Seen's Manchester City Guide

Seen's Manchester City Guide

When you’re exploring a new city, it’s always good to have a few tip-offs from the locals—whether that’s a recommendation for a hidden gem off the beaten track, or just confirmation that that popular spot is actually worth the attention. With that in mind, we’re proud to present the first of our city guides, getting the ball rolling close to home…

Here’s Seen founder Tareq’s favourite spots in our fair city of Manchester. 

Coffee: Grapefruit Coffee

Those that know me know that although I’m a coffee snob, I’m a caffeine lightweight! All of which means I can only really tolerate one coffee a day, and therefore I want that coffee to be the best. And if you truly want the best coffee in Manchester there is only one place to go… and shock horror, it’s not in central Manchester! 

Grapefruit Coffee in Sale is my coffee mecca. They import the finest coffee from around the world, grown by the best farms and roasted using techniques that sound even more complex than eye surgery. It’s directly above Sale tram stop and absolutely worth the 15 minutes travel from the city if you have the opportunity. 

Shout out to Rapha and PKB, both of which are very close to Seen, and where I’d choose to go for a coffee when time is limited at work. The latter also does the most incredible Sunday roast at their Angel Gardens outpost. 

Grapefruit Coffee 📸 Sam Waller

Drinks: Sandinista

Well, there’s a few to choose from—Manchester is food and drink paradise these days. This recommendation will probably be considered left field, but the team would lynch me if I didn’t give a big shout out to Sandinista. It’s one minute from Seen, away from the madding crowds of Deansgate, independent with great drinks and a very chilled vibe—it’s where the team can be found regularly enjoying an after work drink. 

Sandinista 📸 Sam Waller

Shop: The R Store + This Thing of Ours

Almost the opposite of the food and drink scene, Manchester doesn’t have enough great independent retail clothing stores, so the two I’ll mention really stand out and regularly tempt me to unleash the Mastercard. 

The R Store has been around in some guise or another as long as Seen has. And I don’t want to think about how many trainers I’ve bought from there! Classic Manchester-favourite brands and styles rammed into a great small store. This Thing of Ours is an education in where technical qualities meet style by the most progressive brands imported from Japan, Korea, the US and more. Their Instagram is worth a follow too.

The R Store 📸 Sam Waller

Restaurant: This & That

I could recommend so many places. To name the better known places that are outstanding, there’s Hawksmoor, Erst, Bundobust, Higher Ground and Edinburgh Castle, but for those that don’t know Manchester so well, I’ll mention some places I go and love.

First is This & That. Don’t be put off by the appearance of this amazing curry based cafe. And then there’s Pho Cue—yes my kids laugh every time they say it too, but it’s Pho Kin good! And my final recommendation is my obsession with the bread at Firehouse—the chicken is incredible too—but the bread is soft, pillowy and worthy of a place in heaven! Pro-tip, get a tray cookie from Ramona next door on your way out to take home.

This & That 📸 Sam Waller

Public Place: John Rylands Library

Is there anything greater than being surrounded by literature? Well, okay—great eyewear obviously—but second to that is books. John Rylands Library is a must visit. Incredible gothic architecture to boot as well. 

John Rylands Library 📸 Sam Waller

Park: Heaton Park

Sadly central Manchester doesn’t have much green space—the powers that be deem any plot that doesn’t have a building on to be ripe for development—but much like in London where one might take a bus or a tube to Hyde or Regents Park, we ought to do the same here. A simple tram ride away is Heaton Park to the north of the city. A great walk, run or even row awaits you…

Heaton Park 📸 Sam Waller

We hope you enjoyed Tareq's guide to the top spots in Manchester. Don't forget, whether you're just visiting or you're a city centre regular, you don't need an appointment to pop in to Seen for a chat 'n' a browse. Here's how to find our place on Police Street. And if you need an appointment, book one here