehouse: A Brief History Of Manchester’s Not So Hidden Gem From 1899 To 2016

12 Places To Watch Football (And Other Big Sports Events) In Manchester City Centre

Learn How to Cook Tasty Thai Food at Thaikhun

Budget Bites: Places To Grab Lunch You Can Afford Every Day

Treat Your Mum To Cosmo Food & Drink In Manchester This Mother’s Day

Record demand for hotel beds proves Manchester’s growth as a tourism destination

Step in to Manchester’s first rooftop Infinity Spa Pool at King Street Townhouse

Wonder Women 2016: Thoroughly Feminist Manchester

Coming Soon to a Cinema Near You – the Manchester International Film Festival

I never expected to love going vegan – dining out in Manchester is a breeze

A Brand New Street Coming to Great Northern Bursting With Independent Street Food, Bars & Cafes

Manchester and Salford: So What’s The Difference?

Weekends in Manchester just got better – Gaucho move Electro Brunch to Saturdays

El Gato Negro Tapas celebrates opening with launch party and reveals retractible roof

Bike Sharing – The Manchester Way

Stylish new neighbourhood restaurant Squid Ink coming to Ancoats

FIRST LOOK inside El Gato Negro Tapas before it opens on King Street

Haçienda Classical review – a classic Madchester rave at The Bridgewater Hall

30 Awesome Event Spaces to Hire in Manchester

The River Irwell: Nature is a Language, Can’t You Read?

Joy Division Play ‘New Dawn Fades’ Returns to Manchester

Why You Should Move to Manchester Sooner Rather Than Later

March 2016

Manchester Pride 2016 – Fairy Tales, Daydreaming and a Whole Load of Sparkle!

Walkabout The Printworks – the ultimate sports bar in the heart of the city

Why Manchester city centre needs a spring clean

Controversial food critic Jay Rayner shares advice for Manchester restaurants

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Manchester – Irish events and offers including cheap Guinness

South Manchester bar/restaurant launches the city’s first cocktail home delivery service

XS Manchester Radio: Rock, Football and Letting the Good Times Roll

Manchester ranked North’s second most ‘restauranty’ city

Top five bars & pubs in Manchester – as chosen by you

Help Chaophraya and Thaikhun raise funds for Thai Children’s Trust

Urban Splash launches hoUSe – bespoke homes in the city for house-proud, design-conscious people

New monthly street food event GRUB Food Fair launches at Runaway Brewery

Spinningfields presents next phase of Leftbank ft. street food and urban garden with cinema screen

Manchester Duck Race returns to Spinningfields for family fun and food on Good Friday

Is Manchester England’s coolest city? asks expert travel community Jetsetter

Infamous Diner launch epic new menu featuring Pancake Challenge plus Late Night offering

Planning granted for Manchester Airport’s Transformation Programme featuring self-service check-in and quicker security

There’s a petition to restore Piccadilly Gardens to its former glory and we love it

No Phone Zone: This restaurant chain is banning mobiles for Mother’s Day

REVIEW | Rosso Restaurant – delusions of grandeur

The Pilcrow: for the people of Manchester by the people of Manchester

April 2016

Five fat food challenges that will defeat you in Manchester

REVIEW | Infamous Diner launch new menu – but is it an authentic American diner?

WATCH: Grand tour of King St Townhouse – luxury baby grand hotel in the heart of Manchester

Man United Fans Don’t Come From Manchester And Other Myths

New Manchester organisation launches ‘Wonderful’ way to support good causes

Cocktails in the City 2016 – Manchester’s greatest cocktail party

WATCH: Animated poem unveiled to celebrate what Manchester means to its people

Manchester to get state-of-the-art Go Kart track

Robots are coming! Robot Orchestra to play in Manchester

WATCH: Manchattan love letter to Manchester with Stone Roses’ Waterfall as you’ve never heard it before

Hip Hop Chip Shop Wars: Manchester originators battle London imitators

Lifeshare: a charity on the frontline of the Manchester homelessness epidemic

REVEALED | Plans for Manchester city centre’s first gin distillery

Top 10 Coolest Indie Coffee Shops in Manchester

Woody Allen Comes To Manchester. Ish

Historic brewery to open its doors for Manchester Beer Week

Manchester’s cultural hotspots set to light up After Hours

Remarkable! Cost of living in Manchester 30% lower than London (rent is 50% cheaper)

The Search is on for Manchester’s Happiest Workplaces

Whisky Festival coming to Manchester featuring Scotch, Irish, American & Bourbon, and World

Manchester ranked most competitive location for business in Europe

If you’re going to San Francisco – Manchester Airport secures direct Silicon Valley route

Exhibition by The Smiths photographer to be held at The Lowry

The Milton Club announces new early evening experience ‘Limitless’ featuring free flow drinks, snacks and DJ

May 2016

Tim Bacon tribute – a man who changed the landscape of popular dining

Taste The Love and sweet potato & bacon bread at this Manchester supper club

The Real Junk Food Project: making a meal out of waste food

What inspires the man behind Manchester’s favourite street art?

Support these city centre restaurants badly affected by Manchester roadworks

Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting 2 (with original cast) release date has been revealed

Steak supremo Hawksmoor launches ‘ultimate feast’ to celebrate its 10th birthday

Ancoats Coffee Co and the rise of ‘speciality coffee’ in Manchester

How ‘one simple line on a plan’ became the key to the redesign of Manchester city centre

No place like HOME’s first birthday celebrations – featuring rooftop festival, music, entertainment and food

Special memorial of Tim Bacon (statue?) to be incorporated into urban landscape of Spinningfields

Is First Street set to become Manchester’s latest food & drink hotspot?

Ever fancied going to a morning rave stone-cold sober? Well, now you can

10 mysterious photos of old Granada TV studios that capture the ages of Manchester

Eight major Manchester anniversaries to commemorate this year

Sir Richard Leese celebrates two decades as leader of Manchester city council

This office in Manchester has recreated the famous Hacienda nightclub in £2.5m refurb

Unusual restaurant concepts & dining experiences yet to open in Manchester

Memorial of Tim Bacon – celebrate his extraordinary life with everyone who loved him

40 places to eat & drink alfresco in the Manchester sunshine

The trendiest areas in Manchester – the UK’s trendiest city

Private White VC clothing factory – a little piece of Salford where King Cotton still rules

Johnny Depp “tired of LA lifestyle” and moving to Manchester?

Manchester set to be hotter than Marbella

Five out of the ordinary places to eat in Manchester

Tim Bacon tribute – a man who changed the landscape of popular dining

Foodinate – bringing together restaurants and diners to help feed the homeless

Swearing ban comes into force in Manchester city centre

June 2016

Keeping calm and carrying on: how a Dutch Mancunian feels after the EU referendum

VIDEO | Why Pita Pit is the go-to place for fast, fresh, healthy and inexpensive breakfast & lunch

Take a tour of London Road Fire Station – one of Manchester’s most iconic buildings

The best ice creams in Manchester

Has the Manchester restaurant bubble burst?

10 Cool Basement Bars In Manchester To Crawl In And Out Of

7 good reasons to choose Cresta Cars when ordering a taxi in Manchester

The spirit of Manchester – still alive 20 years after the bomb

Manchester is in demand but is it really losing its industrial soul?

VIDEO | How to make your own Manchester Tart from scratch

First look at unseen photographs that captured the rise of Manchester’s music icons

A touch of Frosty – is this man the most opinionated butcher in Manchester?

WATCH | How long does it take for someone to pick up a bottle on one of Manchester’s filthiest streets?

Liam Gallagher is miffed that his new Oasis film premiere is in London and not Manchester

Living Ventures sell the brand behind The Oast House and The Botanist for £50m

Celebrate Manchester’s history with Maxine Peake and Michael Wood

20th anniversary of the 1996 bomb: the truth & the making of modern Manchester

What did Nanna wear during the war?

New exhibition unveils NEVER BEFORE SEEN photos of iconic Manc bands

MediaCityUK set to double in size in next 10 years costing more than £1 billion

All eyes on these Manchester sports stars captivating the world

Revealed: inside Manchester’s latest hidden basement bar Red Door

Manchester Gin, the drink that’s making a big splash in the city

Manchester’s restaurants aren’t all meal deals and happy hours, Mr Coren

July 2016

Hello kitties! Manchester’s first Cat Café opens its doors

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs reveal first pictures of their HUGE city centre project that will change the face of Manchester

Manchester’s got museums – but why isn’t there a Museum of Manchester?

Take a trip to the stars with Professor Brian Cox on a Manchester Astrotram

People’s honest opinions on the best and worst of the changing face of Manchester

Sneak peek: Corn Exchange reveals final designs for aparthotel with unique historic character and penthouse rooms

The New York Times lists Manchester as one of the most LGBT-friendly places to visit

B.EAT Street bursts open grungy village of diners, drinking dens and dance floors at Great Northern

G&T? Northern Quarter bar restaurant unveils first Bloom Gin Terrace outside London

Deansgate finally unveils brand new street of beats, eats and booze called B.Eat Street

The price of Brexit: Manchester restaurant hit by huge increase in cost of imported goods

Manchester’s newest neighbourhood set on bringing more green space and character to the city centre

Restaurant recession: two more Manchester kitchens close and why more is inevitable

London Road Fire Station and Library Walk win people’s awards for the best and worst of Manchester

The Evolution of Manc – The Stone Roses’ former tour manager spills the beans on tour antics

12 Wonderful Wedding Venues In And Around Manchester

One of Manchester’s newest restaurants named in UK’s top 100

Bigger than Beetham: plans to build Manchester’s tallest skyscraper approved

Oldham Street: the real Northern Quarter and home of the weird & wonderful

August 2016

Underneath the arches – that’s where you’ll find some of Manchester’s quirkiest independent businesses

Manchester’s water palace Victoria Baths to celebrate its 110th birthday in style – and everybody’s invited!

Top Manchester street artist puts on Piccadilly Gardens show for beans

Five years after the Manchester riots: how the city fought back and why #WeLoveMCR

Manchester’s going green for Halloween – the most spooktacular place to be in the UK

7 places for the whole family to enjoy a short break less than an hour away from Manchester

Manchester to host homecoming parade for heroes of Rio Olympics and Paralympics

“The worst words in the restaurant world are TripAdvisor.” Meet The Drunken Butcher

Manchester AGAIN ranked #1 most liveable city in the UK

Whisky Festival with over 300 Scotch, Irish, American & Bourbon whiskies returns to the Northern Quarter

Hola Manchester! Festejar Spanish festival returns to Alberto Square in September

Manhattan meets Disneyland: Menagerie restaurant & bar opens at New Bailey M3

The Lawn Club, Spinningfields is leaving Manchester on a high note

Why Manchester was cool even in the sixties

Why Manchester is the best UK city for live music

Northern Quarter bar launches weekly ALL YOU CAN DRINK PROSECCO event

REVIEW: Has Ryan Giggs-owned George’s Worsley Restaurant had a team talk?

There’s a ‘picnic protest’ planned to save the oldest pub in Ancoats from demolition

September 2016

The Pilcrow: the pub built by the people of Manchester for the people of Manchester opens its doors

Exciting new district First Street Manchester just keeps getting better and better

New modern British restaurant Grafene has plenty of style – and substance, too

Super-rich Arabs flock to Manchester instead of London – here’s seven things to make them feel at home

Madchester designer collaborates with special needs sister for new heart-felt art exhibition

TOP 10: Battle of the Sunday roasts in Manchester city centre

This NQ bar boasts one of the largest collection of whisk(e)y in the country

A fresher’s guide to Oxford Road, Manchester – the ultimate city for the student experience

The Refuge dining room & bar: an astonishing space now open to the public

The Makers Market returns to Spinningfields with a doggy twist

Can we please forget the idea of a ‘golden age’ and believe in the future?

This part of the city has been Through The Mill – celebrate Ancoats’ rich history and culture

WATCH the first official trailer for new Oasis documentary ‘Supersonic’

Six new Manchester cycleways ‘a big step in the right direction’ to become a Cycle City

Oxford Road improvement works done and dusted – buses, taxis and cyclists can all be friends

Let’s get quizzical! 12 of the best pub quizzes in Manchester

Do you even come from Manchester? Broadband provider reveals football club with the most local supporters

This must be the best way to watch Jaws: pop-up screen in a swimming pool

October 2016

Countdown is on for £1.5m go-karting track under Manchester Arena

WATCH: 200,000 turn-up for the Olympic & Paralympic heroes parade in Manchester

The best club in the world is the one that changed your life

Who the hell does Paul Scholes think he is?

The Crystal Maze is coming to Manchester – and now a nostalgic venue has been revealed

London Road Fire Station to host its own special ice skating rink and Xmas markets

Liverpool and Manchester: why we should be friends with the city down the road

The Liquor Store First Street launches in style – finally bringing nightlife to Manchester’s newest district

Manchester has the appetite to sustain a Borough-type foodie market

20 famous Manc names revealed on Manchester’s first Hollywood-style ‘Star Walk’

November 2016

How to HELP make Christmas for those in need in Manchester

15 places to find hygge in Manchester this winter

16 things to eat in Manchester before you diet

REVEALED: The horrible history of the Royal Exchange

Not so happy days with the Happy Mondays

Central Bark: Manchester’s first dog café featuring grooming and day care to open in Altrincham

Foodie superstar line-up revealed for London Road Fire Station’s Christmas Winter Gathering

Waxi ahoy! Manchester water taxis finally set sail from Castlefield to Trafford Centre

A last look at the legendary Reform Club before it becomes Grand Pacific

London’s biggest newspaper discovers why you should visit Manchester’s Northern Quarter

December 2016

Giggs & Gary Neville all set to open new ‘Space Age Asian’ restaurant in Urbis building

15 new Manchester food & drink ventures to get excited about in 2017

Manchester Christmas Markets voted amongst the biggest and best in Europe as they close for 2016

One of the world’s most famous restaurants reveals plans to open in Manchester

12 seriously indulgent cocktails to try in Manchester over Christmas

Blackpool Illuminations comes to Salford Quays for UK’s biggest digital light festival

Does Manchester need more creative, radical – not retail – space?

Competitive axe throwing coming to Manchester in the New Year

New bar The Laundrette spins open its doors on First Street with cocktails & carbs

VIDEO: This winter woodland pop-up serves the ultimate sharing FEAST on a LOG PLATTER

31 jaw-dropping January 2017 deals to make the most of in Manchester


Please tell us your highlights of the year in comments below, email us at hello@ilovemanchester.com or tweet us @ILoveMCR

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Founder of I Love MCR. Food and martial arts enthusiast. You won't like him when he's hangry. Nobody's perfect but being Manc is close enough.

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