Bar Review: Artisan, Manchester

Elle in Artisan

I recently returned to Artisan for the first time in about two years. It opened up when I was back at University in Manchester, and as I lived close by, it was a go-to place for drinks on my way to The Alchemist, or for dinner (the pizzas are pretty good!). I even went to Artisan for my 21st birthday.

When my friend and I went to Manchester for the weekend, we decided we wanted to head over to the classy cocktail bars in Spinningfields (I find it so hard picking between there and the Northern Quarter for a night out).

With new additions like 20 Stories, Tattu and Manchester House opening up since I moved away, I wasn’t sure if Artisan was going to be as great as what it once was. However, I was proven wrong instantly as we walked in for dinner on the Saturday night.

One of the things I love about Artisan is the décor: despite its large, sprawling size, it never fails to feel cosy and inviting. The red bulbs draped across the restaurant walls complement the industrial lamps and the exposed brick walls (yes, I’m aware I’m going on about exposed brick walls again!).

On a weekend, I would always choose booking a table at Artisan for dinner because it means you can stay at your table for drinks, instead of being cramped into the small bar area – because realistically, the restaurant area is much more spacious.

BBQ chicken and chorizo pizza

The menu had been updated since I last visited, but I was pleased to see the pizzas were still present. I chose the BBQ chicken and chorizo pizza, whilst my friend opted for the salmon Thai red curry. The food was delicious, as always. We totally wanted dessert, but after overdosing on cake at Home Sweet Home earlier on in the day, we settled for just cocktails instead (I was still crashing from the sugar).

Apple Pie Cooler cocktails

The cocktail menu had changed too, and it was hard trying to choose what to pick, because they all sounded so good! In the end, we both chose the Apple Pie Cooler: Zubrowka, Absolut vanilla, apple juice, lime juice and gingerbread syrup. It literally tasted like we were drinking pie – and they definitely didn’t skimp on the gingerbread!

Cocktails at Artisan

Before we headed off to another bar, we had one last drink. I chose the Raspberry and Thyme Sour (Ketel One, Chambord, apple juice, sugar, and raspberry and thyme syrup), and my friend Danielle had the Hibiscus Negroni (hibiscus gin, Campari and sweet vermouth). Maybe not as good as the Apple Pie Cooler, but still really good! Next time, I’d like to try the Rhubarb and Custard.

I’d still agree with the fact that Artisan is one of the nicest restaurants and bars in Spinningfields, and probably Manchester. It’s the perfect place to head to first, before carrying on with your night out in Spinningfields, and I usually take friends visiting the city here because of how nice it is… and realistically in Nottingham, there’s nothing that could compare to Artisan!

Artisan, Manchester: Avenue North, 18-22 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BZ

Elle Pollicott

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