Christmas Gift Guide: Independent Manchester Retailers

The Manchester indies have got you covered for Christmas

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 19 December 2023

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Yes, you can shop until you drop on Amazon, but there is a better way – and it involves supporting Manchester’s wealth of independent artists, creators and hot sauce makers.

Here’s some top shopping to be done ahead of the big day…

The Amp Whisperer

‘Vintage audio transformations’ is what the Amp Whisperer creates, breathing new life into transistor radios, old stereos, even furniture – potentially anything that you might want to hear music coming out of. Upcycling genius Mark Phillips, as seen on the BBC’s Money For Nothing, is able to slot a bluetooth soundsystem into some of the most unlikely of items, from an old field telephone from World War Two to a vintage coal scuttle. Not only do they sound great, but they look wonderful too.

Minimal football kit prints

For the football lover who appreciates the joy of a well-designed kit, there’s Minimal Football Kits, gorgeous designs from past to present. Whether it’s something right up to date, or a kit that holds sentimental value (United’s from the days of Sharp, City when Saab sponsored them in the 80s) they’re all here – and if they’re not, get in touch and you can have a print custom-made just for you. You can get full sets – home, away, keeper – and they come in A5, A4, A3, A2 and A1 sizes.


Stevenson Square’s haven for the trendy mag, Unitom has a vast array of other achingly cool gear to get your hands on, from covetable pens and pencils, gorgeous coffee table art books, pads and notebooks, art supplies and all manner of other fabulously designed things of beauty.

Left Handed Night Drawings

Wonderful Christmas cards from Left Handed Night Drawings

Christmas cards can be absolute duffers… robins, snowmen, countryside scenes with a random cold horse standing in a field like a knob. Much better to support the excellent Left Handed Night Drawings, hand-crafted cards made in Levenshulme which will leave your mantel beaming with festive pride and friends chuckling away at your Christmas gatherings as they bask in the reflected wittiness.

A Tavola panettone

A very special panettone indeed

There are panettones and panettones. But this is a real panettone, handmade in Sicily and available only from the wonderful A Tavola, the little corner of Sicily found at the gateway to the Peak District. They come in pistachio, hazelnut, chocolate, and citrus and almond flavours, starting at £40. According to owners Nicky and Alessio, they are ‘the biggest, tastiest, freshest, light and fluffiest panettones you’ll have ever eaten’. Can’t argue with that. They’re available right up to Christmas Eve to pick up from the restaurant.

Elliot Eastwick Hot Sauce

Elliot Eastwick’s World Famous Hot Sauce

Hacienda DJ to hot sauce maker isn’t a common career trajectory, but we’re so here for it. Elliot’s incredible hot sauce is all natural, vegan and gluten free, and made in Manchester. Choose from the original hot sauce, Butter Buffalo, Piccalilli Gardens or the exceedingly popular Poppadum Preach, as well as a range of spice rubs. He even does gift vouchers, and there’s merch for the true devotees.

A Gift Card from Clints

Homegrown fashion icon Junior Clint’s Quay Street ‘concept store’ has been unleashing some of the most distinctive footwear and apparel onto the streets of Manchester since 2020, and his pioneering designs are now known the world over. So for the foot and streetwear addict in your life, you can grab a Clints gift card from their store on Quay Street, so they can make the most of the latest drops.

Some Dave Draws artwork

Rep your ends. Dave Draws has prints, mugs and cushions for the choosing. Covering practically every town in Greater Manchester, give a patriotic person a print of home for them to hang in their home. Or, for the traveller, choose the Hamburg cushion, or the New York mug. Whichever you give this Christmas, each one looks just as charming as the last, so you can’t go wrong. Easy gifting, and he even does gift cards.

Frankly, anything at from Deadstock

For the trendy gent or lady in your life, the Deadstock General Store on Edge Street in the NQ (number 48, to be precise) has everything from fine scents, quirky kitchenalia, scarves, hats, socks, brollies, stationary – strange and wonderful accoutrements of all kinds. If you fail to find something of note, you have perhaps failed at shopping altogether.

Blossom Coffee

Know a coffee connoisseur? Ancoats-based Blossom Coffee make small-batch coffee with a focus on sustainable practices that are kind to the planet. Buy a bag of one of their delicious blends or sign up to their coffee subscription.

Salvi’s cooking masterclasses

If you’ve got a loved one who’s never happier than when chained to the oven, unleashing them for a day’s cooking with Salvi’s could be just the thing. Great British Bake Off winner Guiseppe Del’Anno will be holding a baking masterclass on 7 January, while the legendary Gennaro Contaldo will be hosting a night of food and hilarious chat on 25 January, both held at the Deansgate Square restaurant (the on-site deli is also a great spot for picking up some gifts too).

Stan Chow prints

Stan Chow’s artwork is some of the most recognisable in the city and well beyond. He’s been the official byline artist of the New Yorker magazine for years. You can find his illustrations everywhere, from the walls of the Night & Day Cafe to Hotel Football, as well as in homes across the city. One of his prints could be on yours too as you can browse the entire collection online. Pop culture, music, sport, film, TV – there’s something for everyone.


Nell’s Pizza merch

Everyone’s favourite slice slingers Nell’s have launched the perfect gift for the pizza obsessed. Choose from three different designs of t-shirts for the pie-obsessed loved one in your life, or grab them some gift vouchers at their online store.

Rare Mags

Stockport Rare Mags

Rare Mags, based on Stockport’s trendy Underbanks, specialise in hard to find and international magazine titles, as well as a range of rare books from independent publishers. Order online, or head down to the shop on Lower Hillgate, where they also sell coffee and some nice stationary too.


We’re pretty well conditioned into buying new stuff for Christmas, but there’s no two ways about it, it’s shitty for the environment. So if you’re planning to treat someone to some designer garms, consider going the pre-loved route at Suzylovesmilo‘s NQ outpost, off Stevenson Square. It’s cooler, and you get more bang for your buck too.

Gone Fishing Vintage

Another skilfully curated purveyor of fine vintage wear, Gone Fishing has a vast range of top-end labels, sourced from all over the world. There’s everything from Stone Island, Burberry, CP Company, Supreme, Prada, Evisu, Stussy, outdoors-ey gear like Arc’teryx and even the odd classic football shirt thrown in too.