Outdoor Drinks & Beer Gardens

Ignore the rain-obsessed nay-sayers, a typical Manchester summer means plenty of sun-kissed afternoons and balmy evenings out. And when it comes to al fresco food and drink, the Oxford Road Corridor has some unmissable spots.

For the ultimate sun crawl, we suggest going from north to south, starting at the top end of Oxford Road where you can drop into three of Manchester’s most renowned pubs. 

The Briton’s Protection might be best known for the vast selection of drinks and quirky stained-glass corridor, but head out back and you’ll find a wide-open beer garden, packed with some of the city’s friendliest eccentrics. 

Ignore the name, the nearby Rain Bar is famed for its canalside outdoor section, just across the water from the Haçienda apartments. Grab a pint and a bite to eat while watching the barges float by, but be watchful of the geese – they can be feistier than the Gallagher brothers. 

Then there’s Peveril of the Peak, one of the city’s most eye-catching pubs, thanks to its green-tiled, gin palace-style exterior. Dating back to 1830, this popular pub has had the same landlady for over fifty years – get there early and grab an outside table for a slice of authentic Manchester. 

Fancy something modern? Head round the corner to Society, a hub of street food kitchens with an impressive range of cocktails and craft beers – complete with a Mediterranean-style outdoor space full of lush greenery and even a water fountain. 

There are many great spots to eat and drink nearby at First Street, from fine dining to super-spicy chicken wings. For our money, it’s hard to beat a drink on HOME’s sundrenched terrace. 

The Briton’s Protection

An iconic pub with an impressive whiskey list running into the hundreds. A welcoming atmosphere and a sprawling beer garden.

External shot of Rain Bar in Mancheser
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens.

Peveril of The Peak Pub Oxford Road Corridor Manchester
Peveril Of The Peak

Peveril Of The Peak is Manchester’s most iconic pub adorned with the sorts of bottle green, yellow and brown Victorian tiles that are a reclamation yard’s dream.

Society Manchester

Society Manchester is a glorious indoor and outdoor space in the very heart of the city, with several street food vendors to choose from and a range of high-quality drinks.

Back of Engels statue at First Street Manchester
First Street

First Street is a vibrant neighbourhood between Oxford Road and Deansgate, it is home to a number of businesses and is a popular spot for food, drink and culture.

Exterior HOME Theatre Arts Centre Manchester Oxford Road Corridor
HOME

Manchester’s multi-purpose hub of creativity and discovery, bringing together film, theatre, art, and some of the city’s best social spaces.

Music lovers should nip around the corner to YES on Charles Street, one of the city’s standout live music venues. Even if you’re not out for a gig, this four-storey venue has a must-visit upstairs terrace and fairy-lit outdoor bar with a pitch-perfect soundtrack.  

At Circle Square you’ll find several places to eat and drink around its central Symphony Park but the best outdoor tables belong to North Taproom. Our tip? Sit in the sun sipping a guava mango triple-fruited sour. 

From here it’s a short walk to Hatch, an open-air collection of top-notch independent street food and drink retailers. Or go a few doors down to Eighth Day for an ethical, sustainable and above all delicious vegetarian lunch which you can take across the road to scoff in the scenic (and squirrel-packed) All Saint’s Park. 

Then there’s Sandbar, an award-winning pub that serves up some of the best pizzas and craft ale for miles. The outdoor space might be small but it’s perfectly formed, soaking up the sun all day long. 

Exterior of YES music venue in Manchester
YES

Four floors of YES with something for everyone – including a rooftop bar, two live music spaces, a club space, DJs and extensive coffee, street food and bar selection.

View of Circle Square from the pavilion at Symphony Park
Circle Square

Circle Square is an exciting multi-million pound, mixed-use neighbourhood, created on the site of the former BBC building on Oxford Road.

North Taproom Circle Square
North Taproom

North Taproom serves up everything from small-batch craft ale to high-end cocktails alongside a well-designed menu of Asian street food.

HATCH Manchester
Hatch

Hatch is Manchester’s pop-up retail, food and drink destination on Oxford Road with something for just about everyone. It is a place to shop, eat and drink, 7 days a week at over 30 independent traders.

Exterior of The Eighth Day Shop & Cafe
The 8th Day Shop & Cafe

You can stop by on your lunch for a quick takeaway sandwich or burrito to take back to your desk or enjoy across the road in All Saints Park, or you stay longer and pick from a menu of mains in their downstairs cafe.

An image of a sign outside Sandbar on the Oxford Road Corridor
Sandbar

Sandbar, just off Oxford Road in Manchester, is a well-loved watering hole, with a great selection of ales and some eccentric seating.

University Green is one of the jewels in Oxford Road’s crown. Get an outdoor caffeine boost from one of two artisanal coffee shops – Takk and Bold Street Coffee – or simply kick back with a craft ale at Brewdog Outpost. Kro Bar is another safe bet for beers and snacks – this longstanding Danish-inspired Manchester institution has a well-designed outdoor space with plenty of seating.

Tuesdays during term time see Levenshulme Market run its weekly spin-off on Bridgeford Street. There’s always a vibrant atmosphere at this free-spirited South Manchester favourite, all thanks to its ever-changing lineup of globe-spanning street food vendors. 

Off to a gig at the Academy? Head to near-neighbour Big Hands and grab a seat on the open-air terrace for food and drink in the sun. This also serves as a Mediterranean-style rooftop garden – time it right and you could catch one of their celebrated barbecue sessions. This great little venue is a firm favourite with touring bands so there’s a chance you’ll end up rubbing shoulders with your musical heroes. 

A sandwich prepared at TAKK University Green
TAKK University Green

Takk at University Green is an Icelandic inspired, independent coffee shop that offers tasty, artisan, single-source coffee and delicious brunch, snack and vegetarian options.

External shot of Kro Bar with people drinknig outside
Kro Bar

Kro Bar, Manchester is an independent pub and music venue housed (somewhat ironically) in the former Temperance Society building.

photo of roof terrace at big hands
Big Hands

Big Hands at the South end of Oxford Road may be small, but it comes with added rock n’ roll swagger, a great atmosphere and a lovely roof garden.

A squirrel eating a nut in Whitworth Park on Oxford Road in Manchester
Whitworth Park

This 18-acre park opposite the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is an eye-catching green space and home to the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Finally, The Whitworth Cafe is an elegant location where you can enjoy whatever the weather. The floor-to-ceiling windows mean you can gaze out over Whitworth Park and enjoy the outdoors, from indoors. If you’re lucky you might even spot some of the local parakeets flitting from tree to tree. Who says Manchester can’t do sunshine?

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External shot of The Lass O' Gowrie one of the many pubs and bars on Oxford Road
Bars and Pubs on Oxford Road

Oxford Road is packed with a great range of bars and pubs where you can get your fill of cocktails, spirits and any other liquor you can think of. 

Food and Drink on Oxford Road

The food and drink in Manchester is some of the best in the UK with many of the finest offerings found here on the Oxford Road Corridor.

Image of sign outside of YES, one of the many student pubs and bars on oxford road
Student Pubs and Bars

With thousands of students arriving in Manchester each year, there’s no shortage of student pubs and bars around Oxford Road.

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