Coming back for an epic event of delicious food cooked up by local chefs, Manchester Food & Drink Festival will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a big, tasty blow-out, with some special plans in store. Promising to be the ‘biggest yet’, this year’s festival will showcase some of the best local talent, bringing back the annual pop up food and drink village, a huge 25th-anniversary beer bar, a wine and gin bar, an artisan food market, tons of masterclasses, banquets and, of course, live music. Check out our guide to this year’s Manchester Food & Drink Festival below.
When is Manchester Food & Drink Festival?
The 25th Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) is to make its grand return on Thursday 22nd September and will be running events across the city until Sunday 2nd October.
Where will Manchester Food & Drink Festival be taking place?
Manchester Food & Drink Festival will take place at Cathedral Gardens, which will be the centre of the action and home to The Festival Hub – the free to enter, pop up food and drink village. A food and drink haven, festival fans can expect plenty of booze bars including a huge Manchester beer bar, an incredible host of street food, an artisan food market, and live music. Spread out over two massive weekends, the free-to-enter Festival Hub is open from Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th September and then again from Thursday 29th September – Sunday 2nd October. Outside of the Hub the feast continues with activity programmed in restaurants and bars across the city including the £25 for 25 years menu extravaganza.
What events will be taking place at The Festival Hub?
The Manchester Beer Bar x Joseph Holt at the Festival Hub
Manchester’s best and biggest bar is back, this time with the ‘Unmistakably Northern’ brewery and powerhouse Joseph Holt as the official lager partner, who will be brewing a special 25th Anniversary beer and ale especially for the festival. Since 1849, Joseph Holt has sat at the heart of communities across the North West. Now with 127 pubs across the region they are famous for brewing award winning pints and bringing people together through their authentic pubs. The Manchester Beer bar will also be serving 25 of Manchester’s best breweries, to celebrate 25 years of the festival, as well as our vibrant, unique craft beer scene. Breweries on site include Brightside Brewery, First Chop, Burton Road Brewery and Thirst Class Brewery. Thursday 22nd September – Sunday 25th September, Thursday 29th September – Sunday 2nd October, open 12noon – 11pm
MFDF Street Food Village
The Festival Hub’s epic village of street food vendors is also back, serving food from all over the world right in the heart of the city. From big juicy burgers to woodfired pizzas, and also Spanish, Cypriot, Italian and Ethiopian cuisines, MFDF are going big and treating Manchester foodies to dishes from all over the World for their 25th birthday bash this year.
Festival Fire Pit
After a scorching hot summer, MFDF is proud to present the first ever Festival Fire Pit, coming to the Hub for both long weekends to create the ultimate British barbie. Sponsored by Weber, one of the world’s leading barbecue specialists, the Festival Fire Pit will invite some of the region’s best loved chefs to cook over fire for a massive festival feast. Amongst those who will be bringing their own specialist BBQ flavours to the fire pit as part of Weber’s takeover are Caroline Martins, founder of the Sao Paolo project, Francisco Martinez from Fazenda and Robert Owen Brown. Thursday 22nd September – Sunday 25th September & Thursday 29th – Sunday 2nd October
Coffee Rave with Factory Coffee
MFDF Coffee Shop of the Year nominee, Factory Coffee, will be serving the ultimate pick-me-up with their viral ‘Coffee Rave’. Taking place on Friday 30th September, caffeine lovers should head on down to the Festival Hub from 12-3pm to enjoy a FREE coffee from one of Manchester’s ever growing coffee brands. As well as free espressos and flat whites, Factory Coffee have teamed up with the Rogue Artisan ice cream to offer festival go-ers an exclusive opportunity to try their incredible affogatos, all for free, whilst local DJ will be spinning the decks for the perfect soundtrack for your afternoon boost. Friday 30th September, 12-3pm
Which food and drink businesses will be at the MFDF Street Food Village?
Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th September
- Oh My Glaze – Bring their special brand of signature burgers to festival-goers.
- Il Forno – Manchester’s very own mobile pizza van with its woodfired oven and Italian classic recipes
- Super Bao – Light and fluffy bao buns served with love, style and lip smacking fillings
- House of Habesha – Authentic Eritrean & Ethiopian soul food, that combines health, culture & heavenly flavours in all their dishes.
- Cyprus Kouzina – The very best in regional producers of Greek Cypriot street food
- Hip Hop Chip Shop – serving up uber cool twists of the classic Northern chippy tea
- Meksikan – Handcrafted tacos pieced together with mind blowing Mexican flavours at the heart
- Mi & Pho – Award-winning Vietnamese food made with high-quality, fresh ingredients
- Heavenly Indian -Delicious, authentic, Indian street food.
- Cafe Cannoli – The original Sicilian street food trader once more brings their famous cannoli to The Hub.
- Guzzle – Vintage caravan with a retro espresso machine serving hot drinks and ice cream for all tastes.
Thursday 29th – Sunday 2nd October
- Senor Paella – Traditional, delicious Spanish paella from the people that do it the best!
- I Knead Pizza – The local heroes bring their Neapolitan, wood fired pizzas made with freshly made dough and locally sourced ingredients to
- What’s Your Beef – Serving their famous locally and ethically sourced grass fed beef burgers.
- Parmogeddon – Taking “Parmos”, a classic Northern Eastern treat, and finishing them off with loads of epic twists
- Herbivorous – 100% vegan comfort food from the best in the city.
- Bab K – Authentic Korean prepared using fresh, local ingredients
- Mama Sue’s – Epic unique dogs with a whole boatload of delicious toppings.
- Cha Cha Churros – Amazing, delicious vegan churros
- Spoon Desserts – Crepes and waffles with an array of sweet toppings
What masterclasses will be taking place?
MFDF Cookery School at the MFDF Masterclass Kitchen
Come and join a selection of local chefs and expert producers as they share their tips in the Manchester Masterclass Kitchen. Join the likes of Tampopo and Ancoats Coffee as they share some of their secrets and knowledge. Sunday 25th September and Sunday 2nd October
The Leftovers Kitchen with Recycle for Greater Manchester
This year, MFDF are teaming up with Recycle for Greater Manchester and Open Kitchen MCR to host ‘The Leftover Kitchen’ – a full-day event surrounding demonstrations on how to ditch excess food waste and cook amazing meals with leftovers from the fridge. Saturday 1st October, Festival Hub Kitchen
Octopus Cookbook Confidential
The Hub will also host the Octopus Cookbook Confidential demo kitchen on Saturday 24th September in collaboration with Octopus Books. Top chefs and industry experts will be coming together to share their tips, ideas and knowledge in cookery demos, conversations and debate discussions. Saturday 24th September, Festival Hub Kitchen
Which independents can you expect at the Artisan Market?
Split across two weekends (Thursday 22nd September – Sunday 25th September & Thursday 29th September – Sunday 2nd October) The Artisan Market will be open midday – 7pm and you can expect:
- Dghnt MCR – Serving artisan brioche doughnuts made fresh every single day
- Paradiso Authentic Italian – Freshly made, authentic Italian desserts including their famous Tiramisu…. Bellissimo!
- The Flat Baker – Combining a taste of Brazil with the traditional classics of baking, The Flat Baker produces delicious artisan breads and pastries
- DevilDog Sauces – Small batch chilli sauces and seasonings made right here in Greater MCR
- Prodjuice Juicery – Cold pressed raw juices – juices for health
- Gourmet Jay – Award winning rolls, pies and pastries
- Two Lasses – Made-from-scratch British rum and rum liqueurs crafted and conceived by two Northern lasses
- Small Farmers Coffee – Jamaican Blue Coffee dealers
- The Doughnuteers – Handcrafted delicious doughnuts
- Global Nomad – Internationally inspired artisan sauces, spices & preserves
- Ancoats Distillery -Luxury craft gins, rums, vodka and ales created and beautifully packaged down the road in Ancoats
- The Chocolate Cafe – Popular Ramsbottom dessert spot, serving hand-crafted chocolate made with the finest Colombian cocoa and very best British ingredients
- Prendi il Biscotti – Authentic, artisan Italian biscuits and sweet treats handmade in Saddleworth
- World Famous Hot Sauce – Small batch all natural, gluten free and vegan hot sauce from local legend Elliot Eastwick.
- Root2Ginger – Health-restoring, alcohol-free ginger drinks.
- Prestwich Gin – Award-winning local small batch craft gin
What events will be happening in Manchester outside The Festival Hub?
Eat Well MCR Fundraising Banquet
Nonprofit and social enterprise Eat Well MCR are back this year with another exciting fundraising feast as part of the 2022 Manchester Food and Drink Festival. The fundraising banquet, hosted by uber cool underground Chinese market hall Hello Oriental, will showcase Manchester’s best East Asian and Southeast Asian food producers. The line-up gearing up to celebrate the very best of Asian cuisine in the region includes: Hello Oriental, Neon Tiger, Rice Over Everything, New Wave Ramen, Tampopo and WowYaoChow. Tickets are £70 pp and are currently available to purchase here. All proceeds from the sale of the tickets will help provide meals to people in need across Greater Manchester. Wednesday 30th November, Hello Oriental, 7.30pm- 10.30pm
Mancunian wine lovers, whether it be red, white or both, can jump in joy, as this year’s MFDF will see the return of Wine Fest. This year’s Wine Fest is set to be extra special, as it will be the first event to take place at the iconic New Century in Manchester’s NOMA district. The likes of Its Alive, Sip, Supper, Grape to Grain, Cork of the North, Italy Abroad, UkiYO Republic and Isca Wines, will all be peddling their plonks in this incredible setting. Tickets can be purchased from the MFDF website and are £15 per person. Friday 7th – Saturday 8th October, New Century
Chorlton vegan icons Unicorn Grocery are celebrating 26 years of providing M21 and beyond with delicious, wholesome food. Expect free food from the wonderful and local Tibetan Kitchen, music by the Genre Bending Brass outfit, Twisted Tubes and general good Unicorn vibes. Saturday 24th September
Eat Well MCR Harvest Festival
This year, Eat Well MCR’s Harvest Festival will be bringing together an array of incredible hospitality people known for their commitment to seasonal eating. The festival will take place at Platt Field Market Garden to celebrate a variety of Autumnal produce alongside lovely food, drink, music and amazing vibes all round. 17th – 18th September, Platt Fields
£25 for 25 years Offer
To celebrate 25 years, Manchester’s brilliant restaurant community has put together a host of special menus to showcase what they do at a special price. This year all restaurants taking part will provide a stunning meal and drink offer for £25 pp. Venues taking part this year include the likes of District, Embankment Kitchen, Gusto, Mi&Pho, Banyan, Three Little Words, 20Stories, Harvey Nichols, James Martin Manchester, Nila’s Burmese Kitchen, Roby 1844, Tast, The Mews, Zouk and Inventery Stockport.
What are the MFDF Awards?
As the city continues its post-COVID recovery the awards showcasing Manchester’s dining and drinking scene are back and bigger than ever for Manchester Food and Drink Festival’s 25th Anniversary. As always, the awards intend to highlight as many excellent food and drink businesses and talented hospitality professionals as possible. The Awards will be presented at our annual event at the Ticket Hall at Freight Island on 26th September. The closing date for votes is midnight on the 16th September and you can vote for your favourite food heroes in the MFDF Awards via the MFDF website.
The best way to keep up to date with the full programme of events is to download the MFDF app where food fans can view and book all the events, takeovers, masterclasses and more.