Including deep-fried Christmas Pudding burgers, Turkey Kebabs and Mince Pie French Toasts...
All I Want For Christmas Burger @ Slap & Pickle
Probably the MADDEST burger on this list, Slap & Pickle have pulled something truly special out of their Christmas stocking, and even though it sounds weird AF – it actually works! The ‘All I Want For Christmas Burger’ is two smash patties, cranberry Wensleydale, smoked bacon, beef fat-fried CHRISTMAS PUDDING, picked red cabbage, shredded lettuce, pickles, Paxo mayo & cranberry mustard, all wrapped up in a festive red bun.
Crimbo Dinner @ Northern Soul Grilled Cheese
Northern Soul have taken their traditional 3 cheese grilled cheese and then added a long list of Christmas-related ingredients to it for the ultimate Festive Toastie. It comes with sliced turkey crown, gravy, pink lady stuffing, cranberry sauce, and is then finished off with a gravy soaked lollipop. It’s not the only Xmas special on the menu – but it’s the biggest and the best.
Terry’s Chocolate Orange Doughnut @ Gooey
Well, here it is. The Christmas special from doughnut and cookie specialists Gooey, and they’re treating us to an extra bit of Terry this December. Super fresh fluffy brioche donut PACKED FULL with homemade Belgian chocolate orange infused ganache, dipped in our own Belgian chocolate orange glaze and finished with a famous Terry’s segment and bit of Maldon salt for good measure.
Roast Turkey Dinner Kebab @ BAB
The team at BAB have taken the humble Christmas Dinner (with all the trimmings) and added it to one of their home-made grilled flatbreads, added a bit of kebab magic and created this great Christmas Special. It’s topped with turkey (obviously), pigs in blankets, sprouts and cranberry sauce. We also ordered ourselves a little pot of gravy and poured it all over too.
The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Sandwich @ Alvarium
The Northern Quarter neighbourhood and vegan eatery have created the ultimate Christmas sandwich this year, and it’s 100% plant based. It’s packed with home-made sage and onion stuffing, slices of lemon and herb seitan turkey, crispy roast potatoes and a home-made cranberry sauce. Held together by 2 pieces of delicious Companio sourdough bread you also get a pot of in gravy on the side so you can dunk away.
Son of a Nutcracker @ Almost Famous
You can always rely on the Almost Famous lot to make something pretty spectacular around Christmas time and this year is no exception. The ‘Son of a Nutcracker’ Burger is their “ultimate Christmas special” a cheeseburger, sausage patty, buttermilk fried chicken, AFC gravy, sweet spiced BBQ sauce, bacon jam, bacon ketchup + brandy buttered peppercorn mayo. Topped with a cheddar jalapeño and chorizo sausage roll and a pig in blanket – with a pot of rich buttery gravy for extra dippin’.
The 3 Yuletide Specials @ Nell’s
This Christmas Nell’s have THREE specials on offer, one meaty, one veggie and one vegan. The meat one is MISTLETOE & SWINE with mozzarella, Sykes Fell Cheese, Italian sausage, house sausage and a sage & onion crunch. The P*GS AND BL*NKETS is the veggie version of that, while BY THE BAUBLES is 100% vegan with spinach, sprouts, ‘This Isn’t Bacon’, roquito peppers, leek and a squeeze of lemon.
Christmas Cheese Platter @ American Pies
I’ll tell you now – American Pies NEVER disappoint when it comes to their specials. Especially if those specials are platters like this one is. I’m not even going to try and write something witty here – just look at the picture above and then read this: Burrata in blankets w / nduja crumb and hot honey, deep fried Gouda in filo lollipops, cranberry, bacon & Brie cheesy garlic knots, turkey meatball garlic knot slider, festive tots with whiskey and orange sauce, Christmas cracker garlic bread burrito, jalapeño & cheddar stuffed jumbo pig in blankets.
The Christmas Kebab @ One Star Doner Bar at Escape to Freight Island
Chef Brad Carter is always creating some mad kebab over at One Star Doner Bar at Freight Island, and this Christmas he’s gone all out with his imaginatively named ‘Christmas Kebab’. It’s a Turkey & Stuffing Shawarma topped with Paxo mayonnaise, cranberry hot sauce, shredded sprouts, onion and cabbage. On the side are ‘Festive Smileys’ topped with fried sprouts, lemon and black pepper.
White Christmas @ Crazy Pedro’s
Pedro’s have created something totally new this Christmas with their first ever White Pizza, that’s topped with turkey dinosaurs, pigs in blankets, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and sage. It’s like a Christmas Dinner for a fussy 12 year old lad – perfect when downing tequilas at 4am on a Friday night.
Turkey Croquettes @ La Bandera
Part of their rather impressive new Christmas Menu, these turkey croquettes are a great festive twist on an absolute Spanish classic – I mean, who doesn’t have croquettes when they nip out for some tapas?! La Bandera’s croquettes have been voted “the best in Manchester” and these turkey ones come sat on a bed of cranberry sauce for that perfect Christmas treat.
Christmas Dinner Parmo @ Parmogeddon at Hatch
Everyone loves a Parmo, and if you don’t – you’re just a liar. Plain and simple. The combination of breaded chicken, cheese, béchamel sauce and chips has finally put the North East on the map, and Parmogeddon do easily the best in the entire of Manchester. This Christmas version comes topped with Pigs in Blankets, Stuffing Balls and with a little pot of rich gravy to pour all over.
Xmas Gyros @ What the Pitta
What the Pitta in the Northern Quarter have created an Xmas Gyros that’s 100% vegan. They stuff their home-made fluffy pitta breads with Xmas spiced vegan chick’n pieces, stuffing, fries, red cabbage, red onion, and then top the whole thing with cranberry sauce and gravy.
Mince Pie French Toast Crumpets @ Foundation
Taking one of their very best brunch dishes, if not THE best, the French Toast Crumpets, and giving them a Christmas spin with the addition of that classic festive flavour – Mince Pies! There’s not much else you need to know, except that I’ve literally just eaten this and nearly exploded with food-induced delight.
Hans Gruber-ger @ Fat Hippo
Fat Hippo in Lane 7 have named their Christmas burger after Die Hard’s villain, perfectly played by the legend that is Alan Rickman. The burger is pretty special too – with a beef patty, pork stuffing patty, American cheese, maple-basted Southern fried turkey, cranberry jello and crunchy Christmas ‘slaw.
Merry Chickmas Burger @ 9 Cut at Dog Bowl
9 Cut at Dog Bowl have created a ‘Merry Chickmas’ Burger to enjoy whilst flinging balls down a lane and slamming tokens into arcade machines. They take their secret recipe fried chicken thighs and load them with crispy bacon, melty Camembert cheese, carrot and parsnip crunch and pepper mayonnaise. It’s all then drizzled with tangy cranberry ketchup and stuff into a toasted brioche bun and served with fries and a pot of house chicken gravy.
Gadbad Mitha @ Dishoom
A glorious trifle-like dessert from Dishoom now, one which they tell me is the perfect way to finish off a magnificent festive feast. It’s layers of cinnamon ice cream, with ‘tides’ of fresh mango, banana, grapes, blackberries and apple – with mango puree and creamy custard, all bedded between soft, pillowy vanilla sponge. Just look at it!
Festive Sandwiches @ Harvey Nichols’ Second Floor Deli Bar
There’s four new festive sandwiches at Harvey Nichol’s excellent Deli Bar and you should probably go all Ash Ketchum and try them all before the end of the year. Top of the list is their Turkey & Raclette Cheese, followed by Gammon Ham with stuffing and apple sauce, Baron Bigod Brie with rocket and cranberry and finally – the ‘Pigs in Blankets’ with proper Cumberland sausage, parma ham and Harvey Nichols’ smoking hot mustard sauce.
Tempura Fried Bronze Norfolk Turkey @ The Bull & Bear
Tom Kerridge has created something truly special this Christmas with his Tempura-fried Norfolk Turkey – a rather eccentric twist on the normally rather boring festive meat. He’s battered it and then topped it with Brussels Spout Tops ‘Caeser’, cranberry ketchup and turkey gravy.
Bone Marrow Gin @ Butcher’s Quarter
This Christmas the Butcher’s Quarter have teamed up with Manchester Gin to create a Bone Marrow Gin – and it’s bloody lovely. It’s perfect in a Red Snapper – which is the gin equivalent of a Bloody Mary, or an Old Fashioned. It will also make the perfect gift for that unique person in your life that loves both meat and gin.
Roasted Partridge @ Edinburgh Castle
Ancoats’ excellent Edinburgh Castle have unveiled their festive menu and on it is this little beauty – Roasted Partridge – which, unless you’re a Dingle – is mightily difficult to find and to eat. It’s served with red cabbage, pigs in blankets, bread sauce and a cranberry jus, and is just one of many great dishes including Roasted Grass-Fed Beef Rump, Mallard Terrine and Halibut Ceviche.
Duck Gyoza @ Cottonopolis
Part of their KURISUMASU Sharing Menu, these Duck Gyoza have been given a bit of a festive spin with the addition of a fruity cranberry ponzu. The menu also includes a banging Brussels Sprout Kimchi which is quite possibly the most creative way I’ve ever heard of using the much-hated vegetable – and now my favourite way to eat it.
Chicken Berry Biryani @ Zouk
A lovely Christmas twist on an Indian classic, Zouk’s Berry Biryani is basmati rice cooked using the traditional method from the Provence of Sindh with potatoes, spices, garam masala and winter berries. It’s then served with raita.
Festive Slabs at Lazy Tony’s
We’re yet to get a full insight into the Festive Slabs at Lazy Tony’s – but I assure you they’ll be dropping any minute now. Here’s what they’ve told us so far: “Festive slabs, festive sticks, Italian pigs in Italian blankets, red wine sprouts & pannetone bread and butter pudding.” Sounds good to us!
‘An Ode to Santa’ @ Potter’s Pies
A festive riff on their famous Gregg’s Pie, Potter’s Pies have created ‘An Ode to Santa’ a full Christmas Dinner pie with roasted turkey, roast potatoes, home-made crispy chestnut stuffing and cranberry, with a pigs in blanket sausage roll lid. They’ll be at Stretford Public Hall on the 11th December if you want to get your hands on one.
Sprout Bhaji Butty @ Bundobust
A couple of years back Bundobust came up with the Sprout Bhaji and it was absolutely bloody gorgeous. I never knew sprouts could taste so good. Well, this year they’ve gone one further and put ’em in a butty – spiced with fennel and chilli and topped with salad and a homemade cranberry chutney. They’ve also got a Festive Curry with winter vegetables and Christmas Kulfi to try too.
Orecchiette with Pancetta & Brussel Sprouts @ Sugo
Sugo have a new menu of December Specials including a Salt Cod starter and this – a new Christmassy Pasta with brussel sprouts and pancetta. You can always rely on Sugo being pretty much the best pasta you’ve ever had – and I doubt that this festive beauty will be any different. Pair with their special wine of the month – Settebraccia from Puglia.