The Programme For Manchester Food And Drink Festival Has Been Revealed (And There’s Going To Be A Beer Bus)

By Laura O'Neill

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the food and drink festival is nearly here! 

Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place in the Albert Square

Organisers have made the first programme announcements for what they promise will be 12 glorious days of celebrating the city’s magnificent and ever-evolving food culture.

Described as the nation’s biggest food party, visitors to Manchester’s Albert Square this year can expect a newly designed site and live experiences alongside the biggest programme of events yet, all taking place under Manchester skies and in the shadow of the Town Hall.

The star of the show promises to be the Dining Dome, described as a great big spherical foodie palace, which will host a number of specially curated banquets, supper clubs and food parties. Meanwhile, dozens of street food heroes will dish up local cuisine alongside some of the most exciting restaurant brands in the city.

An impression of The Hub by local artist Simone Ridyard

Phil Jones, the Founding Director of the festival said:

“We called it ‘The Hub’ when we first started out on Albert Square, as a casual comment on it being the centre of everything. As the Festival and Manchester has evolved, our beloved “Hub” has really lived up to its name. It has come to embody the heart and soul of MFDF and is its own little foodie neighbourhood, popping up once a year as a place that food lovers can hang out for 11 wonderful gastronomic days. It is a melting pot of everything that is fantastic about Manchester and its food scene. This year we’re giving The Hub a makeover and bringing even more of our greatest events there, whilst still taking in some of the city’s most spectacular venues too.”

But it’s not all about the food, there will also be a newly designed Festival Bar space featuring all of Manchester’s breweries, a host of new drinking activities including beer buses to gin containers all set to a soundtrack provided from a live music stage.

Inside The Hub

Organisers said:

We’re delighted to make the first programme announcements for what is set to be a glorious 12 days of celebrating the city’s magnificent and ever-evolving food culture this Autumn. We’re promising a new chapter for the Festival, with a jam-packed programme of events that food fans will love.
It is more than ever about enjoying the very best of our city’s extraordinary food and drink talent, about celebrating our iconic city and staging events designed around what the foodies of Manchester really want to experience. This year the Festival will be bringing everything, and everyone, together at the marvelous and revamped Festival Hub on Albert Square.”

The Festival Hub will run from September 27 until October 7 and will be open daily from 12pm-11pm.

The full line-up

Cottonopolis and MFDF present… ‘Battle Royale’

September 27 and 28.


Cottonopolis’ Secret Supper Club experiences are fast becoming known nationwide for taking immersive dining experiences to the next level. This very special MFDF Secret Supper Club is to be the brand’s most ambitious yet as the Dining Dome will be transformed by Cottonpolis and their team of visual architects into a specially curated dining production of Battle Royale… perhaps with a little less dystopian carnage!

Tickets on sale soon.

Jasmine Hemsley & Trove Supper Club 

September 29


Well-being goddess, lifestyle guru, insta-influencer extraordinaire, founder of Hemsley + Hemsley and author of East by West, Jasmine Hemsley is coming to Manchester Food and Drink Festival for a special collaboration with MFDF and the award-winning artisans of Trove.

A match made in heaven, Trove’s focus on making food from scratch by hand and with a central focus on organic ingredients and locally sourced produce will meet Jasmine’s home-cooked and mindful approach to create an Ayurvedic menu inspired by Jasmine’s latest book East by West. It will all be paired with Trove’s natural wine collection.

Tickets on sale soon.

Family Food Fest

September 30


Join MFDF, Clint Boon and friends as the Dining Dome and the whole Festival Hub goes extra family friendly for a Sunday Fun-Day! The Dining Dome will be given over to foodie fun for mini masterchefs – from pizza making to arts, crafts and entertainment – whilst the whole site will be even more family centred than ever. A chilled-out family friendly disco courtesy of Manchester legend Clint Boon will take over the bar marquee and other child-friendly hands-on activity will be scattered across the whole site meaning that parents can enjoy all the fun of the Fest while the kids are entertained too. This is the perfect weekend for parents who love festivals and food!

The Rabbit in the Moon @ The Dome – Pop Up Supper Club
October 1


Head Chef John Granaghan at Manchester’s Rabbit in the Moon is bringing his stunning, space age plates of food to the futuristic MFDF Dome for one very special night only, with an exclusive menu curated especially for this unique MFDF experience.

Tickets on sale soon.

Caviar & Champagne Tasting with Ed Baines and Randall & Aubin 

October 2


Manchester’s fabulous Randall and Aubin team up with The Gourmet Caviar House to present a rare gastro opportunity. Guests will be guided through Randall and Aubin’s house Champagnes perfectly matched with some of the most exquisite caviars around, all by the experienced hand of Ed Baines himself and ambassadors from the Gourmet Caviar House.

Tickets available from the festival website.

‘A Trip to Brazil’ A Gastro Guide with Francisco Martinez & Fazenda

October 3


Fazenda’s Executive Chef, Francisco Martinez – former chef at the five-time winner of Best Restaurant in the World “El Bulli” – has designed a one-off menu exclusively for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival. Guests can expect an avant-garde dining experience that showcases Brazilian food at its best – an eight-course menu paired with four wines from Brazilian producer, Miolo. Guests can expect an evening of surprises, with dishes rich in colour, flavour and emotion – a fully immersive and sensory dining experience is promised!

Price £50 per person with profits will be donated to Action Against Hunger.

Tickets available from the festival website.

Hatch Pop Up Supper Club

October 4


Hatch, the new pop up food, drink and retail destination on Oxford Road and a selection of its fantastic street food traders will be taking over the Dining Dome for the evening staging a special Hatch Supper Club. Each course will be provided by one of their top notch, home-grown and independent street food heroes making for a fabulous and eclectic feast. The menu will be paired with beers from Öl – Hatch’s on site nano brewery and topped off with coffees and desserts from Takk, the artisan coffee house also situated at Hatch.

Tickets on sale soon.

Spanish Feast by Lunya, Baraxturi and Evuna

October 5


The city’s spectacular Spanish food scene just keeps getting better and better… This special MFDF banquet will be an extraordinary food fiesta as three of Manchester’s most magnificent get together for a collaborative feast taking in the most delicious of Spanish cuisine – from Catalunya to Basque country and other regions across Spain. Expect authentic, artisan ingredients and stunning wines to come together for a glorious evening of Spanish food at its finest.

Tickets on sale soon.

Also at The Hub

Double Dutch G&T bar 

Created by Dutch twin sisters Joyce and Raissa de Haas, Double Dutch’s range of innovative products are developed using flavour pairing techniques to create uniquely-balanced drinks. They use only natural ingredients blended with the highest quality water from the North of England to create crisp and fresh mixers for refined palates. The award-winning new kid-on-the-block is thrilled to be bringing their colourful container bar to Manchester Food & Drink Festival. Swing by to grab a gin of your choice with gorgeous Double Dutch mixers including the well-balanced Pomegranate & Basil and a fresh summer-infused Cucumber & Watermelon. Plus, the bar will also be serving the more classic variations as well as some hearty ‘Dark and Stormys’ for the rum fans.

The Double Dutch G&T Bar will be open from 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the Festival.

Manchester Brew Fest

Manchester’s beer boom continues and this year the Festival will serve up the city’s greatest brews as well as a plethora from around the region. Craft beers from the trendiest and most innovative of brewers like Blackjack and Cloudwater abound alongside stalwart greatest hits from the big northwest brewing families including Robinson’s, JW Lees and Hydes’.


The Manchester Brew Fest Bar will be open from 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the Festival.

MFDF Cider Fest

The Festival’s own little cider haven, the MFDF Cider Bar will be pitching up again to bring refreshing ciders to the proceedings. From Weston’s to Addlestone’s and Sheppy’s to Bad Apple this a real mini fest-within-a-fest for cider enthusiasts. There’ll also be a range of delicious flavoured ciders including lemon and lime, mango and apple and pear.

The MFDF Cider Bar will be open from 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the Festival.

The Brooklyn Brewery Bus

Beep beep! Brooklyn Brewery will be bringing a brand new American yellow school bus to the Hub serving up a range of brews from their Perennials and Seasonal ranges. Favourites like Brooklyn East IPA, Brooklyn Lager and Bel Air Soul will be on tap alongside their full range of seasonal beers, including Brooklyn Brown, Sorachi Ace, Scorcher IPA and Post Road Pumpkin Ale – the perfect seasonal accompaniment to MFDF’s Autumn celebration.

The Brooklyn Brewery Bus will be open from 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the Festival.

Street Food

This year’s Festival is ALL about the street food too! MFDF promise a completely revitalized line up of the best street food that Manchester, and the UK has to offer, mixed in with some of the city’s best restaurant brands, all serving your lunch and dinner for 11 fabulous days. Confirmed brands so far include Bundobust who will be bringing their brilliant trailer to the Fest, and Baraxturi who will be firing up a basque roast and charcoal grill. Other confirmed names so far include Shoryu Ramen, Proove with their new Italian street food concept and Tampopo.  

Live Music

The City Life Music Stage will once again be hosting a line-up of musicians and DJs worthy of a food festival based in one of the world’s most musical cities! Confirmed artists so far include Clint Boon, The Hayes Sisters and Whoever and the Somethings.

Across Manchester

The Big Indie Wine Fest

Manchester Hall

October 5 – 7

After a fabulous debut in Manchester Hall’s grand, Grade II listed surrounds last year, Festival favourite, the Big Indie Wine Fest will be returning to the venue for an extra special, bigger-than-ever, Big Indie Wine Fest with an extra session added for a three-day extravaganza! As ever Manchester’s finest independent wine merchants along with some from further afield will create a heavenly wine experience suitable for connoisseur wine fans and novices alike. Expect a stunning breadth of wines from around the globe from merchants like Commanderie Bordeaux, Cordoniu and Veeno.

Friday 5th: 6pm – 9m
Saturday 6th: 2pm – 5pm
Saturday 6th: 6pm – 9pm
Sunday 7th: 2pm – 5pm

Tickets available from the festival website.

MFDF & Albert’s Schloss Present:  The Jay Rayner Quartet
Albert’s Schloss

September 28 from 6pm.


The big bad wolf of the dining world, and the country’s most famous restaurant critic, Jay Rayner rather liked Albert’s Schloss when he visited earlier this year for his Observer restaurant column. So much so that he has agreed to bring his Jazz Quartet to the venue for a night of music, storytelling, food and drink. As well as being an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster, Jay is now a successful recording artist and performer entertaining audiences up and down the land (including at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s club) with his band. Made up of some of Britain’s best musicians, including Jay’s wife who is an accomplished jazz singer, Jay’s quartet will be performing a repertoire from the great American songbook with special attention paid to numbers about food and drink. All of this will be brought to audiences in the friendly bohemian beer palace that is Albert’s Schloss. A special Jay Rayner menu will be served throughout!

This event is free to attend but by booking only – speedy booking is advisable!  

Book a table at Albert Schloss on September 28 from 6pm.

Festival Dinner

20 Stories

October 1


The most glamorous of Manchester’s new restaurant openings provides an opportunity to sample a very special three-course menu and wine flight created especially for MFDF at an exclusive price – spectacular views included!

To book email Rebeccaw@danddlondon.com

Manchester Shares – Small Plates Safari 

Septmeber 30 – October 4

Foodies of Manchester are challenged to try out as many Manchester restaurants as they can during the Festival as dozens of the finest restaurants in the city offer up a signature small plate along with a beer, wine or spirit for just £5! Anyone visiting all the restaurants on the safari will be in with a chance of winning an overnight stay at one of Manchester’s finest hotels! Participating restaurants include Tampopo, Lunya, Ashas’s, Fazenda and Tast!

Bookatable Festival Feast 

September 27 – October

The Bookatable Festival Feast is returning for the 3rd year! A series of limited edition, bespoke dining menus, created by Manchester’s restaurants especially for the Manchester Food and Drink festival in association with Bookatable will be on offer throughout the whole 12 days of MFDF.

To book visit the Bookatable website

Action Against Hunger’s Moveable Feast

October 4


Festival partner charity, Action Against Hunger and MFDF bring you the opportunity to access the exclusive private spaces of a range of amazing restaurants and the cuisine of their renowned chefs, all on one special evening of fine food in the name of a great cause.

Diners will be taken on the ultimate food adventure, enjoying a course at each restaurant of a specially designed MFDF menu. This is an exclusive opportunity to experience the city’s most coveted dining rooms – with only 15 places at each location food fans are advised to snap up these tickets fast!

All money raised will go directly to support Action Against Hunger’s work ending child hunger in over 45 countries around the world.
Tickets on sale soon.

Festival Banquet



An exclusive dinner will be hosted in Hawkmoor’s glorious private dining room. This is a feast to end all feasts created by the multi award-winning team at MFDF former Restaurant of the Year, Hawksmoor. Last year tickets to this special, intimate dinner sold out fast and so speedy booking is recommended.

Tickets on sale soon.

MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards

Gorton Monastery

8th October


The sparkling culmination of MFDF, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner and Awards will be taking place for the very first time in the stunning and gothic surrounds of Gorton Monastery. The most coveted and highest profile food awards in the North of England, the gongs will, as usual, be distributed to a room packed with the region’s food and drink ‘A list’. The Awards Shortlist will be announced on 27th June.

Location: Albert Sqaure, M2 4JW. Nearest tram stop:St Peter’s Square. See it on Google Maps.

When: September 27 – October 7
Price: Free
More information: Visit the festival website