Takk is a cafe and creative space, on Tariff street in the Northern Quarter, Manchester.
This review is slightly different to the other coffee shop reviews I’ve written in the past, as I’m actually sat in the cafe writing the review here and now – live. I’ve never done this before.
I’m in Takk, the Nordic inspired coffee shop I’ve heard so much about, just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly station, on the outskirts of the Northern Quarter.
What has inspired me to write the post actually from here, is that this place is all about getting stuff done – it’s not just a cafe, it’s a creative working space, just about everyone here is working on something, whether it’s blogging, coding, studying – there doesn’t appear to be many people here just having a coffee.
Looking around the room now, there are very few people who aren’t typing away on a laptop! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many glowing white apple signs in my life! I feel like the odd one out with my PC laptop, I’d say it’s 80% apple in here – they should have a special section just for Microsoft users, I don’t think it would have to be very big ;-).
To get here took about four or five minutes walking from Manchester Piccadilly, just turn right onto Ducie street, turn left onto Dale street, couple of minutes down there then right onto tariff street, and you’ll see the sign for Takk.
I’m drinking a flat white right now, and it’s lovely! Served in a glass, nice latte art, creamy but strong, very good flat white, in my opinion. Among the best I’ve tasted. I won’t pretend to have a sophisticated enough coffee pallet to be able to tell you that I can tell it’s a lighter roast, all I can tell you is it’s very nice.
The decor is really nice, eclectic and modern. The tables and chairs are mainly school style, metal frames with wooden tops, and the chairs are wooden – I would say that sitting here reminds me of being in school, but we had mainly plastic… I’m very comfortable though, I think wooden chairs and stools are a good choice.
It’s very open, which I like, and there’s a real communal feel about it. Open brick walls, solid wooden floor, black cast iron radiators. There are a couple of large bench type tables with people sitting opposite each other, most with laptops.
This is what Takk seems to be all about, not just a coffee shop but a creative space, a place to sit down and get stuff done, while enjoying great coffee. I’d say some of the people here right now are students, and some are probably self employed / entrepreneurs.
It’s funny, I just text my wife and told her that the if I was still self-employed, I’d be working from here every day – to which she replied “and broke… ;-)”, sigh, the only thing about working for yourself, no monthly wage to rely on.
There were months when I did brilliantly, and then several months at a time when I did terribly (money wise). To be self-employed I think you need to be really good with money, which I’ve proven myself not to be – even with a reliable monthly salary I don’t appear to be able to not spend it all in the first three weeks, but any way, I digress.
I’m going to give the food a try shortly too, as it’s gone 2pm and I’ve not eaten since breakfast. I don’t always have lunch on Saturdays as we tend to have a big breakfast, but since I’m here it would be rude not to.
There are plug points all over the place, which is very handy although I can’t see anyone actually plugged in, probably because most people here are using Macbook Air, which I think are good on battery life. My battery isn’t too bad actually, I’ve used 11% in 30 mins, with my phone charging from my laptop, and with my keyboard and mouse plugged in.
There is a large book shelf at the back, full of books and magazines, and there are large jugs of water just in front of the book shelves, with glasses, so you can help your self to glasses of water.
I really like the feel of this place, really chilled atmosphere, staff are friendly. I also like how easy it is to get here from Piccadilly train station. If I was still self-employed, I could imagine myself being here a lot in the week, and I’ll bet there are a lot of self-employed folk who do the same.
This doesn’t seem to be the kind of coffee shop where people pop in for a couple of minutes. Most come in and get out their laptops, get themselves set up, so there’s no real pressure on the staff to get drinks to people quickly. By the time customers are sat do they’re connected to the wi-fi, they’ll probably have the drink they ordered.
I don’t get the impression that there is any particular pressure to not overstay your welcome here, in fact since I’ve been here I’ve not seen anyone leave, I think many people who come here are here for a while.
I’ve just ordered some food, a vegetarian dish with Quinoa and Avocado. Price wasn’t too bad just under a tenner for lunch and a coffee, it would have been about £8 including the coffee I think, but I opted for Halloumi which was a couple of quid extra I think.
The food is very nice, and it only took maybe 5 or 10 mins to come. Again though, it didn’t matter to me how long it took as I’m not just here waiting for it, I’ve got stuff to do, mainly to write this post, about being sat here, writing this post… hmm, that’s weird.
The coffee is very nice too, again. This time I’ve gone for Macchiatto, or maybe I should say Michiatoooooh, as it’s very good!
A couple of people have left since I’ve been in here, not many. There have been some people who’ve just come in for a coffee and a cake, but the majority of the people here have come here to use it as a working space.
I must say though, no one seems to be “taking the michael” in terms of just using the space and not ordering. I would think that in a place like this there’s an unwritten rule that you can stay as long as you like, but you need to order occasionally.
There is one guy who has been sat across from me since I got here a couple of hours ago who I’ve not seen with a drink once, but everyone else seems to have had lunch here, and at least one or two drinks, so from a business sense this seems to work. If people just come in and use the free wi-fi and power without ordering anything, then that’s not a business that will be around for long. This doesn’t seem to be the case though, the till is opening and closing plenty, so I’d hazard a guess that this place is doing well and will be here for quite some time, I certainly hope it will be anyway as I plan on coming here regularly.
The other reviews I’ve read about this place mainly include the word “hipster”. I’m not sure I agree with that – OK there are a lot of apple macbook Airs in here, and the using an Apple is one ticket to the hipster club ;-), but other than that there’s a real mix of people, and I can’t see many people that fit the typical hipster profile.
Looking around me, there’s a group of chinese people to the left of me, with Apple macbooks airs… I’d say they’re students, I may be wrong. In front of me is a table with youngish people, I wouldn’t describe any of them as “hipster”, I’d say one or two of them are probably involved in startups, maybe students, maybe both. I’m just guessing, and I’m totally judging books by covers, I’m probably completely wrong.
I can’t help but overhear a conversation in front of me between a guy who has just walked in, and a young guy who was already here when I came in. The guy who’s just sat down is a lecturer at Manchester university, and is chatting to the younger guy about business. There are creative people in here for sure, business people, students – all sorts, I wouldn’t call them “hipsters”.
Sadly, it’s time to finish this post, as it’s time to pack up and leave. I wish I could stay in here all day, it’s a brilliant place, and without a shadow of a doubt, I will be back!!
Oh one final thing to say, the toilets are right at the back – I can’t tell you what they’re like as I have a bladder like a camel, and I’ve not visited them as yet ;-). I will check them out before I leave though and I’ll update the post later.
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Update. The toilet is nice and clean – there’s a big pyramid of toilet rolls, haha, I was so tempted to re-arrange them, I’m so childish.
Oriana Tait-Jones – Top quality coffee. Fresh, flavoursome and beautifully prepared food. A variety of vegan and vegetarian options available too. Love the separate weekend menu, adds to the already great weekday offerings and fab for regulars. Keep it coming guys!
Stuart Downing – Best coffee this side of the world and fantastic service.
Katyblue78 – I came here based on a recommendation from a good friend. I was so glad I did! Superb coffee! Had a wonderful flat white, then also a fantastic filter coffee with my breakfast of poached eggs on rye with smoked salmon. My boyfriend had the French toast which was also delicious.
Obviously I had to try a chocolate & salted caramel brownie too – moist, tasty & gluten free!
JamesM -I discovered Takk on a creative tourist site, and decided to visit this first.It didn’t disappoint at any level. A great vibe; wooden desks, plentiful power sockets, interesting mix of people, friendly and knowledgeable staff…. and coffee to die for. Admittedly – I was a little wary this would be another over-the-top fussy & overpriced coffee shop (anywhere using “artisanal” in a non ironic sense sets alarm bells ringing) but my prejudices were proven wrong and this place absolutely delivered.