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Photo: Victoria Evans

The Tale of 8 Cafes: Coffee-spots you can’t miss…

Idlehands – Because Pie Not?

Idlehands is one shop in the Northern Quarter that if you visit once, you will most definitely visit twice. Their coffee art, plant collection, and wall prints are every hipster’s dream, but their pies are what keep you there. Assuming they haven’t already been snapped up, there is a selection of three different pies each day so you will be spoilt for choice and taste. The perfect pick-me-up or occasional sweet treat is here. Have a slice and idle around for a bit.

Takk – A cafe of three flavours

With Manchester being the size that it is, it’s unsurprising that Takk has three different branches you could visit. As one of the earliest players in the coffee scene, they’ve had time to set up their aesthetic heaven cafes throughout the city. Only a stone throws away from Uni Place, you’ll see a David Lynch, Mulholland Drive-esque, blue neon sign directing you to your next caffeine hit. Down the road is their mini-Hatch bar for a condensed experience for those who just can’t get enough of Takk. If you’re looking for where it all began, head down to Northern Quarter on Tariff street – a five-minute walk from Piccadilly Gardens. It’s a familiar sight to the Ali-G: People with their heads down, tapping away on laptops with their headphones in. However, in Takk, this studious environment is certainly more knowledgeable about coffee roasts and with more ‘Hygge’ Scandinavian touches.

Siop Shop – Dough or Dough Not?

Fresh doughnuts, cute coffee cups, and school-day dinner trays – what more could you want? The Welsh owned cafe, Siop Shop, makes sugar-highs to rival even the likes of Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons!

After hours of seminars and lectures, this bright little cafe tucked away on Tib Street is a welcome change of pace from the echoing lecture halls that we’re all too familiar with.

Pot Kettle Black – BRB, going PKB

Feeling boujee? Go down to the Barton Arcade and check out Pot Kettle Black. Their facilities boast an in-house bakery and own iconic “G’day Love!” newspapers that can be found on any of their tables. These papers, unlike most, swap Brexit stories and warnings of imminent apocalypse for a warm, open-armed welcome.

This Australia-inspired cafe is just the thing for anyone wanting to spice up their Instagram on a student budget. For those not wanting to drop the extra £2.50 on a fresh croissant, each coffee does come with a complementary wafer to add a little sugar to your experience.

Foundation – The Basis of Work

In about two months time, when every waking hour is spent in the same, sterile spot in the library, you may crave a change of scenery. Foundation is the perfect study spot: Free WiFi, great coffee and enough seats for you and that one special study buddy who gets you through the day. Not to mention they do great food with snacking mezze plates (hummus, crudités and pitta) and amazing salads, including roast chicken, avocado and sun-dried tomato.

You have two choices of destination: make the five-minute walk from Piccadilly Gardens to Northern Quarter where you’ll find it opposite Stevenson Square’s graffiti wall, or go to the nearby branch on Whitworth Street paired with the Locke hotels.

Ancoats – Simple

Only a little further out from the centre, you’ll find Ancoats Coffee in… you guessed it, Ancoats. Being ten minutes further away than most Northern Quarter student spots, this cafe is a safe haven from the usual hustle and bustle of uni life. One perk of the added distance is the guarantee that on the day before your exam – when you roll out of bed with your greasy fringe scraped back with no concealer – there’ll be no recognisable faces. Moreover, Ancoats coffee is right next to the Rochdale Canal and has its own roastery going on inside, so you can be sure that the coffee is as fresh as it’s going to get.

Federal: The Aussie Sunshine spot

What Manchester cafe list would be complete without Federal being included? The Australian-made, go-to brunch spot for anyone that’s been living in Manchester for over a year who hasn’t been living under a rock. Federal offers the perfect hangover cure: all day brunch.

With options of french toast, eggs’ Benedict, Portuguese custard tarts (which you need) and even better; Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and Bellinis to start the day (or end the night, depending on your perspective). They don’t take reservations though and are a firm favourite of many, so get there early or pray that the other 500,000 people in Manchester have decided not to have brunch that day.

Anchor Coffee – A good place to dock

An anomaly on this list, Anchor coffee, exclusively ’employs’ volunteers. Every coffee is made with genuine interest and passion rather than the drive to get through the day just to cover rent. Subsequently, this unique spot really does have a great atmosphere. Anchor is a perfect option between lectures when there isn’t quite enough time to take a nap as it’s only a few minutes from campus on Moss Lane.

Tags: #food #drinks #speciality #manchester #northernquarter #dessert #students #coffee #cafe

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