So we may as well eat, drink and be merry. In the mood for a festive feast ahead of the big day? From your classic Christmas dinner offerings of turkey, pigs in blankets and all the trimmings served in wraps and on platters to alternative but equally tasty options you’ll want to loosen your belt for, Manchester has some great spots that won’t leave you hungry. Check out our guide to the best places to enjoy a Christmas menu or two and festive grub right here in Manchester.
1. Embankment Kitchen
Embankment Kitchen is getting well into the festive spirit this season, bringing a fantastic Christmas menu for guests to enjoy in Manchester designed by head chef, Josh Singleton. Boasting an array of festive dishes on the menu, guests will be able to tuck into the turkey and pancetta pie or roasted beetroot, mushroom and chestnut wellington for veggies with all the trimmings, before finishing off with a Christmas pudding smothered with a brandy sauce or British classic of sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce. What better way to spend the festive season? Embankment Kitchen, 16 Chapel St, M3 7NH.
2. Porky Pig
Porky Pig has returned to the annual Christmas markets, bringing back their beloved Yorkshire pudding wraps for everyone to enjoy, including a vegetarian option so the veggies can join in on the fun. Boasting a roast dinner inside a massive Yorkie pud, guests can chow down on a meat of their choice with all the trimmings, alongside a generous drizzle of gravy to finish it off. A Manchester institution. Porky Pig can be found at the Manchester Christmas Markets this winter.
3. Northern Soul
Northern Soul’s delicious Crimbo Dinner grilled cheese is back for the winter, featuring turkey, cranberry, stuffing cheese and a lashing of gravy. While Northern Soul is usually an annual staple at the Manchester Christmas Markets, this year, fans of the iconic grilled cheese toastie will find them at their Tib Street venue. Northern Soul, Unit G20, 21, 44 Tib St, M4 1LA.
4. Freight Island
Transforming into an epic ‘Winter Island‘ for the festive period, Freight Island is currently packed with festive grub and delicious Christmassy drinks, with hog roast, hearty pies, epic hot chocolates, brats and delicious Christmas-themed desserts to try out, too. It truly is a playground for grown-ups this Christmas, complete with an ‘ice rink in the sky’, a Christmas tree forest, and tons of live entertainment to enjoy. Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
Guests can enjoy a drink on the Winter Terrace before trying out the tempting MOTLEY Manchester food menu, choosing from ‘Selection Box’ sharing menus or a ‘Christmas Cracker’ set menu. MOTLEY’s festive set menu features your classic turkey ballotine with all the trimmings as well as some adventurous plates like ox cheek suet pudding and pistachio and rosemary pork tenderloin, before indulging in Christmas desserts like Eccles Cake, a Salford delicacy, or Christmas Pudding Bon Bons. MOTLEY at YOTEL, 2 John Dalton Street, M3 2NW.
Throughout December, the neighbourhood restaurant in West Didsbury, FOLK, will be serving a Christmas sharing menu for a minimum of 12 people. There’s something for everyone as the Christmas menu boasts honey mustard glazed pigs in blankets, pork, sage and apple sausage rolls, spinach and ricotta dip with flatbread, courgette and feta fritters and wild mushroom and caramelised onion tartlette. Something a bit lighter to share, with a hint of Christmas – all for just £19pp! You can also get your hands on a whole hot honey Camembert with sourdough toast, or the Christmas sarnie with roast turkey, sage and caramelised onion mayo, cranberry, shredded lemon sprouts, pig in blanket and dipping gravy separately, in case you fancy it (and we always do). FOLK, 169-171 Burton Road, West Didsbury, M20 2LN.
8. The Refuge
Serving up a festive feast from Monday-Saturday throughout December, The Refuge in Manchester is the perfect place for festive feasting. Choose from turkey ballotine wrapped in bacon, sage and onion stuffing, honey and mustard-glazed pigs in blankets, Brussels sprouts, pancetta, lardo and 48-hour beef gravy; or the delicious veggie option of celeriac, winter squash, cranberry and Brussels sprout wellington (Ve), brie bites, Cumberland sauce (V), Brussels sprouts, nutmeg butter (V) and vegan gravy. Sides consist of sea salt and thyme roast potatoes (Ve), very Manc Vimto red cabbage (Ve), muscovado and star anise-glazed carrots (V) and crushed parsnips (V)… no one is leaving Refuge hungry this Christmas!
The Refuge is also hosting its winter terrace, Fondue, where guests can expect classics including traditional French onion soup (slow cooked over 12 hours); the ultimate Gruyère and Champagne fondue (meant for sharing and complemented by baked pretzels, heritage radishes and purple sprouting broccoli); and a Manchester rarebit, featuring Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese, Bury black pudding, dukkah and Pollen bakery sourdough. There are also plant-based options here too! The Refuge, Oxford St, M60 7HA.
9. Ducie Street Warehouse
Launching an absolute feast for the festive season, stylish Manchester venue Ducie Street Warehouse is serving up the menu of Christmas dreams – choose from the likes of Goats cheese & onion tartlets, pistachio crumb; Lamb hotpot croquette with sticky lamb jus; Turkey ballotine with apricot, sage & redcurrant in port jus; and Tendersteam broccoli in romesco or Maple roasted chanteney carrots. Finishing off sweet, the desserts menu includes potted ‘Manchester tart’ trifle, whipped custard, banana & raspberry tuile; Christmas choux, Italian meringue & brandy chantilly; chocolate marquis, cinnamon cream & macerated blueberry; apple crumble pavlova & cinnamon spiced crème anglaise. Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, M1 2TP.
10. The Botanist
The Botanist‘s festive menu is particularly show-stopping, with the return of the festive hanging kebab stealing the limelight. Boasting a hanging turkey kebab with a cranberry and orange glaze plus all the trimmings, of course, The Botanist aims to wow this season – with plenty of festive dishes on the menu to enjoy. From pigs in blankets starters to huge festive sharing boards packed with party favourites, guests won’t be disappointed by the diversity on offer this year.
The festive drinks packages are also available to enjoy on arrival, including wine packages, beer buckets and even the option to build your own. There are plenty of choices to make your Christmas celebration merry and make sure everyone enjoys their time at The Botanist. The Botanist, 78 Deansgate, M3 2FW.
11. The Ivy
The Ivy in Manchester has introduced quite the spread for the festive season with its three, yes THREE, Christmas set menus. The breakfast set menu wakes you up with smoothies, muesli and mini festive favourites such as pigs in blankets and Eggs Royale with The Ivy 1917 Cure Smoked Salmon. The daytime and evening set menus are nothing less than decadent, including crispy duck salad, cheese souffle, goose and turkey shepherd’s pie, bakes butternut, sirloin steak, and sweets to finish such as the chocolate bombe and a classic Christmas pudding. Elevate your festivities within the beautiful surrounds of this Spinningfields gem. The Ivy, The Pavilion, Byrom St, M3 3HG.
12. The Black Friar
As one of Manchester and Salford’s top gastro pubs, guests can also expect a festive feast at The Black Friar. The Winter Tavern within the pub’s garden will offer a Christmas menu including seasonal offerings like Cheshire Turkey Ballotine with pancetta stuffing, and options of festive sides such as truffle fries and pork chipolatas. Save room for the delightful festive desserts, such as a tiramisu yule log and a mouthwatering apple crumble. Customers can also indulge in The Black Friar’s renowned signature cocktails including the Salford Dock (Salford rum, vanilla liqueur, caramel syrup and double espresso) and the For My Sins (bourbon, honey, cinnamon and lemon). The Black Friar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford, M3 7DB.
13. THE BUTCHER Manchester
Home to some of the city’s best bloody burgers and proper boozy shakes, THE BUTCHER is the perfect place for a casual bite to eat with real restaurant quality. This Christmas, THE BUTCHER has launched an all-new boozy Baileys Shake, blitzing classic vanilla ice cream, Baileys Irish Cream, cream and chocolate sauce, plus a Christmas Turkey Burger with all the trimmings. Packing Christmas dinner into something to get your hands around, THE BUTCHER’s Turkey Christmas Burger is a must-try this Christmas season, featuring 140g of succulent Turkey battered with panko breadcrumbs, topped with lettuce, tomato, sweet caramelised onions plus a herby sage and onion stuffing and sweet cranberry sauce – YUM. THE BUTCHER, Urban Playground, Manchester Arndale, Manchester M4 3AD.
14. The Blues Kitchen
Get into the festive spirit at The Blues Kitchen this Christmas by indulging in their brand-new burger, the Tur-duck-en Burger, named after the famous olde worlde three-bird roast, ‘Tur-duck-en’. The magnificent creation features a duck leg cured with orange, cinnamon, pink peppercorns and salt, which is confit and shredded.
The duck leg is then encased in chicken and turkey mince, before it’s wrapped in chicken skin and fried to perfection to give a crispy finish. The festive burger is then stacked with all the trimmings including brie, cranberry sauce, crispy bacon, spinach and shallot mayo. The end result, one of the finest Christmas burgers this side of Lapland. The Blues Kitchen, 13 Quay St, Manchester M3 3HN.
15. North Taproom & Little Bao Boy
North Bar has been pouring some of the best beers and Little Bao Boy serving Asian food for a year now, and has quickly become a fan favourite bar in the city. The new Christmas items on the Little Bao Boy menu are enough to get the biggest Christmas enthusiasts excited with highlights including chicken and stuffing bao buns topped with a cranberry mayo, and panko brussels sprouts served with a spicy cranberry dip. North Taproom, 7 Nobel Way, Manchester M1 7FU.
16. Stockport County Football Club (Edgeley Park)
There’s a winter warmer coming back to Stockport County, aiming to fill the stands of Edgeley Park with festive cheer by creating the nation’s first Christmas dinner in a cup. Dripping in gravy, this tasty match day must-have from one of Greater Manchester’s football clubs has been created to deliver some festive magic on and off the pitch. Packed to the brim with all the festive trimmings you’d expect to see on Christmas day including roast turkey, pigs in blankets, mash potato, gravy, stuffing, and a Brussels sprout, the fan favourite is back to celebrate the 1st birthday of the County Courtyard at Edgeley Park. Edgeley Park, 16 Hardcastle Rd, Edgeley, Stockport SK3 9DD.