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The Best Food Festivals Around The World

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July 9, 2017 / International / By
ETG - Food For Thought

Going to a food festival means indulging in delicious dishes, discovering new types of food, learning about traditions, satisfying food cravings, experiencing different cultures and lifestyles and numerous other things. There are plenty of food festivals around the world and visiting every single one of them is not necessarily possible however, with a little bit of planning and a lot of love for food, you can visit the best of them. In our list of best food festivals around the world we tried to include a variety of food festivals that will cater to all of our foodies but if we missed something, feel free to let us know or join us and share details about your favorite food festival with our foodie community.

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Image source: Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Where? Hokitika, New Zealand

Hokitika is a small town situated on the west coast of New Zealand that hosts a special food festival for adventurous foodies. If you are not afraid to try things you didn’t know that can be turned into a meal, Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is the place to be. From seagull eggs to possum cutlets, frogs’ legs and snails, the festival will not disappoint your food curiositites.

More details about the festival here.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Where? China

Also known as Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival is, after the Chinese New Year, the most important festival in China. Mid-Autumn Festival means celebrating the harvest and giving thanks to the moon during the middle of the autumn season, more specifically on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Calendar. People gather to offer moon cakes as a sacrifice for the moon and give them as gifts to family and friends. Moon cakes are a type of pastry filled with egg yolk, jujube paste, lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste or five kernel and they are usually served with tea. The festival includes dragon dances and other activities including people launching lanterns.

Pahiyas Festival

Where? Lucban, Philippines

Image source: Pahiyas Festival

Lucban, Philippines is the place where tourists and locals celebrate Pahiyas. Pahiyas is a colorful festival that involves decorating houses with various food items including bananas and dyed rice flour. Pahiyas Festival celebrates the harvest and it’s a happy celebration that includes dances, various activities and, of course, delicious local food.

More about the festival here.

Golden Spurtle

Where? Carrbridge, Scotland

Image source: Golden Spurtle

A classic Scotland breakfast means porridge and Scots love it so much that they even have a food festival dedicated to this breakfast classic. Taking place in Carrbridge, Golden Spurtle is more a competition than a festival but the guests get to test various types of porridge prepared by the creative contestants and to witness the competition at the same time so we think we like this concept of competition-festival or festival-competition. Porridge is a healthy dish so visiting Golden Spurtle is a safe choice for those who want to be present at a food festival for the atmosphere but not to give up their healthy food choices.

More details about the festival here.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Australia

Where? Melbourne, Australia

Image source: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Australia

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is a 10 day affair that involves numerous activities for foodies including workshops, wine-tasting, themed food crawls, international dinner meals and, the highlight of the festival, The Longest Lunch – a 530 meter table where guests can indulge in a three course meal prepared by renowned local chefs while admiring the beautiful views of the coastline.

More info about the festival here.

The Onion Market

Where? Bern, Switzerland

If you don’t like onions, you can skip this festival and check out the rest of our list however, if you think food without onions or is boring, The Onion Market is something you should know about! Onion tarts, onion soup, onion sausages are just some of the onion dishes you will be able to discover during The Onion Market. If you visit the festival during breakfast time, you will also be able to try Zupfe, braided milk bread, or various cheese tarts. But, if you plan to visit The Onion Market during the afternoon, you will enjoy all the delicious dishes we mentioned above plus some and, as a bonus, you will witness or be part of a confetti fight.

Salon du Chocolat, France

Where? Paris, France

Image source: Salon du Chocolat

Chocolate lovers Salon du Chocolat is a festival you shouldn’t miss! Salon du Chocolat is too elegant to be called a festival but Paris doesn’t know how to live without elegance even when we’re talking about food festivals. If you don’t know what to expect from a chocolate festival, let us tell you – you can expect the most delicious chocolate in the world thanks to all the chocolatiers from across the globe that are present at Salon du Chocolat, you can see how fashion and chocolate are perfect for each other during a fashion show that features models wearing clothes made out of chocolate, you can participate in workshops where you’ll learn how to make chocolate, but most importantly you can take part in as many chocolate tastings as you want while learning about chocolate production.

More details about the festival here.

Maslenitsa Pancake Festival, Russia

Where? Russia

Celebrated during the week before the Lent, Maslenitsa is a Russian holiday that involves saying goodbye to winter and hello to spring in a very delicious way that includes blini, Russian pancakes that can be served with all kinds of fruits, jams and even caviar.

There are numerous rituals and festivities associated with Maslenitsa and you will be able  to discover them in all Russian cities and towns.

Savour

Where? Singapore

Image source: Savour

Singapore is home to numerous food festival including one of the biggest food festivals in the world, Savour. Savour is not your typical food festival where you can buy food from food stalls and spend a lot of time eating and attending concerts and other activities, Savour means gourmet experiences and dishes made by world-class restaurants’ chefs. If you want to learn more about gourmet food, you can participate in gourmet food classes or gourmet tastings. Those who want to experience the gourmet world but don’t have the budget for it can do it during Savour festival since most dishes have reduced prices during the festival.

More details about the festival here.

Alresford Watercress Festival

Where: Alresford, England

Image source: Alresford Watercress Festival

Alresford Watercress Festival is a quirky festival that celebrates a traditional aquatic herb used in England cooking – the watercress. The festival takes place in a village and what we love the most about the location is that you know that all the ingredients used for preparing meals are fresh and seasonal. There are celebrity chefs involved in the festival so don’t you think that you won’t be able to see creative ways to use watercress. The classic soups, sauces and salads made with watercress will be definitely present but you will also see watercress sushi rolls and even beef Wellington in watercress.

More details about the festival here.

Foodies Festival

Where? UK

Image source: Foodies Festival

If village festivals are not really your thing, Foodies Festival is probably a better option for you if you are in the UK. Foodies Festival takes place in numerous cities across UK including Brighton Bristol, London, New Castle and Birmingham. Foodies Festival is the biggest food festival in the UK, held annually during spring months. The festival gives you plenty of opportunities to experience food in various ways. From food eating contests to learning to cook from experienced cooks, meeting celebrity chefs, Foodies Festival is a great way to spend the day with your foodie friends.

More details about the festival here.

Oktoberfest

Where? Germany

Image source: Oktoberfest.de

Oktoberfest celebrates beer but beer without food during a festival is not a good thing so this is why if you visit Munich during Oktoberfest, you will be able to enjoy a variety of traditional German dishes and snacks. Be ready for pretzels, bratwurst and other types of German sausage, roasted meats and, of course, the finest brews.

If you want to learn about the history of Oktoberfest, check out this article.

More info about the festival here.

Sacramento Bacon Festival

Where? Sacramento, California

Image source: Sacramento Bacon Festival

Bacon was oh-so-popular during the last years in the foodie community. Chefs, cooks and food bloggers started to be extra-creative with bacon in the kitchen and the results were loved by everyone. So it’s not a surprise that somewhere in the world, there are festivals dedicated to bacon. Sacramento is just one of the many cities that has a Bacon Festival but we chose to talk about it because we love the dedication of the local chefs and also the local foodie community. Bacon desserts are a thing right now and during the Bacon Festival of Sacramento you will be able to try some of them. You can choose between bacon covered in chocolate, gelato with bacon but you can also opt for more traditional bacon dishes like bacon salad, burgers and bacon & egg muffins. Live music and beer cannot miss from this type of festival and they won’t!

More details about the festival here.

Maine Lobster Festival

Where? Maine, USA

Image source: Maine Lobster Festival

We talked about Maine’s love for lobsters before, but we never talked about Maine Lobster Festival and we think now it’s time to have this conversation with you. Maine Lobster Festival means five days of testing numerous lobster dishes, such as lobster rolls, simple boiled lobster covered in butter or numerous types of lobster salads. Besides lobsters, the festival guests will enjoy live music and will be able to get involved in numerous fun activities.

More info about the festival here.

O Grove Seafood Festival

Where?  O Grove Spain

If tasty and healthy food is all you want from a food festival, you should plan a visit to Spain during O Grove Seafood Festival. The Seafood Festival is a tradition in O Grove, the first time the festival took place was in 1963 and since then the community managed to make it a touristic attraction. The live folk music you will be hearing during the festival is the perfect background music for dishes like baked scallops, clams and countless seafood rice dishes.

Ottawa Poutine Fest

Where? Ottawa, Canada

Image source: Ottawa Poutine Fest

French fries, cheese curds and gravy are the main ingredients of poutine, a Canadian comfort food so loved that it has a festival dedicated to it. Of course, during the three days of the festival, tourists and locals can discover other flavors of the classic poutine, such as butter chicken poutine, smoked salmon poutine, pulled pork poutine, Greek poutine and Thai poutine. Don’t count calories if you go to Ottawa Poutine Festival, trust us it is safe to not do it, especially if you order something crazy like poutine wrapped in deep fried bacon.

More info about the festival here.

Toronto Ribfest

Where? Toronto, Canada

Image source: Toronto Ribfest

If you are still in Canada and you think your cholesterol level is somehow ok after visiting the Ottawa Poutine Festival, pay a visit to Toronto Ribfest, another festival where you shouldn’t count calories and just enjoy the countless options of comfort food you can order. Toronto Ribfest celebrates grilled ribs but there are other grilled meats you can order and some veggie options just in case you want to convince yourself the food you are eating is healthy.

More info about the festival here.

Ardeche Chestnut Festival

Where? Ardeche, France

Ardeche is the place where you can find 62 varieties of chestnuts, Ardeche is also the place with the largest chestnuts production in France and the place where you can participate in Ardeche Chestnut Festival. From classic roasted chestnuts to more elaborated dishes with chestnuts, such as soups, stews or desserts, Ardeche Chestnut Festival is perfect for exploring numerous varieties of chestnuts but also the numerous ways chestnuts can be incorporated into everyday dishes or gourmet dishes.

Taste of Chicago

Where? Chicago, United States

Image source: Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago is a must for all foodies. The festival is huge and the food opportunities are endless. You can buy food from a food truck or test some dishes from a pop-up restaurant, your choice. When it comes to the dishes you can choose from, there are no limits whatsoever, Taste of Chicago is the place where you will find the best street foods in the world including pizza, hot dogs, jerk chicken, crepes, gelato, burgers and noodles but also three course meals prepared by the best chefs of the city.

More info about the festival here.

Dumpling Festival

Where? Hong Kong, China

Dumpling Festival is celebrated by Chinese families all over the world but for the best experience we highly recommend visiting the Dumpling Festival in Hong Kong that takes place every year during the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Dumplings, also known as zong zi, are a traditional Chinese food made of glutinous rice and filled with various ingredients. The most common dumplings’ fillings are pork, beef, Chinese mushrooms, water chestnuts and cooked peanuts but nowadays crab or shrimp dumplings are also popular.

More info about the festival here.

Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival

Where? Little Chute, United States

Image source: Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival

Cheese lovers and cheese aficionados go to France, Italy or Switzerland for cheese tours and cheese dishes but American foodies have a different way to celebrate cheese and that includes going to cheese festivals like Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival. This three days festival brings together cheeses from all over the world. From Greece’s delicious feta to the sophisticated taste of France’s brie and the so loved cheddar, foodies can sample almost any type of cheese but they can also try a variety of dishes made with cheese. Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival is great for families, the kids have all sorts of fun activities they can try while adults can participate in cheese and wine tastings.

More info about the festival here.

Bangkok Vegetarian Festival

Where? Bangkok, Thailand

In Bangkok, the Vegetarian Festival is a nine day celebration that revolves around vegetarian Asian dishes. Foods with a strong smell are not allowed during the festival but there are plenty of noodle, tofu dishes but also other types of simple food you can order during the celebration of the nine Emperor Gods. During the night, Bangkok is lighten up with candles and lanterns and the locals and tourists watch unique opera performances.

Pizzafest

Where? Naples, Italy

Everybody’s favorite food or at least favorite comfort food, pizza, is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm in Naples during the month of September. All the pizzerias in town are ready to serve tourists and locals alike with classic pizzas like Margherita, Napolitana or Marinara. But throughout the week of pizza celebration, you can also try modern types of pizza that exist nowadays, made in a classic Italian way. Watching your pizza being made by skilled pizza makers who love to show off then seeing the fresh ingredients used, smelling the amazing flavors and enjoying the deliciousness of the pizza while listening to great live music is a treat all pizza fans should experience.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

 

Where? Orlando, Florida, United States

Image source: Disney World

If you can’t afford travelling the world to join the best food festivals, visit Disney World in Orlando, Florida during the two months of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. We don’t think you can go wrong with Disney, yummy food and amazing wine.

The Walt Disney World Park in Orlando features 11 areas, each area representing a country. Every country area sells specific treats, clothes and items that are representative for the country and during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, you can also find dishes specific to the country pavilion.

Celebrity chefs are also invited at Epcot International Food and Wine Festival so you can meet, take pictures and ask for autographs. If that’s not enough, there are also a series of workshops you can try and other festival activities that you cannot miss.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Where? Phuket, Thailand

Another great festival for vegetarian foodies is Phuket Vegetarian Festival. This festival lasts nine days and it symbolizes a body and mind detoxification hence the vegetarian food and other activities meant to drive away the evil spirits.

Now this is a food festival heaven for vegetarians since there are so many options to choose from but the festivities are also impressive and sometimes kind of shocking, to be honest. Be prepared to see numerous people with body piercings. And we are not talking about little body piercings but about huge piercings.

The Good Food and Wine Show

Where? Cape Town, South Africa

Image source: The Good Food and Wine Show

Cape Town is the place where The Good Food and Wine Show takes place. The festival gathers exhibitors that are willing to share the latest trends of the food and drink scene of the city. There are also numerous learning opportunities at the festival. Adults can learn about healthy food and proper nutrition from the talks that take place during the festival or they can watch various demos at the Baking Theatre program while children can learn simple healthy recipes from a Kids Theatre.

More info about the festival here.

 

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Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
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$$$ = fine dining,etc

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