The Northern Quarter

Thomas Street/Hilton Street

Cafes and things unnecessary


image of the-northern-quarter

Get there

Public transport: Bus ‘Shudehill’ or ‘Piccadilly Gardens’. Tram ‘Market Street’, 5 mins. Private transport: The Northern Quarter carpark grotty but convenient. Large reasonable carparks on Trinity Way, good carparks towards Piccadilly station.


A line, drawn by planners in an office, marks the Northern Quarter but it didn’t start like that. Mostly, the Northern Quarter is Thomas Street to Stevenson Square—includes streets that cross, such as Tib Street. Back in the 1980’s, suffering the 1970’s, this was a neglected sector of the city, the hustle of old Tib Street drained by the Arndale Centre. However, people saw opportunity in a dead‐central but near‐derelict place—all kinds of sex shops, religious believers, startups and advertising firms occupied. When it became apparent the large buildings of Great Ancoats Street could be repurposed for student and ladder accommodation, the Northern Quarter intensified—though nowadays you are more likely to find tattoo parlours, coffee bars, night clubs and Dungeons & Dragons. Also holds outdoor markets, and in 2020 was part‐pedestrianised. From 2018 accusations have risen that the Northern Quarter is becoming comercialized/formalized. The night scene goes on until early hours. Special notes: if the killing moon is up, Affleck’s Palace, Mackie Mayor food market (Eagle Street, restored building shelters hip‐casual food‐art), Fred Aldous, the craft shop that endures.