Manchester Food & Drink Festival Reveals Full Programme for 2020

It will be the city’s first COVID-safe major outdoor event.

By Manchester's Finest | 8 September 2020

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The 23rd Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place this year from 24th September – 5th October and today, the full Festival programme has been announced.

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 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 Festival Hub

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

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:

Book A Table

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.

Festival Market

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 and the Eat Well MCR Market Place.


Street Food in the Feasting Quarter

There’s a whole host of street food legends heading to the Feasting Quarter over the festival, with each weekend offering up a different roster of available foods. There’s quite a few to list here so I’ve just done it separately – check out who’ll be on this year below…

The city’s BEST Street Food heading to Manchester Food & Drink Festival this year…


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 alongside Salvi’s famous, authentic deli sharing boards.

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.


Music at the Feasting Quarter

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, Lily-Jo and more.


Festival Events

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, Tampopo , Erst  and The Creameries.


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.

The first weekend will see Yard & Coop (Buttermilk-fried, and seasoned to perfection make these succulent wings unmissable.) and Ply² (pizzas the Napoli way, saucy and on sourdough. Plus great pasta dishes.) While the second weekend sees Zouk Tea Bar & Grill  (A feast from the east, tantalising your taste buds with authentic Indian and Pakistani dishes.) and 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.


Moda + Higher Ground: Manchester’s Highest Dining Venue
25th and 26th September – £100 per person
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.

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

Buy Tickets


The MFDF Experience By Adam Reid At The French
1st, 2nd,3rd October – £140 – £180 per person
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.

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)

Buy Tickets


The MFDF Awards 2020
5th October – venue TBC
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.


Festival Offers from Manchester Bars & Restaurants
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, Tampopo, Lily’s Indian, Northern Quarter Gallery, The Corn Exchange, Yard & Coop, Herbivourous, Coffee B, La Bandera


Love Urmston
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.

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.

More Info


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).

Buy Tickets


MFDF at Home
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) and Grandad’s Sausages (Hot dog kits).


For all the information you need, head on over to the Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2020 website.