Christmas Food and Drink

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

The festive season is the time to eat, drink and be merry, and in 2023 it feels like the entire North of England is going all out to make Christmas food and drink 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. After all, January is a-coming, and no-one, but no-one, looks forward to that gaping fun-hole of a month. Now, where’s Noddy Holder when we need him?

Our top picks

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 mini Christmas 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

Sexy Fish Manchester

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

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 and no mistake. Alongside this, there’ll be a host of awe-inspiring Christmas cocktails, including spiced and seasonal additions.

Sexy Fish Manchester

INNSIDE Liverpool

INNSIDE Liverpool, Old Hall St, Liverpool, L3 9LQ - Visit now

INNSiDE Liverpool is pulling out all the stops this season including pop-up markets with local Liverpool creators Daughter Of Dawn Design and Grace Emily Design, the launch of The Christmas Condo Suite (available to book from 20th November), the Meet Santa Extravaganza for children and more!

INNSIDE Liverpool
INNSIDE Liverpool

Christmas Markets

Come on, you know you want to. Love them or hate them, no one can escape the magnetic power of the Christmas Market. Find our faves in this comprehensive guide.

Photo of the festive display outside the Corn Exchange
Manchester Christmas Markets. Photo: Mark Waugh.


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

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.


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.”

This Christmas, treat your loved ones to a Tur-duck-en. (As the John Lewis ad should have said.)

Blues Kitchen Manchester
The Blues Kitchen Manchester

Manchester Wine Tours

Manchester Wine Tours, Various locations in Manchester city centre, Manchester , M1 - Visit now

Struggling to come up with ideas for a next-level Christmas present this year? Take a seat because we’ve got the ultimate gift: wine tour gift vouchers for the wonderful Manchester Wine Tours. Let’s make this festive season as Keith Floyd as possible. Hic.

Manchester Wine Tours

Winter Island

Winter Island at Freight Island, Manchester, Until 24 December 2023, free entry - Visit now

Freight Island has only gone and done it again. It has transformed into Winter Island for the Christmas season, focusing on all things fun and festive, but (for us, at least) with food very much at the forefront.

Winter Island

Ducie Street Warehouse

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. More details coming through thick and fast to satisfy all your festive urges.

Ducie Street Warehouse

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

Salvi’s Deansgate Square

Salvi’s Deansgate Square, Owen St., Manchester , M15 4TQ - Visit now

From panettone and pandoro by the slice, mulled wine, traditional Neapolitan festive specialities, and delis loaded with authentic Italian festive offerings, the Christmas menu at all the Salvi’s outlets in Manchester is ready to fill both hearts and bellies.

Looking for a thoughtful gift? Owner Maurizio Cecco has also curated special hampers with the finest hand-picked Italian cooking ingredients, while customers are welcome to pick-up the rest of their Buon Natale essentials, imported fresh weekly.

Each location has its unique surprise in store – cosy winter huts, Manchester’s first Rum Babas in a cup, Secret Santa cocktail, iconic collectable D&G panettone, live music, and delicious specials, as the Ceccos open their doors to everyone for a big “family” Christmas across the city centre, filled with authentic food, great people and a buzzing atmosphere.

Ian Jones

Red’s True Barbecue

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.

The Art School Restaurant

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

Paul Askew’s legendary Art School’s Christmas menus are now live to book plus Chef Askew’s 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.


The Ivy Asia Leeds

The Ivy Asia Leeds, 55-57 Vicar Ln , Leeds , LS1 6BA - Visit now

From a handcrafted afternoon tea to The Festive Surprise, a luxury dessert, and an exclusive cocktail, celebrate Christmas this year with The Ivy Asia, Leeds.

The Ivy Asia
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