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9th December 2022

Manchester’s finest festive feasts

From New Century to Escape to Freight Island, FOLK to Reds True Barbeque, we’ve got all your festive food needs covered!
Manchester’s finest festive feasts
Christmas at Hatch – Photo: Hannah Wellock @ The Mancunion

The restaurants and bars of Manchester have come out in full force this December with a selection of Christmas menus with winter warmers and festive feasts. Read along as we give you the rundown of some of our Manchester favourites.


The new Winter Terrace in collaboration with Highland Park Whisky at Motley is guaranteed to get you in a festive mood. The comfy seating and warm heaters create a cosy atmosphere. It’s a great location to escape the hustle and bustle of the Christmas markets and enjoy a couple of cocktails.

We tried the Warming Soul and the Kirkwall Cobbler, both made using Highland Park Whisky, and they were the perfect remedy for a cold winter evening. The Motley Winter Park Terrace is the perfect al-fresco spot for a warming tipple and catching up with friends this winter.

Christmas at FOLK – Photo: Erin Osman @ The Mancunion

Christmas at FOLK

FOLK, in my humble opinion, is one of the best restaurants Didsbury has to offer. Striking the balance between cool and classy with seeming ease, this year they have also (unsurprisingly) nailed Christmas.

While their Christmas menu probably lies beyond the realm of the student budget, it’s definitely one to persuade the parents to take you to! With delicious starters like their spiced pumpkin and parsnip soup and mains ranging from your classic turkey roast to their vegan beetroot, cranberry, and pistachio wellington alternative.

For dessert, I’d recommend their Apple Strudel. Spiced with cinnamon and covered in custard, I could have eaten this for days. You can read more about FOLK’s Christmas menu here.

The Winter Island bar. Photo: Hannah Wellock @ The Mancunion

Escape to Freight Island: Winter Island

For their winter offering, Depot Mayfield’s Freight Island has created a festive escape, kitted out with cabins, dozens of Christmas trees, and a winter market. In terms of food and drink, you have all of the regular Freight Island vendors, as well as excellent seasonal options: head to Great Northern Pie Company for a roast chicken pie, or Cocoa Cabana for hot chocolates.

A standout for food is Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, which is offering limited edition toasties including Hog Roast, Christmas Beets, and Brie Wish U A Merry Christmas from their cabin outside the depot. There is of course also plenty of mulled wine available from the Mulled Wine Barrel Bar to wash down your food.

The event is free to enter and may be a good option for those wanting to avoid the crowds of the city centre Christmas Markets whilst still experiencing a festive atmosphere. Escape to Winter Island runs until the 24th of December.

Meat-Lovers feast at Red's
Meat-Lovers feast at Red’s. Photo: Izzy Langhamer @The Mancunion

Red’s True BBQ

This festive season, visit Red’s True Barbeque for a bottomless BBQ feast. Available in both Meat-Lover and Meat-Free versions, the portions are generous, hearty, and delicious. Red’s transports you to the American South, loading the plate with favourites such as mash, gravy, onion rings, cornbread, and fries. The meat platter comes stacked with pork ribs, turkey breast, unholy BBQ XXXL wings, smoked chicken, and more. Whilst veggies can enjoy the likes of pulled jackfruit, cauliflower wings, and smoked vegan sausage.

It’s not just the food that’s festive either: all bottomless menus come with bottomless drinks, including prosecco, lager, wine, and cocktails. You might even get a visit from a singing Santa Claus who will bring the house down with both modern hits and some golden oldies.

Winter Cocktails at Hatch. Photo: Hannah Wellock @ The Mancunion


Jumping into the spirit this festive season, Hatch is delivering the most wholesome night out for you and your friends to kick off the festivities in style. Surrounded by twinkling lights and Christmas trees, you can properly indulge this December with the fine array of seasonal offerings from the Hatch independent traders. Juicy Pulled Turkey toasties, Winter Earth Nourish Bowls, Messy Christmas Dinner Loaded Fries, a mammoth Pigs in Blankets Burger, and Christmas Cannoli’s just to name a few. 

All washed down with a full flow of festive tipple. The Christmas cocktails are a highlight with the Clementine Cosmo, a deliciously sweet yet also tart, clementine take on the classic, as well as The Jolly Gingerbread, a creamier option, the perfect nightcap. 

The seasonal flourish on these menus is the perfect accompaniment to the Christmassy workshops also available throughout December, including Candle Making with Last Ember and personalised wreath-making with Bread Flower – the perfect seasonal treat.

You can read more about Hatch’s Christmas offerings here. 

New Century

New Century’s festive drinks. Photo: Hannah Wellock @ The Mancunion

New Century has also jumped on the Christmas bandwagon because why would they not? 

With several of their traders contributing to the festivities and a luxurious Christmas drinks menu, New Century is sure to impress this festive season! 

The festive drinks include the likes of Bad Santa, Love Actually, and The Snowman, not to mention the Mulled Wine and Hot Buttered Rum (using Manchester’s own The Salford Rum Company) that is also on offer. 

Wild Ply Pizza has successfully taken one of the most hated items on a Christmas dinner, the humble brussel sprout, and turned it into two master pizzas. The Christmas Special – Ply Hard and It’s a Wonderful Slice both have a tomato base and are topped with brussel sprouts, sage, and the stringiest of mozzarellas. The first of the two is one for the meat eaters among us with Pancetta and Spicy Sausage also on top. An interesting take on an Italian classic but definitely one to try this Christmas if you’re looking to mix it up and move away from the traditional festive favourites. 

The stage at the front will be host to several live performers throughout December to provide plenty of festive cheer!

Slap and Pickle’s festive burgers. Photo: Hannah Wellock @ The Mancunion


From Christmas pudding burgers to Beetroot and Onion Bhaji Baubles, every kitchen at Society is getting in the Christmas spirit this year! 

Society is the perfect place for everyone, covering all bases – pizza, sushi, fried chicken and cauliflower, curry, gyozas – the list is endless. With 35 lines of beer, a selection of cocktails, and plenty of great wines on their list, Vocation & Co. ensures that all festive feasts are washed down with merriment. 

Slap and Pickle’s All I want for Christmas burger, and its vegan alternative, encapsulate everything about Christmas. A burger patty topped with cranberry Wensleydale, smoked bacon, and fried Christmas pudding with the option of onion gravy – essentially Christmas dinner in a festive bun. 

Other vendors available on the festive menu include Chaat Cart, Manzoku, Noi Quattro, and Yoki. All menus are £20 per person and available throughout December. 

Green Chef’s Christmas Menu

Whilst this may not be a Manchester restaurant, I wanted to give a little shout-out to Green Chef’s festive menu. As we all know, Christmas can be an expensive time of the year, especially being students in a cost-of-living crisis. 

This is a good alternative to eating out but still having that little treat and feeling the Christmas cheer with a festive meal. Green Chef has come out with a festive line of recipe boxes inclusive of six dietary requirements including vegan, low-carb, and pescetarian. Their festive offerings include a THIS Isn’t Chicken Roast Dinner, a Festive Spiced Glazed Duck, and my personal favourite, the Creamy Goat’s Cheese and, Fig Filo Parcels. 


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