Summer food festivals bring joy to the soul with their happy crowds, live music, and darn-good fresh, authentic food. They really are the perfect place to spend a beautiful day or even pass through for an hour. Food just tastes better when it comes from a truck or a booth. When you walk through the array of vendors to assess all your options, finally trying what you’ve picked is so satisfying. Or if you’re like me, you can sample some food from all of the owners and feel no shame. Below are some free admission, critically-acclaimed food festivals in the Northeast you don’t want to miss this summer:

1) Milford Oyster Festival

Milford, Connecticut

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When: Saturday August 15, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Why? This festival is going on it’s 40th year and offers a variety of oysters and other meals including lobster rolls, gyros and BBQ. Also, if you dig the song ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn,’ Bret Michaels is performing.


2) Smorgasburg

Brooklyn, NY

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When: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

Why? Smorgasburg is “The Woodstock of Eating,” according to The New York Times. With 75-100 different vendors every weekend, you can find any kind of cuisine, doughnut, or sandwich imaginable. If you’ve been wanting to hop on the Ramen Burger trend, this is the place to try it.


3) Broadway Bites

NYC, Intersection of Greeley Square Park and Broadway

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When: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m daily, running June 1 – July 26, 2015.

Why? Brought to you by the hip company UrbanSpace that brings artisans and chefs from around the city together to showcase their culinary talents. Broadway Bites is the perfect place to pass through for lunch, with a wide range of businesses to choose from. Two Tablespoons’ summer rolls are perfect and refreshing after a hot city day.


4) Big Apple Barbecue Block Party


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When: Saturday June 13 and Sunday June 14, 2015 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Why? Because pitmasters from all over the country are congregating in Madison Square Park to serve you award-winning BBQ. I don’t think further explanation is necessary. (Okay fine.. smoked brisket, pulled pork…)


5) Peach Festival & Sidewalk Sale

Peddlers Village in Bucks County, PA

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When: Saturday August 8 and Sunday August 9, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Why? Enjoy various peach treats while scoring some great shopping deals.


6) NJ Seafood Festival

Belmar, NJ

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When: Friday June 12, 4 – 8 p.m., Saturday June 13, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday June 14, 2015 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Why? There’s no better way to celebrate the summer weather than going to the Jersey Shore for a weekend of extremely fresh seafood and drinks.


7) Just Jersey Food Truck Festival

Stanhope, NJ

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When: Saturdays, June 27 and August 8 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Why? New Jersey isn’t really known for the food truck scene, so at this festival you’ll get to try food from vendors you’d probably never come across otherwise. Including one vendor who specializes in ’30 or 40 different sliders’.


8) Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park

New Castle County, DE

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When: Saturday June 27 and Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Why? Okay, so admission to this festival isn’t free… but it has been featured on Food Network, so you know it’s legit. It features vendors from local creameries and restaurants and tons of Insta-worthy opportunities.


Take a road trip this summer to visit these food festivals and see what others you can find!