Here Are 10 Of The Greatest Food Festivals In The Nation
If you’re like us, you like to be surrounded by like-minded individuals, specifically epicureans. Every year, food festivals around the country bring together the top chefs and culinary concepts and the best part is, you can actually be a part of it all. There’s really no better way to experience a destination than through its cuisine. Now combine a few glasses of wine or a cocktail with great company and you’ll be in a food lover’s paradise. We’ve created a list of the greatest food festivals in the country where you can eat, drink, explore and take all of the food photos your heart desires.
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) is a five-day long celebration in sunny Miami Beach, Florida. This festival usually brings together the cream of the crop when it comes to celebrity chefs, including everyone from Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay to Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri. You can expect other familiar faces like Chopped judges Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli and Amanda Freitag. The festival includes over 80 events and features demonstrations, special dinners and cooking classes. It’s an ideal tropical getaway that combines the top personalities from the winemaking world with the culinary world.
The main event of the Charleson Wine and Food festival is the “Culinary Village” located in Marion Square, a large historic park right smack in the middle of downtown Charleston. The five-day-long event has winemakers, authors, music, small intimate events, signature dinner series, unforgettable brunches and excursions around Charleston’s surrounding neighborhoods. The festival celebrates Charleston’s culinary heritage and southern traditions while the money raised goes towards scholarships for those studying in the culinary and hospitality fields.
Every year in The Big Easy, AKA New Orleans, around 7,000 gourmands, industry leaders, wine connoisseurs, art and music lovers come together for one of the most unbelievable culinary events in the nation. The festival has hundreds of wineries and restaurants that participate and showcase the proud soul food and the best Creole and Cajun cuisine that this eclectic and vibrant city has to offer. You can stroll through the French Quarter, try wines from around the world and attend a Gala at the end of it all. The money raised goes towards helping the community through food banks and culinary schools and helps to keep New Orleans culture alive.
At Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, Epcot celebrates international culture and technological innovation and has been referred to as the “permanent World’s Fair.” The food and wine festival gives you the opportunity to see Disney World through a culinary lens. You can sample all of the global cuisines on the go and enjoy live music performances.
This four-day event celebrates the ultimate food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles and features culinary personalities from across the nation. There are tastings, demos, seminars, dinners and more. Over the course of the festival, you’ll be introduced to over 50 of LA’s biggest culinary names, restaurants and wineries and you’ll get a taste of the cultural sophistication of the city. You expect musical appearances from the biggest names in the entertainment industry while you sip and eat on the red carpet.
Plan a tropical vacation around the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival. The festival takes place on multiple islands and will feature over 100 internationally renowned chefs, culinary personalities and wine and spirit producers. Enjoy the lush landscapes of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu with wine tastings, cooking demos, island excursions and one-of-a-kind opportunities to experience the state’s local cuisine from farmers, fisherman and ranchers.
New York City is probably the most ideal spot for a food festival with easy access to the country’s most prominent chefs and restaurants. There are over 100 events and 100% of the net proceeds go towards the Food Bank For New York City and the No Kid Hungry campaign. The four-day celebration is jam-packed with influential culinary talent, crazy themed events and lots of booze.
Known as LA’s largest and most affordable tasting event, the LA Food Fest is a three-night celebration with food, entertainment, culture and a sense of community. The event kicks off in the Rose Garden and leads into general admission where attendees can choose their own experience. Sample food and drinks from over 100 vendors including LA’s best chefs, restaurants, carts and food trucks. There’s also a chef-driven “long table” event on Saturday and Sunday with a “hangry brunch,” lunch and dinner.
Austin is one of the best food cities in the nation, known for its booming live music scene, outdoorsy vibe and impressive barbecue. Head to Texas for a weekend-long culinary extravaganza filled with grilling demonstrations, fire pits, chef showcases and hundreds of purveyors serving up their best food, wine and spirits. You can learn kitchen secrets from industry experts, mingle with celebrity chefs and even throw on your own apron and fire up a grill with the professionals. From taco duels to stellar live music, the Austin Food and Wine festival is a party you won’t want to miss.
If you had to choose one food festival out of the bunch, the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen is up there at the top. World-renowned chef Thomas Keller told Food & Wine, “The Classic is in a class by itself. You can’t compare it to other culinary events. This is It. This is the Superstar. This is the place to come. If you’re going to go to one festival event, it has to be the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.” At the base of Aspen Mountain, you’ll get to take in all of the fresh air, nature and mountain views while you mingle with celebrities and enjoy cuisine from the most accomplished winemakers, chefs and culinary experts around the country.