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 Christmas dinner and festive grub right here in Manchester.
1. Embankment Kitchen
Embankment Kitchen is getting well into the festive spirit this season, bringing a fantastic festive menu for guests to enjoy designed by head chef, Josh Singleton. Boasting an array of festive dishes on the menu, guests will be able to tuck into the a roast turkey ballotine or salted beetroot and orange 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. 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, as well as Escape to Freight Island’s brand new ‘Winter Island’. Northern Soul, Unit G20, 21, 44 Tib St, M4 1LA | Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
4. Escape to Freight Island
Transforming into an epic ‘Winter Island‘ for the festive period, Escape to Freight Island is currently packed with festive grub and delicious Christmassy drinks, with hog roast, Northern Soul’s Crimbo Dinner grilled cheese, 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. Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
Guests can enjoy a drink on the Winter Terrace before trying out MOTLEY’s tempting 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 menu daily, from 2pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and from 1pm on Sundays. The Christmas menu includes a choice of Spiced Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup, Jumbo Prawn Cocktail, or Ham Hock Terrine to start with. Followed by the choice of Roast Turkey, Beetroot, cranberry and pistachio Wellington, or Sea Bass. And finished with either Chocolate Brownie, Apple Strudel or Cheese. A sharing menu is also available as part of the Christmas offering, perfect for groups celebrating the festive season and includes the likes of Korean Chicken, Hummus and Flatbread, Buffalo Tater Tots with Blue Cheese Dip, Pistachio, cranberry, sage and orange Sausage Roll with Sweet Mustard and more. 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 to go for a special Christmas dinner. Offering turkey ballotine, sage and onion stuffing, apricot or a vegan Christmas Wellington, with sides such as garlic and thyme roasted potatoes, pigs in blankets, glazed carrots and Vimto-braised red cabbage, each Christmas dinner is served sharing style – and judging by their Sunday roast platters, we can guarantee no one will be leaving hungry this December. The Refuge, Oxford St, M60 7HA.
9. Ducie Street Warehouse
Launching an absolute feast for the festive season, Ducie Street Warehouse is serving up the menu of Christmas dreams – with turkey saltimbocca Romana & confit vine tomatoes; miso & honey glazed cod with Asian greens and soy dressing; roasted sweet potato wellington with red pepper fondue and kale; and flat iron steak with sautéed tenderstem broccoli and bone marrow gravy. Finishing off sweet, the desserts menu include tiramisu; mulled poached pear, granola and vanilla ice cream; medjool date sticky toffee pudding; and clementine tart and vegan meringue. Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, M1 2TP.
10. The Botanist
The Botanist’s festive menu is particularly show-stopping, with the introduction 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 Botanist, 78 Deansgate, M3 2FW.
11. The Ivy
The Ivy in Manchester has introduced quite the spread for the festive season with its set menu featuring goose and turkey shepherd’s pie with all the classic Christmas dinner trimmings, sirloin steak and roast butternut squash with cranberries, to name a few of their mains. Guests can also expect mince pies, cocktails with Chivas XV Gold Whisky, classic Christmas pud and Santa’s On His Way dessert featuring a red velvet sponge, cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate. 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 featuring Cheshire turkey ballotine and confit beetroot Wellington alongside an Autumn/Winter á la carte menu. All Christmas bookings include crackers and freshly baked mince pies, with evening bookings also including a glass of prosecco for each guest. The Black Friar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford, M3 7DB.