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Where to get your sugar fix in Manchester

Manchester is quickly becoming a city known for its cafe culture, independent eateries and up-and-coming restaurants. But alongside the stellar gastronomy lies an array of high-quality, great value sweets specialists serving everything from homemade ice cream and beautifully crafted cakes to speciality chocolate. Here’s just a small sugary taste of what’s on offer.


Ginger’s Comfort Emporium

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium bills itself as “an ice cream van for the gown-ups” and can often be found crawling the streets of the city after dark, delivering late night sugar hits to hungry denizens. Fortunately, however, they also have a permanent location on the first floor of Aflecks in the Northern Quarter, where you can sample their intriguing array of flavours in scoops, milkshakes, and toasted brioche, or alongside hot, steaming puddings. With flavours like black treacle and parkin (gingerbread) and Chorlton Crack (AKA salted caramel and peanut butter) as well as a range of refreshing sorbets like the Thomas Dakin gin and plum variety, and the blackberry, rosemary and sage sorbet, this is a decidedly adult affair.


Tea Hive

The original Chorlton coffee shop and tea emporium, Tea Hive has built a reputation as one of the city’s top independent cafes. It specialises in serving a wide range of loose leaf teas, expertly brewed artisan coffee, and freshly baked cakes on beautiful vintage crockery. Even those on a gluten-free, vegan or wheat-free diet can find something delicious to indulge in. Whether you opt for the full experience and order a traditional Afternoon Tea, or simply select a slice of cake from the counter of daily specials, there’s plenty to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Chocolate Café

If you’re after a truly powerful chocolate fix then leave the Dairy Milk in the confectionary aisle and head for the Chocolate Café in Ramsbottom, a short drive or train journey out of Manchester. Its high quality, award-winning chocolates are handmade onsite and sold from the shop downstairs, while real chocoholics can spoil themselves with a slice of the café’s unique chocolate pizza. The busy cafe upstairs is worth a visit for a cup of traditional hot chocolate, or South American hot chocolate made with pure Colombian cocoa and mixed spices. 


Hey Little Cupcake

The craze for all things cupcake shows no sign of abating, and Manchester is home to plenty of cupcake shops and cafes. One of the best, and most central, is Hey Little Cupcake, found in the city’s Spinningfields development. The breakfast range of cupcakes (including vanilla blueberries and pancake) may not be the healthiest breakfast choice, but they’ll certainly give your morning a kick!

Image credits:

Ice cream © iStock
Tea Hive © Michela De Rossi