Manchester has long been heralded as a mecca for music enthusiasts.
From the iconic bands that shaped British pop culture to its vibrant live music scene, this city has an unparalleled legacy when it comes to the art of sound.
One of the most captivating ways to immerse yourself in Manchester’s rich musical heritage is through the charming jukeboxes that grace its establishments.
And there’s plenty of them.
We’ve put together this handy list if the DJ just isn’t cutting it for you – why not become your own DJ at one of these bars?
The best jukeboxes in Manchester
Corbieres is an iconic subterranean drinking den serving fresh food and drink daily.
It’s definitely up there with the best jukeboxes in the city, if not the best.
They also host live music on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month.
As if that’s not though, they also have free from Tuesday till Friday, 4.30pm to 7.30pm.
2 Half Moon St, Manchester M2 7PB
Cask is a small but mighty addition to this list, tucked away on Liverpool Street.
Best of all, they do a great range of beers.
Both domestic and international, bottled or draft you can’t go far wrong, with very reasonable prices for a central city location.
They’ve also got a cute beer garden too if you fancy soaking up the rays too (for the brief time it lasts).
29 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NQ
Located on Oldham Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, The Castle Hotel is a prestigious, lively and popular bar with a long history dating all the way back to 1776.
Over the course of a century, the pub changed its name several times, trading first as The Crown and Sceptre, then The Crown and Anchor and later The Clock Face.
In the late nineteenth century, the pub was acquired by Kay’s Atlas Brewery and started a new chapter as The Castle Hotel and then, in the early 1930s, Frederic Robinson took over Kay’s Atlas Brewery and, consequently, The Castle Hotel.
But there’s much more to The Castle than just a lively city centre pub; in 2010 the music hall was unveiled – an 80-capacity live music venue and performance space which has since firmly cemented The Castle Hotel as one of the cornerstones of Manchester’s live music scene.
As well as working with established and longstanding promoters from Manchester and beyond, The Castle prides itself on being a welcoming, supportive space and a creative hub for the city’s grassroots artistic communities; with many now successful bands, artists, performers and promoters cutting their teeth within its walls.
66 Oldham St, Greater, Manchester M4 1LE
Little bar in a repurposed Victorian public toilet offering a global beer selection & a rocking jukebox.
With its authentic grimey-cool ambience, The Temple stands out as a unique gem in Manchester. This bar exudes a natural, well-worn charm that can’t be replicated.
It’s a rite of passage for gig-goers, where countless aspiring bands have gathered, sipping drinks and plotting world domination.
As Guy Garvey sang about the “hole in my neighbourhood” in Elbow’s “Grounds for Divorce,” The Temple captures that essence.
The jukebox is exceptional, the selection of world beers is impressive, but it’s the atmosphere and vibe that truly make it extraordinary.
100 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JW
Established in April 1996, Sandbar has remained proudly independent throughout the years.
It emerged during a time when the iconic Hacienda thrived and Grosvenor Street was a forgotten corner of Manchester.
Housed in a historic industrial revolution era mill, Sandbar initially gained fame as a haven for German and Belgian beers, with the owners personally importing the brews.
Today, while still offering a wide selection of local breweries, the focus has shifted to embrace the abundance of exceptional local beer options.
The recognition came in 2019 when the Manchester Food and Drink Festival awarded Sandbar the coveted title of the best pub/craft beer bar—a testament to its enduring commitment to quality and the loyalty of its patrons.
120 Grosvenor St, Manchester M1 7HL
Peveril Of The Peak
Fair to say Peveril Of The Peak doesn’t need much of an introduction
Cosy, and unpretentious with a classic, green-tiled exterior and fantastic selection of beers, with pool, darts & a jam-packed jukebox of ace tunes.
A Manchester classic and part of a historic pub crawl you can check out here.
127 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JQ
Guillivers, Oldham Street
Located on Oldham Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Gullivers is an iconic, lively and bustling bar with a long history dating all the way back to 1865.
Gullivers has had many different guises over the years. It was originally a Wilson’s house called The Albert Hotel, then The Grenadier before J.W. Lees brewery bought the pub in the 1970s. They renamed it Gullivers and it has existed in its current form to this day.
But there’s much more to Gullivers than just the busy bar; it also houses two distinct yet complementary live music and performance spaces; the upstairs Ballroom – a 110-capacity gig venue with a raised stage and the downstairs Lounge – an intimate, 40 capacity space ideal for acoustic or low-key performances.
Not to mention, an ace jukebox to boot, too.
109 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LW
Kings Arms, Salford
The Kings Arms should be the pub that comes to mind when you think of Salford pubs, especially when you’re thinking about what could be Salford’s best pub.
Located on Bloom Street, across from Salford Central, it’s a gem that needs to be shouted about.
Unlike some pubs where you are met by frightening looks from the locals, The Kings Arms is a local pub for everyone.
Community is the heart of The Kings Arms, whether you’re stopping for a pint after work or a bottle of wine every now and then.
It has previously been owned by Paul Heaton of The Housemartins and Beautiful South too.
11 Bloom St, Salford M3 6AN
Big Hands on Oxford Road holds a significant place in Manchester’s music scene, akin to flagship venues.
It’s where bands form, ideas hatch, and records blast.
As a prime spot near the Academy venues, it’s the go-to for pre/post-show drinks, often bumping into the artists themselves.
Opening in 2001, Big Hands authentically captures the vibrant spirit of a downtown NYC dive bar in Manchester’s heart.
A cornerstone of the city’s music ecosystem for two decades, its red walls adorned with posters and candlelit tables create a captivating atmosphere with an incredible jukebox too.
Retro DJs spin soul, rock’n’roll, and psychedelia, making it a must-visit destination that keeps the music culture alive late into the night.
96 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9NS
Nestled on the outskirts of Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter, this beloved Belgian-style bar has garnered a loyal following over the years.
As you enter, the long narrow room unveils a bustling bar on the left, while a charming partially covered beer garden awaits at the rear.
With a selection of five real ales sourced from near and far, alongside an impressive range of draught and bottled continental beers, there’s something to satisfy every beer lover’s palate.
The decor exudes an eclectic charm, ranging from whimsical cartoons to curious rats and even a captivating motorbike display.
Notably, the esteemed North Manchester CAMRA branch crowned it the ‘Cider Pub of the Year 2015.’
Rumour has it that the remnants of the long-covered River Tib flow through the cellar, adding a touch of mystique to this treasured establishment. And not only that, it has a brilliant jukebox to soundtrack your evening too.
8 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JN