The 24th Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place this year from 16th – 27th September and have announced the next wave of the festival programme events, with bookings now open.
Following its postponement last year, The Festival is back taking place at Cathedral Gardens and across the city and promising 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.
The free to enter Festival Hub in Cathedral Gardens will be at the heart of the MFDF action. It will be home to 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 Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th September.
The Hub will be host to a programme of events happening in partnership with the city’s restaurants, bars, cafes and chefs running throughout the Festival. Even on Monday and Tuesday when it is not open to the public, the Hub will be opened up for special Festival events and pop ups including…
The Bull & Bear Festival Hub Takeover
Monday 20th September
Tom Kerridge’s The Bull and Bear will be taking over the Cathedral Gardens Festival Hub for one night only to create their own very special take on street food with the ultimate pub grub feast and a live music soundtrack 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
• Banana Custard with Dates, Pistachio and Honeycomb
Manchester’s Biggest Chippy Tea
Wednesday 22nd September
The city’s best loved restaurants, chefs, chip shops and food traders are coming together to create a mammoth chippy tea feast in 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 this classic Northern staple. There will 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, serving all the favourites.
• Hip Hop Chip Shop – The original pimped up fish and chip mavericks from Ancoats will be bringing their iconic boombox trailer.
• JJ Vish and Chips – Manchester’s first all vegan chippy brings a plant-based chippy tea to the proceedings.
• Street Urchin – Acclaimed Ancoats market restaurant will create their own bespoke seafood twist on fish and chips.
• Lord of the Pies – No chippy tea would be complete without some of the finest pies in the North from Stockport-based Lord of the Pies.
For dessert ‘A Few Scoops’ will be bringing their special Tuk Tuk ‘Jolene’ to the Hub serving up the perfect chippy tea boozy finale with their alcoholic ice cream (plus non-alcoholic specials too!). This event is free to enter, and walks in are welcome, but a limited number of tables are available for pre booking.
MFDF Wine & Fizz Festival @ Halle St Peters
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.
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.
Thursday 23rd September
It may not be quite October but on Thursday 23rd Albert’s Schloss will be getting in the mood with Schlosstoberfest at the Hub. Expect an Oktoberfest Takeover bringing brats, pretzels and lederhosen. Free to attend and no need to book – Schloss will be taking over the MFDF street kitchen serving up Bavarian street food throughout the evening and programming a lively night of Schloss-style entertainment.
Eat Well Kitchen
Friday 24th – Sunday 26th Sept
Eat Well MCR is the inspiring social enterprise born out of the COVID-19 crisis. Founded by food and drink star Mary-Ellen McTague, Kathleen O’Connor and Gemma Saunders, Eat Well Mcr provide meals made by chefs and hospitality professionals to people side-lined by poverty.
The team will be taking over their very own street food kitchen at the Hub with a different restaurant partner from the fabulous Eat Well Collective taking over the kitchen daily, serving up their own special MFDF menu for festival goers with all profits raised from the kitchen going to 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
As proud sponsors of MFDF, Just Eat will be bringing some of their top Manchester restaurant partners to the Just Eat Street Food Chalets. The exciting culinary concepts on the line-up include:
• Peck and Yard – A pan-Asian chicken shop serving up homemade crispy chicken and awesome Asian sauces
• La Bandera – An award winning Spanish Restaurant which symbolises a new era of Spanish culinary excellence.
• Vertigo Plant Based Eatery – Money doesn’t grow on trees, but delicious food does. Amazing flavours everyone will love.
• JJ Vish and Chips – Serving all the chip shop favourites but veggie and vegan
MFDF Street Kitchen Takeovers
Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th Sept
MFDF has its own street food kitchen trailer on site at the Hub which will be taken over by some of the city’s best loved restaurants and chefs over the four days including Evuna, Jackie Kearney and Tast Catala.
Street Food @ The Hub
16th – 19th September // 23rd – 26th September
CityLife Stage – Live Music
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.
Thursday 16th September
The Festival will kick off with live music from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.
Friday 17th September
CityLife night host local indie pop band The Lottery Winners. Hailing from Leigh, they will be performing an acoustic preview ahead of their first Manchester Live gig at the Ritz on 25th September. They have played festivals throughout Europe and supported Kaiser Chiefs, Blossoms, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Wonder Stuff, Tom Jones and more.
Sunday 19th and Sunday 26th September
Flat Cap Brass will be bringing their own Northern brand of horny, poppy brass to both Sundays at the Festival Hub
Sunday 19th September
Championed by 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Fine Lines play exquisite roots infused Americana with echoes of Dylan and The Band.
Bars at the Hub
There’ll be 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 & Tonic Bar will bring the essential refreshing and creative G&Ts to the Festival. Hard seltzer brand, Truly, will pop up to sample and serve the drink of the moment, the brand’s alcoholic sparkling water at the Truly Hard Seltzer Bar.
MFDF Artisan Food Market
16th – 19th September // 23rd – 26th September
Open 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:
• Companio Bakery
• Paradiso Authentic Italian
• Chorlton Cheesemongers
• Bread Flower
• Cocoa and Bloom
• Manchester Cheesecake Co
• HM Pasties
• Chorlton Bread Co
• The Gourmet Brownie Co
• DevilDog Sauces
• Crozier Drinks
A special Festival overnight offer at ROOMZZZ for those who want to make a night (or even weekend!) of it as they offer 20% off stays during Manchester Food & Drink Festival. 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.
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!”
For the very first time the entire programme of what’s happening and when will be available via a brand new MFDF App – bringing the Festival to your fingertips like never before. The app is a new digital ‘on the go’ festival programme designed with ease of use, 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’.