Manchester’s best alfresco dining and terraces for “rule of six” meet ups

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The new rules mean for the first time since the Summer people from all areas of Greater Manchester are allowed to meet up in an outdoor setting.

It might be getting chillier outside, but outdoor dining has never been more in demand across Manchester, after the new coronavirus social distancing rules were announced this week.

The new 3-tier system of local lockdown rules has seen Greater Manchester initially placed in Tier 2 from Wednesday October 14th.

While Tier 2 maintains the existing rules across the region banning households socially mixing in any indoor setting, the new rules mean for the first time since the Summer people from all areas of Greater Manchester ARE allowed to meet up in outdoor settings, as long as you are in a group of no more than six people.

With that in mind, many families and friends will now be looking out for restaurants and bars across the city with the option of outdoor dining where they can follow the rule of six.

Thankfully the city is certainly well served for an array of heated outdoor dining, as well as more casual outdoor options for when the sun does make an appearance.

Here we round up some of the best options for that socially distanced, outdoor catch up in the weeks ahead.  And a reminder that it’s always worth checking with individual venues if you need to book ahead.


Manchester’s hippest neighbourhood has become increasingly popular for outdoor catch ups with the wealth of bars and restaurants next to Cutting Room Square able to use the space for outdoor seating. Some of our favourites are Rudy’s, The Counter House, Mana and Elnecot.


Canal Street

Manchester’s Gay Village has plenty of outdoor seating options all along the famous pedestrianised Canal Street with lovely views of the canal.

Northern Quarter

The bustling Northern Quarter has traditionally had a wealth of outdoor drinking and dining options for that social distanced catch-up. Some of our favourites are Dive Bar, Quarter House and Terrace NQ.


The business district is known for its wealth of palazzos giving venues the options for outdoor dining spaces, and there’s also the return of the Oast House’s festive tipi this year.  You’ll also find some of the best views of the city in an outdoor set up in the outside bar at 20 Stories.

Food and drink villages

For a range of street food options, you could head to some of Manchester’s award-winning outdoor food and drink villages for your catch up. Some of our favourites are Freight Island and Hatch.

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