9 perfect pubs for a pre-match pint if you're heading to Old Trafford

Perfectly acceptable after the match as well...


1. The Tollgate 

Located just 10 minutes walking distance from Old Trafford, this pub is ideally located for a pre-match pint. 

A haven for United fans, the Tollgate is spacious enough to house a a crowd of Red Devils, but not too big that it affects the atmosphere. 


2. The Dockyard

Describing itself as the 'heart and soul of Media City', the Dockyard boasts an incredible selection of craft beers from all over the world. 

With an outdoor area that's perfect for people-watching on a sunny afternoon, it's approximately a 25 minute walk to OT which is the perfect distance to walk off a couple of pints and one of their delicious footlong hot dogs.


3. Oddest 

If quirky decor and heated outdoor areas are your thing then get down to Oddest in Chorlton. 

Just a short hop from Chorlton tram stop, this offbeat haven is perfect for meeting friends on matchdays as they have an extended breakfast menus on Saturdays (11am-4pm) and Sundays (11am-2pm) including an old-fashioned full English (plus a veggie and vegan versions) as well as insanely delicious buttermilk pancakes. 

An extensive cocktail menu and tons of decently-priced craft beers will give you plenty to talk about on the way to the game.  


4. Yard And Coop

Located on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter, Yard and Coop is a chicken-lovers paradise. 

Choose your chicken (breast, thigh or halloumi for the vegetarians) add your sauce and sides, savour the best chicken in Manchester while discussing the football. 

The tram can then be taken to Old Trafford from Picadilly Gardens. 

5. Hotel Football

The football-themed hotel (with the incredibly imaginative name we might add) is owned by Manchester United's famed Class of 92 (Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt) and is literally a stone's throw away from Old Trafford. 

The hotel includes a basement bar called Old Trafford Supporters Club but be careful as only supporters with a match ticket are allowed in on matchdays.The hotel also houses a restaurant, 'Café Football', which are decked with genuinely cool football memorabilia.

Throw in a 5-a-side pitch on the roof and which turns into a bar and barbeque on matchdays and we're left with a cracking experience for any football fan. The fact that your seat in Old Trafford is a mere hop and a skip away makes it even better.  

Hotel Football

6. The Old Nag's Head

Quite like an extension of the Stretford End on matchdays, the Nag's is a hugely popular gathering spot for Reds. 

Best not expect to enjoy a quiet pre-match chat as songs will be sung (and drinks probably spilled) but it's perfect for savouring a unique atmosphere particularly if you're only an occasional matchgoer.


7. The Banyan Tree

The perfect place to relax before the madness of the big match. 

The South Asian-inspired decor makes for a laid-back ambience and the ever-changing menu will cater to everyone's needs. 

It's all about the booths in here (there are lots) but if you're lucky you can nab one of the sofas before embarking on the half hour walk to OT. 


8. The Wharf

Entering this canalside retreat can can be as mind-boggling as a Louis Van Gaal starting formation.

It's numerous nooks and crannies upstairs is an ideal setting for small groups heading to Old Trafford and downstairs provides a more pubby atmosphere with open fires, rugs and oak floors. Plus, they do a great Sunday roast.

A flavour of the countryside in Manchester. What's not to like?

9. Dukes 92

There's an eclectic menu on offer here including a wide range of craft beers and, unusually, a cheese selection. 

Located on Castle Street, the place can get busy so perhaps reserving a table for an hour or two before the game may be an idea.  

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Written By

James Fenton

Resident football writer, covering City, United and the rest of what the beautiful game brings to our city. I also moonlight in news, current affairs and emmm... burger reviews.