An Alternative Student Guide to Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent is home to high street stores, multi-screen cinemas and chain restaurants; but it’s also brimming with quirky independent shops and cafes, and unique ways to keep yourself entertained. Check out our guide of where to go in the city to experience the alternative, and cultural offering – all within a bus ride away from campus. 

The Glost House, Longton

Tucked away on a backdrop of old buildings that line Longton’s King Street, is The Glost House.  The independent cafe bar sits within a renovated area that clings to Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery heritage. The salt and pepper kilns stand tall on the tables. The comfortable booths are lit by warm industrial hanging lamps.

The scene is set. Let’s order.

A cup of tea with a slice of cake, or a traditional North Staffordshire Oatcake. Even the trendy ‘anything with avocado’. The menu at The Glost House is just as pleasing as the decor.

The best bit is you can indulge from 8am Monday – Saturday, with longer opening hours on a Friday.


Klay Pizzeria & Bar, Hanley

‘Wood fired pizza, by the slice or by the circle. We got you.’ – Klay Pizzeria & Bar. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Who doesn’t love a pizza? Especially when you can build your own. Choose your toppings and how spicy you like it (super super spicy), then wash it down with ‘Brooklyn Brewery’ bottled beer. All whilst gazing through the windows onto Hanley’s Cultural Quarter.

If you love it enough, you can even join their Slice Klub for £25.

Appetite Stoke

Hosting a variety of cultural events, Appetite Stoke lines up theatre performances large and small – as quirky as you like.

A lot of the events are free, and you can even up your CV by volunteering for them.


Organisers, Appetite Stoke should be bookmarked if you like to spend your weekends and evenings being entertained in a unique and diverse way. Heighten your cultural senses with their events – 

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The Quarter, Hanley

New to Hanley’s Cultural Quarter, this slice of delight serves everything from coffee to prosecco – accompanied by live entertainment. Opposite the Regent Theatre it’s in the perfect spot to stop by for pre-show dinner or after-show drinks.

RAWR Juice and Superfood Bar

After its success in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the Cultural Quarter in Hanley is also now home to another buzzing addition, that’s sure to give you a boost. Serving healthy food and super smoothies you’ll leave RAWR brimming with nutrients. Vegan options available.


A taste of Japan, in Stoke. Miso Japanese Restaurant is small and refined, with a selection of dishes to tease your palate. From sushi to katsu, green tea to Asahi – there’s something new to try at Miso. There’s offers throughout the week too.

Emma Bridgewater’s Decorating Studio

If you’re in need of a relaxing afternoon, head to Emma Bridgewater and get creative in the decorating studio. Long tables set amongst unglazed pottery are ready to meet sponges and paintbrushes at your leisure. There’s a £2.50 studio fee, and then you pay for what you paint – two weeks later your wares will be ready to take home. You’ll also get a taste of Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage as it’s set in the factory building.


The Oatcake Boat

The Oatcake Boat is a popular canal-side attraction, to give you a true taste of Staffordshire. Selling a selection of oatcake fillings on the weekend, whether you’re on the way to the match or looking for somewhere different to have breakfast.

Escape Room 

Newcastle-under-Lyme now has its very own escape room, after their popularity sprung throughout the UK. Each room has varying degrees of difficulty to put yourself and your team to the test. You can recruit up to 6 team members to help you crack the codes to escape within the 60-minute time limit. Challenging, but very fun.


Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club 

The LOL Comedy Club comes to the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent regularly four top comedians and MC Damion Larkin to give you a side-splitting evening. Tickets are £15.65 and should be booked in advance as it’s usually a full house. If you love comedy, you’ll love the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club.

Charms and Chains 

Charms and Chains is a treasure trove of unique and handmade gifts. Roxanne, Staffordshire University graduate, sells jewellery, fashion and homeware at the store inside 32 Town Road in Hanley. Located just opposite the side entrance to intuPotteries, you can stop by on your shopping spree.


Independent craft beers sit in formation on wooden shelves at BottleCraft, located across the road from The Exchange in Hanley. Whether you’re buying for a gift or for yourself, you can enjoy their selection at home or in the on-site tasting room.

Carmen’s Caribbean Cuisine

Tucked away on London Road in Stoke town there’s a menu packed with the taste of the Caribbean. There’s rave reviews for the jerk chicken, or try Carmen’s specials. You can pop in to pick up your food from 5pm-9pm, or order for delivery.


About Laura 11 Articles
Staffordshire University graduate from a-hem, way back when, I'm passionate about the city of Stoke-on-Trent. I love to cook, but love to eat more, and you'll usually find me exploring or adventuring.

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