Calling all foodies and wine lovers: For savory eats and gourmet wines, these festivals deliver with eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demos and breathtaking venues.
Head to Chicago for the world’s largest food festival. Now in its 33rd year, the 5-day festival attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. Highlighted foods include Chicago-style pizza, the famed Eli’s Cheesecake, plus various regional foods. The annual event is held in July.
Over 6 weeks, this annual fall festival at Epcot Theme Park showcases food and wine specialties from 25 countries. Explore international kiosks, cooking demonstrations, mixology classes and wine tastings, as well as live musical performances.
Held in September, the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival was founded by 2 of Hawaii’s James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. The 4-day festival also features a lineup of more than 50 leading chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers.
August 2012 marks the second-annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. The 4-day event will build on the success of last year’s lineup, which showcased more than 30 different restaurants and 200 vineyards.
In May the New Orleans Wine & Food Festival celebrates its 20th year -- all for a good cause. In its 2 decades, the festival has raised more than $1 million for nonprofit organizations based in New Orleans (like the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans), while attracting an impressive roster of local food and chefs, as well as national and international wines.
Every spring the annual Taste of Vail attracts more than 30 of the finest local chefs. The festival also attracts owners and winemakers from nearly 50 of the country’s top wineries.
Every March, the Charleston Wine & Food Festival attracts nearly 20,000 food and wine aficionados from around the country. The 4-day event most recently featured the best in wine, barbecue and tacos, using Lowcountry ingredients.
Heading into its 12th year, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival benefits Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Teaching Restaurant and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. In 2012, more than 60,000 guests attended the event, raising approximately $2 million for the university. The festival is next slated for February 2013.
This annual 4-day festival, held in January, turns up the heat in Key West. Celebrate Key West’s rich food and drink heritage with walk-around tastings at sunset, along with education wine and food seminars led by local talent.
Portland has more than 400 food carts, making it a top destination for mobile eats. Every April the city’s best street food takes center stage at the Portland Eat Mobile Festival. Attendees also enjoy food demonstrations and discussions on ways to incorporate green-friendly practices into their daily lives.
Eat, drink, end hunger -- that’s the mission of the NYC Wine & Food Festival. In the past, this annual fall festival has attracted more than 50,000 attendees and 200 celebrity chefs and culinary personalities. In all, 100% of the festivals net proceeds benefit the NYC Food Bank and Share Our Strength, a nonprofit committed to end child hunger.
Every April the "live music capital of the world” plays host to the 2-day Austin Food & Wine Festival. Among the highlights: 35 cooking demos, plus wine and cocktail seminars. In between, grab a complimentary drink at the VIP Lounge. Then sample the best in local and regional restaurants at the H-E-B Grand Tasting Pavilion.
In June the Aspen Food & Wine Classic celebrates its 30th anniversary as one of America's top culinary events. The 3-day event showcases cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and panel talks by leading wine and culinary experts.