It’s time to eat, drink and be merry, and this year we’re going all out to make Christmas food and drink in Manchester and the North the most fun possible.
With that in mind, we have a host of events and food and drink updates from across the North, including the return of the Corn Exchange Christmas Markets in Leeds, special happenings at Tattu in Leeds and Paul Askew’s wonderful Art School restaurant in Liverpool.
Manchester-wise, we heartily recommend The Embankment Kitchen, but of course, we can’t eat turkey every night so branch out a little with the Christmas offerings from Peru Perdu, or head over to Hatch to sample the varied festive menus from their street food vendors. And if you want a fun-packed night out, Escape To Freight Island (now known as Winter Island for the next few weeks) is a must-visit.
But most of all, think back to just a few years ago when Christmas food and drink basically meant ordering a takeaway or grabbing a beer from the fridge. And as good as they can be, nothing compares to sitting in a well-run restaurant or bar and letting them take charge of the cooking, the serving and the washing up.
Here are our picks
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ground Floor, Warehouse, Ducie St,, Manchester, M1 2TP - Visit now
There’s a fresh new Christmas menu at Ducie Street’s restaurant, plus a Christmas pop-up market, and workshops. Other activities include a disco brunch with the ridiculously talented Drag Race star, Cheddar Gorgeous.
Tattu Leeds, Minerva, 29 E Parade, Leeds , LS1 5PS - Visit now
Red’s True Barbecue, 22 Lloyd Street, Albert Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5WA - Visit now
Despite being all about sticky BBQ food, the venue itself has a classy feel to it, blending a fun night out with belly-filling food. And that’s precisely what you can expect this Christmas with Red’s well-crafted festive menu.
Escape to Freight Island, Mayfield Depot, 11 Baring St, Manchester, M1 2PY - Visit now
Escape To Freight is having a temporary name-change for the festive season. Winter Island will host Christmas tree forest, pop-up winter market, festive food and drink traders, Christmas workshops, live DJs, entertainment, performances and much more.
Habas Bar & Restaurant, 43A Brown St, Manchester, M2 2JJ - Visit now
Modern Middle Eastern bar and restaurant Habas is getting into the festive spirit, with the launch of its very own Christmas market on King Street, opposite El Gato Negro. The Michelin-Listed restaurant is serving a selection of the restaurant’s signature seasonal dishes to hungry market-visitors.
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.
Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar, 22b, The Corn Exchange, Corporation St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3TR - Visit now
Salvi’s and Deansgate Square have come together to host an Italian Christmas market, running from 27th Nov – 22nd Dec (the family-run restaurant group launches its own food hub at the luxury development in the new year). Salvi’s will be serving up the very best in authentic Italian food and drink from a two-tipi hub, four festive huts and a cosy fire-pit with complimentary blankets, along with DJs, live music, live entertainment, Christmas gifts, hampers, panettone and tiramisu making workshops, kids events, and bars by Italian beverage heavyweights Campari and Peroni.
Embankment Kitchen Restaurant & Bar, 16 Chapel St, Salford, M3 7NH - Visit now
Embankment Kitchen has a brand new Winter Garden. Adorned with fairy lights, luxurious blankets and outdoor heaters, this is the perfect spot to cosy up with a warm mug of mulled wine for the first festive season since before you-know-what.
The Blues Kitchen Manchester, 13 Quay St, Manchester, M3 3HN - Visit now
The Blues Kitchen Manchester has launched a brand-new Christmas burger, the Yippee-Ki-Yay Burger, named after the famous line from Die Hard (everyone’s favourite so-called Christmas film). This next-level burger comes stacked with a panko-crusted turkey fillet, celeriac remoulade, roast carrot puree and a delicious pork and pistachio stuffing.