Is Ancoats really trendier than Northern Quarter? MM investigates following shock ‘hip neighbourhood’ rankings

It’s long been thought that the trendiest spot in town is the Northern Quarter.

However, shock new rankings have thrown this belief into question after Ancoats was named as the hippest area in the country.

The Hip Hang-out Neighbourhood Index – put together by TravelSupermarket – lists the coolest haunts around Europe.

Ancoats took the top spot on the list, whereas the NQ only managed to slip into ninth place.

Meanwhile, Monton in Salford – which has affectionately become known as ‘Monton Carlo’ over recent years – took the 19th position on the directory.

Emma Coulthurst from TravelSupermarket said:  “The Index will hopefully put Ancoats, Monton and the Northern Quarter even more on the map and encourage new and return visitors to explore Manchester”.

She added: “We scoured the UK to find the most current, independent-feeling neighbourhoods. The destinations on the list are exciting areas, unspoiled by commercialism, where locals love to hang out.

“They offer an eclectic range of food and entertainment away from more established areas.”

The result is somewhat surprising and begs the question: is Ancoats really trendier than the Northern Quarter?

MM investigates…


BYE BYE: The club has closed its doors after decades 

Until recently the crème de la crème of Ancoats nightlife was Sankeys.

However, the iconic club has now been forced to close its doors after its building was sold off for accommodation.

While there’s still a few independent pubs and bars that are popular, they fail to match up to the hustle and bustle found in the New Quarter.

On any given weekend you can find herds of people bopping from Thomas Street to Stevenson Square.

That’s without even mentioning all the action that goes on up and down Oldham Street.


WHEN HUNGER STRIKES: Everyone loves the burgers at Almost Famous

The Northern Quarter has more restaurants – but that doesn’t mean they’re better than the ones in Ancoats.

Hot spots like Almost Famous and Solita – both of which built their brand’s in the NQ – are no longer one-of-a-kind since opening sister sites.

Meanwhile, Ancoats favourite Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza is usually the hottest place in town for diners on a Saturday night.

Just last year the eatery’s reputation went global when it ranked highly in the international guidebook, Where To Eat Pizza.

Rudy’s – alongside health haven Kettlebell Kitchen – has breathed plenty of life into the food scene in Ancoats.


BUDGET CONSCIOUS: It’s usually much cheaper to live in Ancoats

In 2016, a penthouse in the NQ made headlines after it went on the market for a whopping £3,900-a-month.

While obviously that’s at the higher end of the scale, most people would have a job finding a two-bedroom digs for anything less than £1000-a-month in the same area.

On the other hand, the accommodation is significantly cheaper just a short walk away in Ancoats.

It’s also far away enough from the city centre noise so that renters can get a good night’s sleep.


AFFLECKS: The world-famous emporium once welcomed Lady Gaga

There’s very little competition on this front.

Yes, the Ancoats General Store is reasonably quirky and well-liked by locals.

But the Northern Quarter is lined with independent outlets and eccentric boutiques.

This includes Afflecks Palace – an emporium so popular that even Lady Gaga popped in while touring in Manchester in 2014.

Images courtesy of Robert Cutts and Pete Birkinshaw, via flickr, with thanks.

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