21 Food & Drink Events You Can’t Miss This Summer
Summer is here, the sun is out and the time is right to move the party outdoors. And while a backyard barbecue is always fun, why not kick things up a notch and head to one of the cool foodie/drinkie events happening in your area this summer?
From wine and beer festivals to BBQ bashes to celebrations of all things spicy, there are tasty outdoor adventures happening all summer long, and in every corner of the country. Intrigued? Here are some of our top picks. (Check out our Foodie category for even more events near you.)
San Francisco — Cinco De Mayo Tequila & Mezcal Tasting, May 5
Embrace the subtle complexities of tequila, as well as the smokier-tasting mezcal, at this Cinco de Mayo tasting event. Sample more than 25 varieties of these delicious drinks inside the famed Art Deco bar the Redwood Room, beautifully restored by Philippe Starck, at the historic Clift Hotel.
Miami — Brew at the Zoo, May 6
When the sun goes down at Zoo Miami, most of the animals go to sleep — which means the beer and music fun can begin at Brew at the Zoo, Miami’s largest craft beer festival. This year will also feature musical performances by Patrick and the Swayzees, Inna Sense and Bachaco.
Chicago — River North Whiskey Festival, May 6
Whether you’re a fan of barrel-aged scotch from the Highlands, Kentucky straight bourbon, single malt whisky or virtually any other variety of this timeless and popular spirit, you’ll be sure to expand your whiskey-sippin’ horizons (and enjoy some truly great drinks in the process) at the River North Whiskey Festival.
Pasadena, Calif. — Masters of Taste, May 7
Walk the field of the legendary Rose Bowl stadium and enjoy delicious tastings of craft beer, wine, decadent desserts and more from L.A.’s top chefs, restaurants, cocktail bars, wineries and breweries. All event proceeds benefit Union Station Homeless Services.
Grantville, Pa. — Wine Spirits & Food TruckFest’alcular,’ May 13
The race track at Hollywood Casino becomes a culinary tasting ground as Wine Spirits & Food TruckFest"alcular" brings together a who’s-who of local wineries, distilleries and eateries. As Pittsburgh’s own totally tubular tribute group Totally ‘80s rocks the house onstage, you’ll get to sample fine vintages, ciders, cocktails and more.
Brookeville, Md. — 7th Annual Montgomery County Strawberry Festival, May 13
Celebrate food and nature in the heart of Maryland with the seventh annual Montgomery County Strawberry Festival. The kids will love pony rides and hay rides, adults can engage in hands-on wine glass and canvas art classes, plus the whole family can savor the best locally grown strawberries around.
Millville, N.J. — What’s on Tap Craft Beer Fest at Wheaton Arts, May 13
A good craft brew really shines when it’s in the right vessel, so it makes perfect sense that the inaugural What’s on Tap Beer Festival kicks off at the Wheaton Arts glass and craft studios in Millville. The event center will play host to more than 25 brewers pouring tastes into your souvenir mug. You’ll also enjoy live music, on-site food trucks, craft vendors, games and activities, glass-blowing demos and more.
Brooklyn, N.Y. — Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival: Spring Edition, May 13
Enjoy samples of more than 175 wines and artisanal foods from some of Brooklyn’s top restaurants during the spring edition of the Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival. Featuring live jazz music, the Brooklyn Crush spring event will help get your taste buds in tune to the vast offerings of the season.
Chandler, Ariz. — Arizona Sangria Festival, May 13
Indulge in a variety of sangrias and craft beer tastings at the Arizona Sangria Festival. Returning to Rawhide Western Town in Chandler, attendees will enjoy tastes of 15 different sangrias, five different craft beers, a souvenir tasting glass, plus a flamenco dance expo and live flamenco guitar performance.
San Diego — Tacotopia: The Ultimate Taco Taste Test, May 13
At the third annual Tacotopia, you’ll get to celebrate one of San Diego’s finest natural resources: tacos. Sponsored by the San Diego Reader, this food paradise features 50 of the best taco vendors from S.D., L.A. and Tijuana eager to take home the title of Best Taco.
New York — NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2017, May 20 & 21
More than 125 vendors will be on hand with a plethora of produce and products. You’ll also hear some incredible speakers, including plant-based doctors, authors, chefs, fitness professionals and more. There’ll even be an area with fun kids’ activities, so bring the whole family for a day of healthy fun at this 7th annual event in the city.
Denver — Denver Beer and Music Festival, May 20
Held at the beautiful City Hall event venue, this festival features more than 50 craft beers available for sampling from both local and national brewers, plus wines and spirits. As the sun sets, jam to a Sublime tribute, plus more live bands and DJs.
Boston — Boston Harbor Lighthouse Brunch Cruises, May 20-Sept. 24
As you savor food and drinks and enjoy the ocean views aboard a smartly appointed cruise boat, you’ll also feast on many of Boston’s treasured landmarks, including four of the area’s historic lighthouses — Graves Light, Deer Island Light, Boston Light and Long Island Light.
Miami — Taste of Brickell Food & Wine Fest, May 27
For six years, the Taste of Brickell Food and Wine Festival has been bringing together some of Miami’s finest chefs, winemakers, artisans and exhibitors for this elegant outdoor celebration of what has become one of America’s top dining destinations.
Newport Beach, Calif. — Newport Beach Beerfest, May 27
Both the brews and the tunes will be flowing at the Newport Beach Beerfest, set along the sandy beach of Newport Dunes. Sample more than 150 of Southern California’s finest craft beers, from Newport Beach’s Barley Forge to San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. as well as wines and spirits. Groove to live music from Black Eyed Peas and No Doubt tribute bands and take advantage of more than 20 of the Southland’s best food trucks.
Arcadia, Calif. — California Gold Rush Beer & Sour Festival, May 27
Sample a variety of local craft beers and sours at the California Gold Rush Beer & Sour Festival at Santa Anita Park. Plus, you can enjoy all the fun of a day at the races!
San Francisco — San Francisco Beer & Music Festival, June 3
Rock out to great local bands and try the latest craft brews at the annual San Francisco Beer and Music Festival. Samples of more than 50 different beers from local and regional breweries will be available to taste, plus there’s plenty of entertainment on tap with music from ’90s party band Sega Genecide, Bass Punks, Eddey Haze and more.
Norco, Calif. — Horse Town Brew n Que Fest, June 3
Treat yourself as the Horse Town Brew n Que Festival presents a day-long cook-off featuring competitions in four mouth-watering categories: Beef Brisket, Pork Ribs, Chicken, and Pork. Chow down on finger-lickin’ ‘que prepared by some of the nation’s top pitmasters, including personalities and teams from Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters show, as they vie for cash prizes and bragging rights.
Pomona, Calif. — Sancocho Festival, June 10
The fourth annual Sancocho Festival of Latin American culture comes to The Fairplex in Pomona for a full day of live music, folk dance and plenty of authentic food. Bring your whole crew and peruse the international food plaza, which is set to offer specialities from Colombia, Cuba, Peru, El Salvador, Mexico and more.
Los Angeles — LAWineFest, June 17
LAWineFest returns for the 12th year — this time at an all-new location, the outdoor urban playground of ROW DTLA — with wines from around the world being poured plus plenty of craft beers like DTLA’s own Iron Triangle and ciders available to sample at this walk-around tasting event.
Boston — 5th Annual Boston JerkFest, June 24
Celebrate all things spicy and hot at the Boston JerkFest, listed by Zagat as one of the city’s top 10 summer food events. The flavorful fun includes a food festival featuring authentic Caribbean and Jamaican cuisine made with jerk hot spices, and a “Spice Lane,” with zesty desserts, jams and hot sauces.
Want even more fun food and drink events? Check Goldstar’s Foodie Category to see what’s cooking in your area.