MFDF is set to celebrate 25 years with sustainable efforts and its biggest set-up yet

The Queen might be celebrating 70 years on the throne this year, but Manchester Food and Drink Festival is turning 25, and we know which bash we’d rather be invited to. Soz, Queen. 

It's not your usual packed with tat and bratwursts kind of gaff

A nationally acclaimed event that started back in 1998, the event shows off the best of Manchester’s food and drink scene with names like Michel Roux, Bill Wyman and Tom Kerridge featured on the previous lineups of proper food and booze. 

Regarded as the most important festival of its kind across the region, this year’s festival is taking place in September in the usual Cathedral Gardens spot. As it’s a big birthday, there will also be a focus on bringing back some of the best chefs and events from the festival's history. 

With an extra special quarter-century “bonanza” planned, here’s the current rundown for this year’s Manchester Food and Drink Festival. 

Manchester Food And Drink Festival 25Th Anniversary Cathedral Gardens 2022
MFDF's 25th Anniversary is set to be a biggie Image: Manchester Food and Drink Festival

The biggest one yet

This foodie fest is a big date in the diary every year, but the 2022 edition is set to be the biggest one yet. Showcasing the most exciting hospitality offerings from across the region right now, the festival aims to look back into the past and forwards to the future simultaneously, emphasising what the 10-day event means to the city. 

With a pop-up food and drink village, beer, wine and gin bars, a full artisan food market, and stages for live music, it's not your usual packed with tat and bratwursts kind of gaff. 

Although the actual Festival Hub is based in Cathedral Gardens, there will also be loads more events taking place outside of the epicentre as bars, restaurants and venues across the city focus on bringing the programme to life with an event for each night of the festival. 

Manchester Food And Drink Festival Cathedral Gardens 2021
The festival is always a proper hoot Image: Manchester Food and Drink Festival

It's come a long way

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival was founded by Phil Jones 25 years ago, and reflecting on its history and legacy the founder states: “We’re proud and excited to be presenting the 25th Anniversary Manchester Food and Drink Festival. I can honestly say when we started the Festival 25 years ago we could never have imagined what was to come for the city or the event itself."

Ahead of the 2022 event, Phil also explains,"This year’s Festival will be about celebrating that progress and looking ahead too… From restaurants that took part in the very first MFDF to some of the hottest new talent, it’s going to be a superb Festival for everyone”. We look forward to it, Phil. 

Manchester Food And Drink Festival 25Th Anniversary Cathedral Gardens 2022
No more plastic crap at MFDF this year Image: Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Thinking of the planet

A key focus and initiative for this year's Food and Drink Festival is sustainability. Planning to make its 25th anniversary the most environmentally-friendly one yet, the programme includes panel talks, zero waste chats, and budget cooking classes.

A completely plastic-free Festival Hub will also be in operation as all businesses and pop-ups focus on recycling, reducing, and reusing as much as possible. No more plastic pint pots and shit blue forks. 

Manchester Food And Drink Festival 2022 25Th Anniversary Cathedral Gardens
There's loads of ways to put your name on the map at MCR food and drink fest Image: Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Calling all tradies

Applications for getting involved with MFDF are now live. Although September feels far away right now, we're almost in June (scary) so get your skates on if you want to reserve a spot. Looking for local indies, thriving businesses and all foodie offerings big and small, it's a great way to get your name out there and your nosh on the map. 

Restaurants, bars, chefs, operators, makers, bakers, and innovators are all invited to take part and can get in contact with the festival over email at The Festival Hub is a diverse, inclusive and exciting place, so the foodie offerings are set to match. 

Manchester Food And Drink Festival Cathedral Gardens 2022
Keep an eye out for programme announcements and events listings online Image: Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Dates, times, and a future programme

The 25th Anniversary of Manchester Food and Drink Festival is set to take place from Thursday 15 September - Sunday 25 September, with the Festival Hub closed for three days between Sunday 18 and Wednesday 21. As always, the usual awards ceremony will also run alongside the festival with categories such as "foodie neighbourhood of the year" and "bar of the year" up for grabs. 

The Hub will be based in Cathedral gardens and is completely free to enter. Events will also be scattered around the city centre in other bars and restaurants with details to be confirmed. A full programme of events is yet to be announced, but you can keep an eye out for talks, classes and pop-ups online. Add the dates to your diary now and follow the festival on socials to keep up with announcements. 

Read next: Manchester Craft Beer Festival reveals food line-up for 2022 return

Read again: Yas Queen! Things to eat, drink and do on Jubilee weekend 2022

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