The Best Pubs in Manchester

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Inside a British pub, wooden bar, stools and 2 man talking at the bar
Luca Bravo

Quietly tucked away in every corner of Manchester is a network of well-established and much-loved pubs. Mostly are old boozers with snug rooms, serving up a great pint (no posh craft beers in the fridges) and plenty of character; good old Mancunian warmth and, of course, a packet of crisps thrown in. So if you’re hankering after some British nostalgia and a good natter, here’s’s pick of the best pubs in Manchester.

The King’s Arms

Outside the front of the Kings Arms. Victorian facade with red brick and pub sign.
Kings Arms

11 Bloom Street, Salford, Manchester M3 6AN

The King’s Arms in Salford has got the rather cool title of ‘Britain’s most Bohemian Back Street Boozer’ and runs an award winning theatre upstairs running comedy nights, a popular quiz night, open mic night, and multiple craft workshops.  It’s also been in the Good Beer Guide for 10 years! It wasn’t always bohemian; back in the mid-19th century it was a pub where factory workers would visit for a pint after a long day at the factory and the rooms upstairs were rented out by the hour. 

The pub has also been home to the world’s oldest angling club, and it’s where the North of England Terrier Club was founded in 1906.  You may actually have spotted it on TV, as its has featured in the likes of Cracker, Hairy Bikers and Fresh Meat.  Today it’s run by Landlady Lisa Connor, who’s keen to carry on the pubs artistic endeavours and support the local community.  

It's a cosy pub with a snug, beer garden and a cute cat called Charlie.  They have six beer pumps serving a constantly changing range of cask ales from across the country.

You can find out about the Kings Arms events here

The Crown and Kettle

inside the pub, wooden floor and very ornate ceiling
Crown and Kettle

2 Oldham Road Ancoats, Manchester M4 5FE

The Crown and Kettle is a big Victorian pub established in 1734, tucked away in Ancoats. It reopened in 2020 after falling into disrepair and is a really popular boozer.  It’ll often be packed outside the front, or in the small back garden, when the weather’s a bit warmer or there’s a big sporting event on. It serves up a big selection of lagers, cask pints including locally brewed Hoof – a Stout made from Farm Yard Brew Co. in Lancashire, Schooners and half pints. 

The resident beer is Mango Unchained IPA - brewed right here in Manchester. Expect to find sport playing (currently playing Six Nations rugby).  There’s also a popular pub quiz running every Monday and Roti curry nights.

You can check out all the news here

The Rose and Monkey Hotel

Dark signage for The Rose and Monkey hotel
The Rose and Monkey Hotel

The Rose & Monkey Hotel, Manchester M4 5JZ

The Rose and Monkey dates back to 1843 and sits on the doorstep of the Industrial Revolution, where the first steam powered mill was built by trailblazing industrialist Richard Arkwright. It’s had a chequered past. The Rose’s early punters were the factory workers and a ropey cast of vagabonds, musicians, and thieves. It was also a thriving market pub due its proximity to Smithfield’s fruit and veg market (which has sadly been long knocked down).   

Today the pub has been fully restored and its original features shine once more.  It has at least 10 beers on tap including Guinness, Red Stripe, Old Mount Berries and Cherries and Amstel.  There’s also a nice vegan food menu inspired by the old Smithfield Vegetable Market. The music also gently wafts out the doors every night.

You can check out the events schedule here

Star and Garter

Black and white photo of the front of the Star and Garter pub
Star and Garter

18 – 20 Fairfield Street, Manchester, M1 2QF

The Star and Garter is a proper boozer a short walk beyond Piccadilly train station. It’s a Grade II listed Victorian building which survived the Blitz, and it’s full of character. It’s well known for its music events and often features in hit series on TV.   There’s a busy line-up of music events happening including a Smiths Disco, Peter Hook and the Light and Dirt Box Disco.

You can check out the events schedule here

The Grey Horse

Outside shot of the front of the Grey horse pub. small, white with black window frames and a large black oblong sign
Grey Horse pub

80 Portland St, Manchester M1 4QX

The Grey Horse pub is part of the Hydes pub chain, a Salford based pub retailer and brewer with over 160 years of brewing expertise which owns a handful of pubs in Manchester.  The Grey Horse is a cosy pub, reputed to be one of the smallest pubs in the city, and probably converted from an early 19th Century weaver’s cottage.  

Be warned: it gets busy on match days!  There’s a wide selection of different cask ales to choose from so there’s bound to be something to whet your whistle.

Bakers Vaults

Inside the pub. dark wooden bar, tables and chairs and swing lights. Large victorian windows.
Bakers Vaults pub

Market Place, Stockport SK1 1EU

The Bakers Vaults is a beautifully restored Victorian pub in the Manchester suburb of Stockport.  It’s located in the old market place in the old town and is a trendy little pub with large Victorian windows, wooden tables, stringy lights and comfy leather sofas.

It’s part of the Robinsons chain of pubs, who have been brewing since 1838 - so you know you’re going to get a good pint and a reliable dish to eat. It also boasts a beer garden and a good line-up of live events.

The Wharf

Crowded Outside terrace of the pub on a summers day looking over the canal and a warehouse apartment building in the background
The Wharf pub

The Wharf, 6 Slate Wharf, Castlefield Manchester M15 4ST

The Wharf is a large, well-known pub in the Castlefield area of Manchester city centre. It overlooks the canal and has a large seating area – perfect for those long summer days.  It’s a large place with a pub downstairs and restaurant upstairs. There’s also an expansive terrace which is a popular spot when the rains stops and offers nice views over the canal basin.  The bar serves up several casks - a whopping 40+ gins and over 50 malt whiskies! 

The Wharf’s daily food menu has all your favourite pub grub, including steak, ale and mushroom pie, fish and chips, steak burgers, plus a good selection of steaks from the grill.


Outside facade of Victorian pub in the dark and lit-up green

12 Southgate, Manchester, M3 2RB

As the name denotes, Mulligans is an Irish pub just off Deansgate in central Manchester. It is actually Manchester’s oldest Irish pub, and it boasts the best pint of Guinness in the city, although we’ll let you be the judge of that!  It can get packed to the rafters, so we think they could be right! 

They also sell a range of other beers including Mulligans Oyster stout, Pale Ale, Liberties Lager, and Mulligans Berries Cider.  There’s a good range of beers on draught including – Peroni, Asahi and Estrella. It’s a typical looking Irish pub, long dark wood bar, red booths, limited windows and sport playing on the telly. What’s more, there is live music is on most nights, and you can book a room above the hotel.

Check out Mulligan’s website here

Sam’s Chop House

Inside the Victorian pub, wooden tables, tiles on the floor, green walls and low hanging lights
Sam's Chop House

Sam's Chop House, Back Pool Fold / Chapel Walks,

Sam’s Chop House is a legendary old pub, built over 150 years ago, making it one of Manchester’s oldest watering holes. Established in 1868 by local brothers Samuel and Thomas Studd, it was LS Lowry’s favourite drinking establishment, and we can see why it’s still going strong today.  It serves up a great pint of Guinness and daily food menu.  Favourites include corned beef hash, steak and kidney pie and great steaks. There’s also reasonably priced burgers of every kind, salads and butties. The Sunday dinners are substantial, and you can choose from rump beef, half chicken or a veggie wellington.  

You can book a table here

Peveril of the Peak

yellow tiles and green windows. 2 men sitting outside on a bench drinking pints.
Peveril of the Peak

127 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JQ

This is one of Manchester’s most iconic pubs, with its bold green tiled Victorian exterior and stained-glass windows striking on the corner of Chepstow and Bridge Street in the city centre. It’s legendary for once being a brothel for GIs during WW2, a local for factory workers, and not least for its 93 year-old no-nonnsense landlady, Nancy Swanick.

Today Peveril of the Peak is a cosy and charming pub which has been restored complete with bell pushes (for drink orders), and an antique table football machine. It serves a mix of regulars and students.