The 10 Most Delicious Foodie Festivals Around the World
What better way to ward off winter’s chill than by warming your belly with the foodie-fueled fantasies of the world’s best food fetes? Whether you’re a meat lover, hunger for a good cup of joe, swoon for fresh seafood, or enjoy discovering a hot new food city, food festivals have something for everyone, and we’ve collected some of the best.
1. Taste of Chicago, Chicago, IL: The Taste of Chicago proves that the Windy City has a lot more to offer than deep dish pizza (though we’d be satisfied with just that). Said to be the largest outdoor food festival in the world, Taste of Chicago over a period of five days rounds up the city’s best chefs, from greasy dinners to five-star restaurants, and sets them loose on hungry diners. Sink your teeth into barbecued brisket, jerk chicken, mango sorbet, and, of course, pizza. There are lots of musical performances and kids’ activities too. (Photo via Andrew Miller/Choose Chicago)
2. Fall Flavours, Prince Edward Island, Canada: Lovingly known as “Food Island” among Canadians, every autumn the entire province of Prince Edward Island (famous as the home of the beloved redhead from Anne of Green Gables) transforms into a five-week-long culinary cornucopia as it celebrates the flavors of fall. While the Atlantic province is especially acclaimed for its seafood — like oysters, mussels, and lobster — it offers an array of tasty treats, all fresh from the sea or land. Signature events include Oysters on the Pier, the PEI International Shellfish Festival, and the not-to-be-missed Lobster Party on the Beach. Bring your lobster bib! (Photo via Canada’s Food Island)
3. Cayman Cookout, Grand Cayman Island: Put the words Cayman and cookout together, and you’re sure to have a happy foodie. Held on gorgeous Seven Mile Beach at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton on Grand Cayman, this event brings together some of the world’s most prestigious chefs to whip up meals that highlight the Caribbean’s bounty of flavors. Guests experience cooking demonstrations, exclusive dining events, fascinating local tours, and the chance to interact with some of the planet’s hottest culinary whizzes. Best of all, you can do your noshing in a bathing suit and flip-flops, if you so desire. (Photo via Cayman Islands Department of Tourism)
4. Food and Wine Classic, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand: Looking for an excuse to justify a trip to New Zealand? If so, you’ll want to add one of the country’s largest wine and food fests to your list. The Food and Wine Classic in breathtaking Hawke’s Bay shows off all the area’s assets, including award-winning wines and farm-fresh produce. No seafood, vegetables, or fruit need to be flown in for this party — everything is grown locally. If you’re wondering what Champagne to pair with oysters or how to make cheese, or if you just want to toast the sunset with a nice Pinot, this is the event for you. (Photo via FAWC)
5. Nevis Mango & Food Festival, Saint Kitts and Nevis: Why shouldn’t the mango get its very own festival? Sure, peeling them may be a pain, but that delicious, sweet, buttery interior makes it all worthwhile. No one appreciates the fruit more than the Caribbean island of Nevis, which hosts the annual Nevis Mango & Food Festival. Participants get lots of chances to sample all 40 — yes, 40 — of the island’s beloved varieties of the fruit. A highlight of the festival is when local and international chefs compete to create multi-flavored meals that showcase the mango in all its gastronomic glory. (Photo via Nevis Tourism Authority)
6. Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Kona, Hawaii: Ah caffeine, we do so love you. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival pays homage to one of the most coveted and expensive beans on the planet, and few places celebrate their craving for coffee quite like Hawaii’s big island. Enjoy a tour of a coffee farm, savor coffee-inspired meals (chocolate-java cake, anyone?), and learn about the rich coffee farming heritage that has sustained a community of growers in the region for over 200 years. It’s a one-of-a-kind chance to see firsthand just how the magical brew goes from bean to cup. (Photo via Kona Coffee Cultural Festival)
7. FOOD ZURICH, Zurich, Switzerland: Zurich is already legendary for its chocolate makers; now the FOOD ZURICH festival aims to ensure all the city’s culinary masters get their due. Throughout 11 days, the largest food festival in Switzerland shines the spotlight on the diversity of dishes Zurich has so successfully nurtured. Visitors can taste their way through over a hundred events, including kitchen battles and sommelier competitions, lessons on food styling, food-focused films, and cooking classes for meat-lovers and vegans alike. Oh, and yes, there will also be chocolate (lots and lots of chocolate). (Photo via FOOD ZURICH)
8. Yukon Culinary Festival, Whitehorse, Canada: Go north, my friend! If your sense of adventure extends to your palate, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Yukon Culinary Festival. Relish local game and fish like elk and salmon, sample local craft beers, and learn everything you need to know to cook over an open fire pit. Its location as one of North America’s most northern food festivals means you might even catch sight of the aurora borealis if you’re lucky — talk about romantic lighting. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Doucette)
9. Goût de France, France: Goût de France is the world’s largest celebration of French food. French restaurants, food markets, farmers, and wine experts come together for a variety of food-centric events held across the country. Just imagine the different varieties of croissants, wines, and cheeses available for sampling. Many regions will be offering four- to 10-course tasting menus with wine pairings, and in Paris, you can go on a special festival-only tour to discover the capital city’s 30 “key culinary sites.” C’est magnifique! (Photo via Judith Litvine/MEAE)
10. McLean’s Town Conch Cracking Festival, McLean’s Town, Grand Bahama Island: When it comes to sunny climes, there are few foods as quintessential as the conch. Started in 1972, the McLean’s Town Conch Cracking Festival celebrates all edible aspects of the popular sea snail. Watch as locals and visitors vie for the coveted title of head “conch cracker,” and explore the myriad ways to serve the tropical treat. There will also be plenty of live music, crafts (what else are you going to do with all those shells), and Bahamian cocktails to help wash all that food down. (Photo via Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation)
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