Rooftop Bars in Manchester: 10 Places to Drink with a View

Published by: Bounce10 October, 2022

Looking to celebrate a special occasion or cap off a successful afternoon of the best shopping in Manchester? Head to a rooftop bar!  Being able to sit in the summer sun and enjoy a drink is the perfect way to relax when you’re visiting Manchester. Although the rain might keep you indoors - this is England, after all. If you only have one night in Manchester, you should probably visit a traditional pub for an authentic experience, but grabbing a few drinks on a rooftop terrace to appreciate the city skyline is another way to cap off an epic day. The downtown skyline in Manchester is a sight to behold, and during the warmer months will be a pleasant and comfortable experience. Luckily, there are plenty of sleek rooftop terraces serving up delicious drinks and panoramic views. 

Swinging by one of Bounce’s many luggage storage spots in Manchester and dropping the bags off will help you navigate the city centre and make your rooftop bar experience even easier. Here are the best rooftop bars and restaurants to find the best views and the best cocktails in Manchester: 

20 Stories

What it's like:

The best way for a bar to stand out these days is by becoming an Instagram hot spot. This Deansgate rooftop terrace is perfectly situated to bring in trendy customers who want to snap a pic in front of the stunning skyline backdrop. The shining glass beacon of the building, located at No.1 Spinningfields, is one of the most recognizable buildings in the Manchester city centre, and its 20th-floor houses perhaps the best rooftop bar in town. With stylish design and a beautiful view of the city skyline along the south terrace, this is a spot you won’t want to miss. The outdoor fireplace makes it a bar you can visit all year round, but the summer months are when 20 Stories really becomes popular. Make a reservation ahead of time so you’ll have one less thing to worry about. 

Our Recommendation:

20 Stories serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, but its main draw is the signature cocktails from the bar. One thing you wouldn't want to miss is the rooftop terrace during the holiday months. The whole terrace is transformed into an alpine winter wonderland, complete with ski decor and a holiday cocktail menu. 

Location:

NO. 1, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester

Brewdog DogHouse

What it's like:

With taprooms all over the UK, Europe, and North America, it’s safe to say that Brewdog is a popular brewery. One of the Scottish brewery’s best locations has to be their taproom located on a rooftop terrace in the Manchester city centre. The vibe is social and fun, and like the Brewdog owners, doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

There are plenty of tables across the expansive terrace, so this rooftop bar is perfect for groups and families.

Our Recommendation:

The DogHouse serves exclusive beers and famous year-round offerings like Punk IPA. Depending on the season, it’s best to check for beers you can’t get anywhere else. For food, expect elevated bar bites like loaded waffle fries and street tacos. 

Location:

18-20 Fountain St, Manchester

Atlas Bar

What it's like:

One of Manchester’s best gin bars happens to be located on a rooftop terrace. Atlas Bar, with an industrial-chic bar and patio located atop a downtown building, has over 500 specialty and craft gins on its menu, as well as friendly and knowledgeable bar staff to help you navigate this crazy spirits list. While most whiskey and other specialty bars tend to be situated in darker and moodier spaces, at Atlas Bar, you can sample from the best gin selection in town under the sun or stars. In terms of beverage programming, Atlas Bar is as good as the best rooftop bars in the world, and it’s located right in downtown Manchester. 

Atlas Bar also has great rewards and membership programs, with gift vouchers and loyalty perks for repeat customers. 

Our Recommendation:

The name of the game here is gin. With hundreds of options, you’ll want to take advantage of the expert staff’s guidance for finding the perfect gin for your palate. While there is food on the menu, Atlas Bar functions best as a pre or post-dinner spot for cocktails. 

Location:

376 Deansgate Tavern, Manchester

Hatch

What it's like:

Technically located under the Mancunian Way, Hatch is a bar with a few outdoor patio spaces, some of which get a lot of sunlight. This trendy spot serves up local craft beer, batch cocktails, and delicious street food favorites. The music will be loud, and there will be university students and groups of twenty-somethings, so you better be ready for quite the scene!

Our Recommendation:

The food program is modeled after the “pop-up” model, with rotating offerings of street food like sausages, uber-trendy birria tacos, bao buns, and more. This is perfect for groups because there are enough options so that everyone can get exactly what they like. For drinks, try one of their batch cocktails. They also have a sneaky-good beer selection focusing on local breweries. 

Location:

103 Oxford Rd, Manchester

Big Hands

What it's like:

Located near the Manchester Academy, one of the most iconic music venues in the city, Big Hands is a go-to spot for a pre or post-concert pint. The bustling Oxford Road stretch where Big Hands is situated might be daunting to navigate, but the closed-off beer garden above street level is a welcome oasis. Fittingly, the vibe and atmosphere at Big Hands draw their inspiration from the “charming dirtbag” Gallagher brothers from Manchester rock legends Oasis. The social atmosphere is perfect for getting together with friends. 

Our Recommendation:

The no-frills dive bar vibe of Big Hands lends itself to having an inexpensive night out. Pints of fizzy beer and Red Stripe bottles or well cocktails are all reasonably priced and pair well with the edgy confines of the bar.  

Location:

296 Oxford Rd, Manchester

BrickHouse Social 

What it's like:

This trendy spot is modeled after the club-like atmosphere of New York and Los Angeles bars, and their spacious rooftop patio certainly pulls it off. Themed cocktails, craft beer, and elevated bar fare pair well with a vibrant atmosphere and stylish decor. The view is also spectacular, but the main draw is the party vibe and delicious snacks. The ivy-covered walls have a few TVs if you want to catch Manchester United or Man City playing Premier League football (don’t call it soccer). 

While there is plenty of seating, especially for groups, BrickHouse Social is a mega-popular hangout on weekends. Reservations are highly recommended!

Our Recommendation:

If you’re looking for a bottomless brunch, this is your spot. With weekend deals on mimosas and bloody marys, you’ll want to reserve a table for your crew. They serve an English breakfast along with Americanized brunch favorites. For lunch and dinner, opt for guilty pleasures like their delicious pizzas, brisket nachos, and boneless wings. 

Location:

11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester

Honest Burgers 

What it's like:

This is the most popular burger joint in Manchester, and it’s not only for the super good food. With smart branding and a fun vibe, this trendy spot is situated on a roof terrace in downtown Manchester. The small layout of this popular restaurant can get a little crowded on weekends, so plan ahead!

Our Recommendation:

Travelers looking for vegetarian and vegan options will love the Honest Burgers, which are as flavorful as any meat-based pattie. The Fritter Burger is a favorite for local foodies! Honest Burgers has also teamed up with local beer heroes Runaway Brewery to serve their piny IPAs and crisp lagers to thirsty diners. There’s nothing better than a frosty beer and an indulgent burger in the sun! Don’t sleep on their underrated cocktail list or delicious desserts if you want a special treat.

Location:

36 Bridge St, Manchester

South Terrace at King Street Townhouse

What it's like:

One of the best bars in the city centre, the King Street Townhouse’s South Terrace rooftop bar and restaurant is your best bet for an elegant afternoon in the sun. South Terrace is primarily used for private events, but they open the rooftop bar up for hotel guests and others when there’s nothing on the calendar. If you’re staying at King Street during your Manchester visit, it’s certainly worth checking out South Terrace for drinks and a view.  This rooftop space is like one huge VIP lounge but with a retractable roof and an infinity pool.

Our Recommendation:

While stunning views of the Manchester skyline are what bring most customers to South Terrace, the food and drink offerings are outstanding. Upscale bar food favorites like cheese and grazing boards are perfect for sharing with a group, and their rotating menu of signature cocktails can be refreshing during the summer and warming during the winter. 

Location:

10 Booth St, Manchester

The Ivy Spinningfields

What it's like:

The Ivy Roof Garden at Spinningfields is one of the classiest bars in the city and has an open-air layout for enjoying some sunshine and a cocktail. The upscale bar area has an elegant design, and the clientele is as stylish as they get in Manchester. The amazing views are superb, and the luxury vibe is perfect for a special occasion or for treating yourself!

Our Recommendation:

The Ivy Spinningfields has put together an iconic menu of house cocktails. Their expert bartenders program a seasonal list of specialty cocktails that are sure to hit the spot. Their espresso martini is made with craft vodka, a small-batch coffee liqueur, and beans from Manchester’s best coffee roaster. It’s the highlight of the menu and makes for a perfect pick-me-up. Their Manchester Club combines high-end gin with crème de cassis, blackberries, and lemon to create the perfect summer sipper. 

Location:

The Pavilion, Byrom St, Manchester

El Gato Negro

What it's like:

Local foodies flock to this delightful tapas bar on this rooftop terrace, and for good reason. Not only is El Gato Negro Manchester’s best tapas bar, but it’s also located on a gorgeous roof overlooking the city skyline. The huge bar has plenty of space, with large tables perfect for groups of friends or families, and the pleasant atmosphere lends itself to social occasions. There is nothing better than sangria and tapas in the sun, and being in Manchester, this is a novelty you won’t want to miss especially considering the beautiful views. 

Our Recommendation:

Tapas is one of the best kinds of food to get with groups, so if you’re having a night out with friends, head to El Gato Negro for some shared plates. With a rotating menu of shareable appetizers and snacks, you’ll want to try as many dishes as possible. One truly unmissable tapas plate has to be the patatas bravas. Wash everything down with their house sangrias, a cerveza, or a specialty cocktail. 

Location:

52 King St, Manchester

Conclusion

When you’re visiting a new place, some of the best views are from rooftops, and when the weather cooperates, there is nothing better than relaxing in the sun and appreciating the city skyline. And what better way to cap off a day of sightseeing and shopping than enjoying a few drinks in the sun and breeze? Rooftop bars are a fun way to treat yourself while you’re on vacation, especially with friends. Just remember you can drop the bags off at a Bounce luggage storage spot, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about!

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