Manchester has a vibrant and cosmopolitan cafe scene, finds Connor McGovern
Taking its name from the Icelandic for ‘thanks’, this trendy pit stop on Tariff Street is full-on Scandi chic on the inside, with exposed lightbulbs, minimalist art for sale, and a quirky map of Iceland all part of the decoration. Drinkers can kick back with a rich cup of North Projekt coffee and flick through one of the many books or magazines stacked up on the shelves. Hungry? The menu is a bit more continental than Viking, with the likes of spicy ‘nduja and eggs, or lemon and mint-pea mash on toast on the menu.
Chapter One Books
It might be easy to miss this cafe-cum-bookshop on Lever Street from the outside, but inside a quirky, cosy place to take five awaits, with books as much a part of the experience as the drinks. Surprisingly spacious, Chapter One has a number of less-known and bestselling literary works for sale around the room. Once you’ve picked your read, sit back and enjoy the bright interiors and the trickle of the indoor fountain.
Fig + Sparrow
In the vibrant Northern Quarter, Fig + Sparrow proves an ever-popular haunt of the locals, who perch on the wooden benches and seats to enjoy good-quality coffee, bakes and generous brunches. The coffee shop also doubles as a ‘lifestyle store’, selling a range of prints, postcards and fun kitchen gifts that give it an artistic, Instagrammable edge. To get a real feel of the neighbourhood, grab a seat by the window and watch the quirky quarter pass by.
Pot Kettle Black (PKB)
Sitting on a corner inside the beautiful Barton Arcade, Pot Kettle Black provides the ideal chilled-out space for a morning pick-me-up with its coffee, smoothies and brunches, or a place to kick-start an evening with its cocktail menu. Taking in the iron-and-glass domes of the arcade with an espresso is part of the place’s charm, but there’s also a takeaway hatch, for caffeine on the go.
North Tea Power
Friendly staff serve up great coffee at this wood-clad hotspot in the Smithfield Building, but more of note is its impressive variety of teas, ranging from classic blends to less well-known varieties including popcorn, coconut and Japanese Sencha cherry. Great food — all-day brunch classics — is ordered from the lovely handwritten menus, and the rustic vibe that pulls in students, visitors and coffee lovers alike makes it well worth a stop.