What Are the Best Sports Bars in Manchester?

Manchester boasts a vibrant sports culture that is palpably felt in its numerous sports bars, where fans gather to watch matches and revel in the lively atmosphere. It’s a city with a storied sporting history, home to iconic football clubs and passionate followers, making the sports bar scene an integral part of local leisure and entertainment. Whether locals or visitors, enthusiasts have a wealth of options to watch a game, with venues offering everything from high-definition screens to gourmet pub fare.

Selecting the best sports bar in Manchester comes down to several key factors: the quality of the viewing experience, the variety of food and drink menus, and the overall ambiance. Sports bars in Manchester cater to all preferences, whether seeking a sophisticated spot on Deansgate with top-tier screens and a choice of cocktails or a more laid-back venue that pairs the excitement of the game with a selection of hearty meals. Each establishment provides patrons with a unique way to enjoy sporting events, amidst an environment that echoes the city’s love for sports.

Key Takeaways

  • Manchester’s sports bars are an essential part of the city’s social and sporting scenes.
  • Criteria for the best sports bars include screen quality, food and drink selection, and ambiance.
  • The city caters to diverse preferences, from high-end cocktail bars to traditional sports pubs.

Exploring Manchester’s Sports Bar Scene

A bustling sports bar in Manchester, filled with cheering fans, big screens, and a lively atmosphere. Tables are adorned with beer and snacks, while the sound of clinking glasses and excited chatter fills the air

Manchester boasts a vibrant atmosphere for fans looking to indulge in their favourite sports amidst a lively crowd and refreshing pints. The city’s sports bars are scattered across popular locales, including the Northern Quarter, Deansgate, and the iconic Printworks district.

In the Northern Quarter, establishments combine the rustic charm of Manchester with big-screen action, offering an intimate vibe for enjoying matches. For those on Deansgate, the options cater to a diverse crowd, featuring venues that double as eateries serving up delicious fare such as towering burgers and classic pub snacks, often with the addition of unique entertainment like simulation shooting ranges.

The Printworks area presents a more traditional setting for sports enthusiasts. Bars here are known for their multiple screens, ensuring patrons don’t miss a beat of the action. Some embrace themes such as a German beer house atmosphere, providing both international flair and a dedicated space to relish in sports festivities.

LocationHighlights
Northern QuarterIntimate atmosphere, local charm
DeansgateBespoke cocktails, gourmet pub food
PrintworksGerman beer house vibe, multiscreen

Manchester’s sports bars offer a haven where camaraderie and competition merge seamlessly. Each location provides a distinct experience, catering to various preferences while maintaining a shared enthusiasm for sports viewing.

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Top Sports Bars in Manchester

Manchester boasts an array of sports bars catering to fans who relish watching live sports with a cold beer and great food. From football-centric pubs to American-inspired joints with a variety of entertainment options, there’s a venue for every kind of sports enthusiast.

The Brotherhood of Pursuits and Pastimes

This venue offers a diverse selection of beers and a menu packed with hearty food. With an enthusiastic atmosphere, The Brotherhood becomes a hub for live sports fans, particularly during football and rugby matches.

Tib Street Tavern

Tib Street Tavern is celebrated for its lively atmosphere and solid menu. Patrons can savor a pint of beer while engaging in the excitement of live sport on the screens dotted around the venue.

The Director’s Box

Sports aficionados can enjoy big screens showing Sky Sports at The Director’s Box. It’s a go-to spot for Premier League action, offering a premium viewing experience and a range of beers.

The Bierkeller

Located in Manchester Printworks, The Bierkeller combines the spirits of a German beer house with the thrill of live sports. Football and boxing fans can enjoy a vast selection of beers and a vibrant atmosphere.

Box Bar Deansgate

Box Bar Deansgate mixes trendy American drinks like beer pong with a sports-viewing experience. Screens around the bar light up during Champions League nights, ensuring fans don’t miss a moment.

Portland MCR

Offering cocktails and sharing dishes, Portland MCR provides both screens for sports and live music for entertainment. This place becomes a favourite during game days for a mixed experience of flavours and visuals.

Shack Bar & Grill

Visitors to Shack Bar & Grill can expect American classics such as burgers alongside big screens featuring the day’s sports. It makes for an ideal spot to catch up on the latest sporting events with friends.

Sixes Cricket

Sixes Cricket introduces an innovative concept where patrons can enjoy watching cricket on TV screens and engage in Sixes Social Cricket. The venue is known for its burgers and unique spin on the sports bar experience.

The Bishop Blaize

A stone’s throw away from Old Trafford, The Bishop Blaize is the archetypal haunt for Manchester United fans. With an electric atmosphere during match days, it’s a true sanctuary for the football fan.

Cafe Football

Dedicated to football, Cafe Football offers a distinct mix of food, drinks, and a top-notch viewing experience. It’s a venue that celebrates the beautiful game with every detail.

Second City

Second City positions itself as a Manchester City-inspired sports bar, complete with a menu featuring burgers and cocktails. It’s a place with a sports-driven heart, attending to the fans’ every need during game times.

Other Notable Pubs and Bars

Beyond the highlighted selections, Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Corn Exchange, and Manchester Printworks house cosy pubs and lively bars that add to the city’s sports bar ensemble. Each venue offers something unique, whether it’s the close-knit atmosphere of a cosy pub or the extensive range of drinks and live sports in larger establishments.

What Makes a Great Sports Bar?

A great sports bar offers an atmosphere that is both vibrant and welcoming, where patrons can share in the excitement and camaraderie of live sports. The environment should be buzzing with the collective energy of fans cheering for their teams, yet still allow for conversations without overwhelming noise levels.

The screens play a crucial role in a sports bar’s appeal; there should be multiple large, high-definition screens strategically placed to ensure an uninterrupted viewing quality from any spot. High-quality displays that offer clear, bright images make the viewing experience more immersive.

Food at a sports bar is about more than just sustenance; it’s part of the experience. Patrons expect a menu that includes a mix of classic pub fare and more innovative dishes. An ideal menu ranges from cheese-smothered hot dogs to sizeable burgers, accommodating both traditional tastes and those seeking something unique.

The drinks selection should cater to a diverse crowd, including a variety of beers on tap, bottled beverages, and a bespoke cocktail list for those who fancy something different. Swift and friendly bar service enhances the overall experience.

Entertainment options, like pool tables, provide an added layer of engagement, giving guests activities to enjoy before, during, and after the games. It is essential to have entertainment that complements the viewing experience without detracting from it.

A sports bar’s success lies in its ability to create a complete entertainment package—excellent food, a wide array of drinks, engaging entertainment, all centred around top-notch viewing quality. Each element contributes to the overall experience, making the sports bar a destination for enthusiasts and casual viewers alike.

Must-Have Amenities

When seeking out the best sports bars in Manchester, certain amenities set the top contenders apart. High-quality screens are paramount; sports fans should expect both ample quantity and impressive size for the best viewing experiences. Big screens are a staple, often accompanied by multiple smaller screens to ensure that every seat is the best seat in the house.

Sports bars should also feature a comprehensive sports package. Access to channels like Sky Sports and BT Sport is necessary for broadcasting a diverse range of live sports events, catering to fans of football, cricket, rugby, and more.

Interactive gaming amenities like pool tables, darts boards, and shuffleboard can enhance the social atmosphere. A select few venues may offer unique sports-related activities, such as high-tech golf simulators.

Here is a brief list of amenities to look out for:

  • Screens: Adequate coverage with HD displays.
  • Live Sports Coverage: Subscriptions to key sports broadcasters.
  • Games Area: Pool, darts, and more for patrons’ enjoyment.
  • Sports-Themed Activities: Golf simulators, virtual reality experiences.
  • Beverage Selection: A wide array of beers and other drinks.

Expect bars to provide a well-rounded experience, with amenities that cater to both the avid sports viewer and social butterflies alike. Bars that invest in quality, comfort, and entertainment typically stand out as the must-visit venues for sports enthusiasts.

Events and Entertainment

Manchester’s sports bars offer an eclectic mix of live sport events to cater to all tastes. Fans can experience the thrill of Premier League matches, the intensity of boxing bouts, and the excitement of UFC fights in a vibrant atmosphere. Establishments are equipped with numerous HD screens that guarantee a good view from any spot, ensuring patrons miss none of the action.

During rugby season, places like Box Deansgate become hubs for Six Nations championships, drawing in crowds eager to rally behind their favourite teams. Cricket enthusiasts aren’t left out, with venues broadcasting The Ashes, offering a spirited environment for one of the most storied rivalries.

Wimbledon is another highlight, with bars often serving themed cocktails and food, enhancing the spectating experience of this grand tennis event. For those interested in horse racing, key races are often events in themselves, with some bars hosting dedicated viewings for meets like the Cheltenham Festival.

Here’s a quick guide to what sports lovers might expect:

  • Premier League Football: Widespread coverage in most sports bars with a focus on Manchester teams.
  • Boxing/UFC/WWE: Live broadcasts of major fights and events with a charged atmosphere.
  • Rugby (Six Nations): Special screenings during the rugby season, often accompanied by related promotions.
  • Cricket (The Ashes): Key matches featured, with fans gathering to witness every over and wicket.
  • Tennis (Wimbledon): Seasonal decorations and special menus to match the Wimbledon spirit.
  • Horse Racing: Select bars host race day events, complete with betting slips and live coverage.
  • NFL: A growing interest in American sports sees bars showing NFL games, catering to expats and fans alike.

The sports bars of Manchester ensure enthusiasts have a local, friendly place to watch their favourite sports and partake in the city’s famed communal spirit.

Food and Drink Menus

When it comes to savouring the big game, the food and drink menus of Manchester’s sports bars deliver an impressive variety. Patrons can expect a range of American-style options perfect for sharing or solo indulgence.

The Bierkeller boasts a selection of German-inspired beers, making it stand out for those seeking a Bavarian twist with their sport. It may not be a dedicated football pub, but it offers an inviting beer house atmosphere with plenty of screens for viewing matches.

Across the city, sports enthusiasts can find Portland MCR. Known for their substantial American menu, they feature dishes such as:

  • Burgers: The classic American food, ranging from simple cheeseburgers to more elaborate stacks.
  • Hot Dogs: Smothered with cheese and other toppings, ideal for a quick bite.
  • Small Plates: Perfect for sharing, these can include buffalo wings or sliders.

For those who prefer a liquid accompaniment, the bars typically offer a diverse drinks menu:

  • Beers: From local ales to international lagers.
  • Craft Beer: For the connoisseurs, a selection of niche, flavourful brews.
  • Cocktails: Creative mixes for a more refined palette during match time.

BOX Deansgate is another highlight, providing guests with a vast venue to enjoy live sports. It stands out for its expansive drinks menu, featuring a mix of classic beers and craft options. Coupled with a bustling environment, it’s a hotspot for sports and socialising.

The key to Manchester’s sports bars is not just about watching the game — it’s about the experience, heightened by a superior selection of food and drinks that cater to every taste.

Watching the Big Game

When it comes to watching live sports in Manchester, the dedicated fan doesn’t have to look far for the perfect venue. Football, rugby, and cricket enthusiasts alike can find a host of bars equipped with big screens and projector screens, ensuring that not a single moment of the Premier League or any significant match is missed.

Box Deansgate stands out for its electric atmosphere and capacity to host large crowds, with 25 HD screens dotted around the venue. Fans can gather here for an immersive experience, with every angle covered, making it an ideal choice for football matches.

For rugby and cricket matches, options such as The Bierkeller in Manchester Printworks provide fans with a multi-sport viewing experience. Large projector screens and the ability to show multiple sports simultaneously mean one won’t have to choose between games.

A mention must go to Portland MCR, where one can enjoy American-style dining alongside their favourite game. The combination of live sports, sumptuous burgers, and various screens cater to a wholesome sports bar experience.

Sports Bars in ManchesterNotable Features
Box Deansgate25 HD TV screens, lively atmosphere
Portland MCRAmerican cuisine, multiple TV screens
The BierkellerLarge projector screen, sports variety

These venues ensure fans are in the thick of the action, with every strategic play, goal, or try delivered in high definition and accompanied by the camaraderie of fellow supporters. Whether it’s the tension of a Premier League match or the thrill of a rugby scrum, Manchester’s sports bars offer a haven for the sports aficionado.

Finding Your Ideal Spot

When selecting the perfect sports bar in Manchester, various factors dictate the experience. Atmosphere holds significant weight; some patrons desire the electric vibe of a crowd cheering in unison, while others may seek a quieter place to enjoy the game with thoughtful commentary. Customer service is crucial — a responsive and attentive staff enhances the entire viewing event.

Sports bars across Manchester offer diverse options for seating arrangements. Private booths provide a more intimate viewing experience, ideal for groups seeking their own space. When it comes to location, convenience is key; a venue within walking distance to public transport or with ample parking is highly desirable.

  • Screen Visibility: Ensure there’s not a bad seat in the house with multiple HD screens.
  • Menu Offerings: A variety of grub from classic pub fare to gourmet options can elevate the match day ritual.
  • Drink Selection: A broad selection of beers and spirits is essential for any sports bar worth its salt.

The choice of a sports bar often hinges on the service: quick and efficient bar staff can keep the spirits up as the match ebbs and flows. Patrons should consider the establishment’s knack for crowd management, especially during significant sporting events when a swift service is paramount.

Here’s a brief guide to what one might consider when choosing their venue:

FactorWhy It’s Important
AtmosphereSets the mood for your sports viewing.
Private BoothOffers exclusivity and comfort.
LocationConvenience and accessibility matter.
Customer ServiceIntegral to a positive match-day experience.

By weighing these elements, seekers of sports entertainment in Manchester can find their ideal spot to soak in the thrills of the game.

Social Activities and Games

Manchester’s sports bars offer a vibrant scene for social activities and games, catering to diverse interests and delivering entertainment beyond the screen. Flight Club stands out with its interactive darts games, appealing to novices and seasoned players alike. They offer an engaging experience with electronic scoring and playful competition, perfect for group outings.

For those who prefer cue sports, several venues boast pool tables where patrons can enjoy a classic game of billiards. Arcade games are also a common sight, combining nostalgic titles with modern favourites for an all-round jovial atmosphere.

Fans of beer pong can expect to find dedicated areas in certain bars, turning a simple game into a lively social event. Additionally, some establishments offer karaoke nights, inviting guests to showcase their singing talents or simply enjoy a fun-filled evening with friends.

Shuffleboard has seen a resurgence in popularity and can be found in selected sports bars, providing a mix of skill and luck in a social environment. For more intimate gatherings, private booths are available, ensuring a personalised viewing and entertainment experience.

The European twist comes with calcio!, as bars occasionally screen live football matches, invoking passionate support and camaraderie among fans. Overall, Manchester’s sports bars serve as multifaceted venues where entertainment and social interaction converge.

Planning Your Visit

For those eager to experience the vibrant sports bar scene in Manchester, a bit of planning can ensure an unforgettable experience. Manchester, a city steeped in sporting history, offers a plethora of bars where football fans and friends can gather for live sport events, cheered on by an electric atmosphere.

Selecting a Sports Bar

  • The Brotherhood: Ideal for American sports enthusiasts. Location: 2 Mount St, M2 5WQ.
  • The Director’s Box: Known for showing a variety of sports; central spot. Location: Booth Street.
  • BOX Deansgate: Offers a spacious environment; heart of the city. Location: Deansgate.
  • Sixes Cricket: Not just a sports bar, but a place for cricket action. Location: Corn Exchange.

What to Expect
Visitors can anticipate a range of entertainment options from big football matches to racing. The bars typically feature high-definition TV screens for an immersive experience and provide a selection of beverages and food to enjoy during the games.

Timing Your Arrival
Most of these establishments open from midday to midnight. It’s advisable to arrive early, especially on match days, to secure good viewing spots. Additionally, check with the specific sports bar in advance for any special events or bookings.

Travel and Accommodation
Manchester’s efficient public transport system makes accessing these locations convenient. For visitors staying overnight, a range of accommodation options are available throughout the city to suit different budgets.

By considering these factors, one can maximise their enjoyment of Manchester’s sports bars and the camaraderie found within.

Local Sports Culture

Manchester’s sports culture is deeply entrenched in the city’s identity, with football being the most prominent symbol. Home to two of the world’s most famous football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City, the spirit of competition thrives not just on the pitches but also in the numerous sports bars scattered across the city.

Sports bars in Manchester are not only venues to watch live sports; they are communal hubs where locals and visitors alike come together to celebrate or commiserate over the latest match. They capture the essence of the local sports culture, often displaying memorabilia and broadcasting classic footage, making it more than just about the current game—it’s about shared history and loyalty.

In the heart of the city, both local and international sports are integral. Whether one is a die-hard United supporter or an avid City fan, these sports bars offer a sanctuary where every match is an event, and every goal is experienced collectively.

Best Sports Bars in Manchester:

  • The Brotherhood: Reflecting traditional charm with modern amenities.
  • Portland MCR: Known for coupling sports with quality food.
  • The Bierkeller: A German beer house vibe with over 20 screens.
  • Shooters Sports Bar: Favoured for its party atmosphere and special events.
  • BOX Deansgate: A large venue in the city’s heart that’s become a hot spot for catching live sports.

These establishments ensure that the vibrant sports culture of Manchester is celebrated with passion and enthusiasm, maintaining the city’s standing as an iconic location for sports fans worldwide.

Calendar of Sports Events

Manchester’s sports bars offer a vibrant atmosphere for enjoying a wide array of sporting events. They cater to a diverse range of sports enthusiasts, ensuring that key events are available for public viewing.

Football: Fans can anticipate matches from the Premier League, with fixtures scheduled throughout the week. Champions League nights are particularly popular, drawing large crowds to witness Europe’s elite clubs compete.

Rugby: The Six Nations tournament typically takes place between February and March, with sports bars providing live coverage of all the matches.

Cricket: The Ashes, held biennially, is a major event for cricket fans. Bars will often organise screenings for these test matches when England faces off against Australia.

Racing and Horse Racing: Sports bars may screen a variety of racing events, including key horse racing meets from the UK racing calendar.

Tennis: Wimbledon commands attention every June and July, with sports bars typically showing live matches from the prestigious tournament.

American Sports: NFL fixtures, especially the Super Bowl, are gaining popularity, with bars often staying open late to accommodate the time difference.

Boxing and UFC: High-profile boxing matches and UFC fights are big draws for sports bars, with live broadcasts often on weekends.

WWE: Wrestling entertainment, while less of a traditional sport, is shown in some sports bars, particularly for major events.

Below is an illustrative list of events:

MonthSporting Events
Feb-MarSix Nations Rugby
AprPremier League
MayChampions League
Jun-JulWimbledon Tennis
AugPremier League
Nov-DecNFL Regular Season
BiennialThe Ashes Cricket

Patrons are encouraged to check the specific viewing schedules with their chosen venue to avoid disappointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common inquiries about the premier sports bars in Manchester, where fans can soak in the festive vibe of a live match, be it football, boxing, or any major sporting event.

Where are the top venues to experience a football match atmosphere in Manchester?

The Footage is a go-to destination for many United fans looking to immerse themselves in the game day fervour. Portland MCR also offers a memorable viewing experience, pairing the excitement of the game with a great selection of food.

Which establishments in Manchester city centre are renowned for showing live sports?

Portland MCR is well-regarded for its sports viewing setup. Additionally, The Bierkeller in the Manchester Printworks offers a German beer house atmosphere and has over 20 screens that often showcase big sporting matches.

Can you suggest prominent sports taverns ideal for Manchester City supporters?

Establishments like The Bierkeller, despite not being exclusively football pubs, create an inviting atmosphere for Manchester City supporters to enjoy matches amidst fans with similar allegiances.

What are the recommended spots to view international boxing matches in Manchester?

Some of the best sports bars, known for broadcasting international boxing, include venues like The Bierkeller, which complement the big fight atmosphere with a sizeable number of screens and a lively crowd.

Which pubs in the Manchester Northern Quarter are best for watching major sporting events?

The Northern Quarter hosts several pubs that cater to sports fans; however, specific names are not provided in the context given. Patrons often favour establishments that offer numerous screens and good audio-visual equipment to catch all the action.

Where in Manchester is the Champions League viewing experience most vibrant?

For the Champions League nights, fans flock to sports bars that offer a high-definition viewing experience and a dedicated fan base, such as The Footage, creating a near-stadium atmosphere on important match days.


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