9 Tips for Food Festivals

Spend less time in line and more time trying new foods with these tips.

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Stock Up

Chances are you’re going to a food fest to get something you normally can’t. Order two of your favorite dishes and bring the second home and freeze it. There are no Greek restaurants where I live so I’ve been known to take a couple orders of pastitsio from the annual Greek fest. And by a couple, I mean a couple of pans.

Bring Your Own Take Out Bags

Take out supplies can vary from booth to booth, especially with volunteer food festivals. Usually baked goods are pre-packaged but not a lot of entrees are take out friendly. Bring your own plastic zip top bags, paper lunch bags and reusable shopping bag to take items home.

Early Bird Gets the Parking Space

Parking is always a nightmare for these things. Come early so you can find a space and don’t have to take a shuttle 10 minutes away.

Cash is King

There is nothing like walking up to your first booth only to discover they only take cash. Plan ahead and also plan for more than you think you might spend. I always give myself an extra $5 for a beverage because I know there will be something new I want to try.

Make a Game Plan

I plan my days at music festivals. Food festivals are no different. These large events can be overwhelming and it’s easy to blow your budget on the first couple of booths you pass. Look on the festival’s website, call ahead or check their social media accounts for a lineup before you go. Prioritize vendors you want to visit.

Plan Ahead for Allergies

Research cultural dishes in advance, especially baked goods, if you have food allergies. There may be a language barrier and your question about peanuts might get lost in translation.

Bring Your Own Water

Skip the $5 soda and bring a bottle of water to save money and use more food tickets trying new food.

Wear Sunscreen

You may not think you're going to stay long but if you get stuck in a line you’ll pay dearly with a sunburn later. Plan in advance for being in the sun.

Ask Questions

Don’t just Instagram your food, talk to people at each booth and learn about the different cultures and countries represented. Make a note doc on your phone about the things you ate and how to spell them. You'll be glad you jotted it down later.

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