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Travel Inspiration
7 Food Festivals Worth Traveling For


Tantalizing the tastebuds is already a top goal for many travelers, but if food is the reason you’re hitting the road, you can maximize your experience by popping into town during food festivals. From alleys of local snacks to convention centers full of international splendor, food festivals run the gamut in size and scope, but combining them with top destinations is a sweet temptation you don’t have to resist. Hosted in some of the world’s dreamiest locales, here are 7 food festivals worth traveling for.

Grenache Tasting. Photo by Zach Mahone courtesy of Taste of VailGrenache Tasting. Photo by Zach Mahone courtesy of Taste of Vail

For more than 30 years, Taste of Vail food festival has been celebrating the local talent and international prowess of the culinary and beverage scene in this ski resort haven. The 4-day event includes gourmet dinners, wine-tasting parties featuring more than 100 varietals each (including one at over 10,000 feet with spectacular views—you’ll need to take the ski lift to reach it), and seminars from top industry brands spanning caviar and cured meats to whiskey and wine. Held annually in early April, it’s an ideal time to catch some last spring runs under sunny skies before the ski season ends.

Napoli Pizza Village Festival. Photo courtesy of Pizza VillageNapoli Pizza Village Festival. Photo courtesy of Pizza Village

If you’re like a good slice of the world, pizza is your favorite food; or at least pretty high on the list! If you couldn’t already find an excuse to travel to Italy, here it is: Napoli Pizza Village Fest typically lasts just over a week and claims to draw up to one million hungry tourists to the seaside event. More than 100,000 pizzas are baked and served in this week of celebration and international competition, as the world’s best pizzaiolos come together to vie for the top prizes in the business. This food festival offers seminars for the serious, pizza-making classes for the curious, and music and entertainment for everyone—all where pizza was invented.

Fancy a sunny vacation in Cancun, but not interested in the infamously lower standard of all-inclusive dining? The Xcaret hotels go beyond typical resort fare year-round, boasting elite restaurants helmed by internationally renowned chefs, but the Xcaret Gastronomic Festival offers five days of unrivaled access to custom menus from these same chefs. Add to that a series of professional-yet-accessible daily talks on all things food and beverage; cultural performances and live music; and access to the Xcaret family of amusement, water, and adventure parks, and you’re more than set to indulge in paradise.

Vegan Fest Bermuda. Photo courtesy of Bermuda Tourism AuthorityVegan Fest Bermuda. Photo courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority

Newer to the worldwide food festival stage, Vegan Fest Bermuda is the smallest of the events on this list, lasting just one day—but it’s worth the trip. You’d be hard-pressed to find another vegan food festival making international headlines, but the draw of Bermuda certainly helps put a spotlight on this educational, entertaining, and tasty day. Nearly two dozen vendors will challenge your notion of how original and flavorful plant based foods can be, and you’ll spend the rest of your time living the island life. Bermuda is only about two hours from most of the Eastern Seaboard.

South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Photo courtesy of World Red EyeSouth Beach Wine and Food Festival. Photo courtesy of World Red Eye

Officially the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, SOBEWFF is a multi-day affair with seminars, festivities, and tastings hosted by many of the network’s stars. Plus, it’s in Miami, so expect a party atmosphere, night and day. More than 100 events include spectacles like charity dinners with celebrity chefs, night markets, fashion shows, cocktail demonstrations, and late-night bashes. Oh, and it’s all hosted on the sands of the glamorous South Beach.

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Held in the Peruvian capital of Lima, Mistura is the largest food festival in all of South America and lasts an impressive ten days through late summer. Traditional Peruvian food takes center stage at Mistura, with everyone from fine dining chefs to local street cart vendors offering their takes on classics, modern interpretation, and Peruvian fusion. There’s typically a guest nation in attendance to spice things up. And, each year the food festival highlights a different culinary theme to keep the event fresh. Aside from tasting stalls, the food market is the main draw. This is also where seminars from top chefs are held. There is, of course, also a Pisco tent, for sampling the nation’s signature liqueur.

You’ve heard of European Christmas markets, but you probably didn’t know about the Hong Kong Food Festival, which starts on Christmas and lasts five days. Think of this one as a grand scale culinary exhibition—in fact, it’s in an exhibit hall—focused on a variety of Asian cuisines, with zones featuring Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea, and even a Chinese New Year foods zone. There are also zones for international offerings and vegetarian bites, but you can expect big sales, giveaways, and prizes throughout. Keep in mind you’ll need a visa to enter China if you’re trying to make this long-haul journey a twofer, but you can cross into neighboring Macau with no extra paperwork.