We Mancunians love our grub and it doesn’t start and end with a pie and a Vimto either. Although we wouldn’t say no to either. Manchester is home to a veritable cornucopia of restaurants, cafes and bars showcasing foods and flavours from all over the world, and the Food and Drink festival conveniently brings many of them together in one enormous gastronomic and boozy event that has foodies fawning over themselves for a piece of the pie (see what we did there?). For the ultimate guide to what's on in Manchester this weekend, read on!
Not simply a mass get-together of grub and grog (although that’s arguably the appeal), the Food and Drink Festival is also a competition with over 20 categories that sees restauranteurs, brewers and winemakers fighting for coveted titles and awards. This isn’t, then, merely an opportunity to eat and imbibe your way around Manchester city centre (which is exactly what we’ll be doing), the MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards are also a chance to get a head’s up on up and coming bars and eateries as well as a chance to check out which chefs the critics are rating this year. When it comes to deciding where to go this weekend, it's got to be Manchester city centre.
Food-wise there’re some very impressive and undoubtedly delicious explorations that take you on a journey around the world, tempting your tastebuds with the flavours of Europe, the far East and the downright bonkers (Cookery Theatre anyone…?). There are loads of tasting events with menus for the sophisticated palette such as Caviar and Champagne, Catalan wine and cheese and Secret Supper Clubs to humbler street food options. Veggies are also catered for with vegan beers and bites, and of course Manchester’s take on world cuisine with Brazilian fare courtesy of Fazenda, Spanish dishes hosted by Evuna, a tour of Thailand with Pho, as well as tasting walks around the many indie Northern Quarter eateries and a Pizza walk around Manchester’s finest doughboys.
When it comes to booze Manchester Food and Drink Festival puts a heavy emphasis on the excellent range of liquor available. From beers and brewers to fine wines and Champagnes, MFDF does it all. Gin is massive again and this year features a Manchester city centre speciality gin lounge as well as gin tasting events. Wine guzzlers will also be in their element with Indie wine makers in abundance as well as masterclasses for those who want to learn how to nose properly.
The main hub of the festival takes place in Albert Square, opening its doors at 12pm on 27th September and closing at 12am on 7th October. Plenty of time to get your nosh on! There will also be plenty of entertainment available while you feast – check out the City Life Stage at Albert Square, featuring home grown Manchester musicians and bands right the way through the festival.
For more information about the festival and all the events happening throughout the 10 day extravaganza, click here. Best of all, Manchester Food and Drink Festival is FREE, so there are no entrance fees to pay. Just take plenty of cash to quench your thirst and assuage your appetite!
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