Manchester’s only Central American late night music bar – now with Mexican food
Sandinista is old-school cool. A proper bar where music matters. No aural wallpaper here, just classic tracks spanning the best of punk, indie, rock, ska, soul, reggae and hip hop. Some you’ll know, some you won’t but that’s what it’s all about – a musical education. When you name your bar after The Clash’s fourth album, a solid gold music policy is kind of expected. Sandinista certainly hits the mark there.
It has also nailed the left-wing Central American vibes, right-on but raffish with an excellent selection of drinks for some serious sessions. Beers include respected craft ales as well as Central American favourites beer - including a Michelada, a spice-citrus mix that will zing up your beer Mexican style.
The cocktails are full of Sandinista’s left-field spirit with a menu that celebrates New Wave and new flavour combos too. From Arctic Roll with its mix of vodka, Prosecco, strawberry, mint, basil and pomegranate to repurposed classics like a Mezcal Negroni, each part of the menu is inspired by a musical moment.
You’ll find an excellent selection of rum and plenty of tequila as you might expect but also a strong showing of gin and tonic as well as a pretty decent wine list.
Sandinista is definitely a bar, not a restaurant but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a great selection of food because it can and it does. Thanks to its new collaboration with Taco Cantina, it now has a food menu to rival any other Mexican joint in the city centre.
The tacos are the star of the show with options ranging from Yucatan chicken with pineapple and jalapeño salsa to slow-cooked ancho beef or roasted cauliflower and sweet potato.
The quesadillas, burritos and Mexican pizza (tlayuda if you want to keep it authentic) are all highly commended too and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan choices.
Just because the kitchen shuts, it doesn’t mean your tummy stops growling. If you’ve got hunger pangs – or the beer munchies – Sandinista also serves late night food from 10pm-1am every night. Dirty fries, nachos, quesadillas and wings – exactly what you need after a few rum and cokes. It saves queueing for a kebab and it’s a whole lot tastier too.