Our top spots to sit in the sun and soak up some spirits
I’m here to convince you that Princess Street can feel like Paris and Spinningfields can feel like Sorrento.
Think straw boaters, smoking vogues, and tall, cold glasses of pinot grigio. The effortless charm of metal patio furniture and little bowls of nuts. Maybe even a ridiculously small dog and a man with a jumper over his shoulders reading a second-hand penguin classic.
Ok, so these terraces might not be in San Sebastián, but they are in some of our favourite spots in town to sip an Aperol spritz and catch some rays (whilst wearing SPF). Ticking all the boxes with festoon fairy lights, brightly coloured brollies and bars that serve til dusk, these spots will make you wish we had sunny weather for more than 3 unpredictable weeks of the year.
If you prefer your apéritif with a little bit of altitude, we’ve already covered the best rooftop spots too.
Read on for a list of the best terraces in Manchester city centre.
We had our eyes on The Beeswing from the very moment we spotted an empty unit above our much-loved Nell’s, and if you’re looking for an all-day sun-trap, this is your gaff. Kampus is also where all the cool kids are, and with a menu of small plates, big flavours and international wines, The Beeswing is firmly keeping up with neighbours like Pollen and Yum Cha. The terrace, or the balcony as this buzzing joint calls it, is full of Scandi-inspired furniture and provides some golden hour views over the rest of Kampus’ sleek set-up. Stay long enough and you can also watch an evening unfold in The Village whilst you sink a bottle of the wine of the week. Bring your sunnies for this one.
The Beeswing, 24a Minshull St, Manchester M1 3EF
Let’s face it, most outdoor terraces in Manchester are, should we say, seasonal. However, one with a retractable roof and heaters is way ahead of the curve, and who else would don this than the Dakota Hotel? Described as “a hideaway to escape from the busy city centre”, Dakota’s terrace promises cocktails, nibbles, and actually comfy outdoor furniture. You can also book the terrace for a partay of up to 30 people, and a shit ton of greenery and bubbles makes everything feel very swanky and cosmopolitan.
Dakota, 29 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JL
Ducie Street does it all, and does it well. We’re talking vinyl disco DJ’s, bangin’ cauliflower cheese, and an outdoor spot that’ll have you stuck to your chair all day. Ducie’s terrace backs onto the canal and is designed for dinner in the sun or cocktails with your mates. If you’re after a wooden boardwalk feel with umbrellas and hanging lights, it's a great spot for a sunny day and some tequila slammers. The terrace at Ducie Street also has its own special menu with sharing plates, Romana-style flatbreads, and light bites to graze on, making the whole thing feel like a family bbq with added figs and nduja. 10 points for a waterside view too.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP
When someone utters the words “day drinking”, Dukes 92 is the first sun-drenched spot we think of. Another one with a canal view and copious amounts of cold rosé, Dukes is like Fort Knox on a sunny day, but the vibes are always worth the hustle and bustle. The terrace has loads of space to sit, stand, dance, tan, and the drinks menu includes summery sippers like a mango rum punch and a coconut sling. If you don’t sit on the terrace when you go to Dukes, you’ve done it wrong, soz.
Dukes 92, 18 - 25 Castle St, Manchester M3 4LZ
Joshua Brooks’ outside offerings are less plant walls and fizz and more wrought iron and pints, but we’re totally fine with that. Floating above the canal and right in the evening sun, the terrace at this Princess St spot boasts a full cocktail menu and food offerings including salt and pepper tater tots, vegan burgers and a #TwoForTuesdays pizza deal. Joshua Brooks is also a big one for events and bottomless brunchin’, so secure your space outside from dawn ’til dusk. The terrace here also has the obligatory bench-style seating and some umbrellas to shade from the wall-to-wall Mancunian sunshine.
Joshua Brooks, 106 Princess St, Manchester M1 6NG
I mean, it's all in the name really, but if you want to imagine that you’re spending your summer at a country club in North Carolina like Baby in Dirty Dancing, this should be your terrace of choice. The lawn isn’t real (yikes), but the vibes are, and every Thursday and Sunday there’s live acoustic music. The typical Lawn Club offerings include outdoor seating on the lawn itself and under the fairy-lit pergola, but if you want a VIP experience, you can hire private pods for groups of up to seven and a spot in the Pimm’s cabana for up to 10 people. During the summer months, there’s a BBQ on the go, or there are fresh pizzas cooked up by chef Pepe to keep you sippin' on Spinningfields throughout the day.
Lawn Club, Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HG
We gave you the inside scoop on this Lincoln Square spot after we went there for lunch and enjoyed a couple of Agent Cooper’s. Lucy T also emphasised that “there’s a lovely little outside terrace that catches the sun while we are lucky enough to have it”, and if you ever feel like sipping on a Lebanese white when the temp is double figures, this is the place. The tables are delicate and European-feeling, there are umbrellas, a nice view of the not-so-hidden gem, and a little stripy awning which gives the whole spot that certain je ne sais quoi. According to Maray’s insta, this little sun trap is called the Spritz Terrace, and we reckon it’ll be full all summer long.
Maray, 14 Brazennose St, Manchester M2 6LW
Think Aperol spritz, Aperol umbrellas, Aperol trees, and Aperol-branded Fiat 500s, then you've almost covered all of the Aperol goods at The Oast House's terrace. A great spot in the heart of Spinningfields for sitting back and getting hammered, this terrace accepts walk-ins or bookings across the whole orange-themed space, and you can order one of those famous hanging kebabs too. If you're not a fan of Italian bitter apéritifs, just order a passionfruit colada and get on with dancing to the live artists and DJs that play there every day.
The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, Manchester M3 3AY
The Lowry's terrace launched in July 2022 in collaboration with Grey Goose Essences, and with "serene riverside views and expanding awnings", it all sounds a bit fancy and tempting. Guests and locals alike are invited to eat and drink on the terrace with sharing boards, small plates and signature cocktails including the Queen Bee with Licor 43, honey and champagne. If the word "serene" isn't enough to make you dig out your giant straw sun hat, The Lowry's "summer oasis" overlooks the canal and boasts the longest bar terrace in the city.
The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Pl, Salford M3 5LH
Open late from Thursday to Saturday, Fumo is one of San Carlo’s most popular spots with everything from steak to seafood and a prime spot for people watching out front. Fumo got the memo when it comes to plant walls, pretty furniture and little blankets to keep you warm too. If you’re hankering after a drink that’ll make it onto your Instagram grid, order one of the cocktails that comes in a crystal glass with a load of dried fruit, or get one of the vinos that’s specially imported for San Carlo Fumo and brag to your mates about it. Bonus points for pictures on the rattan chair next to the living wall.
San Carlo Fumo, One St Peter's Square, Oxford St, Manchester M1 5AN
A lot of the spots on this list are pretty swanky, but this one really takes the biscuit. Think dark walls, velvet seating, giant ice cubes, and an overall vibe that makes you want to exclusively drink martinis whilst wearing an LBD. Set up by brothers Joe and Daniel Schofield, Schofield’s occupies the corner plot of Sunlight House and serves up classics like Manhattans, Negronis and a Kentucky Derby with peach tea and lemon. The terrace is equally put-together with blue tablecloths and shiny steel chairs, all cased in with some “Schofield’s blue” barriers and the promise of a good time. We recommend giant dark sunglasses and maybe a floppy sunhat for sitting outside Sunlight House.
Schofield’s, 3 Little Quay Street Sunlight House, Manchester M3 3JZ
Tast brings a taste of Barcelona to Manchester, and with a terrace on the cobbles of King Street, it does a pretty good job. Another one for the people-watching, aperitif-sipping kinda socialising, Tast has sturdy outdoor seating and red brollies to hide from the rays on the hotter days of the year. Tast also has some of the best food in the city. If you’re looking to dine al fresco, you can order one of the Tast lunch deals from 12 ti 5 Tuesday to Friday, or some of the iconic Tastets, and bevs range from local spiced rum to Spanish brandy. Close your eyes and you’re in Sant Antoni.
Tast, 20-22 King St, Manchester M2 6AG
Ok, we get it Manchester, you love a canal-side terrace with good views and live music, and we love having the option to eat our Sunday roast outside, so The Wharf is in our good books. Situated right in the heart of Castlefield, this proper pub has plenty of space outside with proper seating, a fountain, and good views of all things green and watery. Doggos are also more than welcome at The Wharf and it's part of the AllTrails circular route that takes you around some of the canal’s most scenic spots, so you can stop off for a pint in the sun at the end.
The Wharf, 6 Slate Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester, M15 4ST
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