Our Top 10 Independent Businesses in Manchester

Monday 09th October 2023

Manchester is famous for its independent shopping and dining scene. From local breweries and cool coffee shops to quirky art centres and vintage clothing stores, there are so many incredible options to add to your bucket list.

Here’s our round-up of the best independently owned spots to check out. As well as some long-running favourites, we’ve also added a few new faces.


Where: 52 Church Street, M4 1PW
What: Eclectic shopping market

It would be impossible to make a list of Manchester’s best independent businesses without mentioning Afflecks. This self-proclaimed emporium of treasures is a true landmark in the heart of the Northern Quarter and a must-visit – whether you want to shop or just snap some photos. There are several floors of vibrant shops selling everything from vintage threads to sparkling crystals and Star Wars memorabilia.

Glass House

Where: 73 Princess Street, M1 6JD
What: Plant shopping

If you’re obsessed with plants, you’ll love the Glass House. Located on Princess Street, right next door to the Whitworth Locke Hotel, it’s teeming with leafy plants that are perfect for bringing some greenery into your home. You’ll find options in all sizes, plus pretty ceramic pots in a range of bright colours.


Feel Good Club

Where: 26-28 Hilton Street, M1 2EH
What: Food, drinks and events

Combining great coffee with a focus on wellbeing, there’s so much to love about the Feel Good Club. It’s a relatively new addition to Manchester’s independent café scene and was set up during the pandemic as a place to help boost people’s mental health. As well as a tasty menu, the Feel Good Club also hosts regular yoga classes, wellbeing workshops and pop-up gallery events.

Piccadilly Records

Where: 53 Oldham Street, M1 1JR
What: Record shop

Manchester has some amazing musical links – and that includes some awesome record stores. One of the longest running (and arguably the best) is Piccadilly Records which has been around since 1978. You’ll find it in the Northern Quarter and it’s a paradise for those who love listening to vinyl. Discover a mix of records from across the decades or browse their library in advance online.

Chapter One Books

Where: 19 Lever Street, M1 1BY
What: Bookshop

If your favourite activity is curling up with a good book and a steaming mug of coffee, this independent Manchester business is for you. Chapter One Books is in the Northern Quarter and it doubles up as a fantastic local bookshop and a café serving great coffee and cakes. It’s been around for several years and is well-known for hosting regular events, like book groups, craft workshops and creative writing meetups.


Atlas Bar

Where: 376 Deansgate, M3 4LY
What: Specialty Bar

If a G&T is your go-to drink, make a beeline for Atlas Bar. This long-standing venue (celebrating 25 years in 2023) is at the southern tip of Deansgate and is a lovely spot for a drink on a chilly evening. Atlas Bar claims to have over 100 different gins behind the bar from all over the world – make sure you ask the knowledgeable bar staff for a personalised recommendation.

Depot Mayfield

Where: 11 Baring Street, M1 2PY
What: Events venue

Tucked away in an old railway yard just minutes from Piccadilly station is Depot Mayfield. It’s one of Manchester’s top independent events venues, with various events held here throughout the year – including the Le Clique circus show, the annual Manchester Beer Festival, gigs and even an outdoor cinema. Depot Mayfield is also the permanent home of Escape to Freight Island: one of the city’s newest food and drink markets.

Inside Depot Mayfield, where there are rows of tables

Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Where: 17 Oak Street, M4 5JD
What: Arts & crafts market

Manchester Craft & Design Centre is a hub of creativity inside a beautiful old Victorian market building. You’ll find around 19 different makers who sell everything from textiles and pottery to hand-crafted jewellery and glassware. You can also see the makers at work or even join in with a workshop.

A woman reaching for a brown handbag off a shelf

La Choquette

Where: 812a Wilmslow Road, M20 6UH
What: Bakery

It’s not just Manchester city centre and the Northern Quarter that are bursting with independent businesses. Venture south to Didsbury and you’ll find plenty to pick from. Craving a buttery almond croissant? How about a delicious cinnamon bun? Make your pastry dreams come true at La Choquette. You’ll find this artisan bakery close to Fletcher Moss Park – it’s been named the Best Bakery in Manchester.


Where: 50 Red Bank, M4 4HF
What: Food market

If you’re visiting Manchester as a group and all want to eat something different, head to GRUB. It’s just a short stroll from Manchester Victoria station and one of the city’s top independent food markets, with two floors of street food and three bars. As well as its resident traders, GRUB also hosts a rotating selection of food vendors – expect everything from tacos and woodfired pizza to bao buns and many plant-based treats.

Want to explore some of Manchester’s best independent businesses for yourself? Book your tickets in advance online or on the TPExpress app to save yourself money and time at the station.

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