Manchester Food and Drink festival has a bumper line-up, for what would have been their 25th year (thanks a lot Covid).

Stretching over two jam-packed weekends, MFDF will run from Thursday 16 – Sunday 27 September, with a whole trainload of dedicated food and drink specialists (or hospitali-tarians, as we like to call them) ready to show you what the Manchester hospitality sector has to offer.

With a full fortnight of festivities, there’s rather a lot going on – so we’ve pinpointed the most exciting events coming up for MFDF later this month…

MFDF Artisan Food Market | Thu 16 - Sun 19 Sep & Thu 23 - Sun 26 Sep

At the top of our list is the Artisan Food Market, which will take place over two weekends with two individual line-ups. Completely free to enter, the market will showcase some of Greater Manchester’s finest food and drink, for you to try on the spot or take home.

Producers, businesses and bakers alike will be setting up shop in Cathedral Gardens, with a handpicked selection of their favourite products. Vendors include KAMPUS sourdough residents Bread Flower, Chorlton Cheesemongers, chocolate connoisseurs Cocoa and Bloom, DevilDog Sauces, HM Pasties, dessert experts Paradiso Authentic Italian, and many, many more.

Check out of the MFDF website for the full list of vendors for each week.


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The Lottery Winners | Fri 17 Sep

Kicking off the tunes for the first weekend is feel-good indie pop band The Lottery Winners. Originally from Leigh in Wigan, the band have already found themselves on tour with some of the biggest names in the biz – including The Kaiser Chiefs, Blossoms and Tom Jones.

Ahead of an exciting Manchester Live gig at the Ritz in late September, the Lottery Winners will be performing a stripped-back preview of their upcoming album ‘Something to Leave the House for’ (wonder where the inspiration for that one came from?). Their debut album reached number ten in the UK charts, so we’re rather looking forward to hearing the new tracks.

Expect pastel colours, bass lines to make you boogie, and the echo of a wonderfully thick Northern accent trailing away with the lyrics.

The Bull and Bear takes over MFDF hub | Mon 20 Sep

Michelin-star chef Tom Kerridge brings his brilliant Bull and Bear restaurant to the MFDF Festival Hub in Cathedral Gardens, serving up an extra special take on English street food. Sourcing inspiration from typical British pub grub, the Bull and Bear plans to present a kind of supper club, with a specially curated three course menu.

Plates include potted Loch Duart salmon with apple jelly and a cucumber chutney, a braised beef and blue cheese pie served with English mustard mash and gravy made from Salfordian brewery Seven Brothers’ ale, and banana custard with pistachios, dates and honeycomb to finish. If you’re eating meat-free, the Bull and Bear will also have a vegetarian option available.

Partnered with an equally-impressive live music soundtrack, and an excellent selection of local indie beers from the MFDF Manchester beer bar – the Bull and Bear takeover is set to deliver a cushty pub atmosphere with Michelin-star quality dishes. Tickets cost £55 per person and can be booked via the link below.


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Manchester’s Giant Chippy Tea | Wed 22 Sep

Potentially the best thing to come from Greater Manchester since Vimto – MFDF will be hosting a mammoth, chippy tea inspired takeover with local food traders and chip shop heroes lining up to sell you their deep-fried scran.

Traditional chippy Anchors from Didsbury will be serving up all the classic faves, while critically acclaimed seafood restaurant Street Urchin offer fish and chips with an interesting seafood twist. Hip Hop Chip Shop will of course be pulling up in their iconic travelling trailer, and JJ’s Vish and Chips – Manchester’s very first plant-based chip shop – are dishing up fish-free chippy teas for the animal lovers who still need their beer-batter fix.

For those not fancying fish, Stockport legends Lord of the Pies will be packing the pastry, including a pork shoulder and bury black pudding shortcrust pie, and the perfect meat and potato pie. Dessert comes in the form of alcohol-infused ice cream from a bright pink tuk tuk called Jolene. Really, the ice cream is made from A Few Scoops, with flavours including Pina Colada, a rum-based, Old Fashion-inspired dish, and a tasty mix of peach and prosecco. Need we say more?

The event is completely free to enter, but you can book a table here to make sure you’ve got a seat.

Rotating street food kitchen from Eat Well MCR | Fri 24 - Sun 26

Social enterprise Eat Well MCR will also be setting up shop in the MFDF festival hub, bringing along a rotating roster of talented chefs and hospitality professionals. Born out of the Covid-19 crisis, Eat Well Mcr was founded by Mary-Ellen McTague, Kathleen O’Connor and Gemma Saunders to provide nutritional meals to those living in poverty. Now, with an impressive collective partnership with dedicated local restaurants and vendors – including Tampopo, Refuge and the Koffee Pot – Eat Well Mcr take on their next project: a street food kitchen ran by a different restaurant partner each day.

Although the menu has not yet been disclosed, Eat Well Mcr will be cooking up an extra special selection of plates purely for MFDF guests. On top of that, every single penny made will go straight back into the charity’s money pot, meaning you are directly funding meals for those in need. Lush.


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Honourable mentions…

Lead sponsor Just Eat will also be getting involved, highlighting their favourite local street food vendors from the city. On the list: towering burgers from What’s Your Beef, melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheese from Northern Soul, sexy vegan bites from plant-based brand Meatless Farm, big boy bangers from Grandad’s Sausages, and dessert served by Ginger’s Emporium.

What’s more, MFDF’s insanely popular Wine and Fizz fest is also returning this year, which you can read all about here.

Thu 16 Sep - Mon 27 Sep, Cathedral Gardens,
Corporation Street, Manchester M4 3BG
Sophie Cunningham
Published on:
Tue 14 Sep 2021