Manchester’s Indie Food and Drink Award Winners Announced

Picture of food and drink people sitting down at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards
Image: Carl Sukonik @thevainphotos

Celebrating independent food and drink heroes at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards (MFDF) ceremony, held at the Ticket Hall at Escape to Freight Island, Manchester.

THE four big awards went to the hugely talented Where The Light Gets In, Eddie Shepherd’s Walled Gardens, Another Hand and Speak In Code.

Picture of Where The Light Gets In restaurant with chairs and tables and big windowsThese winners for the 25th MFDF awards were chosen by a combination of a ‘mystery shopping panel’ selected from MFDF judges and public voting.  Independent food and drink producers were judged by a panel taste test. The rest of the awards were solely the result of the public vote, following huge success last year.

Manchester independents also showed evidence – not just greenwashing – of a commitment to sustainability, local sourcing, cultural diversity and inclusion.

Stockport’s Where The Light Gets In sources produce from The Landing, its own urban gardening space. Eddie Shepherd, in his plant-based ‘underground restaurant’ in Whalley Range, embraces bees with beehives and herbs in his walled garden.

Another Hand is a committed purchaser of fruit, veg and herbs from Cheshire’s Cinderwood market garden and Vegan cocktail specialists Speak In Code craft the various veg, fruit and spice-led cocktail concoctions in a mindful manner.

“The strength of this year’s awards are testament to the hard work and dedication of all the nominees. As ever, the awards put the spotlight on the incredible talent and resilience of our brilliant hospitality industry, says Alexa Stratton-Powell, MFDF director.

Here is the list of this year’s winners…

Restaurant of the Year
Recognising the ‘best of the best’ dining establishments in Greater Manchester in 2022, this category refers to venues visited primarily for a full dining experience featuring table service and a drink offering.

Where the Light Gets In (WTLGI) Stockport.

Shortlisted venues:
10 Tib Lane; Erst; The Sparrows; Another Hand; Mana; The Firehouse.

Newcomer of the Year
Recognising the best new food and drink operations to open in Greater Manchester.

Another Hand, Deansgate, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
The Alan, The Black Friar, Bundobust (Oxford Street); Flawd; Yellowhammer; 10 Tib Lane.

Bar of the Year
Recognising the best drinking venues in the region that specialise in a “wet-led” offer and aren’t considered ‘pubs’.

Speak in Code; Jackson’s Row, Manchester.

Picture of Speak In Code award winners, two men holding a trophy at the Manchester Food and Drink Awards
Image: Carl Sukonik @thevainphotos

Shortlisted Venues:
Blinker Bar; Flawd; Henry C; Ramona; Schofield’s Bar; Speak in Code; 10 Tib Lane.

Chef of the Year
Aiming to recognise the most talented and outstanding work of chefs cooking in Greater Manchester kitchens – their skill, menu, commitment and contribution to the dining scene.

Eddie Shepherd, The Walled Gardens, Whalley Range.

Shortlisted Chefs:
Caroline Martins, Sao Paulo Project, Blossom Street Social; Joseph Otway; Flawd; Sam Buckley, Where The Light Gets In; Patrick Withington; Erst; Adam Reid, The French; Julian Pizer, Another Hand.

Pub or Beer bar of the Year
Recognising the finest pub and beer bars in the region, focusing on quality and range of ales, beers and atmosphere.

The Kings Arms, Salford.

Shortlisted Venues:
Bridge Beers; Heaton Hop; House of Hops; Nordie Track Taproom; Station Hop.

Food and Drink Retailer of The Year
The Best Food and Drink Retailer celebrates the best food and drink shopping experiences in the region.

Chorlton Cheesemongers Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Ad Hoc; Hello Oriental; Coopers Lets Fress Deli; Le Social; Out of the Blue; Wandering Palate.

Independent Food Producer of the Year
Recognising the best producers of fine food across Greater Manchester. Those independent businesses who are doing exciting things to produce incredible artisan food.

Dormouse Chocolates Deansgate Mews, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Great North Pie Co; Holy Grain; La Chouquette; Long Boi’s Bakehouse; Polyspore; Yellowhammer.

Coffee Shop of the Year
Recognising the best coffee shops in Greater Manchester.

Pollen Cotton, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Cafe Sanjuan; Factory Coffee; Grind and Tamp; Grapefruit; Just Between Friends; Station South.

Food Trader of the Year
Awarding the Greater Manchester-based food heroes that are gracing our food halls, markets and events with an ever-increasing range of gastro goods.

Burgerism, Salford.

Shortlisted Venues:
House of Habesha; The Little Sri Lankan; Lovingly Artisan; Mira; New Wave Ramen; Pico’s Tacos.

Plant Based Offering of the Year
This award recognises venues that provide innovative and exciting dining options for vegetarian and vegan diners.

Wholesome Junkies, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Four Side Pizza; Herbivorous; Otto Vegan Empire; Ruyi Vegetarian House; Sanskruti; The Walled Gardens.

Affordable Eats Venue of the Year
Recognising the best venues that are visited for a high value, quick and simple dining experience.

Salt & Pepper MCR Black Dog Ballroom, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Aunty Ji’s; Bahn Mi Co Ba; Cafe Sanjuan; Levenshulme Bakery; Go Falafel; Mama Flo’s.

Foodie Neighbourhood of the Year
This award was set up in 2021 to celebrate those thriving communities and neighbourhoods in Greater Manchester that continue to build a name for themselves as a ‘go-to’ foodie destination.

Ancoats, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Chapel Street, Salford; Monton; Prestwich; Ramsbottom; Sale; Stockport.

Pop Up or Project of The Year
Recognising exciting projects and events and showcasing innovation and creativity within the food and beverage sector.

Stockport Foodie Friday

Shortlisted Venues:
Platt Fields Market Garden; Sao Paulo; Suppher; Eat Well Spring Festival; Bungalow at Kampus; Heart and Parcel.

Independent Drinks Producer of the Year
This award recognises the amazing independent drinks producers in Greater Manchester.

Hip Pop Manor House Farm, Altrincham.

Shortlisted Venues:
Bundobust Brewery; Cloudwater; Into the Gathering Dusk; Stockport Gin; Steep Soda; Track Brewing.

Neighbourhood Venue of the Year
This award is set to recognise the superb establishments that are based in the suburbs of Greater Manchester.

Bar San Juan, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Baratxuri; The Easy Fish Co.;Nila’s Burmese Kitchen; Ornella’s Kitchen; Osma; The Perfect Match.

Great Service Award
This award has been created to recognise teams and individuals working front of house across the hospitality sector that go above and beyond to make their customers feel extra special and give them a great service experience.

Dishoom, Manchester.

Shortlisted Venues:
Bull & Bear; Hawksmoor; Flawd; Schofield’s Bar; Speak in Code; 10 Tube Lane.

The Howard and Ruth Award for Outstanding Achievement
Recognising people who have contributed something outstanding to the hospitality industry in Greater Manchester.

John and Rosemary Barratt, Stockport Foodie Friday


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