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Your guide to Manchester’s Northern Quarter

No longer the industrial hub it used to be, Manchester’s Northern Quarter is where you’ll find all the hip, savvy Mancunians on any day of the week. And just after spending 5 minutes there, you can understand why. 

Just a stone’s throw away from Manchester Piccadilly, the Northern Quarter is packed with cool independent restaurants, jazzy bars and awesome venues with some of the best live music in the city. And the best part? It’s modern without losing any of its original grungy charm.

There’s everything and more to keep you there until the early hours.

a tall red building sitting on the corner of a street


Anyone else feel like the UK’s high streets are almost carbon copies of one another? Escape the chains and the huge industry players for cute, independent shops that are worth every penny. Up first is the Manchester Craft & Design Centre, famous for showcasing over 30 artists, designers and craftsmen and women. Everything here is handmade and completely unique.

Apart from that, you have the all-famous Afflecks, as well as a huge array of vintage clothing stores and tattoo and piercing shops. 

Bars and Restaurants

If you thought brunch was just a thing that Londoners do, think again. Northern Quarter is home to dozens of Insta-worthy brunch spots. Some highlights include Sugar Junction. Feel Good Club, Flok, The Washhouse and the retro arcade bar NQ64. 

And yes, if you were wondering, The Washhouse is indeed a bar hidden inside a laundrette. The Northern Quarter is quirky to say the least!

Live events

If you’re up for a giggle, The Northern Quarter has got you covered there too. With great venues like the Frog and Bucket comedy club, Band on the Wall and Matt and Phreds Jazz Club, there’s a venue to laugh along with some comedy greats, there’s a venue for a rousing concert and there’s another to get your chill on to some jazzy beats and a cocktail or three.

Seasonal events

One thing you can always rely on in The Northern Quarter is an event or festival that’s in keeping with the weather outside. Destinations like The Maker’s Market on the Cutting Room Square holds events every Sunday where independent artisans, craftspeople and performers contribute to a community event like no other. 

And for some seasonal night-time events, you can’t do better than Kraak. Renowned for its live performances and exhibitions, it is a gallery and event space that is always at the cutting edge of modern-day culture.