A Mini Guide to Manchester’s Northern Quarter

With over 85,000 students, Manchester is certainly buzzing with lots to see and do. Here’s a mini guide on where to eat, shop and places you definitely shouldn’t miss in Manchester!

By Hayley Littlemore, 2nd year History student at Manchester University



Manchester is home to a full variety of fashion brands – whether you’re looking for the latest high-street trends, a spot of luxury at Selfridges, or something vintage and unique… The Northern Quarter is the best place to find independent retailers, and in particular Oldham Street.

Cow is by far the best for rummaging through vintage treasures and the number 1 destination to find the perfect pair of Levi’s 501s.

Visit Piccadilly Records to fulfil all of your vinyl needs – the staff there are also really friendly, so if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or you’re keen to discover new/old music, then they’re always happy for a chat!

Magma is definitely a must-visit for anyone in need of creative inspiration, whatever your hobby/interest – there’s sure to be a magazine to take home and enjoy with a cup of coffee. The arty bookshop stocks design-focused reads, prints and gifts.


Fig + Sparrow is a personal favourite (and a convenient neighbour of Magma) to sit inside on a rainy Sunday afternoon with a book/magazine.


For brunch, Ezra + Gil is hands down the best spot and serves the most delicious poached eggs and avocado on toast. And their porridge is sure to warm you up on a cold morning, oh and also the granola – yum! (There’s too much to choose from). The relaxed atmosphere and excellent choice of music makes this the perfect place to meet with friends or take your laptop for a bit of work in a creative environment.

For dinner, Evelyn’s Cafe offers the best Sunday dinner (vegetarian option too). It’s a lovely and cosy setting, perfect for a romantic date sharing a bottle of wine.


The Northern Quarter is a hive of activity that complements any music taste. A personal favourite is Jimmy’s – offering the best venue for live gigs and a night dancing to indie classics.
Terrace is also excellent if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more chilled out to have a drink and chat with friends. Their outdoor area is also highly desirable during the summer months and is the perfect way to end a day strolling around the NQ.

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