Best Speakeasy Bars in Manchester

Manchester is known for it’s thriving nightlife with more live music gigs per person than anywhere else in the UK and home to events such as The Warehouse Project and Park Life.

But what many people don’t realise, is the cosy cocktails bars that lurk behind the scenes. Luckily, this guide will reveal all of the hidden secrets of Manchester’s speakeasy bars.

Convenience Store, 100-102 High Street, Northern Quarter
This Northern Quarter convenience store conveniently serves up some cracking cocktails.

The neon glow from the Red Bull and Taco signs could have you fooled in to thinking this was your typical convenience store where you could pick up a box of cereal, but you’d be wrong.

The only cereal you’ll find here is in their speciality cheeri-fuckin-o cocktail mixed with cinnamon and vodka. This northern quarter speakeasy has gone all out on the inside too, the bar is themed like a cashier you’d find in your local shop and you can even pick up some retro chocolate bars and a slush puppie (with added alcohol, of course!).

Arcane bar, 2 South King Street
Classic cocktails in a victorian-vibe venue disguised as a bookshop.

This unassuming book shop on King Street is the work of fiction, once you step inside you’ll be greeted with a prohibition style speakeasy bar serving up some of Manchester’s finest cocktails.

Alongside the usual classics, the artisans behind the bar have speciality cocktails including Pisco Espresso Martini and a White Walker Sour with  Tiki Bitters, Winter Spice Syrup and red label whiskey. The bars exposed brick Victorian-esque vibe makes the perfect environment for a bit of light reading (drinking). Hurry, before it gets booked up.

Wood and Company, 39 South King Street
Friendly table service hidden in an unexpected place.

Discretely tucked away in one of Manchester’s unassuming side streets, look for the white tiled wall and the goods entrance sign to find your way in. We hope you find the right one and don’t end up in an old warehouse. Once you’ve reached the basement bar, you’ll be served at the table by friendly and knowledgable waiters who can talk you through their reasonably priced cocktail menu starting from just £7.

19 Shudehill, Manchester
Book an appointment and head through the washing machine.

The dreary looking laundrette on Shudehill doesn’t scrub up too bad once your inside. You’ll usually need to book an appointment to visit the city’s most popular speakeasy bar. Once you arrive, there’s a phone to call up and see if your laundry is ready, then the hidden door behind the washing machine will open to welcome you in. At the bar you’ll find original cocktails as well as some signature recipes made by excellent mixologists, enjoy them in one of the booths to the soundtrack of deep house.

Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester
Behind the Pawn Shop exterior lies the treasure of great cocktails.

Don’t bring your old jewellery here! With the neon glow of the ‘pawn shop’ sign, from the outside you may be fooled in to thinking this is a place to exchange old watches for cash, but this is one of Manchester’s best speakeasy bars and a highlight of the Northern Quarter.

Choose from a Pawn-star Martini or a Rolex in the Deep amongst other menu items in-keeping with the pawn shop theme. Perhaps you’ll find your perfect soundtrack to your evening on their free to use retro jukebox.