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Top 15 Food Festivals in Manchester

Top 15 Food Festivals in Manchester

Food festivals are my favourite go-to events— I mean, it’s all about food and you can socialise with your other foodie buddies as well!

Fortunately, Manchester is one of the best cities in the UK to visit if you’re gathering with your friends for the best food festivals, and we can think of 15 most amazing food events that have been happening ever since! 

Manchester Food and Drink Festival 

If you’re as food-crazy as me, this one is our culinary Christmas. Imagine chefs rustling up delectable dishes right in front of you and streets lined up with a feast of flavours from around the globe—that’s basically what the Manchester Food and Drink Festival is all about! 

And it’s not just about food, either. Local brewers, mixologists, and vintners are there to quench your thirst. Whether it’s a craft beer, an artisanal gin, or a glass of bubbly Prosecco, you’re sure to find a new favourite.

Don’t forget to check out the special events, too! There’s everything from food-themed movie screenings and talks about sustainability to cheese tastings and foraging walks. 

Pro tip:

Independent vendors are typically run by passionate food enthusiasts who love what they do. Engaging with them gives you the opportunity to interact with the people behind the food, learn about their craft, and hear the stories behind their dishes.

Manchester Vegan and Wellbeing Festival 

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just veg-curious, the Manchester Vegan and Wellbeing Festival is the event to be a part in! 

From juicy vegan burgers to creamy dairy-free ice cream (ice cream manchester), it’s a celebration of all things plant-powered. It feels like a journey of taste and wellness that never has to end!

If you manoeuvre around, there’s a stand serving up juicy, plant-based burgers that can fool even the staunchest meat-lover. 

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, topped with all the fixings, it’s a culinary masterpiece. Not too far off, a stall is whipping up mountains of creamy, dairy-free ice cream in flavours you’ve never dreamed of—pistachio matcha, anyone?

Pro tip:

Use this festival as an opportunity to expand your culinary horizons. Don’t stick to your usual favourites; instead, venture out and try dishes or ingredients that are unfamiliar to you. Vegan festivals often feature unique and innovative food creations, so be adventurous and open-minded in your choices. 

Indy Man Beer Con

A quirky mashup of an old, Victorian swimming bath, brew-tastic delights, and foodie treasures. I mean, what’s better than a pint of carefully crafted beer with some gourmet bites? Nothing, I tell you! It’s a beer lover’s dream turned into reality.

When it comes to the vibes of this festival, the atmosphere is simply electric. It’s a mix of old-school charm and hip, contemporary vibes. 

Here, the crowd is buzzing with beer enthusiasts, casual drinkers, and food lovers, all brought together by their shared love of good times and great drinks.

Pro tip:

Indy Man Beer Con is a well-known festival that is all about craft beers and independent breweries. While it’s tempting to move from booth to booth and just focus on the drinks, take the time to interact with the brewers and the representatives at the stalls. 

Chorlton Beer & Cider Festival 

Chorlton Beer & Cider Festival, or as locals like to call it, ‘Chorlton’s Brew Bonanza’, is one epic grub and grog fest you shouldn’t miss if you find yourself in Manchester. 

First off, it’s an absolute paradise for beer and cider aficionados. The festival proudly boasts a vast range of cask ales, keg beers, and ciders that can make anyone’s taste buds do a happy jig. 

With over 200 varieties sourced from both local microbreweries and cider producers across the country, there’s a tipple for everyone. Whether you’re into traditional ales, hoppy IPAs, fruity ciders, or adventurous in exploring new flavours, Chorlton got your back.

Pro tip:

While the name of the festival mentions both beer and cider, it’s often easy for attendees to get swept up in the beer selections and miss out on the cider offerings. Ciders can offer a refreshing break from the complex flavours of craft beers and provide an entirely different taste experience.

GRUB Food Fair 

The GRUB Food Fair is a standout among the city’s food festivals— and it’s an absolute blast with friends and family. It’s less about pomp and glamour and more about damn good food, local brews, and a community spirit that’s as enticing as the food itself.

Here’s why it’s so amazing: The. Food. Is. Epic! We’re talking about a rotating roster of the best street food traders from Manchester and beyond. 

From drool-worthy burgers and artisan pizza (halal pizza manchester), to mind-bending vegan treats and global cuisine you probably haven’t tried before, there’s always something fresh to sink your teeth into.

The other brilliant thing about GRUB is the atmosphere. It’s super chill, and laid-back, nestled in an old railway depot. 

Best of all, the live music adds an extra layer of chill to the mix. And let’s not forget about the events too: From quiz nights, bingo, and board games – there’s always something happening.

Pro tip:

GRUB Food Fair in Manchester is all about street food and artisanal drinks. With an abundance of vendors, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and fill up at the first few stalls you visit. However, the real charm of GRUB lies in the variety and exploration. 

Festa Italiana

Festa Italiana Manchester is a truly fabulous celebration of all things Italian, especially when it comes to food, and it’s definitely something you should experience. 

First off, Festa Italiana transports you straight into the heart of Italy without ever leaving Manchester. 

It’s an immersive experience that radiates authenticity. Also, the festival is a delightful homage to Italy’s rich culinary tradition and vibrant culture. 

You’ll get to savour tantalising dishes, from heaping plates of pasta to creamy, rich gelato, prepared by some of the best Italian chefs in Manchester. Even guest chefs flew in from Italy itself.

Pro tip:

Italian culture is rich in music, art, and tradition. Take the time to enjoy the live music performances, explore the arts and crafts stalls, and engage with any traditional Italian games or activities that might be taking place. 

Manchester Eats

Manchester Eats is more than just a food festival; It’s a grand celebration of everything gastronomical that makes Manchester unique. 

What’s great about it is the sheer variety of cuisines on offer— you’re talking about everything from classic British pub grub to exotic international delicacies, vegan delights to hearty BBQ feasts.

Beyond the food, there’s the atmosphere. Mancunians have a reputation for being lively and friendly, and this spirit permeates the festival. 

There’s always something happening at Manchester Eats— live cooking demos, expert-led workshops, even guest appearances from celebrity chefs. It’s a whirlwind of foodie activity that’ll make you fall in love with the city’s vibrant culinary scene.

Visiting for the first time? Be prepared to be pleasantly overwhelmed. Manchester Eats is large, bustling, and there’s a lot to try, so it’s a good idea to turn up hungry and leave your food preferences at the door. 

Pro tip:

The Manchester Eats festival is known not just for its wide variety of food and drink options, but also for its cooking masterclasses and live demonstrations by renowned chefs and food experts.

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival is not just an arts fest, it’s a foodie’s dream! Imagine biting into Manchester’s famous tart or a hearty Lancashire hotpot while soaking up live performances and global cuisines. 

This culinary adventure is filled with quirky food trucks, pop-up restaurants, and market stalls—each corner of the festival is a chance to discover a new flavour or a local dish.

And here’s the cherry on top: you’ll get to rub shoulders with the city’s best chefs and food enthusiasts. 

So, for first-time visitors, prepare for a full-on feast for your senses. The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival is a must-visit, offering a combo of food, culture, and entertainment that’s tough to beat!

Pro tip:

One of the unique aspects of The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival is the opportunity to see up-and-coming performers and experimental work. While it may be tempting to go for shows featuring established performers or traditional theatre, try to catch performances by emerging artists as well.

Levenshulme Market

You’re in for a flavourful adventure at Levenshulme Market in Manchester! Imagine a global food fest all under one open sky, serving everything from vegan delights to barbecued wonders, and spicy curries to artisan pastries. 

But it’s more than just an eat fest, it’s a gathering of local creativity with craft beer brewers, vintage collectors, and handmade jewellery designers setting up shop.

Now, first-timers, gear up for an exciting sensory overload. It’s bustling, vibrant, and full of character with tantalising food aromas, friendly banter, and live music (music venues manchester). So, bring an empty stomach and a curiosity to try new things. 

This isn’t just a market, it’s a celebration of taste and community. So go ahead, dive into the edible extravaganza that is Levenshulme Market and maybe find your next favourite dish!

Pro tip:

As you browse, take time to chat with the vendors. They often have fascinating stories about how their products are made or sourced. Many are local artisans who put a lot of care and creativity into their work. 

Bolton Food and Drink Festival

The Bolton Food and Drink Festival is a vibrant four-day feast in Manchester that’s a total must-try! 

Expect a sensational blend of local and international flavours, rubbing elbows with celebrity chefs, and cookery masterclasses. Plus, there’s a lively mix of live music, street entertainment, and family activities. And, it’s free to attend!

If you are visiting for the first time, brace yourself for an epic culinary adventure. Picture over 100 stalls filled with delicacies ranging from local Lancashire cheeses to exotic global street food—so make sure you come hungry and wear comfy shoes! 

Lastly, don’t forget some shopping bags for unique treats and local produce. The Bolton Festival isn’t just a food fest, it’s a full-on foodie paradise!

Pro tip:

Remember to bring something to take notes with, whether that’s your phone or a good old-fashioned pen and paper. You’ll thank yourself when you’re recreating their delicious dishes at home!

Altrincham Food and Drink Festival

The Altrincham Food and Drink Festival is a must-try event on Manchester’s culinary calendar, offering an electrifying mix of local and international cuisine. 

You can indulge in everything from traditional British fare to exotic dishes, paired perfectly with Manchester’s celebrated craft beers and local spirits. 

The festival shines a spotlight on independent producers, bringing a unique, high-quality selection you won’t find in mainstream markets (food market Manchester).

The vibe is chilled, the entertainment is lively, and it’s a hit for all ages. First-timers, come with an open mind and an appetite— it’s a bustling, mouth-watering celebration of food that’s ready to surprise and delight you. 

Pro tip:

The market operates normally during the festival and has an extensive array of artisanal products. The food hall, in particular, is renowned for its variety of high-quality food from local vendors. Make sure to check it out and integrate it into your festival experience.

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

Imagine a chocoholic’s paradise and a day out for the family in one, that’s the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival in Manchester. 

It’s an intoxicating mix of a mind-boggling variety of chocolates, interactive workshops, and local to international chocolatiers showcasing their delectable creations. It’s more than just a food festival; it’s a full-blown celebration of all things chocolate.

As a first-timer, expect the enchanting transformation of Ramsbottom into a chocolate wonderland, filled with bustling stalls and the irresistible scent of chocolate in the air. 

The festival is not just about indulgence, but also about learning the craft behind the treats. So, get ready for sensory delight and remember to pace yourself for a day of chocolate tasting! 

Pro tip:

Other than the delicious chocolates, the festival often includes other artisanal foods and drinks, so take the time to check out the local cheeses, craft beers, or unique gins. These can offer a refreshing break from all the sweetness and allow you to experience a broader spectrum of flavours.

Northern Quarter Makers Market

The Northern Quarter Makers Market in Manchester is a foodie’s paradise! Its beauty lies in the celebration of local artisans, offering a smorgasbord of culinary delights, from freshly baked bread to homemade curry to vegan sweets. 

But food isn’t the only star; you’ll also find handmade crafts, live music, and vintage clothing, making it a festival of arts, culture, and food in one go.

The market runs on the second Sunday of each month— though it’s wise to check the dates. You’ll want to bring cash and card, chat with the friendly stall owners, and save room for the unexpected.

Pro tip:

As you explore the market, take the time to engage with the makers. These are the people who have put time, effort, and creativity into their products. Learning about the story behind a product, the techniques used, or the inspiration can provide you with a deeper appreciation for the items you purchase. It can also give you insight into the local craft and art scene.

The Big Grill UK

The Big Grill UK is like a beacon for food lovers in Manchester, an epic combo of mouth-watering BBQ, vibrant atmosphere, and live entertainment. 

Think succulent burgers, ribs smoked to perfection, diverse international cuisines, all in one place. But don’t forget the side of live music, cooking demos, and masterclasses that turn it from a food festival into a full-on food experience!

If you have a big appetite, gear up for a BBQ adventure. You’re stepping into a food-loving community where the grill is king. 

So why The Big Grill UK? It’s not just a feast for the belly, but also a feast for the senses. Once you’ve tried it, I bet you’ll be back for more!

Pro tip:

At this festival, you’ll often find live cooking demonstrations, BBQ masterclasses, and opportunities to learn about different grilling techniques from around the world. Be sure to check the festival’s schedule and make time to attend these sessions. 

Foodies Festival Tatton Park

The Foodies Festival at Tatton Park is a gastronomic extravaganza set in a picturesque landscape. It’s also bigger than food (which is wildly diverse, by the way), it’s also about the experience: Live cooking shows, music, and even masterclasses.

If this is your first time, then be prepared to eat a lot, walk a lot, and learn a lot! Dress for the weather, and bring your appetite and enthusiasm. 

In essence, it’s a one-stop destination for a fabulously fun and filling day out, making it an absolute must-try in the Manchester food scene. So, come hungry, wear your comfy shoes, and get ready for an unforgettable foodie adventure!

Pro tip:

Be adventurous with your food choices. The festival hosts a vast array of vendors, serving dishes from all over the world. Don’t stick only to what you know – try something new, whether it’s a dish from a cuisine you’re unfamiliar with, or a twist on a classic favourite.

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