Christmas has become more than just a celebratory day of presents, turkey and watching rubbish TV – although we fully encourage people to do that on the day because traditions are meant to be kept…
It’s a time to wine and dine with your nearest and dearest, crack open the eggnog and tuck into those scrumptious mince pies.
But with so many options in our great city of Manchester, where should you go for a good festive feast?
1. Browns Manchester
Best for variety
- Festive menu – from £20.95
- Christmas Day Menu – £69.95
- Boxing Day Menu – from £24.95
- New Year’s Eve Menu – £39.95
- Festive Afternoon Tea £18.95
This year, Browns are offering a selection of festive menus from the 15th November-30th December. Whether you want to dine on Christmas Day or enjoy a nice afternoon tea, each menu has been specially created using fresh, seasonal ingredients. There is even a full gluten-free menu to choose from with a range of dishes.
If you are after something a little fancy, the festive menu offers fillet of salmon, duck liver parfait and dark chocolate torte. But if you simply can’t choose and want to try a bit of everything including turkey and cranberry brioche rolls and clementine and fig stuffing balls, the buffet menu is for you.
Best for Christmas cocktails
- 2 Course Lunch – £19.95
- 3 Course Lunch – £24.95
- 3 Course Dinner – £32.95
Located on Lloyd Street just off Deansgate, Gusto has a fantastic menu that is sure to add a little sparkle to your festivities.
Who can say no to daube of beef, butternut squash & mushroom pacchetto and smoked mackerel, with seasonal desserts like gingerbread panna cotta and a dark chocolate tart? We know we can’t!
To make your experience even more special, the team at Gusto have created a number of seasonal cocktails that will go perfectly with your meal. A cranberry whiskey sour might be the drink for you or perhaps it’s a spiced orange martini. Whatever your preference, Gusto will have a Christmas cocktail with your name on it.
Best for vegetarians
- Classic 3 Courses – from £19.95
- Super Frizzante – £25.95
Zizzi’s menu is always bursting with flavour and Christmas is no exception. The antipasti platter to share has everything you could wish for such as calamari, cured meats, tomato pesto bread and mixed olives. If you’re vegan, the bruschetta with green pesto, tomatoes and roasted garlic is simply delicious.
Mains include king prawn linguine, vegan festive classic pizza and ravioli di capri with baked lemon raspberry cheesecake or tiramisu for afters.
The super frizzante menu, which includes a glass of prosecco, has a few extra festive specials including beetroot cured salmon gravadlax, squid ink lobster tortelloni, roast duck festivo and clementine sticky toffee pudding. There is a gluten-free and vegan menu with plenty of options to choose from.
Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a discount and if you book to have your party between now and 30th November, Zizzi’s will give you 20% off your meal.
4. Jamie’s Italian
Best for group bookings
- The Festive Menu – £29.95
- The Big Feast Menu – £34.95
- The Ultimate Feast Menu – £39.95
Choose from three different menus at Jamie’s Italian this Christmas and sample some of the best quality food that Manchester has to offer. You will experience a festive welcome as soon as you walk in as each menu comes with fizz and crackers on arrival.
If you want to dine midweek in the day, the festive menu allows you to choose 3 courses served Monday-Friday between 12pm-6pm. Jamie’s famous antipasti plank comes with salami, buffalo mozzarella, marinated seasonal vegetables and plenty of other tasty treats.
Mains include cracker ravioli with chestnuts & crispy sage and truffled flash steak with Chianti red wine sauce. Once you are ready for something sweet you can choose from the festive dark chocolate tart, zuccotto di panettone and more.
Other options that feature on the feast menus include roasted cod, baked tunworth cheese and pumpkin arancini.
5. Bella Italia
Best for desserts
- Christmas Classico – from £17.99
- Christmas Festa – £25.99
- Christmas Day – £35.99
- New Year’s Eve – £24.99
Bella Italia has a range of festive menus this year that are perfect for any party. Choose from two or three courses on the Christmas Classico menu or if you want to add a bit of fizz to your meal, choose the Christmas Festa menu and they’ll throw in some prosecco too.
If you’re a fan of chicken wings, tagliatelle with salmon and limoncello tart then the classic menu is for you. But, if you fancy pâté, aubergine parmigiana and morello cioccolato, you might want to take a look at the Christmas Festa menu.
The Christmas Day and New Year’s Day menus are also superb with the Christmas Day menu offering tea, coffee, amaretti biscuits and limoncello to finish.