The elegant, upmarket locus for Manchester’s financial sector, Spinningfields is an incredibly popular area for those wanting to taste some of the finer things in life. With cultural options like the Manchester Opera House and the stunning John Rylands Library, it makes sense that some of the city’s best bars have chosen this district to set up shop. With high-end drinking spots, more modest dive bars and pretty much every cocktail you could feasibly imagine getting shaken, stirred and poured, these Spinningfields bars should definitely be on your radar

1. A Spinningfields bar for fans of the blues – Blues Kitchen

Riding high off the success of its 3 London offerings, Blues Kitchen has found a spiritual home in the famously musical terraces of Manchester. The premise is admirably simple: live music every night of the week, focusing heavily on blues (no surprises here), but also branching out into soul, jazz and anything that would make you want to reach for another Old Fashioned. It’s a winning formula.

The Spinningfields bar doesn’t mess with the blue(s)print established down south: a decently sized Quay Street address that can fit up to 600 has been decked out in hardwood fittings, dim, moody lighting and stained glass windows to give you a tangible deep south aesthetic within the borders of Spinningfields.

The bar is complemented by a restaurant that leans into the theme with cajun dishes, heavily sauced, slow-cooked meats and the all-important brisket. It’s a bar, restaurant and private dining option rolled into one, with music from talented musicians and DJs – what’s not to love?

2. A Spinningfields bar that brings the aesthetics – Tattu

There’s no denying that Tattu – one of Manchester’s, let alone Spinnningfield’s, coolest hangout spots – is a feast for the eyes. The bar and restaurant are opulent yet tasteful, with Asian inspired interior that would make The Macau Palace feel like a tawdry night out.

Located in the modern glass and steel Hardman Square, Tattu brings its A-game to a very competitive area. Though the dim sum, Chinese hotpot, and bewildering array of other dishes are to die for – it’s the drinks that put it onto this list.

The cocktails stand out, synthesising pan-Asian takes on all the classics (London dry gin with Chinese vermouth, anyone?), whilst there are literally pages of wines. Oh, you can also pay £200 for 50ml of the appropriately named and irresponsibly priced Louis XIII cognac if that’s more to your taste. Finally, as if all this wasn’t enough, there is a literal tree in the centre of the main dining room – you know, normal stuff.

3. A bar in Spinningfields that will blow you away – The Ivy Asia

Sometimes one incredibly beautiful Asian-inspired bar just isn’t enough. A mere stone’s throw away from Tattuu, Spinningfields is the stunning late-night drinking haunt thought up by the good people over at The Ivy, Spinningfields.

The exclusive bar space makes full use of oriental screens and patterns, whilst the bejewelled green floor literally glows as you make your way to the bar. The drinks are nothing to turn your nose up at, either – fend off the cutting Mancunian wind with a steaming glass of Sake, or prop the bar up over some of the best whiskey Japan has to offer.

Wanting some privacy? The Geisha Room can be booked for up to 20 incredibly lucky friends, where you can eat, drink and dance surrounded by dreamy decor that would make Kubla Khan feel a little outdone.

4. Spinningfield’s very own alpine-inspired bar – Albert Schloss

Evoking the cosied and rustic charm of the Alps, Albert Schloss brings some Austrian Schönheit to Spinningfields. A large venue that regularly puts on raucous performances of cabaret, burlesque and so much more – it’s weird, it’s entertaining and it’s a lot of exposed flesh.

Albert Schloss does have a decent selection of cocktails and feel free to have a schnapps or two, but it’s the beer that will keep you coming back to the bar again and again. Grab a tankard and make your way through the exhaustive list of beers on tap (from experience the Siegel Goldbrau is the winner, a 5% beer from Salzburg that tastes surprisingly light, and acts as the perfect accompaniment to some of the excellent bar food offerings).

Book in advance for a guaranteed seat with a great view, or contact the venue directly for full venue hire.

5. A Spinningfields bar to drink rum in, lots of rum – Revolución de Cuba

Thought we’d exhausted the number of ‘take a culture, turn it into a theme’ bars in Spinningfields? Think again. Presenting Revolución de Cuba, two whole floors of Cuban-inspired bar space that can hold an impressive 900 punters, and keep them all happy, fed and dancing.

Probably not one for the introverted, the Latin-inspired bar brings some much-needed colour to the often rainswept streets of central Manchester. The food is great and demands to be shared around the table alongside a round of drinks. Speaking of which – order anything with rum in it and you’re going to do alright. That means daiquiris, dark and stormies and mojitos – though, to be honest, they put rum in pretty much everything anyway so: go crazy.

6. Spinningfield’s best bar with a view – 20 Stories

A truly special space that gives unparalleled panoramic views over the Victorian terraces and old warehouses of Manchester, 20 Stories is in its own league. The sleek interior and excellent service are a plus, but chances are you won’t notice any of it, as the floor-to-ceiling windows tend to steal most of your attention.

When you do collect your jaw from the floor, make sure to take a look at the drinks menu. It’s a classy affair so we’d probably recommend the well-considered wine list, or even stretch to a bottle of Taittinger champagne – it’s one of those Spinningfield bars that justifies an extravagance.

7. A bar in Spinningfields for those who like their drinks volatile – The Alchemist

Some people like a pint, some a G&T, and some want their drink of choice to be billowing colourful clouds of smoke, the usual glass abandoned in favour of a gold-leaf plant pot or something similar. If you fall into the latter category – The Alchemist might be the one for you.

Fittingly located, really – this Spinningfields bar makes a point of the area’s opium-clouded history – The Alchemist makes full use of the venue with indoor and alfresco seating options, with the former benefitting from a well-lit, airy space. The pull, of course, is the breadth of spitting, fizzing and frothing drinks on offer. It wouldn’t be in the spirit of the place to recommend any one drink in particular – they all taste great and come with their own individual sense of theatre. Your best bet is to close your eyes, pick a drink at random, and get ready to feel like a child at a carnival.

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