Manchester Food and Drink Festival – The City’s First Covid Secure Festival Announced

The 23rd Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place this year from 24th September – 5th October and today (Wednesday 2nd September) the full Festival programme has been announced. It will be the city’s first COVID-safe major outdoor event.  This year’s event is headline sponsored by food delivery service Just Eat.

The free to enter Festival Hub will be at the heart of the MFDF action as usual, with a new layout and operational systems designed to ensure the event is COVID-safe and secure

The programme for the very first time is available via a brand new MFDF App – bringing the Festival to your fingertips like never beforeThe app is a new digital ‘on the go’ festival programme designed especially for the 2020 event and with ease of use, convenience, and safety in mind. MFDF are urging all festival fans to download the free app ahead of the Festival in order to participate in this year’s event. App users will be able to browse the full festival programme, order food to their table at the Festival Hub and vote in the MFDF awards too. The app can be downloaded in the apple and android app stores by searching ‘Mcr Food and Drink Festival’. Go to the following links to download:

The Festival Hub will be open from Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th September and then again from Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th October, whilst a programme of offers and events happening in partnership with the city’s restaurants, bars, cafes and chefs will run throughout the full 12 days. 

It’s all designed to celebrate Manchester’s wonderful, diverse and resilient hospitality industry… and here’s the Full Festival Programme… 

    The free to enter Festival Hub on Cathedral Gardens will be the foodie destination of the Autumn this year with incredible street food, markets, live music and more. 
    It will operate with a limited capacity in place to ensure that visitors can enjoy the Festival and maintain an appropriate physical distance from others. This will be carefully managed by the Festival team. 

The site will be made up of two key areas –  The Feasting Quarter and the Festival Market. 


The Feasting Quarter is the space that is all about coming together with friends safely to eat, drink and be dazzled by a huge range of street food, beers, cocktails and music.  It’s a food lover’s paradise and guests can ensure they are at the centre of it by reserving a table here:

The Feasting Quarter will be undercover this year with enough seating for guests to eat and drink at tables, and there’ll be no more queuing for your favourite food experience as the Festival will be operating table service across the site to reduce contact.  All the street food menus, beers, wines and cocktails will be available to order via the new MFDF app and dishes will be brought to the table.  

The Eat Well Mcr Street Kitchen Takeover 

Eat Well Mcr – the inspiring new charity, born out of the COVID-19 crisis, provides good food to vulnerable people through COVID and beyond. 

Founded by food and drink star Mary-Ellen McTague, Eat Well MCR will be taking over their very own street food kitchen at the Hub across both weekends all to raise money for the charity. A different Eat Well restaurant partner will be taking over the kitchen daily, serving up their own special Eat Well menu for festival goers with all profits raised from the stall  going to the charity including a £1 voluntary fee added to orders.  

Special guest restaurants taking over the Eat Well Kitchen at the Hub include….
Beehive Food

Little Window

Blackbird Pantry

Elite Bistros

ARMR store



The Creameries 

Street food Stars in the Feasting Quarter: 

Session 1: 24TH – 27th September

What’s Your Beef

Meat maestros, What’s Your Beef have been serving up locally and ethically sourced grass-fed beef burgers to the masses for 6 years… Often tagged as ‘Manchester’s best burger’ – MFDF festival-goers can make their minds up for themselves by tucking in at the Hub. Their menu includes huge, unforgettable burgers including the Con Carne-Vore, the Fiery Bull or the Don’t Have a Cow veggie burger. 

Grandad’s Sausages

Bury-based sausage connoisseurs, Grandad’s Sausages, have been bringing artisan bangers to the people for over 50 years. They’ll be serving up their gourmet British hotdogs at Manchester Food and Drink Festival including all the super snags that helped them bag the MFDF Award for Street Food Trader of the Year in 2019. 

Wallace and Sons
Fantastic, handmade Asian bao and gyoza… Wallace and Sons serve up some of the best in the city and they’ll be banging out brilliant bao buns throughout the first weekend of MFDF. 

The Spinn

Wraps, wings and delicious things.. The street food inspired, Stockport bar and restaurant owned by Oh My Glaze street food hero Scott Graham, and Emmerdale star Adam Thomas (what a pairing!) will be bringing the likes of haloumi fries and jackfruit wraps to the Hub. 

Maison BREiZH
Briezh is Breton for Brittany… the gastro-rich north west of France. And Maison BReiZH will be brining an authentic taste of this incredible region to the Festival… Think classic savoury galettes using the best Breton buckwheat & butter, and dessert crêpes with the finest French chocolate, alongside quality Lancashire & Cheshire produce… c’est magnifique!  

The award-winning and beloved Bundobust will be popping up at MFDF for the first session and bringing their incredible combination of vegetarian Indian street food and craft beer to the Hub. Expect some of their finest festival signature dishes like Vada Pav and Bundo Chaat. 

Session 2: 1st – 4th October  

Anyone who hasn’t tried the wonders of Parmogeddon yet should book a place at the Festival Hub right now… This surprising Middlesbrough delicacy is fried chicken goodness, covered in a rich, creamy béchamel, topped with a serious helping of cheese and shoved under the grill until melted and gooey. Incredible with chips and garlic sauce

Go weak at the knees for squeaky cheese… Halloumination have been serving up their halloumi fries and halloumi burgers for the past 3 years. Their indulgent fries are topped with all sorts of deliciousness including salt and pepper, hoi sin and peri peri mayonnaise. 

Patty and Press

This burger joint brings “Made in Manchester” vibes to the USA-style dirty burger scene with brilliant locally sourced produce and Mancunian innovation… it’s “Simple Done Right”.
I Knead Pizza
Stockport’s I Knead Pizza are passionate about producing fresh Neapolitan-style pizza with artisan imported meat and locally grown produce (plus vegan and veggie options). Wood fired and ready to go… it’s the Festival pizza moment you’ve been waiting for. 
Hanoi 75
Inspired by Hanoi, brought to you from Manchester. Serving up street food inspired by Vietnam’s capital expect incredible banh mi and bao buns. 
The spirit of sharing and being with people you love is at the heart of this family owned Indian restaurant in Hale… Gupshup aims to bring a slice of Indian flavours and culture the Hub via their pop up street food hut serving up Chana Masala, Butter Chicken and their festival special the ‘naanwich’. 
Spoons Desserts
Crepes, waffles and all manner of sweet treats await at Spoons Desserts. Festival newbies they’ll be serving up hot desserts and a couple of savoury options too. 

Both Weekends: 
Ginger’s Comfort Emporium 

Manchester legends Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, inventors of incredible ice cream, will be serving up their famous small batch dairy ice cream, sorbet and vegan ice cream. It’s 10 years since Ginger’s Claire Kelsey pulled up her van to one of their first events at MFDF, bringing with her flavours like ‘Raspberry & Rose meringue’, ‘Orange tarragon & watercress’, and ‘Chorlton Crack’ (salted caramel peanut butter). These creative and delicious flavours are still amongst her best sellers and they’ll all be served up at The Hub across both weekends, as well as a special Festival ice cream called “Manchester Skies”. 

Booze at the Feasting Quarter…  

The Manchester Beer Bar 
A banquet of brews await at the famous MFDF beer bar. 
Taking in beers from Greater Manchester’s breath-taking range  of incredible breweries, ale fans can expect the best celebration of regional beers yet at this year’s special 2020 celebration.  A special cider showcase bar will be part of the Manchester Beer Bar offering too. 

Salvi’s Aperitif Bar

Brand new for the Festival (and an extra special treat for all those who sorely missed the cancelled Festa Italiana this year) – authentic, Neapolitan restaurant group, Salvi’s will be hosting a traditional Italian aperitif bar. Customers can expect a special, authentic slice of Italian life at the Hub as the team serve up a menu of fabulous Italian drinks including Aperol Spritz, Limoncello Spritz, Meloncello spritz, Negronis, Espresso Martinis, fine Italian wine and Prosecco. It will all be served alongside Salvi’s famous, authentic deli sharing boards featuring their incredible Bufalo Mozzarella and artisan charcuterie. 

Franklin & Sons Gin & Tonic Garden 

Official Premium Tonic Partner Franklin and Sons will be serving up G&T’s at the Hub. Discover some creative new fusions as they team up with some of our local Manchester gins for a wide range of delicious flavoured tonic.  Never compromising on quality, as a Great Taste producer Franklin & Sons uses 100% natural ingredients, with British sugar and high levels of carbonation across the range to bring out the best in spirits and lift the most delicate botanicals.

Music at the Feasting Quarter 

Citylife Stage – Live Music 
The City Life stage will be the location for a laid back music experience to provide the perfect soundtrack to your Festival.  
Starting on Thursday 24th, the Festival will kick off with live music from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners & a DJ set from Manchester legend Clint Boon. 

Other names taking to the stage confirmed include… 

Mike Joyce playing a DJ Set 

Freya Beer 

Dave Fidler


For the full music programme see the Festival website.


Complementing the Feasting Quarter, the other half of the Festival Hub will be home to The Market Place – a fine food and drink shopping experience. 

Free to attend this bountiful food and drink market will feature some of Manchester’s best independent food and drink producers, makers and businesses. 

There will be two separate line ups across the two weekends, which will include: 

  • Chorlton Cheese Mongers 
  • Companio Bakery
  • Great North Pie Co 
  • Manchester Cheesecake Company 
  • HM Pasties 
  • Samosa Shack
  • Café Cannoli
  • The Gourmet Brownie Company 
  • DevilDog Sauces
  • The Sunrise Patisserie
  • Eat Well Mcr Market Place 

The Just Eat Kitchen            

As proud sponsors of MFDF, the Just Eat Kitchen will be bringing some of the city’s best bites to the Hub via four of Just Eat’s top Manchester restaurants who will be taking turns to host Just Eat’s very own Festival Street Food Huts 

Thursday 24 September – Sunday 27 September 

Yard & Coop

Buttermilk-fried, and seasoned to perfection make these succulent wings unmissable. 


Pizzas the Napoli way, saucy and on sourdough. Plus great pasta dishes. 

Thursday 1 October – Sunday 4 October 

Zouk Tea Bar & Grill 

A feast from the east, tantalising your taste buds with authentic Indian and Pakistani dishes. 

Vertigo Plant Based Eatery 

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but delicious food does. Amazing flavours everyone will love. 

And to give a bit back, 10% of the money spent at the Just Eat kitchen will be donated to charity FoodCycle, to help feed the vulnerable.

Meatless Farm
24TH – 27TH Sept & 1st – 4th Oct

Plant-based meat alternative makers of the moment, Meatless Farm will be serving up samples of their excellent vegan cooking products as well as a full, eat on-site street food menu of Meatless Farm Burgers. 

    In addition to all the fun of the Hub, MFDF has collaborated with some of the city’s amazing restaurants, bars and cafes to curate a programme showcasing our amazing dining community. The Festival is a perfect time to venture out and support our local hospitality industry with deals, special menus and offers all designed to showcase the best talent in the city. The programme includes… 

Moda + Higher Ground: Manchester’s Highest Dining Venue 
25th and 26th September 

For a limited time only, the penthouse apartments at the newly opened Moda Angel Gardens will play host to a very special series of supper clubs as Higher Ground take residency especially for the Festival.  At 100m high, the pop up will be Manchester’s highest dining venue with stunning views across the city and beyond. With just four dates available, the pop-up gives guests a one-off chance to dine in this stunning setting and capture one of the most iconic shots of Manchester.   

Guests will enjoy welcome drinks with a view, as the sun sets over the city, before sitting down for a four course meal served using fresh north west produce with paired wines to accompany.

Moda Angel Gardens is Manchester’s next generation neighbourhood, bringing together stunning apartments, hotel-style services and enviable amenities, including a roof top sports pitch and cinema room.

Higher Ground, led by Joseph Otway and Richard Cossins, brings together North West ingredients, Manchester brewed beer and natural wines in a chilled out setting. Joseph, ex-Head Chef of Where The Light Gets In in Stockport and ex-Relæ in Copenhagen, will be in the open plan penthouse kitchen creating a daily changing menu, using fresh local ingredients sourced from handpicked Northwest famers and producers.

Tickets for the Moda + Higher Ground Penthouse suppers are priced at £100pp. Ticket price includes a welcome drink, four courses and paired wines. 

The MFDF Experience By Adam Reid At The French 

Thursday 1st October – £140 per person
(6.30pm – 8.30pm)
Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd October  – £180 per person 

(5.30pm – 8.30pm Friday, 12noon – 1pm & 5.30pm – 9.30pm Saturday)

Join one of Manchester’s most talented and best-loved chefs as Adam Reid, star of Great British Menu, Exec Chef at The French, and huge supporter of independent, Manchester talent (and the MFDF) brings a very special food experience to the Festival programme. 
The evening will include… 

Glass of English Sparkling wine on arrival 

Selection of snacks 

Multi course menu with matched wines 

Tea/Coffee with chocolates 

Throughout the Festival 

New for this year’s Festival is a partnership with some of the best food and drink independents in Urmston who have come together under the Love Urmston banner to showcase the town’s diverse eating and drinking scene.  Look out for festival offers, special menus, a mini food and drink pop up market on the M41 site on Railway Road on Saturday 26 September and an artisan market on Saturday 3 October.  Enjoy a taste of Urmston’s award winning independent restaurants, traditional pubs, cocktail bars, coffee shops, wine bars and craft beer retailers by booking your place on one of a limited number of food tours taking place between 1-4 October.  See Eventbrite for more details and to book your ticket.

5th October – venue to be announced.
The MFDF Awards 2020 will be live streamed at a venue to be announced by hosts BBC Radio Manchester’s Becky Want and BBC Radio 6 Music/Fodder’s Matt White.

Ceviche Masterclass and Feast at Peru Perdu 
5th October 

Manchester’s colourful & vibrant Peruvian-inspired residency restaurant brings a special ceviche masterclass to the Festival, offering the chance to gain a unique insight into the mechanics & flavourings of Peru’s most famous dish – Ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus). Start with a House Pisco Sours at the bar before moving on to the Ceviche station where the chef will talk guests through the history of the dish, preparation, flavouring and an authentic ceviche recipe that will be sure to impress your friends. After the masterclass, guests will then be seated for a full feasting menu including all the best of the Peruvian dishes + 1/2 bottle of wine per person!

Fantastic Festival Menus and special offers have been created for MFDF by a host of the best restaurants, bars, cafes and even galleries around! Including…

20 Stories


Lily’s Indian

Northern Quarter Gallery

The Corn Exchange

Yard & Coop


Coffee B

La Bandera 

Just Eat

Festival headline sponsors, Just Eat, will be offering a 20% off voucher running throughout the duration of the festival, starting from Thursday 24th September – October 4th*. 
And remember, you don’t have to wait until the festival to get your taste buds tingling, check out what Just Eat has to offer here.

Roomzzz Aparthotels

Plus there’s a special Festival overnight offer at ROOMZZZ for those who want to make a night (or even weekend!) of it as they offer 20% off stays during Manchester Food & Drink Festival. Anyone looking for the ultimate home from home to explore Manchester’s top-notch food and drink scene should head to Roomzzz Aparthotels for stylish and spacious suites and apartments, slap-bang in the centre of the city – and a stone’s throw from the MFDF Hub in Cathedral Gardens.


MFDF have teamed up with some of the best chefs around to create DIY Delivery Kits to enjoy at home to ensure Festival fans can get involved in the Festival whether they are ready to get out and about yet or not. 

Order your kits from the likes of:

Taste of Honey, Didsbury – ‘Stay Safe R’Kid MCR Picnic Box

Yao Yao Noodles – Ramen Kit 

Blue Caribou Canteen – Poutine Meal Kit 

Grandad’s Sausages – Hot dog kits 

Festival Sponsors:

Just Eat 

Moda Living 

Manchester Evening News 

Meatless Farm 

Franklin & Sons 

Roomzzz Aparthotels


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