Let’s face it – most of us plan our days around food (do you know what you’re having for dinner tonight!?), so why not plan your next trip around food too?! These 10 food festivals will have your taste buds jumping for joy and will kick your wanderlust into high gear as you explore the local cuisine, rub elbows with celebrity chefs, sample world-class wines, and savor the breathtaking sites around you. So, grab your family & friends, and plan to hit the road (or take to the skies) to experience these foodie-approved festivals.
1. South Beach Food & Wine Festival (SOBEWFF) Miami, FL
Feb. 23-26, 2023
You can’t beat the setting…sun, sand, surf, AND food & wine from some of the top chefs in the world. Get up close and personal (and grab a selfie) with your favorite celebrity chefs from the Food Network & Cooking Channel at the Grand Tasting Village (which is literally on the sands of South Beach). Trust us, it will be an event you’ll never forget. Learn More
2. New York City Wine and Food Festival (NYCWFF) New York, NY
Oct. 13-16, 2022
You won’t want to miss this 4-day, star studded event that supports God’s Love, We Deliver – a nonprofit that provides life-sustaining meals to those who need it most in NYC. There are more than 80 events to choose from, the most popular being intimate dinners and late-night parties with world-renowned chefs. It’s like a who’s-who of the celebrity chef world with stars from Rachael Ray & Giada De Laurentis to Daniel Boulud & Duff Goldman…and many, many more big names.
3. Charleston Wine + Food Charleston, SC
March 1-5, 2023
This one-of-a-kind festival showcasing local chefs and culinary artisans put Charleston on the map as a culinary destination. This is the perfect destination for a couple’s getaway, or to celebrate with a group of friends...after all, the theme of this festival is “human connection.” There are so many unique events to choose from – and it’s not just food. There are local musicians and artisans showcasing their talents too. Some stand out events include the “Waffle House Smackdown,” where 4 chefs battle it out in the name of breakfast; “Flutes & Frites” where you can sample Champagne with a side of fries; and “Cocktail Queens,” an afternoon of fun and fabulousness with a cocktail party hosted by local drag artists. Bachelorette party anyone? Learn More
4. Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Oahu, Maui & the Big Island
Oct. 20 – Nov. 6, 2022
Say “Aloha” to this event that features more than 150 internationally known master chefs, winemakers, and mixologists. With more than 20 events on 3 islands, this festival showcases some of the finest ingredients Hawaii has to offer including a grand tasting event hosted by Chef Masaharu Morimoto on the pool deck of the Alohilani Resort in Waikiki Beach, and a star-studded five-course dinner with Michelin Star and James Beard Award-winning chefs on Maui. The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) is put on by the nonprofit, Hawaii Ag and Culinary Alliance which has donated more than $3 million since its inception to organizations in Hawaii that support sustainability, agriculture, and culinary programs.
5. Taste of Chicago Chicago, IL
Multiple dates & locations with the largest event being July 8-10, 2022 in Grant Park
Grant Park will host more than 30 local vendors (including, you guessed it, Chicago’s famous hot dogs & deep-dish pizza) and musical headliners on the main stage such as Nelly who will be performing on July 8. Admission is FREE, and there are activities for all ages on site.
6. San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival San Diego, CA
Nov. 9-12, 2022
There’s a reason San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival was named the “Best General Food Festival” by the readers of USA Today…there’s something for everyone. From the celebration of craft beers to hundreds of wineries, and the variety of local and international cuisines, the festival culminates at the Grand Tasting event on the waterfront of the Embarcadero Marina.
7. Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival Las Vegas, NV
Oct. 5-9, 2022
Celebrate with a late night of decadent food & wine from some of Las Vegas’ most famous chefs at this open-air tasting event at Tivoli Village. Looking for something more intimate? Splurge for tickets to one of their celebrity chefs tasting dinners, like the one with Todd English at Olives in the Virgin hotel Las Vegas.
8. Austin Food & Wine Festival Austin, TX
Nov. 4-6, 2022
With events like “Grillin’ & Chillin” and “Rock Your Taco,” you know Austin’s Food & Wine Festival is bringing the heat. Brush up on your BBQ skills while interacting with some of the world’s best pitmasters and chefs giving first-hand advice around the live fire and this lively food festival. Learn More
9. Maine Lobster Festival Rockland, ME
August 3-7, 2022
BYOB (bring your own bibs) to this family-friendly feast that draws around 30,000 people to celebrate Maine’s most famous crustacean. But there’s more than just lobster…there’s an array of fresh seafood and a slew of events including parades, “Steins & Vines” tastings, and even lobster eating contests and a “Diaper Derby” for the kids.
10. Epcot Food & Wine Festival Orlando, FL
July 14 – Nov. 19, 2022
Disney-lovers and foodies unite at this annual festival where you can sample food and wine from 6 continents (drinks around the world anyone?). It’s a food lover’s paradise that’s fun for the entire family. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and stretchy pants because you’re going to want to sample foods like the waffles & beer from Belgium, the crispy fries and “Frosé Slush” from France, and the spanakopita & gyro from Greece. Plus, opening Aug. 15 this year, is Mac & Eats, where you can sample macaroni & cheese combos.
Note: You must have theme park tickets and Epcot Park reservations to attend.
By Darlene Carenza