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Top 5 Alternative Coffee Shops

Sam Belkacemi, blogger and writer, shares her top 5 alternative coffee shops around Manchester.



On first inspection the café does look a little like a laboratory, but this ultra-chic modern pod is a place where customers can really see what goes into a good cup of coffee. Grindsmith uses regionally roasted beans such as Foundry Coffee or Cold Brew to suit the customers exact taste. In some ways this place is a sort of laboratory - a quirky coffee lab, complete with an unusual selection of teas and gluten free cakes. More info.


Chapter One Books

Customers will find rows of books on vintage shelves, comfy armchairs, type-writer booths and strong coffee - the perfect J.K. Rowling starter kit. Located in the Northern Quarter, Chapter 1 is a real literary retreat from the hustle and bustle of Manchester’s busy city centre. Get the creative juices flowing and try out Chapter One Books. More info.



Here is a spot for those who fancy something a little different with their coffee experience. Ziferblat is the Russian word for clockface. This is a café where everything is free except your time - pay 5 pence per minute and customers can help themselves to all of the coffee, cake and food. More info.


Federal Café Bar

Federal is a newcomer to the Manchester coffee scene, having opened last November, this place is close to coffee perfection. It is Australian themed and serves gourmet coffee in a cosy retro environment, and the brunches are to die for. More info.


Pot Kettle Black

This boutique coffee shop is located in the beautiful Victorian building, Barton Arcade, and is owned by Rugby league’s Jon Wilkin and Mark Flanagan. As well as their wide array of coffee, tea and snacks, they also put on acoustic sessions on Friday evenings, book clubs and rooftop yoga workouts. This is more than your standard coffee shop. More info.