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Bon Appétit! The 7 U.S. Food Festivals You Should Visit ASAP

The best U.S. food festivals you have to visit: Stylish hipster girl in sunglasses eating delicious vegan burger and holding smoothie in glass jar in hands at street food festival.
Written by Tali Love

If you’re one of those people that loves to dig in to yummy food and delicious drinks in a carnival-like atmosphere, then a good food festival should be on your list of things to do. In the U.S, there’s no shortage of fantastic gastronomic events all across the country that are sure to please whatever palate you may have. Do we hear those tummies rumbling in hunger and excitement? Well, we’ve got the lowdown to satiate those cravings: here are 7 mouth-watering food events you can tuck in to across America.

Unleash Your Inner Cookie Monster at Dessert Wars

 The best U.S. food festivals you have to visit: decadent selection of donuts

Who said you can’t start with dessert? Donuts, cookies, and ice cream, oh my! If you have a major sweet tooth, you’re in for a treat at Dessert Wars with over 50 different samples at your disposal. Every year, all the local vendors compete for the much-coveted Dessert Champion crown. It might seem like a piece of cake for them, but there’s definitely a lot of serious competition at America’s largest dessert festival. Taking place in Florida during February/March, you can book flights to Miami or Tampa to fill your day with the sweetest concoctions of your dreams. Whichever location you choose to indulge in, make sure to pack a swimsuit to enjoy some beach time too!

Veg Your Heart out at Vegandale Fest

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If you want to try something that’s different from the standard food festival, then you have to sample the offerings at Vegandale Fest. A vegan festival is the best way to dip your toes into the water without making any commitments to the vegan lifestyle. Besides the health benefits, it’s also a great festival for those with dairy, meat, and egg allergies. Vegandale is a gigantic traveling vegan festival that originally staked its claim in Toronto a few years ago. As of now, it touches down in Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, and other new cities every year.

Sink Your Teeth into Seattle Street Food Festival

Flat lay of a fresh crab roll beside a fried halibut sandwich and cup of clam chowder, with french fries on top

We know that food and entertainment always go hand in hand. Seattle is home to the Pacific Northwest’s largest street food festival with over 75 food trucks and live music. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes for Seattle Street Food Festival; all the food and beer gardens are spread out over 5 blocks in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Unlike most food festivals, it’s absolutely free to enter, which means you have more bucks to burn for food and drinks. Sounds like a win-win situation to us!

RELATED: Bring Your Appetite to These U.S. Barbecue Festivals!

Have a Cherry Good Time at the National Cherry Festival

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This is where life is literally a bowl of cherries for a week in Traverse. A long-standing Michigan tradition, National Cherry Festival will come to fruition (sorry, we couldn’t resist) every July for a week-long celebration. During that week, you’ll get to witness 3 different parades, applaud during the awards, dig into cherry-based dishes, and partake in different activities — including an art competition that revolves around the region’s beloved cherries.

Scoop up So-fish-ticated Seafood at Maine Lobster Fest

 The best U.S. food festivals you have to visit: Clawed Lobster with French Fries

Do yourself a favor and go to Maine in late July for a delicious wharf of fresh seafood. Maine Lobster Fest, the oldest seafood festival running since 1947, has a lot of different venues and events for everyone. If you want to test your sea legs, you can race across floating crates in the ocean when they hold their annual lobster crate race. If you want to keep your land legs, you can dabble in their arts and crafts, cooking contests, music, and interactive aquarium.

Raise the Steaks at Bourbon and Barbecue Festival

The best U.S. food festivals you have to visit: Chef hands cooking a very large piece of meat on the grill.

The Midwest is home to a lot of great festivals year-round, especially those related to food. Every year, usually around September, meat lovers always rush over to Chicago for the Bourbon and Barbecue Festival. Instead of hosting a typical barbecue you’d see in the South, Chicago puts an international flair on their event by offering dishes from all over the world, along with an array of different meats to suit everyone’s tastebuds … and, of course … lots of bourbon! If inhaling the scent of juicy, sizzling meat into your nostrils isn’t enough to sway you over, don’t forget about their arts and crafts area and music that’ll keep playing until late in the evening.

Bring Your Basic Self to Brunchfest

The best U.S. food festivals you have to visit: Chef hands cooking a very large piece of meat on the grill.

Breakfast will always be known as the most important meal of the day, but what about brunch? It’s perfect when you want to sleep in on the weekends. You don’t have to choose between breakfast and lunch food. There’s no need to really get dressed up. Basically, brunch is one of the best things that’s ever happened. Along with millions of other people, Denver has the right idea because there’s an annual Brunchfest that takes place every August. Feast on a bottomless buffet of mimosas, bloody marys, and other savory and sweet brunch classics — what more could you want?

If you have other food festivals on your list, please tell us about them in the comments!

About the author

Tali Love

Tali Love is a seasoned solo traveler, trip planner and travel writer. She owns and operates the blog, there she writes about all things lifestyle and travel. Tali loves spending time in nature, good wine, theatre and documentaries. Find her on Instagram and say hello @with_love_tali

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