Following its postponement last year, the 24th Manchester Food and Drink Festival will be back with a bang this year and the first wave of fantastic festival programme events has just been announced.
Taking place at Cathedral Gardens and across the city from 16th – 27th September, the event promises to bring a much needed celebration of the city’s famous food and drink scene. This year’s event is headline sponsored by food delivery service Just Eat.
For the very first time, the entire programme will be available via a brand new MFDF App – making sure everyone can easily find out what’s happening and where. The new digital ‘on the go’ festival programme has been designed with convenience and safety in mind. App users will be able to browse the full festival programme, reserve a table at the Festival Hub and vote in the MFDF awards too. The app can be downloaded in the apple and android app stores by searching ‘Mcr Food and Drink Festival’.
The free to enter Festival Hub in Cathedral Gardens will be at the heart of the MFDF action hosting an eclectic array of bars and street food vendors for the duration of the festival. The Festival Hub will be open from Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th September and then again from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th September. Some tables within The Hub will be available to book over these two long weekends, and there will also be plenty of opportunities for walk-ins as large areas will not require reservations.
The Hub will be the setting for an exciting programme of collaborations in partnership with the city’s best restaurants, bars, cafes and chefs (even on the Monday and Tuesday when it is not open to the public.)
Special Festival events and pop ups include…
WHAT - THE BULL & BEAR FESTIVAL HUB TAKEOVER
WHEN - MONDAY 20TH SEPT
Tom Kerridge’s The Bull and Bear will create an ultimate pub grub feast with live music to provide the perfect ‘pub at the hub’ atmosphere.
The three course supper menu designed especially for MFDF includes: Potted Loch Duart Salmon with Apple Jelly and Cucumber Chutney, Braised Beef and Blue Cheese Pie with English Mustard Mash and Seven Brothers Ale Gravy and Banana Custard with Dates, Pistachio and Honeycomb.
The MFDF Manchester Beer Bar will be serving a selection of local indie beers on the night too. Tickets cost £55 per person which includes the 3 course menu and can be booked HERE
WHAT - MANCHESTER’S BIGGEST CHIPPY TEA
WHEN - WEDNESDAY 22ND SEPT
Some of the city’s best loved restaurants and food traders are coming together to create a mammoth homage to one of the region’s best-loved meals… The Festival Chippy Tea takeover will see each local hero serving their own take on the classic favourite. There’ll be fish, chips, fizz and beers plus vegan fish and chips and pies too.
The Chippy roll call of honour includes…
Anchors of Didsbury – one of Manchester’s best traditional chippies
Hip Hop Chip Shop – will be bringing their iconic boombox trailer.
JJ Vish and Chips – Manchester’s first all vegan chippy
Street Urchin - Acclaimed Ancoats’ market restaurant will bring their own bespoke seafood specialities.
Lord of the Pies - bringing some of the finest pies in the North from Stockport
‘A Few Scoops’ will be bringing their special Tuk Tuk ‘Jolene’ to the Hub with their alcoholic ice cream.
This event is free to enter, and walks in are welcome, but a limited number of tables are available for pre booking HERE.
WHAT - SCHLOSSTOBERFEST
WHEN - THURSDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER
Albert’s Schloss will be getting us all in the mood with Schlosstoberfest at the Hub. Expect brats, pretzels and lederhosen, Bavarian street food and a lively night of Schloss-style entertainment. Free to attend and no need to book.
The Festival Hub will also see a series of MFDF Street Kitchen Takeovers between Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th Sept where its own street food kitchen trailer will be taken over by some of the city’s best loved restaurants and chefs including Evuna, Jackie Kearney and Tast Catala.
WHAT - Eat Well Kitchen
WHEN - Friday 24th – Sunday 26th Sept
Eat Well Mcr is the inspiring social enterprise born out of the COVID-19 crisis. Founded by chef Mary-Ellen McTague with Kathleen O’Connor and Gemma Saunders, Eat Well Mcr provide meals to people who need it. The team will operate a street food kitchen at the Hub with a different restaurant partner daily, serving up their own special MFDF menu for festival goers. All profits raised from the kitchen will be ploughed back into Eat Well Mcr, including a £1 voluntary donation added to orders.
The Just Eat Street Food Chalets - Thursday 16th- Sunday 19th Sept & Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th Sept
The line-up of Just Eat’s top Manchester restaurant partners will include:
Peck and Yard pan-Asian chicken shop serving up homemade crispy chicken and awesome sauces
La Bandera Bandera award winning Spanish Restaurant bringing a new era of Spanish culinary excellence.
Vertigo Plant Based Eatery Amazing vegan flavours everyone will love.
JJ Vish and Chips – Serving veggie and vegan versions of the chip shop favourites
The list of other street food vendors which will be at the Hub over the two long weekends include:
16TH - 19th Sept
23rd – 26th Sept
Meatless Farm - Over both weekends, the plant-based meat alternative makers will be serving up samples of their excellent vegan cooking products as well as a full, eat on-site street food burger menu.
The CityLife stage will feature a curated line-up of Manchester’s best local bands and musicians to provide the perfect soundtrack to your Festival.
You won’t go thirsty thanks to an excellent array of drinking options including:
The Manchester Beer Bar, which will be celebrating many of the region's finest brewers of beer and cider.
The Franklin and Sons Gin and Tonic Bar will bring the essential refreshing and creative G&Ts to the Festival.
Truly will pop up to serve their alcoholic sparkling water at the Truly Hard Seltzer Bar. Their refreshing, fruity cans include Wild Berry and Black Cherry made with some of the world’s best black cherries from the Pacific Northwest
WHAT - MFDF Artisan Food Market
WHEN - Thursday 16th - Sunday 19th Sept & Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th Sept (midday – 7pm)
A free to enter fine food and drink shopping experience. This bountiful market will feature some of region’s best independent food and drink producers, makers and businesses.
There will be two separate line ups across the two weekends, including:
The Gourmet Brownie Co
Elsewhere in the city as part of MFDF…
Just Eat Festival headline sponsors, Just Eat, will be offering a 20% off voucher running throughout the duration of the festival, starting from Thursday 16th September to Sunday 27th.
WHERE TO STAY? Roomzzz Aparthotels
A special Festival overnight -20% offer at ROOMZZZ for those who want to make a night (or even weekend) of it. Anyone looking for the ultimate home from home to explore Manchester’s top-notch food and drink scene should head to Roomzzz Aparthotels for stylish and spacious suites and apartments, slap-bang in the centre of the city – and a stone’s throw from the MFDF Hub in Cathedral Gardens.
WHAT - MFDF Wine & Fizz Festival Halle St Peters
WHEN - Friday 17th & Saturday 18th Sept
Away from the Hub, and for one weekend only, the stunning surroundings of Halle St Peters on Blossom Street in Ancoats will be taken over by some of the region’s finest and most exciting independent wine retailers and brands as the MFDF Wine and Fizz Festival comes to town. (READ MORE HERE)
Attendees can taste their way through dozens of incredible wines from around the globe as the participating retailers including Decent Drop, Prestwich’s Grape to Grain, Le Social Wine, Cork of North and UKiYO Republic showcasing their wonderful range of Japanese Sake. As well as tasting the wines, guests can buy from those on site too and take some very special bottles home.
TICKETS £12.50, book HERE
The MFDF Curry Club will be taking place on Tuesday 21st September and is sold out.
Alexa Stratton-Powell, Director of MFDF said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be bringing the Festival back this year. Postponing in 2020 was hugely disappointing - a tough decision but the right one of course. We set up the Festival, a small group of people, to champion independent food and drink businesses. We’re still a very small team but we are just as committed as ever, particularly now as we face a whole new chapter for hospitality, to showcasing the very best that our amazing city has to offer. This year we’re looking forward to celebrating our brilliant hospitality industry and bringing people together for some cracking food and drink!”