Are these going to be Manchester's Biggest Food Trends of 2021?

Including Tiktok, comfort food, Turkey Twizzlers, Tacos and more....

By Alex Watson | Last updated 17 March 2021

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As we approach the end of January, we can sit comfortably in the knowledge that we’ve successfully bypassed any fad diets that this dreadful month usually forces onto us.

Instead, we can look back at the food trends that paved the way in 2020. I’m talking milk carton pints, car park pizzas, DIY boxes and those shudder-inducing substantial meals and ultimately get excited about what’s to come in 2021!

Of course, a lot of these are dependent on the end of lockdowns and a tier-free life but should all go to plan – even if just for a few months – this is what we can expect to see in the foodie world…


The video-based social media platform is a haven for food bloggers. While we were all stuck at home, semi-pro chefs started sharing their skills with the world in one-minute clips. From recreating well-missed classics like McNuggets or putting together some kind of delicious Biscoff-based concoction – you can find literally everything. TikTok is not showing any signs of slowing down either. It’s becoming a place where you can easily find dirty food videos of cheese pulls and killer milkshakes. We have one where we share such things – you should follow it.


Lockdown Ideas

Whilst most hospitality staff throughout the country got furloughed back in March, they’ve basically just been stuck inside twiddling their thumbs – coming up with stuff. 2021 will see many of these ideas come to fruition, as new small, independent businesses begin to flourish in a post-COVID world. Many will rely on the popularity of delivery services, ignoring the need for a permanent residence and as such – being much more adaptable and nimble in a regularly changing environment.


Pizza’s Back!

For some reason, 2021 is the year of the square pizza. THREE new pizzerias dedicated specifically to Detroit-style pizza have opened already this year, including Four Side (which incidentally is all vegan), BAKEHOUSE32 in Stretford and Ramona. It’s the most popular shape and base at the moment, but opening up soon from the team at Brewksi will be American Pies – who will be serving up the excellent Chicago-style. Can’t wait for that one!



It bagged a place on our list of things to look out for in 2020 and it definitely is something that will continue to rise in 2021. CBD gives you all the benefits of weed without the ‘high’ and you can put it in pretty much anything, from lager to gin, or why not just dedicate an entire menu to it like A Taste of Honey did?


Proper Comfort Food

When we all venture out of our caves and into the real world where trained professionals can cook for us, it’s unlikely our taste for safe, feel-good food will go away instantly. We’re expecting to see less fancy food and more comfort and warmth across menus. We’ve already seen this with Michelin-starred Mana, who last week announced that they’d be serving up burgers, as well as a move into fried chicken and tacos later down the line.


Nostalgia Rulez!

Tied quite neatly in with comfort food is any kind of food that can make you feel nostalgic to a time pre-pandemic. Whether that be 1p sweets or pies – we’re going to want anything that reminds us of being a footless and fancy-free nine-year-old. Don’t be surprised if you find some sort of take on Turkey Twizzlerz in a restaurant in Manchester in 2021 – hopefully alongside homemade Potato Smilies and beans.


Going Virtual

Chris Montgomer / Unsplash

The once unheard of platform is now downloaded on pretty much everyone’s home office computer, ZOOM. At this point, I think everyone has got a case of ‘Zoom Fatigue’. Even I’m sick of Zoom Quizzes and that’s saying something because I am the chief organiser of organised fun. The pandemic paved the way for innovative virtual events so we can definitely expect to see plenty of cooking classes, dining events and more all done virtually.


‘Dark’ Kitchens

Dark kitchens are already a staple in London and are set to make their way up north. They’re essentially the bones of a kitchen that any business can use for a delivery service. Perfect for things like lockdowns. This one even found itself a spot on our ‘We Predict the Big Trends of 2021‘ and that’s when you know it’s real because Ben Brown is very rarely wrong.



We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again Mezcal 👏 is 👏 the 👏 new 👏 tequila. Crazy Pedro’s – here we come!



This is more of an at-home trend as we start to get more and more creative with things we can shove into the likes of a taco/tortilla wrap/pitta etc. Last year saw Wolf at the Door dedicate their entire menu to tacos and bao buns and they are absolutely delicious. Here are our top five tacos in Manchester so you know where to start.


Going Waste-Free

While comfort food is going to be on the menus, it’s likely going to be joined with a more conscious effort to reduce waste. Things like farm to fork and ‘tail to snout’ cooking as well as seasonal changing menus. Plus there’s likely going to be an increase in championing British produce as we all become more obsessed with where the ingredients come from.


Healthy Cocktails

Over our past two years worth of predicting trends, healthy living of some description has always popped up. 2021 though is the year healthier alternatives to booze will really take off as we’ve become even more invested in the nutritional value of everything we consume. In 2019 we saw the rise of Seedlip and in 2020 Alvarium created a menu with completely sustainable and vegan cocktails. 2021 will see hard seltzers and kombucha continue to rise in popularity. Who knows, maybe we’ll even have a matcha-based cocktail soon too!


Shipping Container ‘Villages’

Outdoor dining rose in popularity last year for obvious reasons but this year we’re looking to more shipping container-based restaurants as we’re allowed to be a little closer together again – but still experience the advantages of social distancing. A shipping container street food village opened up at the tail-end of 2020 in Altrincham and we of course also have a huge collection of them under the Mancunian Way at Hatch. Expect a couple more to turn up over the course of the year.



With more people than ever turning vegan, it seems nothing can stop it – and it’s becoming less and less of a ‘trend’ each year. Down in London last year an actual vegan butcher opened so expect more and more vegan meat alternatives, junk-food and snacks in Manchester into 2021. And probably every year after that for a while.