Sun and Manchester aren’t two words you often find in the same sentence. Those occasions where the sun does decide to put its hat on are rare. That’s why we like to make the most of them.
We think it’s time to break out the Ray Bans and pick the perfect spot to welcome our favourite season. These sun terraces are unstacking their weatherproof furniture so you can kick back and get your drinks with a dash of vitamin D – and maybe a drop of rain or two.
This place is the absolute go-to terrace for the warmer weather. Whether you fancy the one in Chorlton or the one on First Street, you’re in for a treat. The drinks are strong and every single one comes with a well-balanced yet inventive punch. The terrace outside is huge and heated and covered. This is Manchester after all.
Castlefield’s the perfect place to relax on a hot day and Dukes 92 recently reopened in time for the summer months following a £1m refurbishment. The venue now has a new outdoor kitchen and bar as well as plenty of tables on the terrace for those sunnier days.
The Liquor Store First Street
Head down to First Street and straight to The Liquor Store for an atmosphere that’s always buzzing. These guys don’t do anything by halves. The skilled bar team serve up a whole host of cocktail creations like the St Hendrick’s Elderly Rose, Oasis and the famous Tina Turner Died! This place is the bees knees and if the inside is getting a little cozy, step outside and take advantage of the killer outdoor terrace.
South Terrace King Street Townhouse
The south-facing terrace at King St Townhouse is probably Manchester’s highest sun trap with spectacular views of the city’s spires and rooftops and the clock tower of the town hall. It has an overhead canopy and two-way facing fire and is dressed with comfy alfresco furniture. It’s also heated for those cooler summer days when the sun decides to take a day off. Inside the south terrace lounge is a large versatile space with solid wooden flooring, informal furnishings and a bespoke wooden bar. It’s also available for private hire for up to 150 guests for meetings and weddings.
Indian restaurant Zouk has you covered all year round with its stunning outdoor terrace. Featuring an electric roof, the terrace can be closed when the weather turns at the click of a button to ensure diners stay dry. They’ve spent £200,000 fitting it out. And it shows.
Alfresco eating and drinking got bigger and better when the Corn Exchange reopened for business last year with plenty of places and lots of different cuisines on offer from the Mexican-inspired grub of Wahaca to the Vietnamese street food from Pho. A doddle to find something to suit your taste and appetite but more difficult to find a seat outside on the busiest days.
El Gato Negro
El Gato Negro has been extremely popular since its launch and, although that’s mainly down to the excellent food, it also has a unique feature that’s probably helped pull in the punters – a dedicated cocktail bar complete with retractable roof terrace. Yes please. The Black Cat has a Spanish-inspired drinks menu including twists and new takes on old favourites as well as a range of Spanish wines and sherry.
Playground at Great John Street Hotel
An elegant space located next to the Old Granada Studios, the rooftop at Great John Street Hotel is one of the city’s best kept secrets. This south facing space features a residents’ area complete with hot tub and sun loungers, and another area that’s open to the public. It takes its name from the fact that it used to be a boys’ playground when the building was a school. Quirky.
The Lounge offers spectacular, wraparound views of the Manchester skyline and a series of wonderful terraces with a quite superb view of our fair city with lots of mini-seating and booth areas. The terraces here are lawned and adorned with enormous wicker chairs that you’ll never want to get out of – especially after a cocktail or four.
Shack Bar and Grill
The Shack was born from what was formerly a clothing warehouse. It has a popping centrally located bar that boasts a great selection of draught beers, craft bottled beers and a selection of quirky cocktails. They serve an extensive grill menu which features American inspired burgers, ribs, sizzling steaks that all come with their signature hot sauce. If it’s all getting a little too heated, their pretty outdoor terrace with hanging plant pots and cosy seats makes for a welcome refresher.
Enjoy Manchester’s waterways at this canalside pub. The large beer garden includes a patio area with tables and chairs but many patrons simply take their drinks and sit on the grass by the water when the sun comes out. Bliss.
Atlas stands out for two reasons – its gin selection and its roof terrace. It’s hidden away at the back of the bar so it’s not obvious from the outside that it’s there, but when you reach it you’ll find a comfortable space complete with covered section which is ideal for a relaxing post-work G&T.
Mr Thomas’ Chop House
One of Manchester’s popular historic pubs, this traditional Cross Street boozer has a gorgeous seating area at the rear next to St Ann’s Church. A relaxing spot for a few pints, a glass of wine or maybe some cracking grub from the seasonal menu of classic British cooking with a modern twist.
Many of Canal Street’s bars and restaurants feature al fresco areas and popular boutique hotel, restaurant and Velvet bar is no different. It’s one of the most popular venues in the area when the sun comes out and features a diverse menu catering for a range of dietary requirements.
Always a popular location on a Saturday morning, American-style breakfast and brunch restaurant Moose has a patio area outside if you want to dine al fresco. The perfect spot for pancakes and coffee.
The Oast House
The most popular outdoor drinking destination in Spinningfields. Along with its rustic style building, there’s a large terrace area complete with tables and chairs. Try one of their famous hanging kebabs or craft beers from across the globe. It can get very busy on the warmest days at which point it does become standing room only.
The Wharf Pub
Always a popular place when the sun’s shining and it’s not hard to see why with its large canalside terrace and extensive drinks range – including six cask beers, 50 wines and more than 100 malts – complemented by a hearty food menu which is served until late.
Barca’s decked terrace is one of the largest in Manchester and they’ve got a great big BBQ ready for the summer. The central Castlefield location means you’re right in the thick of the action and the recent reform means you’re getting everything top notch. Just close your eyes, relax and pretend you’re on your hols.
Providing a taste of Thai street food, Thaikhun has an al fresco area with one very distinctive feature – a tuk tuk. The menu includes traditional Thai favourites alongside a range of curries, salads and stir-fry dishes with vegetarians also well catered for.
One of the Northern Quarter’s best known venues, Solita also has a beer garden located across the road from the restaurant. It may not provide the most inspiring of views but it’s still a good place to catch some sun while devouring one of their trademark extravagant burgers.
The Marble Arch
The ever popular Marble Arch is known for its ornate interiors but also has an outdoor seating area located through the back of the historic pub. It has a number of sturdy wooden tables and chairs with large parasols provided should the weather turn. Try one of their own beers or a bite to eat from their well-thought out and innovative menu featuring modern takes on pub classics.
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.
Have we missed any of your favourites? Let us know in comments below…