Best food festivals around the world

Posted on 17 February 2014

Some people eat while travelling, others travel to eat. These food festivals around the world are worth booking a ticket for.

la tomatina, food festival, spain

La Tomatina. Photo by Reno Tahoe


1. La Tomatina (Bunol, Spain)

27 August 2014

Some festivals are about playing with, rather than eating, your food. Each year, this glorified food fight sees thousands of kilograms of tomatoes being hurled around the streets of Bunol by tourists and locals. Goggles and gloves are recommended. Afterwards, the town is hosed down by fire trucks, leaving the streets squeaky clean due to the tomatoes’ acidity.


2. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (Melbourne, Australia)

28 February – 16 March 2014

Thousands took part in last year’s celebration in Australia’s foodie capital. From the banks of the Yarra River to lofty restaurnats, expect two weeks of demonstrations, markets and fine dining. Don’t miss the World’s Longest Lunch, a sun-dappled affair with 1500 guests at one extended table.


3. World Gourmet Festival (Bangkok, Thailand)

1 – 7 September 2014

This Michelin star-studded event is the best way to get close to your favourite chefs. From intimate dinners to masterclasses with the pros, attendees get a front-row seat, but it’s high-class indulgence – a seat at the table can cost more than R2000.


4. Date Festival (Erfoud, Morocco)

Early October 2014

Erfoud is an oasis in the Sahara Desert that explodes with gaiety and sticky sweetness in October. From spiced tagines to camel races, it’s a great way to experience a traditional Berber celebration.


5. Chestnut Festival (Collobrieres, France)

12, 19, 26 October 2014

This picturesque Provencal town comes alive in autumn, when the air is heavy with the scent of roasting chestnuts and wood smoke. Wander the streets,admire the golden-red plane trees, and spare a pitying thought for the sun-seeking crowds squished cheek-by-jowl on the Riviera.


6. Alba International White Truffle Fair (Alba, Italy)

11 October – 16 November 2014


White truffle: the ingredient that coaxes effusive praise from even the most monosyllabic of chefs. They’re famed for their scarcity, so visiting this tiny island of abundance should be on every foodie’s bucket list.


7. Grub Street Food Festival (New York, USA)

Late October, TBC

A destination’s real flavours are always in its streetfood. From Colombian arepas to New York cheesecake, this festival is the trendiest way to experience the melting pot of the Big Apple.


South African Food Festivals


You can find a full list of the top food, beer, and wine summer festivals here.

TASTE festivals

3 – 6 April (Cape Town)

25 – 27 July (Durban)

4 – 7 September (Joburg)

Sheer gastronomic indulgence. Taste bite-sized portions from the best local restaurants and top chefs in our major cities. (Here’s why we loved the Taste of Joburg 2013


Knysna Oyster Festival 

4 – 13 July 2014

Once a year, Knysna welcomes an oyster-hungry horde. Fresh, deep-fried or in a vodka-Tabasco shot, there are many ways to indulge (read what our bloggers got up at the Oyster Festival 2013.) If the extravaganza gets too much, there’s always the Knysna Marathon to work off the calories.


Robertson Slow

8 – 10 August 2014

Waterblommetjie bredie and meltert: wineries, restaurants and guest houses open their doors so visitors can taste (and learn about) real country fare.


Hantam Vleisfees

29 – 30 August 2014

From lamb potjie to the infamous smiley (roasted sheep’s head) this festival is a meat-lover’s paradise.


Cherry Festival

20 – 22 November 2014

Thousands gather to cherry-pick the best of the season’s harvest.


Originally featured in Getaway magazine – January 2014, Grab a copy online here.

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