Top 5 coffee shops to write your PhD literature review in…

If you’re just starting out on your PhD course this September chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time between now and Christmas learning your subject and writing the literature review. While it’s good to spend time in the office, learn the ropes and get to know your colleagues, it is also useful to change the scenery once in a while and work away from your desk.

A good coffee shop is the perfect escape and Manchester has plenty for you to choose from! And no, I’m not talking about the 10,000 branches of Starbucks you find across the city. Let’s face it, you’re not going to be motivated to get any work done when you’re drinking overpriced coffee from a paper cup surrounded by swathes of undergraduates Instagramming their skinny-soy-caramel-cappuccinos. If independent tea and coffee shops are more your thing, here are my favourites that I think you should try…


Ezra and Gil

20 Hilton Street M1 1FR

Situated in the Northern Quarter, Ezra and Gil is 100% hipster. Offering teas, coffees and ‘provisions’, it is a peaceful space resembling a Victorian warehouse with exposed brick walls and wooden tables. There are chairs set out by the window sills so you can watch the world go by as you write. There are also plenty of plug points for laptops!


Pot Kettle Black

Barton Arcade, M3 2WB

PKB is a specialty coffee shop located in the Victorian, glass-roofed Barton Arcade just off Deansgate. It is the perfect spot for people who really appreciate good coffee and an ideal destination on a rainy, autumnal day. You can get cosy and stay protected from weather outside while you crack on writing with no distractions.


North Tea Power

34 Tib Street, M4 1LANTP

If, like me, you love a loose leaf tea or a choice of coffee beans, then North Tea Power is the place for you. It has a huge selection to choose from; so much more than just a simple tea or coffee! The large tables mean you’ll probably be sharing space with other tea-lov
ers who are writing their literature reviews too which I always find motivating!



Greengate Square, M3 5AS

This one is definitely for coffee lovers. Situated on Deansgate, Grindsmith is a trendy coffee stop which aims to be ‘a modern oasis in the heart of a busy city, with an aim to engage, reconnect and refuel the people of Manchester’. The space itself is often used for events and the huge windows look out onto the busy street. So, if you like people-watching while you ponder, then Grindsmith is your spot!




Manchester Cathedral visitors centre, 10 Cateaton Street, M3 1SQ

If Grindsmith is for the coffee drinkers then this one is for the tea lovers. Propertea is just across from Manchester Cathedral and offers a huge selection of, you guessed it, tea served loose leaf in a pot as it should be. It is a peaceful and bright café which always looks lovely, especially on a sunny day. They also serve great sandwiches and cakes to keep you going. A definite must if you’re after a calm, distraction-free zone!


So there you have it! Manchester’s best hidden coffee gems! Good luck with the literature review and if you see me in there writing my thesis, come say hi! 😉


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