Manchester’s best outdoor bars, sun terraces and roof gardens to enjoy the sunshine


The summer has finally arrived in Manchester, with the temperature set to soar up to 30 degrees this weekend, so let’s make the most of it.

With many people heading into the city centre to enjoy the sunshine, here’s our pick of the best outdoor areas to soak up some rays, some of the best bars and restaurants with outdoor seating, brilliant rooftop bars and sun terraces.

You can also find our guide to the best places to get a seat in the sun here, and some ideas for how to spend summer nights here.



With its host of bars and restaurants and stunning waterside views, Castlefield is always a favourite destination when the sun makes an appearance in Manchester. Choose from The Wharf dining pub, Barca with its extensive outdoor bar space, and, of course, Duke’s 92, where there are also outdoor barbecues across the weekend.

The Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange

Located on Exchange Square, this shopping centre-turned-drinking and dining destination has plenty of outdoor seating and lots of places to pick from. From Salvi’s, Vapiano and Banyan to Wahaca, Zizzi and the Cosy Club, choose your position and grab a spot in the south-facing square.

New Islington Marina

New Islington marina

A hidden oasis in Manchester, but definitely worth a stroll to on a sunny day.  You can also grab some delicious pastry goodies here at Pollen Bakery, or drinks at the new Cask bar at the side of the marina. And from here it’s only a short stroll to Ancoats with its wealth of dining destinations too.


An obvious choice, Spinningfields boasts a raft of outdoor seating areas around the host of bars and restaurants in this bustling district.

The Oast House remains a favourite with its huge outdoor palazzo, with regular live music too. There’s also a great range of outdoor seating at Thaikhun, Iberica, The Alchemist and Sunset by Australasia.  Further down towards Left Bank you’ll find The Refinery, and bars and restaurants with rear terraces looking out on to the River Irwell including Scene, The Dockyard and the Left Bank Coffee Bar at the People’s History Museum.

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar

Sinclair's Oyster Bar

One of Manchester’s most popular outdoor drinking spaces, it’s shared by two of the most historic buildings in Manchester and it’s where you’ll find drinkers flocking in droves as soon as the sun says hello. The location combined with the bargain-priced beer at Samuel Smiths’ pub Sinclair’s means it’s always busy when there’s half decent weather. And even when there’s not.

First Street

With its swathe of public space and bars and restaurants, First Street is an ever popular destination for those wanting to enjoy the outdoors.  Outside the HOME arts centre is a top spot, as well as the outdoor bar areas at Bunny Jacksons, WOOD and The Gasworks.

Canal Street


The pedestrianised palazzo running next to the canal make the bars and restaurants of Canal Street a leading destination when the sun makes an appearance.  There is outdoor seating offered by most of the bars along the strip, popular hotspots include outside Velvet and outside G-A-Y.


It has just trebled in size, so there’s never been a better time to discover Hatch – the award-winning retail and food and drink destination built entirely from shipping containers. There’s lots of outdoor seating to enjoy the warm weather, and a whole host of new food and drink traders at the site, tucked underneath the Mancunian Way on Oxford Road.


Manchester’s food and drink fair outside at Mayfield Depot is always popular on sunny weekends.   And from June 28-30 it’s a burger special at the venue, with a whole raft of burgery concoctions from some of the best names in the street food business.  Be warned, if you want a seat you might be best avoiding the peak lunchtime slot!

20 Stories

Manchester’s highest outdoor terrace, 20 Stories is busy at the best of times, but with the sun out it’s definitely the place to be.  With the most spectacular views across the city, this one is a selfie-lover’s idea of heaven.

Roof garden at The Ivy

The Ivy Roof Garden

The Ivy‘s top floor Roof Garden features a fully retractable roof when the sun really starts to shine.  Expect all of The Ivy’s signature cocktails, menu and ambience too.

Albert Square Chop House

Situated on one of Manchester’s most iconic squares, Albert Square Chop House has a cracking view across the piazza – great for people-watching as you sip on a proper pint of ale or get stuck into their extensive wine list. If you love your wine, make sure to set aside a few hours to explore their cellars, too.

Atlas Bar

Atlas bar

The upstairs roof terrace at Atlas bar on Deansgate ticks all the boxes – south facing, retractable roof, and heated (for when the proper Manchester weather returns). They also serve over 250 different varieties of gin.

Mr Thomas’ Chop House and Central Garden


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Situated in a quiet spot behind St. Ann’s Church, Mr Thomas’s Chop House (recently renamed Mrs Sarah’s Chop House) has a brilliant outdoor gin garden that is an ideal choice for some relaxed afternoon drinks and nibbles.


Backing on to the Great Northern square, the outside terrace at Impossible is the perfect sun trap for post-work drinking and casual dining.   It became THE hotspot of Summer 2018 as it screened all of the World Cup matches.

The Anthologist

The Anthologist

One of the hottest new spots in the city with its vast outdoor terrace, it also boasts stunning views out on to St Peter’s Square, Manchester Library and the Town Hall.  You can choose from the venue’s array of cocktails, and can also dine al fresco.

Rain bar

No need to worry about rain this weekend at Rain Bar – and it boasts one of the best outdoor terraces in the city right next to the canal on Great Bridgewater Street to soak up the sun.


One of Manchester’s newest food, drink and live music venues boasts an impressive roof terrace that is always open to drinkers and diners.  The four floor venue is based on Charles Street in the city centre.

Great John Street Hotel’s Rooftop Lounge & Playground

This elegant third-floor space is one of the most appealing in Great John Street’s old school house. South facing with great views out over the city via Spinningfields, it is equipped with its own bar for handy drinks service and connects on to the Rooftop Playground. It makes the perfect setting for private rooftop BBQs, launch events, cocktail parties and wedding receptions.  Check with the venue, as when not booked privately, you can head up here for a drink.




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