Summer is festival season and that doesn’t just mean your Instagram feed is full of flower crowns and neon-clad EDC goers any more. It means mass amounts of food porn that you do not want to miss out on. So if you missed our DC Taste Talks or Thrillist’s humbly titled Best Day of Your Life, you better get your sh*t self together and make up for it at one of these festivals guaranteed to make you foodgasm.
Street Food Festival – San Francisco, CA
Saturday, August 16th
Why it’s worth it: With price points ranging from $25-$250, Street Food Festival offers everything from renowned chefs to local entrepreneurs. You can expect tiramisu cupcakes, tamales stuffed with love and Hella Vegan Eats. It may be the last time you get to nosh on some of SF’s best local eats in one place because it’s uncertain whether the festival will take place again next year. So if you’re in the Bay Area, take advantage of it. Plus, it helps provide affordable industrial kitchen space to low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs eager to share their culinary creations with the community.
Check it out here and please, try not to drool on your computer.
Smorgasburg – Brooklyn, NYC
Every Saturday and Sunday, April – November
Why it’s worth it: Besides the perfectly executed pun, Smorg kills it in the gluten- and meat- and dairy-free departments without sacrificing taste. The market showcases it all: from gourmet schnitzel to macarons good enough to get Blair Waldorf to make the trek to Brooklyn. You can munch on these amazing eats every weekend so you have no excuse to miss Smorgasburg if you’re in the city this summer.
Go here to browse the 100+ vendors.
Taste of Madison – Madison, WI
August 30th – 31st
Why it’s worth it: At Taste of Madison, you get so much more than what you pay for. Every item offered is within $1-$4 and admission is free. Oh, and your killer meal from any of the 80 amazing vendors comes with a side of Country, Rock or R&B on the stages that surround the beautiful Capitol Square. It’s the perfect place to enjoy good music and great food with a quarter million potential new friends (friends=people that will buy you drinks.)
Get a taste here.
Truckeroo Food Truck Festival – Washington, DC
July 11th, August 8th, September 12th
Why it’s worth it: No need to chase after your favorite chicken n’ waffle on wheels. Truckeroo hauls in 20 of DC’s best food trucks every month and provides live music for 12 straight hours. The line up changes every month so you can keep coming back for seconds…and thirds.
Roll on over here to see this month’s details.
Tacolandia – Los Angeles, CA
Why it’s worth it: because tacos, duh. But seriously, I hope heaven is half as good as a line up of 40 taquerias from LA and Mexico complete with a tequila garden. All this tortilla-wrapped goodness will be judged professionally so you can count on the vendors bringing their A game. Unfortunately, you have to be of legal taco-eating AND tequila-drinking age to attend, so sorry for you under-agers.
Taste of Chicago – Chicago, IL
Why it’s worth it: Taste of Chicago caters to all the foodies out there with vendors including some of Chicago’s finest dining, an army of food trucks and 8 pop-up restaurants that add to the unique experience. Every day of the event, there’s a new Chef du Jour for those looking for a classier vibe at the price of $45, otherwise admission is free. The five day festival also features both up-and-coming and well-known Chicago musical talent.
Get a look at the food and music line up here.
Hot Chicken Festival – Nashville, TN
Why it’s worth it: What is hot chicken you ask? It’s the sh*t: two slices of a white bread topped with juicy chicken cooked in spices and oil or lard topped with a little dill pickle. It’s so legit they have an official Hot Chicken Coalition of vendors to sensor authenticity, and their website loudly decries any poor imitations of this sacred Nashville dish. Definitely don’t call it buffalo chicken unless you fancy the Gretchen Wieners treatment à la candy cane season. If you’re one of the first 500 to arrive, you can score some free samples. But don’t fill up on chicken too fast because you may need a buttery biscuit or some gourmet ice cream to cool down the heat.
Feel the heat here.
Night Market – Philadelphia, PA
Why it’s worth it: This celebration of street food is hosted by The Food Trust, an organization committed to increasing access to affordable, healthy food and improving awareness of nutritional information. It features a cheese wagon, unwieldy cuban sandwiches and handmade small-batch ice cream, plus 80 more incredible vendors. In the glow of the city lights, Night Market has mass ops to score the perfect ‘gram while feeding the beast that is the foodie stomach.
Feel the foodie love here.
Bite of Seattle – Seattle, WA
Why it’s worth it: Thank god they have a cute name because I already used up my one allotted Taste pun. In addition to the traditional barrage of restaurants from around the city, the Bite incorporates tastings of both wine and craft beer, professional cooking demonstrations and a screening of Back to the Future.
Sink your teeth in here.
Street Feast – London, England
Why it’s worth it: Yes, I know this is across the pond but if you happen to be going abroad to London this summer or this coming year, you should definitely hit up Street Feast. It’s cool enough to be dubbed more of a club than a food festival. With a slew of both permanent and rotating shacks, Street Feast isn’t just a one time deal. The two cool locations are Dalston Yard, a foodie paradise inside an old warehouse (London has hipsters?) and Model Market, a 1950s indoor-outdoor market that houses trendy DJs and micro-diners. Definitely worth the puddle jump.
Feast your eyes here.