I’ve been fortunate enough to drink in some of the best coffee houses in the world, and I’m over the moon to say that we have some genuine world-beaters right here in Manchester.
With Welcome Week behind us, and classes and normality set to begin, it’s my reckoning that you should start term with somewhere quite brilliant, so what better than something right on our very University doorstep? I am of course talking about the Anchor Coffee House, 508 Moss Lane East, just the other side of Whitworth Park.
This little gem is owned by Vinelife, a local church group whose leaders dreamed of having a cafe specialising in top coffee, delicious eats, sophisticated style, and a welcoming atmosphere. It is a rare achievement indeed to tick every one of those boxes, but the Anchor does so with ease and charm, knocking shades off all of its local rivals, and many of its Northern Quarter counterparts too.
That said, I suppose it is prudent to begin with the coffee—oh, the coffee:
Here we have the only place in MCR selling the famous Monmouth Coffee of London; the internationally renowned roasters, founded in the 1970s, and remain leaders in ethics, quality, and commitment to coffee. Anchor is staffed exclusively by volunteers, though you would think them all highly-trained baristas. From the espresso, to the drip, flat whites to frappes, high end beverages are consistently delivered. This is the best coffee you’ll get around campus, and for £2 a go, it well undercuts the so-called ‘competition’.
When it comes to food, the Anchor specialises solely in bagels. Amongst others, there’s bacon and home-made tomato relish for the hangover. Roast vegetable and hummus for the veggie, and smoked salmon for the sophisticated. There is also ‘Bagel of the Month’, a show stopping whopper of a thing clocking in at a very reasonable £4, which includes the latest delicious bagel filling.
The soup is made fresh in-house, and usually supplements the lunchtime bagel. All the holey-bread is supplied by the Barbakan deli and bakery of Chorlton, and the cakes by North Star Deli, housed both in town and Chorlton. Anchor help out by using locally- and skilfully-made produce, and there’s no reason to settle for anything less.
Anchor is a very popular study venue and hangout; an alternative space to the Union Starbucks, the characterless Alan Gilbert, or overly-busy library. And there is so much to get involved with too, if you’re so inclined. The Anchor participates in the wonderful Suspended Coffee scheme, where you can donate a coffee to those less fortunate—a great idea to allow everyone to enjoy a top cup of joe. “The entire system is based on good faith and kindness; those who buy do not know who gets the coffee and help; those whom receive do not know who bought it for them.” There is also a food bank to contribute to as well.
Having been open since January 2013, and having personally spent quite a ridiculously large amount of time hanging out, and/or ‘working’ here, with complete assuredness, I can do nothing but wholeheartedly endorse this lovely coffee house. It’s a 5 minute walk from University and just far enough to get out of the student bubble for some down time. If this wasn’t enough to win you over, there’s a 2-4-1 offer on at the start of term, so there’s even more reason to get on down to Anchor. See you there!
508 Moss Ln E