Manchester’s Best Independent Coffee Shops for Studying | Top Universities

Manchester’s Best Independent Coffee Shops for Studying

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Lily Jones

Updated Nov 12, 2019



Manchester’s Best Independent Coffee Shops for Studying

If you’re getting tired of buying over-priced coffee in over-rated high-street chains, why not check out these independent coffee shops which boast ample space for studying? Not only will your money be going to small businesses, chances are your coffee and cake will be cheaper, and probably a lot tastier. 

Pollen Bakery

Located just outside of Manchester’s central high-street, in New Islington, is Pollen Bakery. Firmly establishing itself as a sourdough bakery in 2016, this canal-side cafe offers its customers an excellent choice of all-day brunch dishes, handmade cakes and barista-style coffee, complete with all the swans and tulips you could need. Not only is the food and drink delicious, but the communal bench-style seating and large airy windows make the perfect environment for an afternoon of productive studying. 

North Tea Power

Having won an abundance of awards since it opened, North Tea Power has become a popular spot for the coffee enthusiasts of Manchester. As well as perfectly decorated coffee to keep you motivated, North Tea Power sells an impressive selection of loose-leaf tea, and a bread-heavy menu full of cheese melts and warming soups. Due to its popularity as a brunch spot at the weekends, it’s best to use this as a study spot during the week, when the crowds are substantially fewer.

Fig and Sparrow

A coffee shop located in Manchester’s hipster northern quarter and contender for the city’s best latte art is Fig and Sparrow. What makes this charming coffee shop stand out is its local produce, sourcing everything from coffee beans to salad leaves from local producers in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. For this reason, the salad-based menu is rather small, but always delicious. You should come prepared to share a table during peak hours, but there is free Wi-Fi and plenty of plug sockets to keep you powered up for the day.

Ancoats Coffee Co.

Although a newcomer to Manchester’s coffee scene, Ancoats Coffee Co. has marked its place on Manchester’s hipster map. Housed in the courtyard of a former cotton mill and clad with open brickwork, this is the epitome of industrial chic. Roasting their own coffee onsite, you won’t be able to get enough of their barista-style flat whites. What’s more, the space is huge, so you shouldn’t struggle to find a seat, even during peak times.


If you’re looking for a no-frills working space where you can buy a classic black coffee with milk on the side, or a perfectly steamed almond milk flat white, Takk is for you. Located in the northern quarter, this reasonably priced café is extremely popular with students and digital nomads looking for somewhere to knuckle down for a few hours. The bench-style seating means you’ll always have a space to work and you might even meet a few fellow students on the way.


Having established itself firmly in Manchester’s coffee culture six years ago, Grindsmith has recently opened its third site, which just so happens to be the perfect place for a day of studying. As well as strong, freshly roasted coffee on offer, make sure to try one of the many cakes that sit so artistically on the front counter. True to today’s trends, there are plenty of gluten free and vegan options too. 

Black Sheep Coffee

Starting out as a small coffee shop in London, Black Sheep Coffee has now grown to over 35 stores in the UK, putting it somewhat outside of the independent category. However, it maintains the independent coffee shop ambience through cozy seating areas, helpful staff and affordable prices. Walking into one of these well-designed stores still retains the feeling of walking into a small independent tucked away off the high-street. Plus, once you’re finished studying, you can join one of the espresso martini nights!


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