Here’s an insight into some of our writer’s favourite stalls from the Christmas markets this year!
Hattie: Sausage stall, hot chocolate, and hog roast pork roll
After a failed attempt to secure the famous Yorkshire pudding wrap from ‘Porky Pig’, we decided to try the sausage stall in Exchange Square. Although the bratwurst was a hefty price of £8, it certainly did the trick of filling us up. Wrapped in a soft, pillowy bun, the sausage is warming, juicy and full of flavour. Opting for onions on top, this garnish complimented the saltiness of the sausage and provided a satisfying crunch as we demolished the sausage. If you’re feeling extravagant, the cheese sausage is certainly worth a try. Oozing with rich and indulgent (but not smelly) cheese, this sausage is warming, generously filled, and extremely satisfying.
For dessert, we had to go for the hot chocolate. And yes, the one with all the toppings – whipped cream, marshmallows, and a flake – for the extra 50p (duh)! Its creamy texture and decadent flavour will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth, making it the ideal beverage for a cold Christmas day. Plus, you can keep the Christmas-themed mug for an extra £3.50, which, in my opinion, is a no-brainer.
On my second outing to the Christmas markets, we went for the hog roast pork roll at the ‘The Pig & Barrel’ stall in Winter (Picadilly) Gardens. This hits every time. Again, whilst its costly price of £9 may be off-putting, the portion size is extremely generous. Filled with a layer of sage and onion stuffing and overloaded with roast pork, this roll is wonderfully messy to eat (maybe not on a date though).
You can add as much apple sauce as your heart desires, and for an extra £1, you can buy a pot of gravy to dip your roll in. This was an absolute game-changer. One pot was certainly enough for the three of us, so it was definitely worth the extra pound. With its thick gravy, well-seasoned stuffing, and juicy roast pork, this meal embodies the taste of Christmas in just one bite.
Hannah: Flat Baker
If you’ve been following the Christmas Markets on social media, you’ve likely come across Flat Baker. As a lover of both pastry and pistachio, I had to check this stall out, and they did not disappoint. I got the cinnamon bun with pistachio sauce, topped with pistachios. The two flavours blended together even better than I was expecting, creating a comforting treat.
My friend got the croissant with dulce de leche, which, while simple in theory, was well-baked and worked perfectly with the hot dulce de leche sauce, topped with whipped cream. The famous Manchester-based bakery also had other desserts on the menu, including a salted caramel and chocolate brownie. This stall certainly succeeded at pairing good quality pastries with rich, tasty sauces. Taking into account the inflated prices at any Christmas market, this is a sweet treat in Piccadilly Gardens which is well worth the price.
Neve: Coconut Macaroons & Kaiserschmarren
Saving room for a sweet treat is essential at Manchester’s Christmas Markets, and with the selection available, it’s hard to decide! The coconut macaroons at Piccadilly Gardens are one tasty treat that should not be slept on. These bite-sized coconut sweets are perfectly baked on-site and come in three flavours: original, chocolate chip, and rum & raisin.
Costing only £2 a macaroon, they also won’t break the bank, which can’t always be said for the other stalls. Admittedly, I am a fan of Bounty, so these were perfect for me. However, if that isn’t for you, the stall also sells the fluffiest scrambled pancakes, which can be covered in Nutella, Bueno, and white chocolate. These looked and smelt amazing and are a great option if you manage to save a little more room for dessert.
Asha: Greek Gyro’s
Indulge in the festive spirit at Manchester Christmas Market at Eat Grk with a colossal Greek gyro that promises a mouthwatering experience. Towering and generously packed, this gyro is a savoury delight featuring succulent chicken expertly seasoned to perfection. Encased in a warm, fluffy pita, the gyro is topped with a crisp salad and crowned with a dollop of creamy tzatziki sauce, adding a refreshing zing.
Each bite is a symphony of flavours, blending the taste of well-marinated chicken with the cool, tangy notes of tzatziki. Unleashing a burst of Greek authenticity, this festive treat is a must-try, satisfying cravings and igniting the holiday spirit. Although £10 may seem steep for a Christmas market lunch, it filled me up for the whole day, so I would recommend giving it a try. One bit of advice when tackling it is to grab as many napkins as possible because it will get messy!