Ten Festivals That Give A "Taste Of" Cities Across The Country Slideshow

Food and Wine Presents: The Taste of Beverly Hills

Flickr/Muy Yum

Labor Day Weekend (September 1-5), 2011

While details for this year’s Taste of Beverly Hills, are still being kept under wraps, the success of last year’s event has our interests piqued. The event, hosted by Food and Wine Magazine, is set for Labor Day Weekend and will undoubtedly feature some of LA’s top restaurants, chefs, and wineries in a “gastronomic paradise.” 2010 saw exhibitors from Jose Andres’ Bazaar to Kris Morningstar’s Mercantile and from Mario Batali’s Osteria Mozza to Wolfgang Puck’s classic LA staple, Spago.

New York Magazine Presents: New York Taste

Flickr/mysticchildz

Monday, November 7, 2011 at Skylight Soho

New York Taste, presented by New York Magazine is a culinary extravaganza where some of the world’s renowned chefs and mixologists from over forty New York restaurants, prepare an array of samples for hungry New Yorkers to feast on. Restaurants and chefs are hand-selected by New York Magazine’s culinary editor, Gillian Duffy, to present a cross-section of dining out in New York. What separates this event from the rest is an encouraged interaction between guests and chefs, making the experience, as they describe, “a foodie’s dream come true!

The Bite Of Oregon

Flickr/Electrolatino

August 12-14, 2011. Waterfront Park, Portland

The Bite of Oregon will kick off its celebration in August with more than 120 menu items from local restaurants showcasing the bounty of the Willamette Valley. Some of the featured events will be the US Bank Kid’s Faire, Iron Chef Oregon competitions, Portland’s food cart cuisine, a dessert pavilion, Gerry Frank’s Oregon Chef’s Table presented by The Oregonian, and wide selection of local wineries pouring their latest for thirsty visitors. The festival is also dedicated to working toward zero waste, as part of an ongoing sustainability program.

Miami Wine And Food Festival

Flickr/lumierefl

April 14 – 17, 2011. Miami, Fla.

The United Way Miami Wine and Food Festival hosts, over 4 days in April, a number of delicious and wine-soaked events that focus on local fare. Beer, spirits, and wine take some of the spotlight from food at this festival, although the restaurants and chefs that participate are among the best in Miami and around the world. The “Cellar-bration” event is not-to-be-missed, even though it will leave your wallet a little thinner. For $300 per person, this event includes a cocktail reception followed by tastings of award-winning wines and a multi-course dinner with live jazz music.

Taste Of Charlotte

Flickr/andrew d miller

June 10-12, 2011. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, N.C. is one of the most charming towns on the Eastern seaboard, making the Taste of Charlotte event even more appealing. The event honors local restaurants with various awards including “Best of the Taste,” “Best Dessert,” and “Most Unique Taste.” Then, visitors can sample anything from petit fours to avocado chili and from spinach artichoke dip to fried green tomatoes all from local establishments. 2011 marks the 13th anniversary of the festival.

Taste Of Colorado

Flickr/infixing

September 2- 5, 2011. Civic Center Park, Downtown Denver

Downtown Denver plays host to the Taste of Colorado, now in its 27th year. Awarding restaurants for accomplishments from décor to best value, the festival brings the Denver community together for a weekend of food and drink. With live music, a Festival of Mountain and Plain area harking back to Colorado’s roots, and free gold panning, the event becomes a full cultural “taste” of Colorado.

The Comcast Bite Of Seattle

Flickr/Shutterbug Fotos

July 15-17, 2011. Seattle Center

The Comcast Bite of Seattle is a weekend-long festival that brings locals and visitors out into the open air to celebrate local food and drink. Over 50 Seattle-area restaurants participate in the festival, which showcases sweets and novelties like fresh strawberry crepes, locally-made avocado oil, fresh roasted corn on the cob, and smoked meats. The festival rounds out with a “Gnarly Head Rippin’ Ribs Competition,” a dock jumping contest, a comedy club, live music, and a kid’s stage.

33rd Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

April 5-10, 2011. Scottsdale, Ariz.

The 33rd Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival has scheduled slew of events in just five days. The Chocolate and Wine Experience, Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame, Friends of James Beard benefit dinner, Great Arizona Picnic, and the various cooking demonstrations are just a few of the highlights. Local wineries are also showcased at dinners, demonstrations, and various festival events. Dedicated to not only honoring the local talent, the festival also gives back to the community and works closely with the Scottsdale League for the Arts.

Taste Of Grand Rapids

Flickr/Sean Munson

July 22-23, 2011. John Ball Park, Grand Rapids, Mich.

One festival you really can’t miss is the Taste of Grand Rapids and Barbecue Competition. Grand Rapids’ favorite event is held in July where 25 local restaurants will be highlighted and more than 50 teams from all over the country arrive to compete in Michigan’s longest-running barbecue tournament. The entertainment stage and kid’s area are perks of the festival, as well. But you may be too busy munching on local and ethnic cuisines from restaurants all around Grand Rapids. 

San Diego Wine & Food Festival

San Diego Wine & Food Festival

November 16 - 20, 2011. San Diego, Calif.

Eat and drink for a good cause at the San Diego Wine & Food Festival. The festival is put on by Fast Forward Event Productions, benefitting the American Institute of Wine & Food’s culinary arts scholarship program. Events include wine tastings, cooking classes by renowned chefs, a Celebrity Chef Luncheon, a Reserve Tasting, and silent auction. If you can only make it to one event, make it the Grand Event on Saturday, November 19, where you’ll be able to taste 800 different wines and sample bites from 70 of the city’s top restaurants.