10 Food Festivals to Feed Your Wanderlust

Aug 22, 2017
Eating has always been one of the most rewarding elements of travel. The best way to dive into culture is through the stomach, and food festivals are an appetizing way to get to know a new place. Here are 10 food festivals around the world that will make you want to cram your suitcase with comestibles.

La Tomatina in Buñol, Spain

Photo: LaTomatina.info

One of the best-known food events is the world’s biggest food fight. On the last Wednesday of August, 50,000 tomato-tossers invade the small Spanish town of Buñol for a one-hour fight, using tomatoes as ammunition.

Next up: Aug. 29, 2018

Napoli Pizza Village in Naples, Italy

Where better to pig out on pizza than in Naples? This annual summer festival celebrates 300 pie-loving years with the World Pizza-Making Championships, master classes from top pizza chefs and, of course, lots (and lots) of eating at Napoli Pizza Village on Naples’ beachfront.

Next up: June 16-24, 2018

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Australia

This festival lasts 10 delicious days and hosts more than 300 events. From the World’s Longest Lunch to the River Graze (featuring dozens of food stalls along the Yarra River), there’s no shortage of ways to increase your waistline and your knowledge of Australian culinary culture.

Next up: March 2018 (days TBA)

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, England

Does English cheese taste better after it’s rolled down a hill? How else to explain this annual event, which sees thousands gather in the town of Brockworth, Gloucestershire each May to celebrate spring and watch racers chase 9-pound wheels of cheese down Cooper’s Hill.

Next up: May 28, 2018

Waikiki Spam Jam, Hawaii

Hawaii’s love for Spam is unparalleled, and this event showcases the best Spam-influenced cuisine the tropical state has to offer. More than 25,000 come out to sample canned-meat treats, from Spam corn dogs to Spam cheesecake.

Next up: April 28, 2018

Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong

This holiday, which always correlates with a full moon, is a time to think about far-away family, in reference to a famous Li Bai poem about viewing the same moon as loved ones while far from home. Locals mark the day by giving away tasty mooncakes, which are round, fist-sized pastries with fillings like lotus seed paste and salted duck-egg yolk. In Hong Kong, residents celebrate the day with fire dragon dances and lantern displays.

Next up: Oct. 4, 2017; Sept. 24, 2018

Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea, Italy

This festival revolves around the reenactment of a 12th-century fight against dictatorial rule in the town of Ivrea. Revelers gather for the three days before Fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras) to battle it out using 500,000 pounds of oranges.

Next up: Feb. 8-13, 2018

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival, England

Vampires wouldn’t be caught dead at this festival, held on a picturesque island off the English coast. From garlic fudge to garlic beer, there are hundreds of food stalls highlighting the flavours of the Isle of Wight, the U.K.’s largest garlic supplier.

Next up: Aug. 18-19, 2018

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

While Oktoberfest is best known for giant steins of German beer, there’s much more to this two-week folk festival. The treasured cuisine of Bavaria is presented to tighten your lederhosen -- think bratwurst, pretzels, spaetzle and flammkuchen (Alsatian pizza).

Next up: Sept. 16 - Oct. 3, 2017; Sept. 22 - Oct. 7, 2018

Maine Lobster Festival, United States

Photo Credit: Tim Sullivan Photography

Founded as a way to bring tourism back to the town of Camden after the Second World War, this New England folk festival hosts thousands of lobster-lovers each August. More than 20,000 pounds of the beloved crustacean are inhaled in the name of deliciousness and charity.

Next up: Aug. 1-5, 2018

Gabby Peyton is a photographer, dabbling archaeologist, and Champagne aficionado, Gabby’s travel is dictated by food; her favourite places are Istanbul, Bologna and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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