The best restaurants and bars have been named at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 29th January 2024

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards have named the best restaurants, bars, individuals and more in our city, in a glittering ceremony at New Century.

The MFDF Awards took place on Monday evening, championing the best of the city’s hospitality industry across 18 categories.

From the highly sought-after Restaurant of the Year award, to Chef of the Year and the new Takeaway of the Year award, more than 350 people piled into New Century for the celebrations.

Each category was packed with brilliant food and drink businesses from across Greater Manchester, with several awards dedicated to the people who keep the industry ticking.

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards shortlist was compiled by the MFDF judging panel, made up of food and drink critics and writers (hello, including us here at The Manc…)


Then the public had their chance to vote for their hospitality heroes, with some category scores being combined with the results of secret shopping visits from the judging panel.

Highlights include Higher Ground scooping Newcomer of the Year (on the same day they received a Bib Gourmand from Michelin), Fat Pat’s nabbing Food Trader of the Year, and Erst taking home the coveted Restaurant of the Year Award.


Alexa Stratton-Powell, Festival Director of Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards commented: “We’re delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 MFDF Awards. Times are more challenging than ever for the hospitality industry, which has made it all the more important to champion our fantastic nominees and winners tonight.

“Shining a light on the city’s incredible independent restaurants, bars, cafes and everything in between is what the awards are all about and we’ve loved bringing everyone together to celebrate.

“We’d like to thank the MFDF judges and presenters, the sponsors of the awards, everyone who voted and New Century for hosting a night to remember.”


All the winners of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards

Plant Based Offering of the Year

Winner – Bundobust, Oxford Street

Shortlist – Lily’s Indian Vegetarian Cuisine, Bahn Vi, The Walled Gardens, Maray, Speak in Code, Flawd, The Mekong Cat

Takeaway of the Year

Winner – Burgerism, Salford

Shortlist – Fat Pat’s, Ad Maoira, Unagi Street Food & Sushi, Ciaooo Garlic Bread, Wright’s Fish and Chips, Maida Grill House, Al Madina

Independent Drinks Producer of the Year

Winner – Track Brewing Co, Manchester


Shortlist – Sureshot Brewing, Stockport Gin, Cloudwater Brew Co., Tarsier Spirit, Pod Pea Vodka, Manchester Union Brewery, Squawk Brewing Co

Independent Food Producer of the Year sponsored by Capital & Centric

Winner – Pollen Bakery, Ancoats and Kampus

Shortlist – Great North Pie Co, La Chouquette, Gooey, Yellowhammer, The Manchester Smoke House, The Flat Baker, Companio Bakery

Foodie Neighbourhood of the Year sponsored by Manchester’s Finest 

Winner – Stockport

Shortlist – Levenshulme, Altrincham, Urmston, Prestwich, Monton, Sale, Stretford


Coffee Shop of the Year

Winner – Grapefruit Coffee, Sale

Shortlist – Cafe Sanjuan, Another Heart to Feed, Idle Hands Coffee, Bold Street Coffee, Smoak, Ancoats Coffee Co, Siop Shop

Food Trader of the Year

Winner – Fat Pat’s, Portland Street

Shortlist – Baratxuri, Chaat Cart, Triple B, Tawny Stores, Little Sri Lankan, Pico’s Tacos, Oh Mei Dumplings

Affordable Eats Venue of the Year

Winner – Ornella’s Kitchen, Denton


Shortlist – Nila’s Burmese Kitchen, Great North Pie Co, Cafe Sanjuan, Noodle Alley, Tokyo Ramen, Lily’s Deli, House of Habesha

Food and Drink Retailer of the Year

Winner – Cork of the North, Stockport

Shortlist – Ad Hoc Wines, Out of the Blue Fishmongers, Littlewoods Butcher, Wandering Palate, New Market Dairy, Petit Paris Deli, La Chouquette

Pop-up or Project of the Yer

Winner – Platt Fields Market Garden, Fallowfield

Shortlisted venues – Our Place, Tawny Stores, SAMPA, Little Sri Lankan, Suppher, Fare Share, Micky’s


Pub or Beer Bar of the Year sponsored by Sagres 

Winner – The Marble Arch

Shortlisted – Track Brewery Taproom, The City Arms, Runaway Brewery Taproom, Fox & Pine, Reddish Ale, Station Hop, Heaton Hops

Bar of the Year

Winner – Schofield’s Bar

Shortlist – The Jane Eyre, Blinker, Red Light, Sterling Bar, Hawksmoor, 10 Tib Lane, Flawd Wine

Neighbourhood Venue of the Year

Winner – Stretford Canteen


Shortlist – Restaurant Örme, OSMA, Ornella’s Kitchen, The Oystercatcher, Yellowhammer, Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop, The Jane Eyre

Great Service Award, sponsored by Boutinot

Winner – Hawksmoor, Deansgate

Shortlist – Higher Ground, Schofield’s Bar, Where The Light Gets In, Climat, Wood Manchester, Sterling Bar, Tast Catala

Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by Bruntwood

Winner – Higher Ground, New York Street

Shortlist – Climat, Restaurant Örme, Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop, The Jane Eyre, Madre, New Century Kitchen, Stretford Canteen


Chef of the Year, sponsored by the Manchester Evening News

Winner – Shaun Moffat, The Edinburgh Castle Pub

Shortlist – Joseph Otway (Higher Ground), Danielle Heron (OSMA), Luke Richardson (Climat), Julian Pizer (Another hand), Patrick Withington (Erst), Seri Nam (Flawd Wine), Mike Shaw (MUSU)

Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Stephenson’s

Winner – Erst, Ancoats

Shortlist – Higher Ground, Climat, Another Hand, 10 Tib Lane, OSMA, The Sparrows, Mana

The Howard and Ruth Award for Outstanding Achievement

Recognising people who have contributed something outstanding to the hospitality industry in Greater Manchester.


James Campbell, owner of Sureshot Brewery, and one of Manchester’s leading craft beer specialists. 

James has over two decades of experience in the industry, beginning his journey in Manchester with pioneers of the scene Marble, where he was head brewer for eight years. Then as co-founder and head brewer, he launched the high profile Cloudwater, before constructing brewhouses for the likes of Verdant, Deya, and Bundobust. Now, post-pandemic, he is owner of the acclaimed brewery, Sureshot. 

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Featured image: The Manc Group