The 24th Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place this year from 16th – 27th September and today the next wave of the festival programme events are announced with bookings now open.  Following its postponement last year, The Festival is back with a bang 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.

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’.

Go to the following links to download:

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/mcr-food-and-drink-festival/id1528406158

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.foodanddrinkfestival.app.android

Manchester Food and Drink Festival Hub at Cathedral Gardens

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. 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 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…

MONDAY 20TH SEPT – THE BULL & BEAR FESTIVAL HUB TAKEOVER
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 

A vegetarian option is available too (see MFDF website for full details). The MFDF Manchester beer bar will be serving a selection of local indie beers available to buy on the night too! Tickets cost £55 per person which includes the 3 course menu and can be booked here.  

WEDNESDAY 22ND SEPT - MANCHESTER’S BIGGEST CHIPPY TEA

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 here.

Hip Hop Chip Shop

THURSDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER: SCHLOSSTOBERFEST
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.

Other happenings at the Festival Hub will include:

  • 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.

  • 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 sidelined 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

Plus, an array of street food vendors will be at the Hub over the two long weekends including:

16th - 19th Sept

What’s Your Beef; Aunti Ji’s serving; Great North Pie Co; The Spinn; Grandad’s Sausages; Hanoi75Maison Breizh; Gingers Emporium

23rd – 26th Sept

Halloumination ; Patty and Press; I Knead Pizza; Northern Soul; Spoons Desserts; Gingers Emporium

Meatless Farm - Over both long weekends plant-based meat alternative makers of the moment, Meatless Farm will be serving up samples of their excellent vegan cooking products as well as a full, eat on-site street food menu of Meatless Farm Burgers.

  • 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: The Festival will kick off with live music from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.

Friday 17th will see the 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.  Their new album “Something to Leave the House for” is set for release on Fri 24th September. The band’s debut album reached No 10 in the UK charts and no.3 in the vinyl chart. 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 - Flat Cap Brass will be bringing their own Northern brand of horny, poppy brass to both Sundays at the Festival Hub

Sunday 19th - Fine lines - Championed by 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Fine Lines play exquisite roots infused Americana with echoes of Dylan and The Band.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

  • 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 and 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.  Truly will be at the Festival serving up their refreshing, fruity cans including Wild Berry  and Black Cherry made with some of the world’s best black cherries from the Pacific Northwest

  • MFDF Artisan Food Market

Thursday 16TH - Sunday 19th Sept & Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th Sept

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 Cheesecakes

HM Pasties

Chorlton Bread Co

The Gourmet Brownie Co

DevilDog Sauces

Crozier Drinks

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 Monday 27th. And remember, you don’t have to wait until the festival to get your taste buds tingling, check out what Just Eat has to offer here.

Roomzzz Aparthotels

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.

Friday 17th & Saturday 18th Sept  MFDF Wine & Fizz Festival  Halle St Peters

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, Cork of the 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 and book here https://manchesterfoodanddrinkfestival.nutickets.com/WineFizz2021

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!”

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Manchester Food and Drink Festival
Food and Drink Festival
Manchester Food and Drink Festival Hub

The Festival Hub will return in 2021, taking place in Cathedral Gardens and promising a magnificent celebration of the region’s food and drink and all the talented people that bring it to the table.

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