By Briana Seftel
If you travel in search of the best bite or the most delicious sip, what could be better than an entire festival dedicated to food or drink? Mark your calendars for these eight can’t-miss global festivals that are definitely worth a plane ticket alone.
Bordeaux Wine Festival • Bordeaux, France
Held every summer along the beautiful Bordeaux waterfront, the Bordeaux Wine Festival (Fête le Vin) has become the leading wine tourism event in Europe. Attendees can sip and savor wine from all over Bordeaux (the largest wine growing area in France) and the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. For its 20th anniversary, the festival will host the Tall Ships Regatta, a race bringing together the world’s biggest and most impressive sailboats.
Maine Lobster Festival • Rockland, Maine
Lobster lovers won’t want to miss Maine’s main festival dedicated to lobster, held every August in Rockland, Maine. Attendees can spend five days feasting on the freshest Maine lobster, as well as enjoying cooking demonstrations, entertainment, carnival rides and local craftsmen and artists. All proceeds from the fest are donated to Midcoast Maine communities, so you can feel good about chowing down on that tenth lobster!
PoutineFest • Ottawa, Canada
Canada’s favorite hangover cure, comfort food and all-around great potato dish takes center stage at the annual PoutineFest, held in the capital city of Ottawa. What began as fries, cheese curds and gravy morphed into over 100 different poutines at this festival, with unusual flavors like pad thai poutine. In addition to Canada’s best poutine, visitors can enjoy a craft beer garden, poutine eating contest and live music from DJ Poutine.
Oktoberfest • Munich, Germany
Held every year since 1810, Munich’s Oktoberfest is the largest and most well-known beer and folk festival in the world. For two weeks in September (ironically, Oktoberfest is never held in October), 14 massive beer tents are set up in the Bavarian capital where attendees can sip endless frosty mugs of lager and eat Bavarian specialties like pretzels, Weisswurst and Spätzle. Put on your best lederhosen and join the festivities!
PizzaFest • Naples, Italy
What better place to have a pizza festival than the birthplace of pizza itself? For one week in September, the best pizzerias in Naples come together for the world’s largest celebration of pizza, held in the western suburb of Fuorigrotta. Taste the true classic, the margherita (tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil), meet friendly pizza makers and watch the best pizzaiolo get crowned at the World Pizza-Making Championships.
The Melon Festival of Cavaillon • Cavaillon, France
The little-known town of Cavaillon in Provence is famous for one thing: melons. In season from June to September, you won’t find any melon quite like the Cavaillon melon, similar to a cantaloupe but sweeter and more fragrant. Every second week in July, the town hosts the Fête du Melon, a festival celebrating all things melon. One highlight of the festival is when 100 white Camargue horses are released to run through the city streets - make sure you’re standing out of the way!
Great British Beer Festival • London, England
If you want to hit as many pubs as possible in the UK, why not attend a festival where they’re all in the same place? At the Great British Beer Festival in London, attendees can sample over 900 ales, craft beers, ciders and pear ciders, as well a varied selection of street food and snacks. Run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the festival holds tasting sessions, pub quizzes, live music and the prestigious 2018 Champion Beer of Britain.
Dumpling Festival • Hong Kong, China
Also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, the dumpling festival takes place every year around the summer solstice, and is one of the biggest celebrations in China. Along with dragon boat racing, the most popular activity is the preparing and eating of zongzi, or rice dumplings steamed in bamboo leaves. These delicious dumplings can be found all over Asia, but for no other festival holds the dumpling in e-steam quite like the Hong Kong's fest.