Factory Square

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Manchester Factory international Festival - People enjoying Festival Square in the city centre
Factory International

Factory International is arguably the biggest cultural happening to hit the North for a generation or two. Naturally, it needs food and drink options to match. That’s where Factory Square comes in. 

This huge outdoor space has been designed as both a relaxing sun trap and a world-class events space. Need a caffeine boost? There’s a brand new coffee cart featuring all kinds of hot and cold speciality drinks, freshly baked pastries and a selection of sandwiches. Grab a table by the riverside, and soak up the sun while forgetting that you’re surrounded by one of Europe’s youngest and fastest-growing modern cities. 

Throughout summer, there’s the Super Serve taco truck. Here’s where to get your Mexican food kicks, from handmade tacos to mouthwatering salted caramel churros. Of course, you need the perfect drink to go along with that sunkissed food – how does a Limoncello slushy sound? Feeling devil-may-care? Work your way through the carefully curated margarita menu.

Best of all, you can enjoy a £4 pint. Something not seen since the previous Labour government – things truly have gotten better, already.

Speaking of drinks, every good beer garden needs a happy hour and Factory International is no exception. Even better, you get three of them – from 5 pm to 8, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. (Take notes: The indoor drinking and dining area is open every day of the week, but Factory Square is open to the public on Thurs and Friday from 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday from midday.)

And you can also grab two for £12 cocktails and some top-notch pizza deals. 

But that’s only a fraction of what to expect from Factory Square. Over time, more vendors and guests will be added. Plus, there’ll be takeovers from the cream of contemporary culture, both national and local, such as Funkademia and Mubi. Past guests on this outdoor open-air stage include local lads done good Dutch Uncles, A Certain Ratio and Dave Haslam. You’re in safe hands. 

It’s a family-friendly space, and there’ll be pop-up wellness events, DJs and engaging activities for all ages. No need to book and admission is always free, simply head down and enjoy summer in one of the city’s most dynamic and vital new spaces. 

Manchester’s mighty Aviva Studios has everything, apart from a beach. However, it does have the next best thing: a huge beer garden, on the banks of the River Irwell, with all the top-quality drinks and street food selections you could hope for during the summer months. 

Aviva Studios, Water StManchesterM3 4JQ View map
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Opening Hours

  • Thursday4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Friday4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Saturday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Sunday12:00pm - 8:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Factory Square

Festivo Winds
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Multi-sensory and surreal, Sweet Dreams is a brand-new storytelling experience that takes audiences on a journey through food, appetite and desire.

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