15 Best Food Festivals In America

The U.S. is known for its wide variety and love of food. From seafood on the coast to Latin food along the southern border, food is a huge reflection of the many different people and cultures that live within the country. It is no wonder that there are hundreds of food-based festivals within the USA every year, to the joy of millions.

Each festival highlights the main dishes and local ingredients that match the event's theme. It is a celebration of culture and community, and it highlights the skills of local eateries and distributors. Some of the festivals revolve around a specialty that made their region famous, while others are a catch-all for the many different tastes available within the area. A few festivals are not dedicated to the region but a specific holiday or event, allowing festival enthusiasts to taste flavors from around the globe.

Whether travelers are simply looking for something interesting to do or fulfill a craving, there are many food festivals, no matter which part of the country they reside in. Here are the best food festivals in America to check out in your lifetime.

Carne Asada Fest, Dallas, Texas

The Carne Asada Festival in Dallas, Texas, is a celebration of Latinx culture. This festival is a must-attend for foodies on the road, featuring authentic Latin food, music performances, and more. With over 25 vendors serving delicious and authentic food, there is something for everyone at this festival to enjoy. They tap into the local talents of various restaurants and food trucks, bringing attention to the businesses native to the area. Even the music is locally sourced, with Dallas's most popular DJs and other artists appearing on stage.

It is a truly spectacular night of celebration and fun, it is the largest Carne Asada Festival in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and they make sure to bring in only the very best. It is a night to remember, whether visitors are there only for the food vendors or to get lost in the music. Visitors can even get a variety of souvenirs always to be able to remember the fun times they had. 2022's festival took place on May 29 in one of Gilley's Dallas venues.

Lobster Fest NYC, Brooklyn, New York

Seafood has always been a big part of the east coast, and no one does it bigger than Brooklyn. Lobster Fest NYC is a Saturday afternoon in July devoted to unlimited tequila and dishes with lobster and crab as the main ingredient. With music featuring artists like Hot 97 and DJ Wallah, it is a fun-packed afternoon of food and music as unique as the city that hosts it.

General admission starts at a reasonably low price, with a variety of VIP packages and special entry passes to choose from, as well. Whichever ticket they purchase, visitors will experience the best of the party — tasting delicious food and listening to wonderful music.

Located in Coney Art Walls on July 2nd, 2022, the festival is one of the largest lobster festivals in New York. The afternoon is meant for adults over 21, making it one of the few events on this list that don't allow children. However, it is worth getting some friends together or taking someone special on a night full of partying and good food.

Taste Of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

This festival takes place over June and July, consisting of multiple pop-ups in three of Chicago's neighborhoods and lakefront. According to the City of Chicago, Taste of Chicago is a showcasing of over 30-40 food trucks and eateries, accompanied by fantastic concerts in the evenings. Local artists and dance companies also join in the fun, showing off their art and dance routines for those visiting.

The best part of this festival is that there is no admission fee, and there are free spots where visitors can sit and enjoy the music. Past headliners are a mix of small and internationally known, such as Billy Idol and The Roots.

Tickets for food and drinks cost $10 for a strip of 14, and guests can then use them to buy a variety of taste- or full-sized treats. There are also tickets available to sit closer to the stage for better seats at the concerts. The dates for 2022 are June 11, 18, and 25th, and July 8-10. The pop-ups will be happening city-wide, with many fun and exciting things to enjoy.

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, New Orleans, Louisiana

2022 is the 30th anniversary of the city's premier event, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. This culinary event attracts all sorts of people, from experts in the food and wine industry to hungry foodies, to the city known for its parties and liveliness. Top chefs and wineries from around the city come together to create local cuisine and new innovative creations of their own. It is a festival unlike any other, and it all goes towards a good cause, as they raise money for local food banks and culinary schools, as well.

The six-day festival runs from June 7-12, 2022, and features a variety of different events and opportunities. There are tickets for everything from sampling food and beverages to learning how to create their charcuterie board. Whether guests wish to attend a class or a show, the events are as varied and colorful as the brightly lit streets of the old city. While the prices are a bit higher than most of the festivals on this list, it is well worth the experience and is a must-do on any food enthusiast's list.

Eat Drink San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Ten days of celebrating and enjoying the very best of San Francisco's delicious food awaits throughout the city. With the best of what the Bay Area has to offer of its food culture, the Eat Drink San Francisco festival helps promote the local culinary community of restaurants and chefs. It features a variety of events, such as cooking demos, classes, and signature tasting events. This annual festival has something for everyone, and it is a wonderful place to experience all the food that the Bay Area offers.

Over 160 restaurants participate in this 10-day-long festival. From watching chefs compete for titles to food hopping their way across the city, guests can enjoy a wide variety of fun and tasty samplings of the Bay Area. Tickets are purchased upon entry and used to gain total access to the food and over 70 wine, spirits, and beer. Demonstrations and games create an intoxicating affair that all will remember for years to come. The next festival is set for October 21-30, 2022, and tickets will be made available soon.

Picklesburgh Festival, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Downtown Pittsburgh transforms itself into a pickling capital for a weekend called Picklesburgh, where everything is brined and ready to enjoy. Named "Best Specialty Food Festival in America" twice according to its website, this event is one that pickle lovers everywhere are sure to enjoy. It features not just traditional pickles but international dishes and pickled vegetables of all kinds. Everything is pickle-themed, from the decor to the dishes, and it brings smiles and laughter to all who come to enjoy it.

The mid-July festival is set to take place July 15-17, 2022, in Downtown Pennsylvania. The festival has free admission, and there are various games, contests, and events to experience and enjoy. It is a family-friendly event with activities specifically designed for children, teenagers, and adults. There are also classes so that visitors can learn how to create their pickled goods. The festival has become a nationwide favorite since its launch in 2015, and many flock there each year to experience the charming festival and all the fun it has to offer.

LA Food Fest, Los Angeles, California

Since its founding in 2010 under the name of the LA Street Food Fest, the renamed LA Food Fest has become an inspiration for countless imitators across the nation. Its mission is to create a platform for local and small businesses in the area and to create a place for the community to come together and celebrate their culinary experts. With that goal in mind, unlike other festivals, the event organizers ensure that the money earned by the event goes to help subsidize the costs of the restaurant's participation.

Typically held in late June, the dates for 2022's festival have yet to be announced. Tickets usually start at around $75, and they allow full access to the many tastes around the venue and include all access to the many food and drinks that await guests. It is all worth the money, as it allows the community and visitors to enjoy the many delicious foods a part of Los Angeles. They usually sell out of tickets quickly, so it is suggested to purchase them in advance.

The Barbecue Festival, Lexington, North Carolina

If travelers are looking for a place to get a good barbecue, look no further than the Barbecue Festival in Lexington, North Carolina. This yearly festival combines everything that makes for a great festival — vendors, carnivals, races, and more. Festival foods center around the barbecue but include other delicious festival favorites, like funnel cakes and cotton candy. Some events reflect the history and culture of North Carolina, like pig racing and lumberjack shows. There are many amazing things to do and see, and it is built to entertain and feed the entire family.

This event includes free admission, though the events and the food cost money. The festival is set to occur all day on October 22, 2022, in the historical Uptown Lexington. With nearly 200 different foods, art, and other kinds of vendors, there is something for everyone to shop and explore. There is also a host of events, such as a wine garden for adults, an antique car show, and a BMX show.

Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine

A festival for all ages, this five-day festival is one of Maine's very best. What started as an idea for the local community to revitalize their marine community has become an internationally-recognized celebration of seafood. Visitors from all across the globe come to the Maine Lobster Festival to enjoy the food and fun that the festival provides. There is something fun for everyone during this exciting festival, from delicious dinners featuring local lobster to the local artisans and national entertainers. All proceeds are donated back to the Midcoast Maine communities that help complete the festival, including food pantries and college scholarships.

2022's dates are set for August 3-7 and are filled with various activities ranging from a sea goddess coronation to cooking contests. Over 20,000 pounds of lobster are cooked each year, and the events are started with a large parade. With such a wide variety of fine art and festivities, it is no wonder that guests arrive from places as far as Europe and Asia. It is a fantastic place to experience the East Coast and its cuisine, and there is no better place than Maine to get a fresh lobster tail.

National Fried Chicken Fest, New Orleans, Louisiana

Located on the New Orleans Lakefront, this vibrant festival celebrates the Southern menu food, fried chicken. Served in various ways, the delicious meal is a staple on menus throughout the Southern states, and no one cooks it like they do in New Orleans. The popular Raising Cane's restaurant hosts the National Fried Chicken Fest, admission to this event is free, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy all that New Orleans offers during their stay. Thrown in the typical New Orleans fashion, the festival is one that food lovers everywhere do not want to miss.

Held October 1 and 2, 2022, the free festival is centered around fried chicken cooked in a variety of different ways — from traditional to innovative new methods. Chefs and vendors from across the U.S. will participate, bringing their recipes and specialties with them. Food is accompanied by live entertainment and contests, which add to the unique environment of New Orleans. There are also chicken-eating contests and voting opportunities to help select the best-fried chicken.

Taste of Hamburg-er Festival, Hamburg, Pennsylvania

Celebrating its 19th year, the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, is a one-day event celebrating all things hamburgers. With four stages featuring live music, the entire town is dedicated to bringing the best grilling experience possible. Nestled in the lovely foothills of the famous Appalachian Mountains, the festival brings in over 50,000 people a year from across the nation and beyond. Each year, more activities and vendors are added to the festival — increasing the fun and deliciousness to be found.

Admission is typically free to this event, which takes place on September 3, 2022. Vendors include artisans and small business owners and a large variety of food and drink stands, including a large beer garden. There is a wide range of contests and activities, such as a rock-climbing wall and arts and crafts. The festival is family-friendly, with games and attractions for all ages. It is a day of fun for everyone, and there is no better way to enjoy the day than with good food and awesome entertainment.

National Buffalo Wing Festival, Buffalo, New York

After 20 years of throwing an amazing festival surrounding buffalo wings, the Buffalo Wing Festival happens on Labor Day weekend. With lots of exciting flavors and a wide variety of entertainment, the event is filled with a wide variety of wonders and activities. Upon admission, people can walk around the various food vendors before ordering some wings and relaxing while enjoying the entertainment. The event is always fun for all ages, and there are adult-only areas for alcoholic drinking. Awards are handed out each year after the wings are judged, with the help of judges and participants alike.

The festival will occur September 3-4, 2022, at the Highmark Stadium, where the Buffalo Bills call home. Admission and food tickets can be purchased at the gate, and the admission fee covers parking. The uniquely delicious festival grows a little larger and gets bigger and better entertainment than the year before. Several restaurants and parts of the community come together so that they can provide a unique experience only found in Buffalo, New York.

Choctoberfest, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Fall is the perfect time for delicious chocolate, and if there is one city that knows chocolate, it is the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Choctoberfest has been going on for seven years, and it attracts visitors from all over the country. The autumn afternoon is full of delicious food from the local restaurants, live music, and lots and lots of chocolate. A wide range of activities and vendors are designed for all ages to enjoy, including painting pumpkins and various games. While visitors are in town, they can also explore the town made famous by an American chocolatier, Mr. Hershey himself, and learn all about the town's tasty history.

In Downtown Hershey, the event takes place at the famous ChocolateTown Square Park, just off of Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues. This year's festival is on October 15th, 2022, and is free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase, and it all makes for a delightful fall afternoon of family fun. The wide array of chocolates is a tasty treat while enjoying the music and entertainment.

Cheese Curd Festival, Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Wisconsin is known for its cheese and it is their pride and joy. It is no shock that they created the Cheese Curd Festival, consisting of two days worth of fun and delicious samplings. Ellsworth is the "Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin" and has earned worldwide acclaim for having some of the tastiest morsels on the planet. There are many vendors and entertainment options to be experienced, and they prepare over 6,000 pounds of cheese curds just for this event. Drinks include selections from local wine vineyards and hard ciders, as well as over 30 craft beers. There is also a classic car show and live music to be found, meaning that there is fun for the whole family.

The festival will take place on June 24-25th, 2022, in Ellsworth's East End Park, and admission is free. There is a wide variety of creative dishes made from creamy cheese curds, and there are several guided tours that allow visitors to experience all the best foods made by the locals. It is a unique festival that can't be found anywhere else.

Epcot International Festival Of The Holidays, Orlando, Florida

Travelers can celebrate all the world's biggest winter holidays at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. Celebrating the magic of family and community, this festival provides a unique experience into the variety of foods and traditions around the world. There is also a special cookie tour, where guests can purchase special cookies as they explore the park, and a fun scavenger hunt for the whole family to participate in. There are many other exciting and exclusive things to do and see from various cultures worldwide, such as music, stories, and special events.

The dates for the 2022 festival are yet to be announced, but it traditionally happens from the end of November through most of December. There are special admission tickets for the event, with additional packages and deals for other add-ons. The expense is well worth it, and the gift shop is filled with various souvenirs to take home and remember the unique experience. There are also some unique souvenirs included with the admission, and they are changed slightly each year.