East central Manchester is the area in Manchester bounded by the A57 (M), Oxford Road, and the A62. It lies within The Historic County Boundaries of Lancashire.
It contains amongst others, the following neighbourhoods:
- The Northern Quarter: located just north-east of the city centre. There are a great number of small shops. Independent retailers are the norm here, and this is the place to get Mancunian music, street wear, vinyl or body art. The area is very lively and has its unique character. It is not the kind of place normally on the list of tourists.
- Chinatown: Manchester's Chinatown around George Street and Faulkner Street has been a feature of Manchester since the late 1970s. It's a genuine experience - you'll find people on the streets of Chinatown speaking Chinese to each other and most of the signs are bilingual. It's home to the bulk of Manchester's east-Asian restaurants as well as many traders in Chinese food and goods. Faulkner Street has the 2nd largest Chinese arch/paifang in the UK after Liverpool.
- The Gay Village: around Canal Street out of the many cotton warehouses in the area. It is home to one of the oldest and most-established gay communities in Europe and is known for its tolerance toward all kinds of people. Many of Manchester's most famous bars and clubs are to be found here, most of which are as popular with heterosexual party-animals as they are with the gay crowd. The Village hosts a major Pride festival every year, when the whole region of town is closed to the general public for an expensive and exclusive weekend for gay and gay-friendly people from all over the UK. This is partly required due to laws restricting on-street drinking throughout a large part of central Manchester (exceptions are provided where bars/restaurants have outside tables, and if plastic glasses are used). This reduces anti-social drinking but does restrict the use of public spaces.
- Piccadilly Gardens: As well as being Manchester principle bus station for services to the south and east, Piccadilly Gardens is also a recently-renovated landscape garden. It's an interesting choice of design and has not found favour with all of Manchester's residents due to the use of exposed concrete. The area is dominated by the brutalist Piccadilly Plaza complex, including the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel and City Tower (was the Sunley Tower).
Map of the Metrolink City Zone
Piccadilly Gardens is the principle Manchester bus station for services towards the south and east of the city centre. Services from the north and west generally terminate at Shudehill, a short walk or tram ride just to the north of the area towards Victoria railway station.
Piccadilly Gardens is bounded on two sides by Portland Street and Piccadilly. Multi-storey car parks are at Chorlton Street coach station, Piccadilly railway station, various open car parks are available as is limited on street parking off the main thoroughfares.
Piccadilly Gardens is the penultimate stop on all services heading to Manchester Piccadilly. To the north of the square there is the Market Street stop on the lines to Bury and Rochdale railway station via Oldham.
Manchester Piccadilly is the main station in the city and is served by services from all over the country including London Euston (up to 3 trains per hour). Direct services are also available to locations as far as Bournemouth on the south coast, Plymouth in the south east, Milford Haven in Wales, and Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland. Most trains heading towards locations north-east of the city operate via Manchester Victoria located north of the city centre. One of the key drivers behind the Manchester Metrolink tram system was the need to link the 2 principal termini and allow for through ticketing.
Picadilly Gardens in the heart of Manchester
- Chinese Arts Centre, Market Building, Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, ☎ +44 161 832 7271, . Small, alternative Chinese art gallery. edit
The Imperial Chinese Archway in Manchester's Chinatown
- The Portico Library and Gallery, Charlotte Street (corner with Mosley Street), ☎ +44 161 236 6785 ([email protected]), . The Portico has been an exclusive members-only library since the early 19th Century and many of Manchester's luminaries have been patrons of the Portico over the years. Now hosting its own public gallery and providing admission to some parts for non-members, it is a slice of Manchester history that has remained almost unchanged since its inception. Call for latest information. Free entry. edit
- Imperial Chinese Archway, Faulkner Street, Chinatown. The Chinese arch in the central square of Chinatown was a gift to Manchester from the Chinese people in 1987 and is the only one of its kind in Europe. It is a beautiful and elaborate piece of artwork, reflecting the designs of Ming Dynasty China and is not to be missed.
- Whitworth Gardens, Sackville Street. This small park in the heart of The Village is notable for its memorial to Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science, whose homosexuality in an age of intolerance led to his suicide. The bronze statue on a park bench bears the legend 'Father of computer science, mathematician, logician, wartime codebreaker, victim of prejudice'. Also in the park is "The Beacon of Hope", an illuminated memorial to those who have died of HIV/AIDS worldwide.
- The Village hosts a major Pride festival every year, when the whole region of town is closed to the public for an expensive and exclusive weekend for gay and gay-friendly people from all over the UK.
Market Street and the Arndale Centre are just off the northern part of Manchester Piccadilly Gardens. Here you will find the usual High Street stores.
- Affleck's Palace, Church Street, Northern Quarter, ☎ +44 161 834 2039 ([email protected], fax: +44 161 839 9541), . weekdays:10:30AM-6PM; weekend 10AM-6PM. Afflecks Palace is a shopping arcade in a five-story Victorian building, featuring a range of 50+ independent stalls catering to a young alternative crowd. It's a lot of fun: strange costumes, lots of goths, punks, and teenagers. edit
- Bar Burrito, 1 Piccadilly Gardens, ☎ +44 161 228 6479, . Mon-Fri 11.30AM-11PM, Sat 11AM-11PM, Sun 12AM-10PM. Excellent Mexican style fast food, specialising in Burritos but also serving salads, nachos and tacos. Licensed. edit
- No 1 Buffet, Whitworth Street, . All you can eat Chinese buffet. No thrills Chinese food. £10 adults. edit
- Tepanyaki, China town. Impressive and expensive Tepanyaki restaurant. Really good food, but pricey. main dishes £10 upwards. edit
- Bar de Reve, 57 Hilton Street. Mon-Sat 1200-1900. A quiet, chilled, chic gem of Manchester. Serves fresh and fine cuisine to order. A new establishment and worth the walk and the money! edit
- Tropeiro, Brazil St (opp. Sackville Street Gardens), ☎ +44 161 923 6846, . True Brazilian barbeque that serves eleven cuts of meat from chicken, pork, lamb and beef and a range of salads and side-dishes. Also tasty caiprinha cocktails. (NOW CLOSED) edit
In Piccadilly Gardens:
- KRO Piccadilly, 1 Piccadilly Gardens, ☎ +44 161 244 5765 ([email protected]), . Flash Danish bar right in the heart of Piccadilly Gardens. A lot less student-y (and pricier) than the other KRO bars in Manchester, and has a good selection of European premium lagers and great food. edit
- Manna Manchester, 1 Piccadilly Gardens, ☎ +44 161 236 3230. Mon-Sat 7AM-8PM, Sun 10AM-5PM. Nice little café with friendly staff located on the edge of the landscaped garden. Serves good coffee, sandwiches, drinks, and sweet things. Everything here is both Fair trade and organic, so feel good when you go there! edit
In the Northern Quarter:
- Copacabana, Sevendale House, 7 Dale St, Manchester, M1 1JA, ☎ +44 161 237 3441. Latino bar/club serving up salsa and sangria. edit
- Dry Bar, 28-30 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JN. Situated next door to Night and Day, and also offers good quality music from bands from around the North West and the UK. Larger and less claustrophobic (and cheaper!), but less prestigious than Night and Day. edit
- The Frog and Bucket, Oldham Street. edit
- Matt and Phred's, 85 Oldham St, Manchester, M4 1LW, ☎ +44 161 831 7002, . Open until 2AM most nights. Good little tucked away jazz club! Also serves up good pizza. They have jazz bands every night except Mondays (when it's closed) at 10PM. There is free entry before 8PM. If you want to enjoy the jazz seated, seats have to be booked at least a few days beforehand. edit
- Night and Day Café, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN, ☎ +44 161 236 1822, . The venue to see bands before they make it big! Bands such as Oasis and Badly Drawn Boy have played here. Well worth a visit. Can be a little bit pokey inside, as it's not the biggest venue! edit
- Socio Rehab, Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HQ, ☎ +44 161 832 4529. So cool it has no sign. One of the very best bars in Manchester. Has now sort of closed - it's now mainly the waiting area for a Mexican Restaurant. edit
In the Village:
- Tribeca. edit
- Essential, . edit.
- Poptastic, . edit
- Retro Bar. Rock Kitchen edit
- Harry's Bar and Paddy's Lounge, University of Manchester Student's Union North Campus. edit
- Jongleurs, Chorlton St.. Comedy club. edit
- Po Na Na, 42 Charles Street. edit
- Lass O'Gowrie, Charles Street. edit
- The Works Aparthotel, 33 Withy Grove, Manchester, M4 2BJ, ☎ +44 (0) 800 678 5854, . edit
- Britannia Hotel Manchester, 35 Portland Street, ☎ +44 161 228 2288, . edit
- The Gardens Hotel, 55 Piccadilly, ☎ +44 161 236 5155, . edit
- Malmaison, Gore St (Piccadily), ☎ +44 161 278 1000, . edit
- The Thistle Hotel, 3-5 Portland St, ☎ +44 161 228 3400. edit
- The Place Apartment Hotel, Ducie Street - Piccadilly, ☎ +44 161 778 7500, . Luxury spacious loft style apartment hotel accommodations in the heart of Manchester City Centre within walking distance to shopping, business, eating and drinking districts. edit
- City Inn Manchester, 1 Picadilly Place, ☎ +44 161 242 1000, . A central boutique hotel in Manchester. Offers a restaurant, bar, meeting venue and event offers. edit
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