Festive menus

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

The festive season is the time to eat, drink and be merry, and right up until the new year, Manchester and the North’s hospitality scene is going all out to provide the most fun possible. Why, it’s almost as if we need some sparkly, deep-fried, mulled joy to distract us from the wider world or something.

Either way, let’s make the most of it, and eat, drink and dance until we can eat, drink and dance no more.

Our top picks

Sexy Fish Manchester

Sexy Fish Manchester, 1 The Avenue, Deansgate, Manchester , M3 3AP - Visit now

All through the holiday season, Sexy Fish is hosting A Whale of a Christmas, and in true Sexy Fish style that means guests can dine amongst… a jewel-encrusted whale, suspended in mid-air. It’s a jaw-dropping spectacle. Alongside this, there’s a host of awe-inspiring festive cocktails, including spiced and seasonal additions.

Sexy Fish Manchester

The Butcher

The Butcher, Urban Playground, Manchester Arndale, Manchester, M4 3AD - Visit now

The Butcher Manchester is running two special menu additions, especially for this festive period. Home to some of the city’s best bloody burgers and boozy shakes, it’s the perfect place for a casual restaurant-quality bite to eat.

The Butcher

DIECAST

DIECAST, 51 Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2JQ - Visit now

Until 30 December DIECAST is hosting one of the highlights of the Christmas season with Winterhood, featuring Manchester’s biggest beer hall and live music bandstand. Like to party? Sign up for the ‘Sing-A-Long-A-Ding-Dong’ Saturdays. Like to eat? You won’t find much better than the Winterhood Sunday Roast.

Diecast

North Taproom

North Taproom, Vita East Circle Square, Nobel Way, Manchester , M1 7FA - Visit now

For food and drink on Oxford Road, it doesn’t get much better than North Taproom and their next-level in-house food geniuses, Little Bao Boy.

Festive items include out-there ideas such as chicken and stuffing bao buns topped with cranberry mayo and panko brussels sprouts served with a spicy cranberry dip.

Nathan Whittaker

Evelyn’s Cafe Bar

Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, G18 Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1NB - Visit now

Evelyn’s comes high on our list of places to visit over the festive season. Their dinner menu centres around dishes cooked over charcoal in the Inka grill with an emphasis on sharing, new flavours and celebrating quality seasonal produce. Post-dinner guests can head downstairs to their subterranean cocktail and wine den – The Daisy – for candlelit digestifs. Their group dinner menu is priced at £30pp and includes a selection of sharing bites for the table followed by three courses.

Charlie Spargo

Tattu Manchester

Tattu Manchester, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

The dining space at Tattu has switched up for the festive period, with ice whites and blues covering those much-talked-about cherry blossom trees.

Not only this, you can expect some exclusive food and drink options, such as the famous Frozen Cherry Blossom Dessert, back by popular demand. Think cherry, spiced apple and chocolate, playfully presented as a lone, lightly dusted tree.

Then there’s The Snow Leopard, a next-level combination of honeycomb, white chocolate and meringue.

But our favourite has to be the Imperial Roast, which takes centre stage each Sunday, combining flavours of the Far East with British inspiration.

Gino D’Acampo Liverpool

Gino D’Acampo Liverpool, Old Hall St, Liverpool , L3 9LQ - Visit now

Gino D’Acampo’s Old Hall Street and 360 Sky Bar venues have launched a series of food and drink menus for the festive season, and contrary to Gino’s recent anti-turkey ranting and raving (how dare he, he might be absolutely right, but still, how dare he), they do include turkey. So thank the Lord for that. Check the websites for the full details of all Gino’s festive and New Year menus.

Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana Portland Street

Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana Portland Street, 30 Portland St, Manchester , M1 4GS - Visit now

Rudy’s is getting festive this season with two new winter special pizzas:

Zucca (‘pumpkin’ in Italian) is created by Rudy’s own pizzaiolo, Francesco Aiello who originates from Palermo, Sicily. It features pumpkin cream base, topped with fior di latte, goats’ cheese, roasted garlic chestnut mushrooms, finished with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds and chilli flakes. Zucca is suitable for vegetarians.

Guanciale & Pear is a tribute to award-winning Italian pizzaioli, Teresa Iori, who founded the famous Naples pizzeria, le Figlie di Iorio. The white pizza is topped with fior di latte, gorgonzola, guanciale (cured pork cheek) and fresh pears, sprinkled with toasted walnuts and fresh thyme.

Ian Jones

Madre Manchester

Madre Manchester, The Churchill, 41 Chorlton Street, Kampus, Manchester , M1 3HN - Visit now

Madre celebrates the holidays with a Mexican feast including Turkey Tacos and Christmas Spiced Palomas. Priced from £35 per head, guests can enjoy everything from Guac and Chips and their famous Elote (corn with chipotle mayo, lime and queso fresco) to a festive selection of tacos – Grilled Adobo Spiced Turkey or Roast Sprouts with Peanut Miso and Salsa Negra – and some more traditional flavours including halloumi and beef birria.

Ian Jones

Zouk

Zouk, Unit 5 Chester Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5QS - Visit now

One of the city centre’s finest Indian restaurants, Zouk Tea Bar and Grill, has a lot on right now, including a host of banquets: a six-course Christmas Day Banquet and a Christmas Party Banquet, not to mention a lunchtime delivery service, and cooking masterclass gift cards.

Society Manchester

Society Manchester, 100 Barbirolli Square, Manchester, M2 3BD - Visit now

Society’s holiday offering includes an extravaganza of festive burgers, bhaji baubles, lobster bao buns, beers and cocktails, plus plenty more decadent treats to ring in the most wonderful time of the year in the cosy yuletide hideaway on Barbirolli Square.

Society Manchester
Ian Jones

Station South

Station South, 975-977 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 3NP - Visit now

You won’t believe what Levenshulme’s Station South has in store this winter. This magical multi-purpose destination (a shining example of local community power) is pulling out all the stops – from festive beers and carols to markets, plus the first-ever Station South Christmas Eve House Party, and much, much more, as the old Argos adverts used to go. Check their socials for all the dates and events, and then, as they say, fill your boots.

Ian Jones

Koffee Pot

Koffee Pot, 84-86 Oldham Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1LE - Visit now

The perfect place to head after a big festive night out, Koffee Pot isn’t adding tinsel, turkey or festive trimmings to their breakfasts; they’re simply serving up their much-loved breakfasts alongside Bloody Marys, beers and cocktails. Breakfast is served from 9am – 3pm daily. Bookings can be made for six or more people, smaller groups can walk in any time.

Photo of Koffee Pot in Manchester's Northern Quarter
Ben Williams

Albert’s Schloss Liverpool

Albert’s Schloss Liverpool, 18-26 Bold St, Liverpool , L1 4DS - Visit now

Not many nations do Christmas better than Germany; you can sample more than a little bit of their festive cheer at the always-excellent Albert Schloss (in both Liverpool and Manchester). Plus they’re giving away fifteen grand’s worth of free drinks over the festive period, which involves receiving a charmingly old-school postcard from good old, erm, Prince Albert himself. Probably best to keep the kids away from this one.

Albert’s Schloss Liverpool

The Blues Kitchen Manchester

The Blues Kitchen Manchester, 13 Quay St, Manchester, M3 3HN - Visit now

Take a seat. One of the wildest burger ideas of 2023 has just dropped. The Blues Kitchen’s Christmas burger is the beautifully named “Tur-duck-en“. Don’t think about the name too much, but do read the description from the BK gang and just try and stop yourself from trying one after a few minced-pie cocktails:

“This magnificent festive treat features a duck leg cured with orange, cinnamon, pink peppercorns and salt, which is confit and shredded. The duck leg is then encased in chicken and turkey mince, before it’s wrapped in chicken skin and fried to perfection to give a crispy finish. The festive burger is then stacked with all the trimmings, including brie, cranberry sauce, crispy bacon, spinach and shallot mayo.”

Blues Kitchen Manchester
The Blues Kitchen Manchester

Peru Perdu

Peru Perdu, The Cotton Factory, 74 Princess St, Manchester, M1 6JD, Manchester, M1 6JD - Visit now

Peru Perdu is perfect for the winter months, serving up some of the city’s most exciting South American-inspired dishes in beautiful surroundings.

Peru Perdu

New Century

New Century, Mayes Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 4ES - Visit now

New Century has three festive cocktails on offer. Choose from the Frostbite, made with vanilla vodka, creme de menthe, creme de cacao, cream, and nutmeg; The Grinch (vodka, lime juice, midori, soda water, made with a red sugar rim and maraschino cherry); as well as New Century classic the Love Actually, made with Chambord, cranberry, grenadine, and prosecco, and topped with a cherry and sparkles.

There’s also a special festive shot on the menu – the Merry Berry – a dreamy mix of Chambord and Baileys, topped with whipped cream.

The Art School Restaurant

The Art School Restaurant, 1 Sugnall Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L7 7DX - Visit now

Paul Askew’s legendary Art School’s festive menus are an absolute winner. Chef Askew has also launched the Christmas Emporium, intimate private hire rooms and Christmas Afternoon Tea in The Art School Cellars.

Ian Jones

Dakota Bar & Grill Manchester

Dakota Bar & Grill Manchester, 29 Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2JL - Visit now

Christmas is about excess, and Dakota do it beautifully, in terms of eye-poppingly good cocktails and hearty, heavy, hot food. If you’re looking for a special festive night out in one of the city’s smartest looking venues, the Dakota Bar & Grill can’t be recommended enough.

Dakota
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