MFDF reveals programme for Manchester’s first COVID-safe major outdoor event

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

The 23rd Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place this year from 24th September – 5th October, and will be the city’s first COVID-safe major outdoor event.

The free to enter Festival Hub will be at the heart of the MFDF action with street food, markets and live music, with a new layout and operational systems designed to ensure the event is COVID-safe and secure.

And the programme for the very first time is available via a brand new MFDF app, which you can also use to order food and vote in the MFDF awards too.

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.

Street food stars from 24th – 27th September include What’s Your Beef, Grandad’s Sausages, Wallace and Sons and Bundobust, with Parmogeddon, I Knead Pizza, Hanoi 75 and more taking over from 1st – 4th October.

Eat Well Mcr, the inspiring new charity founded by Mary-Ellen McTague born out of the COVID-19 crisis, 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, 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 Elite Bistros, Tampopo, Erst and The Creameries.

There’ll also be a Manchester Beer Bar, taking in beers from Greater Manchester’s incredible breweries, with a special cider showcase bar too.

Salvi’s will have an aperitif bar serving up Aperol Spritz, Limoncello Spritz, Meloncello spritz, Negronis, Espresso Martinis, fine Italian wine and Prosecco, and there’ll also be a Franklin & Sons Gin & Tonic Garden.

A Just Eat Kitchen will include food from Ply, Vertigo, Zouk and Yard & Coop. And a food and drink market will include treats for sale from Great North Pie Co, Manchester Cheesecake Company, HM Pasties, The Gourmet Brownie Company and more.

Beyond the Hub, MFDF has collaborated with some of the city’s restaurants, bars and cafes to curate a programme showcasing our amazing dining community. It’s a chance 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 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.

Photo: Christian James

And Adam Reid, star of Great British Menu and exec chef at The French, has created a special menu for the festival with matched wines.

Other events include a ceviche masterclass with Peru Perdu, offering the chance to gain a unique insight into the mechanics and flavourings of Peru’s most famous dish.

Out of the city centre, 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 and an artisan market. You can 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. 

And if you’re not ready to venture out, you can also celebrate at home, as MFDF have teamed up with some of the best chefs around to create DIY Delivery Kits including a Stay Safe R’Kid MCR Picnic Box from Didsvbury’s A Taste of Honey, a ramen kit from Yao Yao Noodles, a poutine kit from Blue Caribou, and hot dog kits from Grandad’s Sausages.

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