The new year is upon us, and that means a whole new year of exciting food festivals to attend around the United States. The popularity of food travel continues to grow, and with that, there are more and more food festivals popping up all over the globe. Some events are complimentary or inexpensive where you purchase food and drink, while others are an all-inclusive experience that carry a higher entrance fee.
Here’s a look at some of the best US food festivals coming up for 2018.
South Beach Wine and Food Festival (February 21 – 25)
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival, commonly known as SOBEWFF, started in 1997 as a one day festival held at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus. Today, the five-day festival, hosted by the Food Network and Cooking Channel, attracts over 65,000 visitors and has helped raise more than $26 million for FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. The 2018 line-up includes a number of notable local chefs and popular Food Network personalities like Alton Brown, Anne Burrell, Masaharu Morimoto, Bobby Flay, and Guy Fieri.
Charleston Wine + Food Festival (February 28 – March 4)
This South Carolina festival brings in culinary fans from all around the US to get a taste of the region’s best barbecue, tacos, and wine. Events are individually priced, and include options like wine blending and oysters 101 classes, excursions like guided paddling eco-tours, and a host of signature dinners all around the city.
Austin Food and Wine Festival (April 27 – 29)
Austin is known for its live music scene, but it’s also continuing to earn high praise for its culinary scene. It’s no wonder that well-known culinary greats like Aarón Sanchez, Ming Tsai, Ludo Lefebvre, Ray Isle, Graham Elliot, and more, are on the line-up at the Austin Food and Wine Festival. The event includes hundreds of vendors, over 40 demos and tasting sessions, interactive grilling experiences, and evening parties.
All-in tickets for Saturday and Sunday include evening events and are around $625, while Weekender tickets that give access to the demos and all-day access to the Grand Taste and related events is $250.
Food & Wine Classic Aspen (June 15 – 17)
The annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen takes place over three days and consists of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and expert-led panel discussions. The event has been running for over 30 years and is hosted by Food & Wine Magazine. The 2018 festival includes well-known names like Anne Burrell, Dominque Crenn, Rocco DiSpirito, Andrew Zimmern, Alex Guarnaschelli, and more.
The consumer pass, that includes access to demonstrations, wine tastings, and the Grand Tasting Pavilion for the three-day event, is $1,600.
Taste of Chicago (July 11 – 15)
Head to Chicago’s Grant Park this summer for one of the biggest food festivals that showcases the local cuisine of the Chicago region. This family-friendly event includes music and other activities. Chicago-style pizza and Eli’s cheesecake are just a couple of the foods that draw over two million visitors each year. Admission is free.
What are your favorite food events around the country?
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