The best traditional food at Manchester Christmas Markets 2023, where to find it, and what it will cost you

European classics like bratwurst, crepes, and garlic potatoes are still plentiful at the Manchester Christmas Markets

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 26th November 2023

For years and years, you could barely move at the Manchester Christmas Markets for swing grills filled with bratwurst and bars selling gluhwein, but the festive event’s food scene has changed somewhat of late.

As time has gone on, the markets have started to show off a lot more local talent, and now you can buy everything from dumplings to croissants to Brazilian stews to patatas bravas here.

It’s exactly what people have been calling for for years, with Mancs always complaining that the Christmas Markets were too repetitive or slamming ‘overpriced hot dogs’.

But last year, the council did exactly what people asked for and curated a more diverse list of traders, then got pelted with negative reviews for it. They can’t win…

We’ve already rounded up our favourite food spots at this year’s Manchester Christmas Markets, which has included El Gato Negro, Little Piece of Bahia, Triple B, and Yard and Coop.


Now it’s on to the more traditional fare. Here’s where you can still find a taste of a classic German Christmas market here in Manchester, along with prices…

The best traditional food at Manchester Christmas Markets 2023

Yorkshire pudding wrap

It looks like the viral crazy of the Yorkshire pudding wrap is here to stay. Far from being a one-year wonder, the stalls selling these incredibly British concoctions are consistently the busiest at the markets every year.


It’s basically a carvery dinner but instead of a plate you get a giant Yorkshire pudding.

Porky Pig are the most famous by far but there’s another stall selling the same in Cathedral Gardens.

Price: £8.50 from Porky Pig



It’s a uniquely Christmassy experience to accidentally make eye contact with someone while sinking your teeth into a bratwurst.

And while the swing grills that used to dominate the markets are dying out, you’ll still find yourself a sausage at most sites around town.

The classic is the one from the Witch House, home of the giant sausage statue, on New Cathedral Street, where you can also get a great warming currywurst.

There’s even a stall this year selling vegan bratwursts so plant-based elves can still enjoy a treat.

Price: £7.50 from The Witch House (£8 on Exchange Square, £7 on St Ann’s Square)


Garlic potatoes

You’ll smell them coming before you see them, and based on the queues every single lunchtime, the garlic potatoes are a fan favourite still.

It’s hard to imagine the markets without this stand on King Street, where absolutely massive pans of traditional French winter warmers are cooked up all day long.

You can go for garlic mushrooms, mustard chicken, or provencale chicken, served with either rice or garlic potatoes.

The potatoes are the correct choice…

Price: Mustard chicken with garlic potatoes, £7.50 for regular or £9.50 for large


Hog roast

Is there a greater, more nostalgic butty than a hog roast roll, dripping in apple sauce? Nah, don’t think so.

The Pig & Barrel at the Winter Gardens (aka Piccadilly Gardens) keeps it simple, as it should be, and although it’s a little on the expensive side it’s a seriously filling lunch.

As traditional Christmas Markets food goes, this is up there.

Price, £9


Wasn’t sure anyone actually liked mulled wine in all seriousness, but judging by the number of navy blue Nutcracker mugs getting about town, warm spicy wine is still the drink of winter.


You don’t have to look far to find yourself a mulled wine at the Manchester Christmas Markets – most bars are selling some variation of gluhwein, mulled cider, or hot toddy.

Nothing screams Christmas quite like a face full of clove-scented steam, does it?

Price: The cheapest is £5 from the Apres Ski Bar at Winter Gardens – most others £5.50 or £6

Dutch mini pancakes

Is it the satisfying way these tiny sweet treats are flipped over in their special pan, is it the way they blow icing sugar up your nose as you eat them, is it that one bite transports you straight to a snowy mountain?

Whatever it is that wins us all over with a good mini pancake (Poffertjes, to give them their proper name), we’re glad to see them back for another year.


The best stall is over on New Cathedral Street, where pancakes start from £5 but go up in price as you add toppings.

Price: £5+

Read more

Featured image: The Manc Group