The best places for coffee in Manchester (2024)

Cafes | Cafés and Coffee Shops | | Manchester Guides

Get yourself through the daily grind with these smokin hot cafes, all coffee kweens and no has beans.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 9 July 2024

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Where are the best places for a damn fine cup of coffee in Manchester? Whether you like yours flat and white or black as a moonless night, Manchester has the goods.

There are some people who only care about getting caffeine into their bodies as quickly as possible, then there are those that want to savour the flavour, for whom coffee is a sacred art form, and for whom beans, equipment and barista skills are something worthy of worship. This guide is for the latter.

Read our roundup of the best coffee shops in Manchester

The best places for coffee in Manchester (1)

92 Degrees

“People, community, coffee, in that order” is the bold statement that 92 Degrees pins to its mast. This is evidenced by the fact that it pays a living wage to employees, sources coffee ethically, and supports charitable initiatives like planting trees and supporting Project Waterfall. This (mostly) northern indie has three popular little coffee shops in Greater Manchester serving up various house blends and single origin. It’s also a great spot to bring your laptop if you’re a coffee-fuelled freelancer.

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200 Degrees

Conveniently located near Manchester Art Gallery – from where if you throw a crayon in any direction it will hit a massive soulless chain coffee shop – is one from a smaller, independent group of coffee shops called 200 Degrees. Unlike the big boys, each of these coffee shops has its own unique character, and Manchester’s goes one further by being a barista school as well. In partnership with Victoria Arduino, who 200 Degrees reckon make the world’s best coffee machines, you can sign up to a course on everything from basic barista skills to advanced latte art. Coffee beans are their own house blends with regular guest blends too, and you can buy a bag of beans or ground coffee to take home.

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Allpress Coffee Roaster

These coffee purists started out life in London, and had a little spot under the Piccadilly railway arches on Sheffield Street for years. They have since moved to a swanky new location on Redfern Street, just off Sadler’s Yard. As well as roasting some of the most carefully considered blends and single origins around, they offer loads of other coffee services like barista training, which means there’s loads of knowledge in every cup. Go and sit in their stunning space, which is part cafe, part science lab and enjoy your brew with an equally delicious granola, sandwich or bake.

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Another Heart To Feed

With branches in both West Didsbury and the Northern Quarter, Another Heart To Feed is famous for its fantastic brunch menu comprising everything from wild mushroom French toast to acai bowls with granola and fruit. Its dog friendly, chilled out neighbourhood vibes have won it a dedicated band of repeat customers. But AHTF also does a cracking cup of coffee on its La Marzocco machine with beans from London’s first carbon negative coffee brand Kiss The Hippo. This one’s open late as it also serves as a wine bar.

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Bold Street Coffee

Tedious football rivalry aside, Liverpool has implanted some of its greatest food and drink brands in Manchester, Maray, Madre, and Mowgli, we’re looking at you. Another Scouse migrant to make the bold move to Manchester (and breaking the ‘M’ word trend) is the award winning Bold Street Coffee. Bold Street’s own house blend is creamy, chocolatey and nutty but they have regular guest espressos too. Special mention has to go to the Bold Street Bad Buoy breakfast brioche with sausage patty, fried egg, avocado, cheese and hollandaise sauce, just one of the highlights of their excellent food menu.

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Ditto

Ditto is another Liverpool coffee brand that was set up by the music distribution company of the same name. Inspired by the coffee shops of Melbourne, it might be music to your ears that Ditto’s house blend combines Brazilian, Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans for a coffee with notes of chocolate, toffee, and blueberry. The food menu is pretty decent too. We recommend the croque monsieur but there are always sweet treats from local bakers like Teatime Collective on the counter too.

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Ezra & Gil

In Hebrew, the name Ezra means helper and Gil means happiness, which should give you an idea of the vibe behind this much loved NQ coffee shop. There’s always a queue for food at breakfast and lunchtime but the coffee is a draw too, and you can pick up a few wholesome groceries while you’re at it. E&G has since opened a second branch on Peter Street so whichever side of the city you’re on, you can pop in for some help with your happiness.

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Factory Coffee

If you want the sharpest suit in town, Dooley & Rostron should be your first port of call. What goes with a sharp suit? A sharp shot of caffeine of course, and this bespoke gentlemen’s outfitter also has its own coffee bar and hatch called Factory Coffee. Factory’s signature blend of coffee is roasted in Leeds by the award winning North Star Coffee Roasters and brewed on a La Marzocco machine – it’s got to be stylish, right? You can also buy their bespoke espresso blends to take home along with your tailored suit. But there’s more, breakfast brioche buns, meringue cakes, doughnuts from (our fave) DGHNT and chocolate fudge cakes are piled high on the counter. You might need that new suit taking out a few inches.

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Federal

Inspired by the superlative coffee shops of Melbourne Australia, Federal is famous for having a queue outside all of its three bricks and mortar branches at breakfast time. There’s good reason, it does yolk p*rn better than most, and offers some inventive brekkie items you can’t get elsewhere as well as probably the best pasteis de nata in the city (thanks to its owner Claudio’s Portuguese heritage). But what about the coffee? Federal’s hand brewed single origin coffee changes seasonally and is always poured with a sunny side up smile. Don’t miss their takeaway coffee trailer by Altrincham Market, too.

Fig + Sparrow

All soft, sanded wood and pastels, Fig + Sparrow is definitely one of the cutest coffee spots in the NQ, this teeny caff serves up all kinds of speciality beverages from around the world, including speciality teas by Blendsmiths, and their very own coffee blends. You can also pull up a chair at one of the best people watching windows we can think of to enjoy some cracking breakfasts, cakes and croissants.

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Fort Coffee

Fort Coffee are helping to shift the perception of Deansgate as the realm of big-boy retailers, chains and department stores. Their airy, stylish spot is tucked under Deansgate Mews, a burgeoning community of indie establishments which include Another Hand, Holy Grain, Dormouse Chocolates and The Mews. These guys are very serious about their coffee – they brew up on a Slayer, the rare and shiny sports car of the coffee machine world. And while their selection of espresso blends, single origins and hand brew methods could be overwhelming, the staff are super approachable and really know their beans – making sure you end up with the coffee you wanted, or perhaps even better.

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Foundation Coffee House

About as independent as a coffee shop can get, Foundation Coffee House started in the NQ but has since expanded all over town, now boasting four locations. The minimally cool Foundation is great all times of the day (including evenings, co*cktails anyone?), but its extensive coffee selection will keep you coming back morning after morning. Red eye? Black eye? Dead eye? Bulletproof? Kevlar? All of these are types of coffee available at Foundation, the only way to decide if you like them is to try them but spoiler alert, at least one of them contains melted butter.

Hampton & Vouis

The veg-heavy cafe menu at Hampton & Vouis attracts vegans, coeliacs and those trying to minimise their meat intake but it’s not just about the food here – coffee is taken very seriously. With one Northern Quarter location and one just off Albert Square, a H&V’s house blend combines Brazilian, Thai and Ethiopian coffee beans and is hand roasted by fair trade coffee company Buxton Coffee Roasters. Those ever popular notes of hazelnut and chocolate are there but with a a smidgen of citrus too. You’ll also find a regularly refreshed guest list of single origin brews in pour over and Aeropress formats.

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Just Between Friends

This little diamond is easy to walk past, despite the massive COFFEE emblazoned across its shop front and at least ten-person long queue at all times. But it would be a woeful mistake to bypass its offerings. Tucked away on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter next to The Freemount, with another branch in Beehive Mill Ancoats and one on Grove Street Wilmslow Just Between Friends really means business when it comes to coffee. A heady blend of bean dealers make up its ever changing line up, from Campbell & Syme to Plot Roasting to A Matter of Concrete, and the NQ branch even hosts the Manchester regional heat for the Northern Filter Championships – yes, that’s a thing. This teacup-sized cafe also sells t-shirts, totes, jewellery, chocolate, and crockery if you like a bit of retail therapy with your coffee.

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Haunt

We love it when a massive coffee chain gets budged out by a new indie, and this spot used to be a Cafe Nero. Ever since it opened, Haunt has packed in the customers proving that the whole of Manchester loves an indie too. It helps that it’s a perfect people watching spot on sunnier days or if you are lucky enough the get a window seat, and it’s split level so there’s a quieter upstairs area if you need to get your head down for a deadline. Haunt does great coffee from the likes of North Star in Leeds and great pastries that come via Half Dozen Other. It also has a new sfincione (Sicilian focaccia style pizza) menu and serves wine all day long so you can go from day to night almost too seamlessly.

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Idle Hands

Before we get to the coffee at Idle Hands, let’s have a moment for the sweet pies. This must be where pies go when they die, as Agent Cooper would say. Most of the pies stacked up in the counter here are cream pies featuring a pastry or biscuit crust filled with things like pistachio or dulce de leche or key lime curd and topped with the kind of kitsch whipped cream swirls that you might find in a retro roadside diner. There are fruit filled double crust and pecan pies as well, and nothing goes better with a slice of sweet pie than a cup of damn fine coffee. Idle Hands gets its coffee from a rotating cast of roasters like Manhattan coffee roasters in Brooklyn, Hard Lines in Cardiff and Round Hill Roastery in Somerset and serves it espresso, hand brewed filter, batch brewed filter and cold brew style for the purists as well as all the milky options you could desire. One last thing, try their brekkie menu too *chef’s kiss*.

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Knoops

Yes we know this new cafe on Cross Street is all about hot chocolate, but did you know it does great coffee too? Founder Jens Knoop is the ultimate nerd when it comes to sourcing cocoa for his unique hot choc and this nerdiness extends to the coffee he sources. Knoops’ own 100% Arabica speciality coffee is a yellow catucai naturally processed single-origin Brazilian with sweet fudgy and figgy notes that makes for a beautiful coffee on its own or add a shot or two to a hot chocolate for a next level mocha.

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ManCoCo

A lot of the places on our list are in hidden away locations, but ManCoCo might be one of the most unassuming. It’s snuggled away in an archway around the back of Deansgate train station on Hewitt St, just on the outskirts of Castlefield. ManCoCo is different to many other coffee shops on our list though as its cafe is also a roastery where it blends and roasts its own ethically sourced beans such as the popular Sumatran Bener Meriah – this means the cafe smells even more amazing from all those beans roasting next door. These blends are now stocked by many grocers and other cafes in Manchester including Unicorn, Epicerie Ludo and Ancoats General Store.

Pollen

Pollen started out as a bakery with a lot of hype, but have since solidified themselves as a main player when it comes to quality and creativity on the food and drink scnene. Whether that’s due to its peerless sourdough popping up on all the best restaurant menus, its glossy croissants tumbling on the huge platters of cafe counters across the county, or one of the six degrees of separation that Pollen seems to have from any great new foodie team on the block. Hannah Calvert and Chris Kelly’s much lauded bakery started life in a railway arch behind Piccadilly before wafting its particles across the city and beyond. Grab a squegg sarnie or wobbly salted caramel tart at either the Ancoats or KAMPUS outlet and don’t forget to appreciate their damn fine coffee while you’re at it.

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Pot Kettle Black

With their flagship located in the beautiful Barton Arcade on Deansgate, and other locations at Angel Gardens and even Manchester Airport, PKB has a real passion for coffee. The brand’s inspiration comes from the coffee culture of Australia and New Zealand where average coffee is simply not tolerated. The menu here also has its sunny side up, with breakfasts involving everything from parmesan truffle scrambled eggs to poached pear French toast. And we’ve not even mentioned the amazing striped croissants and other treats baked at their bakehouse Half Dozen Other. For a completely different coffee, try a Wilson – espresso over coconut water that will kick you into life with a burst of freshness.

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Siop Shop

Come for the doughnuts, stay for the coffee. This aesthetically-pleasing spot oh the corner of Tib Street and Silver Jubliee Walk has been baking some of the city’s best brews and baked good for some years now. With an irreverent approach (think Solero lolly doughnuts for Christmas or a glazed bun which resembles a roast turkey for Christmas) alongside a commitment to quality, we can see why this place remains one of the Northern Quarter’s favourite spots.

Takk

Takk (meaning thank you) sets itself apart from most other coffee shops by taking inspiration from its owners’ travels across Nordic regions like Scandinavia and Iceland. The owners call it a big fat love letter to Reykjavik, a city that loves to get nerdy over coffee beans. Takk’s house espresso is always carefully selected, but there is a regular rotation of brews from all over the world too. Born on Tarriff Street in the Northern Quarter, Takk now has an outpost on University Green. Keeping students pepped up to handle both their studies and Manchester’s legendary nightlife.

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Ancoats Coffee Co.

Pick a country, any (vaguely equatorial) country and you can sample its finest coffee right on your Ancoats doorstep. Enjoy rich, fruity and chocolatey coffees from Ethiopia, El Salvador, Myanmar, Peru and more, and you’ll wonder why you ever considered instant coffee. Ancoats Coffee Co. is the kind of place you’ll love if you want to attend niche coffee cuppings and talks with posters that look like Pink Floyd album covers. You’ll find it squirrelled away inside the imposing Royal Mills warehouse apartment building. There’s also a branch on Piccadilly. If you know, you know.

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B’Spoke

Another one for the bijou crew, this titchy coffee shop is housed in a former coal merchant’s hut in Heaton Chapel. This wholesome spot is all about community and sustainability via the power of a great brew. There are myriad local charities and social initiatives in and around Stockport that the team here supports, their hearts really are in the right place. But they are also nerdy AF about the science behind coffee, selling all kinds of kit and caboodle you can buy to take home and try and recreate their perfect brews and offering barista training too. Beans comes from a range of different local roasters, from Red Bank in Kendal to Manchester’s own Blossom Coffee Roasters.

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Stomping Ground Coffee

Heaton Moor has moor than its fair share of quality coffee shops, and Stomping Ground which moved into a former carpet shop in 2021 is another to add to your coffee crawl. The SG story started in a peach-coloured VW camper, serving its speciality coffee all over the show before settling down in the suburban bliss of the Heatons like many a middle aged former hippy. House blends come from Swan Song and, as always, there is a regular cast of guests. A recent visitor that caught our eye is Milky Cake from Dak in Amsterdam featuring notes of cardamom, pistachio and vanilla cake. If that’s got your sweet tooth vibrating, bakes come via Urmston’s joyous Kin Bakehouse and local Heatons baker BakerLou. Aesthetically pleasing and tactile crockery if you’re drinking in comes from the lush Senay Ceramics, and you can buy bags of coffee and other bits to take away.

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Grindsmith

This speciality coffee roaster started out as a pop up coffee trailer, wowing at various locations in the city before setting up permanently on Deansgate. The Deansgate branch is now closed but there is a roastery in Ancoats and a branch at MediaCity because if people getting up at 3am to make a breakfast show don’t need coffee, then we don’t know who does.

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Inner West

This one is tucked away inside The Filaments apartment building a few minutes from Salford Central train station. Coffee at this Sydney-inspired indie comes from Yorkshire-based roaster Limini Coffee and those in the know say it’s one of the best brews in the city – plus the takeaway cups are cute AF. The small menu offers toasted sarnies and pretty piles of pancakes as well as baked treats from locals like the Flat Baker. With its on-trend pastel colour palette, Inner West is a lush spot to while away a few hours thinking abstract thoughts. The ideal place to make your day of freelancing look like a Wes Anderson film for TikTok.

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Station South

This cafe-meets-bike-haven is a lovely, airy community-forward meeting space in an old station building in Levenshulme that dates back to 1892. Light streams in at all angles from huge windows as the place buzzes with a variety of Levenshulme life. Lone cyclists, boisterous families and new puppy parents get busy with breakfast-cereal themed French toast, corner shop candy themed pastries and all manner of brunch dishes from potato hashes to Manc Muffins. Coffee comes from certified B-corp (sustainable business) HasBean, a Stafford-based responsibly sourced coffee roasters with a real passion for flavour without compromising on ethics.

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Kiosk

Fighting ManCoCo for the honour of being the smallest coffee shop in Greater Manchester, Kiosk (aka ‘the hole’) is a bright pink kiosk with a bright pink neon sign squished in-between a post office and a wine bar on Lapwing Lane in West Didsbury. You can’t sit inside but you can pull up a stool out front under the ornate, 100-year old glass canopy. Baked bobby dazzlers come from other locals like Levenshulme’s legendary Long Bois Bakehouse and Didsbury’s own French fancy La Chouquette. Kiosk also does beer and other booze and its friendly staff are always up for a natter if the queue’s not too long.

Smoak

The team behind Chorlton’s Smoak are all about perfecting their craft. Ask for detail of the exact number of seconds it takes to make their espresso and they can answer that with pleasure. They will also tell you how many grams of coffee are used in their single and double shots, and furnish you with info on the finer (and coarser) details of optimum coffee grinding too, if that’s the kind of detail you’re into. Espresso is made on their pride and joy coffee machine, a Victoria Arduino, the brand used in the world barista championships, apparently. The in-house blend comes via Cheshire’s Kickback Coffee and promises notes of chocolate and hazelnut. If you just fancy a nice coffee alongside a house-smoked salt beef or aubergine bagel then you can swerve the nerdy stuff and enjoy that too. Just don’t get them started on what kind of wood chips they use.

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Two Brothers Coffee

Two Brothers is a multi-award-winning Warrington based coffee company that claims to make “the world’s best coffee” right here in the North of England. We haven’t tried all the coffee in the world, so that’s a difficult statement to verify but we can confirm the coffee at its Altrincham caff is very, very good. Two Brothers’ handful of blends are carefully considered, like their ever-changing Transient blend which is selected for the very best flavours and ground specifically for whichever brewing method you choose. The two brothers in question are engineer siblings and self proclaimed coffee geeks Steve and Dave, and they also have sites in Warrington and Ormskirk.

Blanchflower

Blanchflower started life in Altrincham and has since added branches in Sale and Chorlton to its portfolio. That’s surely the holy trinity of hip Manchester burbs so it stands to reason they do great coffee. What better thing is there to pair with your coffee than a delicious, freshly made pastry? Not only is your sweet tooth in safe hands at Blanchflower, but your love for coffee will be well catered for too. The team at Blanchflower really know their stuff and have a long history in the coffee industry. They’ve got a wide selection of roasts and focus on seasonality of coffee flavours throughout the year. We recommend the Chemex filter coffee, perfect for sharing after dinner.

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Cap Coffee

This mint green hidden gem of a coffee kiosk started as an itinerant trailer popping up at various parks and festivals around Manchester before settling down more permanently at Turn Moss park in Stretford. Owner and coffee fanatic Kane sources his green coffee beans from sustainable growers across the world and roasts them himself in this tiny one-man operation. You can grab a cup of coffee perfectionism from him 9-4pm Saturdays and Sundays at Turn Moss but keep an eye on his socials for other updates.

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Cofano Caffé

Tucked away in Poynton, just a short walk down from the train station, hides a little Italian coffee shop that the locals want to keep all for themselves. With roots in Puglia, Italy, you know you’re in good hands for coffee here – the Italians don’t accept anything less than the best. The Cofano team use roasted coffee beans all the way from Trieste in Italy and pretty much always have irresistible cakes to enjoy on the side too. Prego!

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The Coffee Sack

Ask anyone in Prestwich about coffee shops and they’ll likely have a soft spot for The Coffee Sack. Owners Kate and Johanna launched the cafe in 2017 after getting fed up of working for other people and have built a lovely community here. Their house coffee blend, which you can also buy bags of to take home,is organic and 100% Arabica with notes of caramel, bitter cocoa, roasted nuts, citrus and a whiff of vanilla. The menu is extensive with everything from spuds to shakshuka and an entire page of vegan options. They also display work from local artists which you can buy if you really like it.

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Grapefruit Coffee

Housed in a cute, detached black and white building with an ornate design on the peaked roof above its door, Grapefruit is style personified. Sale locals adore it for its ever evolving range of independent coffee brands and the team’s absolute passion for what it does. As well as the daily grind, there are regular takeovers from the likes of Obadiah, Plot Roasting and Dak Coffee Roasters. Sweet baked treats include such swoonworthy creations as raspberry and pistachio buns, grapefruit Turkish delight fancies, and blueberry and lemon meringue friands. There’s also a range of top quality chocolate, coffee to take home, peanut butter and other gorgeous products on sale.

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Grind + Tamp

Another coffee bean shaped jewel in Ramsbottom’s foodie crown, Grind & Tamp specialises in ethically sourced coffee as well as loose leaf tea and wine. Alongside the usual coffee shop suspects are hand brews including Chemex, V60, and Aeropress with suppliers including Hard Lines, Kiss The Hippo and Atkinsons. Menu stars include cheese and onion potato cakes, Turkish eggs and pasteis de data. This lovely indie also donates 10% from every refill of its House Beans to Project Waterfall which aims to bring an end to the water crisis in coffee-growing communities.

Kobean

This coffee shop in the former Bernie’s grocery store in Heaton Moor is named after its owner Kobe. The focus here is massively on sourcing as ethically as possible while focusing on small batch, experimental producers so you are likely to find coffee here that you have never tried before. Beans come from the likes of Planadas coffee in Colombia, Max Salazar in Costa Rica, and Jairo Arcila in Colombia who use experimental styles such as white wine fermentation. In store you will also find hot curry pie action from Patels Pies, locally made bakes from Long Boi’s Bakery, Pollen, and The Flat Baker, and groceries and snacks from the likes of Devil Dog Sauces, Patatas Torres, Perello Olives, Mackies of Scotland, Chu Lo and Karma Drinks, and you can buy bags of Kobean’s beans or ground coffee to take away too.

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Caffeine & Co Longford Cafe

The cafe formerly known as Caffeine and Co was opened by Phil and Claire, now of Blanchflower fame, around a decade ago. Pastries are baked at Blanchflower each morning and delivered to the cafe so you can enjoy one on a bench surrounded by trees. Beans come from the much loved Blossom Coffee Roasters in Manchester and good vibes come from being perched in the middle of Stretford’s lush Longford Park.

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Lupo Caffè Italiano

You’d be loopy not to get a load of Lupo, the Italian bonanza hidden away on an industrial estate in Prestwich. Not only does it do some of the finest Italian food in the region – from pizza with fresh sausage and friarielli to fresh pasta hugged by home-made sauces to house baked Italian pastries – but it also does an espresso strong enough to kick start a vintage Fiat Panda. Owner Nico is always ready with a massive grin to welcome you and show you what he’s been rustling up this time.

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Market Grounds Coffee Bar

This little gaff in Ashton market really is for those in the know only. Its sackload of local enthusiasts probably don’t want us to tell you about it but we think it should be on your radar. As well as loose leaf tea and posh cordials Market Grounds brews up an impressive 25 different traditional coffees and 18 flavoured coffees all stored in kilner jars on wooden shelves like a pulse-enthusiast’s kitchen. The counter is stacked with home made sweet things to nibble with your coffee too, think Jammy Dodger brownies, rhubarb scones, and lemon cookies. A true hidden gem.

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The best places for coffee in Manchester (2024)

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