12 epic cocktail bars in Manchester

From secret, underground taverns to fabulous happy hours, you won’t want to miss Manchester’s lively cocktail scene during your next city break.

Whether you’re craving an expertly prepared mocktail or an out-of-this-world ball pit cocktail bar experience, check out our favourite cocktail bars in Manchester below.

1. Project Halcyon Distillery

Bartender serving a cocktailAttention speakeasy bar enthusiasts – this is the Manchester cocktail bar for you! Located deep within the Bonded Warehouse in Spinningfields, Project Halcyon Distillery is an intimate, hidden cocktail bar serving seasonal cocktails, local beer and an eclectic wine list.

As one of the newest secret bars in Manchester, Project Halcyon Distillery is still a relatively secret spot – so best to keep this cocktail bar on the down low!

2. Three Little Words

Three Little Words cocktail bar in ManchesterStarting as a unique gin distillery in Deansgate, Three Little Words has become one of the best gin bars in Manchester – and with a stellar cocktail menu, what’s not to love?

Three Little Words, situated in a gorgeous exposed brick venue, serves a refined collection of gins developed from their state-of-the-art distillery, spiced rums, botanical vodka, and a cocktail menu defined by History, Culture, and Balance. Expect cosy corners and intimate bar lighting all around!

3. The Washhouse

We’re sure you’ve spotted this quirky secret bar on your Instagram or TikTok feeds. But if you’ve managed to miss it, The Washhouse is a staple of Manchester nightlife you have to try.

Disguised as an unassuming laundrette, The Washhouse’s entrance is hidden behind its iconic washing machine door. Don’t forget, bookings are essential to get in, as you’ll be asked to confirm your reservation via the entrance telephone. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by an intimate bar serving a creative and imaginative menu of cocktails. Plus the cosy ambience makes it the perfect spot to unwind.

4. Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors cocktail bar in ManchesterNothing beats enjoying an expertly crafted cocktail deep within a basement speakeasy. Well, this quirky Northern Quarter gem is sure to hit the spot. Behind Closed Doors is a unique underground cocktail bar playing soul and funk tunes all night long.

With vibrant decor and risqué neon lighting, Behind Closed Doors stands out as one of the cheekiest secret bars in Manchester. Guests can even use the retro corded telephone to order from the bar.

5. Wood & Company

Green cocktailInspired by New York City’s speakeasy bar scene, Wood & Company is an intimate bar perfect for a cosy date night. Filled with quirky charm, Wood & Company’s signature cocktails are the star of the show – don’t forget to try the Espresso Orangetini and The Kingston.

Looking for a timeless cocktail executed to perfection? Check out Wood & Company’s classic off-menu cocktails. Combined with a funky ambience created by the in-house DJs, Wood & Company is the perfect late-night spot.

6. 7Sins

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Located in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, 7Sins gaming bar is one of the city’s favourite taverns. From shuffleboard to pool, 7Sins is the perfect mates’ night out or date night spot to flex your competitive muscles.

With 2-4-£12 cocktails every day until 7pm, 7Sins’ cocktail menu features scrumptious cocktail sharers perfect for groups of four. Choices include the Passionbowl, Lemon Pie, Super Bramble and the classic Aperol Spritz.

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7. Exhibition

Bartender pouring shot for cocktailLocated in Manchester’s old Natural History Museum venue, the aptly named Exhibition bar is a haven for fans of mixology and industrial architecture. With eight masterfully crafted signature cocktails, Exhibition’s Grade II listed setting makes this a spectacular venue to enjoy a late-night beverage.

Looking for a tasty bite during your visit? You’re in luck! Exhibition is also home to three award-winning kitchens featuring excellently prepared pasta, grilled steak and Scandi small plates.

8. Bingo Balls

Bingo Balls cocktail bar in ManchesterManchester is not just known for its speakeasy bars. The city offers exciting activities and entertainment bars perfect for couples and groups seeking a unique night out. Enter Bingo Balls in Manchester’s Printworks.

Bingo Balls, a ball pit cocktail bar packed with non-stop FUN, features groovy pink lighting, mouthwatering cocktails, and huge adult ball pits. The perfect spot for celebrations, Bingo Balls’ fabulous cocktail menu includes your classic cocktails including margaritas and cosmopolitans.

Heading out on the town this weekend but looking for a slightly different bar for the night? Check out Britain’s favourite activity and entertainment bars here.

9. Motley

Drinks at Motley cocktail bar in ManchesterStunning cocktails, non-stop tunes and tasty food – a night out at Motely is a guaranteed good time. Nestled in the heart of Deansgate, Motely is a vibrant restaurant, cocktail bar and all-around hang-out spot.

Open from lunch until late, Motely’s blooming cocktail menu ranges from the Spicy Strawberry Margarita to the Peach Please and Sugar Baby. And best of all, all cocktails can be mocktail-ified – just ask the server!

10. 33 Old Street

Women singing into microphone at live music barThere are plenty of great live music bars in Manchester, but our best bet for a fantastic night out filled with superb cocktails is 33 Old Street. Renowned for its 2-4-£10 cocktail deals and incredible live music sets, 33 Old Street features a jam-packed cocktail menu with all the classics.

Featuring local music from independent and up-and-coming artists, 33 Old Street is a staple of Manchester nightlife.

11. Nam

Tropical cocktails at NAM cocktail bar in ManchesterOn the lookout for a cheeky happy hour in Manchester? Known for its love of music, street food and exquisite seasonal cocktails, NAM is a Vietnamese kitchen and audiophile bar featuring some of Manchester’s finest underground DJs and handcrafted Asian bites and cocktails.

NAM’s happy hour deals include bottles of house wine for just £20, a pint of Nam Pilsner for just £4 and 2 for £14 on Espresso Martinis or NAM’s signature Eternal Spring cocktail.

12. Firefly

Two people cheersing cocktailsFrom day to night, Firefly transforms from a sleek daytime brunch venue to a laid-back cocktail paradise. Inspired by LA’s elegant, lavish nightlife scene, Firefly is renowned for its authentic cocktail menu influenced by the Earth’s five biomes.

Firefly is also home to a lovely array of mocktails, red, white and rosé wine and a wide selection of Tanqueray Gins. Whether you’re popping in for an evening nightcap or staying the whole night, Firefly is certainly a glorious cocktail experience.