Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced the full food and drink line up for Festival Square – the home of the Festival in the heart of the city.


Having built up a reputation as a foodie hotspot over the years, Festival Square’s eclectic 2019 street food line up has been carefully curated and promises an exceptional and affordable food and drink experience for visitors to this year’s MIF.


Featuring the most exciting independent food and drink innovators, Festival Square will be an extraordinary food destination, as well as the place to check out the exciting free programme of live music, DJs, special events and to pick up Festival info and tickets.



Festival Square is free to visit and open from noon until late each day from Friday 5 to Sunday 21 July.


JW Lees 
Festival Square’s official beer supplier, local family brewery JW Lees will be serving up beers, international wines, Champagnes and soft drinks and a limited-edition craft beer from The Boilerhouse (American Apricot Pale Ale).

This year, JW Lees will be also collaborating with Manchester Gin for a truly extraordinary Festival Brew especially for MIF, as distillery meets brewery and Manchester’s most iconic brewing family joins forces with one of the city’s most successful contemporary artisan drinks producers. 



The specially created bespoke brew has been inspired by the complex flavour profiles of Manchester Gin.  The resulting Manchester masterpiece is a citrusy pale ale which captures the signature botanicals of Manchester Gin perfectly. It will be on sale at JW Lees MIF Bar throughout the Festival.

Honest Crust 
The finest sour dough, wood-fired pizzas and summer salads will be served up daily from Mackie Mayor & Altrincham Market favourites Honest Crust. The Honest Crust MIF menu will include marinara and margherita.



There’ll also be a special MIF collaboration pizza with Ramsbottom food stars – Levanter who also started out as a mobile pizza operation before becoming the food darlings of Ramsbottom. The two brands are good friends and make up an exceptional Northern food duo who have joined forces especially for MIF with a Spanish pizza.


Gary Usher’s Kala, one of this year’s most anticipated restaurant openings, is coming to Festival Square. Serving up a bespoke collection of ‘on-the-go’ food especially for MIF, this collaboration represents an extra special opportunity to check out Kala’s understated and exceptional cuisine in a laid-back Festival setting.  Visitors can expect Truffle and Parmesan chips; Chickpea Panisse, Harissa Yoghurt and Rocket ; Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad with Sticky Walnuts;  Smoked Haddock Fishcake, Soft Boiled Egg, Peas with Mustard Seeds and Chilli; Braised Pork Shoulder, Salsa Verde with Israeli Couscous and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel and Honeycomb.



Manjit’s Kitchen 
Superb Indian vegetarian and vegan street food and snacks, all inspired by Manjit’s grandmother’s recipes, will be served up by MIF favourites Manjit’s Kitchen.  The award-winning team (Best Street Food at BBC Food and Farming Awards) will be serving up their much loved Chilli Paneer Wrap as well as Bhel Puri, Bhajis and their Mumbai Burger (Vada Pav).



Firebird Hope 
Originally a favourite at food and drink destination Hatch, and now a resident at one of Manchester’s hottest venues, YES, Firebird Hope are known for serving up the best free-range chicken, and vegan ‘chckn’ burgers in the land. They’ll be creating a special Festival Square menu with free-range chicken thigh and homemade seitan…



Fried Chicken Burger ‘Bahn Mi’

Free-range thigh with a polenta crust, sourdough ciabatta, pickled carrot/daikon, summer slaw, sriracha mayo, coriander


Fried Vegan ‘Chckn’ Burger ‘Bahn Mi’

House-made seitan with a polenta crust, sourdough ciabatta, pickled carrot/daikon, summer slaw, sriracha mayo, coriander


Fried Chicken Pieces

Free-range thigh, jerk seasoning, apple & cucumber salsa, mango hot sauce, green onions


Fried Vegan ‘Chckn’ Pieces

House-made seitan, jerk seasoning, apple & cucumber salsa, mango hot sauce, green onions


Sweet Potato Fries

Lime and chilli salt, all the sauces


All the above street food brands will be based inside a unique structure – ‘The Barn’. A beautiful covered space with rustic wooden beams this will be Festival Square’s own bespoke food hall. It’s been specially designed by Nicholas Henninger of OfCA and Paloma Gormley of Practice Architecture – the same team who are responsible for Festival Square’s new look in 2019.


Idle Hands Coffee
Independent coffee experts (and Manchester Food and Drink Festival Coffee Shop of the Year nominees) Idle Hands will be hosting MIF’s first full-time coffee residency, creating Festival Square’s own artisan coffee house open throughout the whole of MIF.  They’ll be serving up fresh coffee every day and espresso martinis by night using their own home-made coffee liqueur. The team’s famous tray bakes and vegan cherry pie will also be on the menu as well as a special MIF-inspired deal – “A Slice of Cherry Pie and a Damn Fine Cup of



Gingers Comfort Emporium 
Inventive and irresistible artisan ice cream will be served up from the Ginger’s Comfort Emporium van. Ice cream crusader Claire Kelsey, founder of Ginger’s, has also whipped up some special MIF19 inspired flavours drawing on her favourite Director David Lynch, whose work is one of the festival highlights… Look out for Bob’s Big Boy Chocolate Shake with Blue Velvet Cake.


Paul Heathcote & Friends 
As well as street food on the go, Lancashire legend Paul Heathcote has curated a series of Supper Clubs and Lazy lunches in Festival Square’s intimate Glass House.


At the Lazy Lunches, four of the finest chefs in the North West are teaming up to create and cook an exclusive MIF menu of four fantastic courses, all served over a relaxed two-and-a-half-hour setting on Sat 13, Sun 14 & Sat 20 July starting at 12.30pm:

Steven Doherty
The first Briton to become head chef of a three-Michelin-star restaurant at Le Gavroche

Paul Heathcote
Multiple Michelin-star-winning chef, in-demand caterer-consultant and longtime MIF collaborator

Mary-Ellen McTague

Formerly of Aumbry and the Gallery Café, more recently of Chorlton’s hugely acclaimed Creameries

Adam Reid

Great British Menu-winning chef-patron of the Adam Reid at the French (Sat 13 & Sun 14 July only)

All Lazy Lunches have now sold out.

The hugely popular Supper Clubs are returning too, with six acclaimed chefs cooking exclusive menus in the intimate and specially built Glass House on Festival Square, including Mark Birchall, whose Moor Hall has just been named Best Restaurant in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards.

Sunday 7 July

Sebastian Mazzola & Sussie Villarco

Cooking in Motion, Barcelona


Monday 8 July

Mark Birchall

Chef-Patron of Moor Hall, Aughton


Friday 12 July

Chantelle Nicholson

Chef-Patron at Tredwells, London


Sunday 14 July

Lisa Goodwin-Allen

Executive Chef at Northcote, Langho


Monday 15 July

Michael Wignall

Chef-Owner of the Angel at Hetton


Friday 19 July

Steven Smith

Head Chef at the Freemasons at Wiswell


The Supper Clubs are now sold out.


All of this will be on the menu at the redesigned Festival Square featuring a large new stage hosting a packed, free programme of live acts, DJs and performance. From funk to punk, gospel to electronica and reggae to R&B, the Festival Square stage will feature free shows from a genre-spanning array of emerging and established artists and performers.


Manchester International Festival runs from 4-21 July. For more information, please visit now.