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MFDF Award Nominations 2016

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Manchester Food and Drink Festival has today (23 June 2016) announced the shortlists for the most prestigious food and drink awards in the region – the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards.

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards are the longest standing, best-regarded awards in the region. They are recognised by the industry and consumers in equal measure and are owned and organised by the Festival.

They create a benchmark for excellence in the hospitality industries throughout Greater Manchester and are all about celebrating the best of our gastronomic offer in the region.


The below establishments have been officially nominated for an MFDF award by the MFDF Judging Panel, which is made up of the region’s leading food and drink critics and experts. Awards nominations will be posted on the MFDF website where they’ll face the public vote.


The public votes will be combined with scores from the judging panel obtained via mystery shop visits, made between the announcement date and the Gala Dinner on 10th October.

This year, awards will be presented in 17 categories including 5 new awards categories for 2016. These have been chosen to reflect the transformation of Manchester’s dining scene in recent years.

Phil Jones, Festival Founding Director said:

“The city’s vast, high-quality and diverse range of excellent dining venues requires a robust set of awards to recognise the breathtaking developments that have taken place in our city over the last few years. With that in mind, we’ve added some new categories to the list. It’s a fantastic time to award eating and drinking establishments here in Manchester. It’s all of these wonderful, mouth-watering venues that help to make us the world-class city that we are in 2016 – a big cheers to that!”

This year’s judging panel comprises food experts from across the region and includes...

Neil Sowerby, Taste of Manchester
Ruth Allan, Manchester Wire
Thom Hetherington, Holden Media
Simon Binns, Manchester Evening News
Emily Heward, Manchester Evening News
Emma Sturgess, Freelance Writer
Jamie Campbell, CGA Strategy
Helen Ramsbottom, Bitten Magazine
Matt White, XS Radio Manchester/Fodder
Deanna Thomas, Manchester Confidential

You can only vote once, so make yours count!

Voting closes 28th September at 9am.

The nominations are…

Restaurant of the Year, Sponsored by

Recognising the ‘best of the best’ dining establishments in Greater Manchester in 2016. This category can feature restaurants of any style or price point.

Premium & Fine Dining Venue of the Year, Sponsored by Bookatable

This new award for 2016 aims to recognise the best premium to fine dining establishments across the city.

Casual Restaurant of the Year

This new award for 2016 aims to recognise the best informal dining establishments in Manchester.

Newcomer of the Year, Sponsored by Manchester Evening News

Recognising the best new food and drink operations to open in Greater Manchester since the last awards decision period (12th July 2015).

Chef of the Year, Sponsored by City Card Manchester

Aiming to recognise the most talented and outstanding work of chefs cooking in Greater Manchester kitchens - his or her skill, menu, commitment and contribution to the dining scene.

Pub of the Year, Sponsored by Marston’s

Recognising the finest pubs in the region, focusing on quality and range of ales/beers and atmosphere.

Food Pub of the Year

Recognising our region’s ‘gastro pubs’ - a chance for ‘pub restaurants’ to be recognised in their own category.

Bar of the Year, Sponsored by Fever Tree

Craft Ale Bar of the Year

This new award for 2016 will recognise the best purveyors of craft ale across Greater Manchester.

Coffee Bar or Tea Shop of the Year

Recognising the best coffee bars and teashops in the region.

Cheap Eats Venue of the Year

Recognising the best venues that are visited for a high value, quick and simple dining experience. This category can include cafes, takeaways and any venue whereby the price point and service style mean that the overall concept is widely considered by customers to be a more of a ‘food on the go’ style of dining and a main meal and drink can be purchased for under £10.

Neighbourhood Restaurant of the Year

This new award is set to recognise the superb establishments that are based in the suburbs of Greater Manchester! This can take in anywhere from Didsbury to Wigan!

Front of House Team of the Year

This new award aims to recognise the most outstanding front of house team in Manchester. The panel were looking for the restaurant that goes that extra mile in terms of service – where customers can rely on an experience that makes them feel special, from greeting to leaving.

Best Food and Drink Retailer

To reflect the growing number and status of food and drink retailers in Greater Manchester, this year the MFDF panel have shortlisted their own nominees, rather than leave it to the public vote in full as in previous years.

Best Food and Drink Pop Up, Event, Club or Project

Designed to recognise the ever more pioneering food and drink one off projects, events, activities and pop ups happening in the region.

The Howard and Ruth Award for Outstanding Achievement
Sponsored by The Palace Hotel

Recognising a person or business who has contributed something outstanding to the food and drink industry in Greater Manchester over the last 19 years. There will be no shortlist for this category and businesses or individuals may not nominate themselves, but are welcome to nominate their peers.

Best Street Food of the Year

Awarding one of the Greater Manchester-based street food legends that are gracing our kerbs with an ever increasing plethora of gastro goods. To be eligible for this category traders must own a street food operation that has been trading for at least 6 months at the time of entry. A judging event for this award will take place at the Festival Hub during MFDF 2016. To get involved traders should email

festival event highlights

Nacho and Friends at Iberica

Nacho and Friends at Iberica

Tuesday 4th October 19:00 at Iberica, M3 3HF

Bookatable Festival Feast

Bookatable Festival Feast

Thursday 29th September - Monday 10th October

Innovation by Aiden Byrne | Hidden Banquet

Innovation by Aiden Byrne | Hidden Banquet

Friday 30th September 19:00 at London Road Fire Station , M60 7RA

Big Indie Wine Fest 2016

Big Indie Wine Fest 2016

Friday 7th - Saturday 8th October at The Whitworth, M15 6ER

Taste of Manchester for foodie news
CityCard Manchester
Bookatable Festival Feast