Must attend food festivals this summer

There is a growing trend of exploring a city or region’s culture and history through its food. Almost every survey by leading travel companies suggests more and more people are travelling for food. One of these food festivals lined up over next few month is an amazing way to enjoy the local cuisine, meet region’s farmers and mingle with food lovers from across the world.

Dubai Food Festival, UAE Feb 26–Mar 14
Dubai Food Festival
Dubai Food Festival is a great way to enjoy and explore the food scene of Dubai

Dubai is slowly but surely becoming the food hub of the region. And what better way to taste it all than at this 18 days fest. The emirate is dotted with food zone through this culinary celebrations and you have an option to enjoy one of the many homegrown concepts at the beach canteen zone, opt for one of the curated experiences such as masterclass with top chef, themed tours, tasting menu at fixed price at one of the top restaurants or explore one of the hidden food zones in the city. A must try though are special coffee treats prepared for the fest such as pistachio, saffron and charcoal latte. For more details, visit

Qatar International Food Festival, Mar 20–30
Qatar International Food festival is a celebration of global food in Doha
Cooking masterclasses by top chefs from around the world, live demo by some of the top culinary stars and a venue dotted with stalls serving seafood, steaks, Asian delicacies to Italian specials, a children’s zone lined with stalls dishing out quick bites and a special area dedicated to salads, soups, veg delights, desserts and artisanal coffee. For more details, visit QIFF

Wildfoods Festival, Hokitika, New Zealand, Mar 7
Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is your chance to sample wildest food items
The food choices are as wild as the name of the fest suggests. Munch on lamb testicles, bite on huhu beetle, feast on electric eels and snails or you can play safe with inch long fish whitebait, wild pork and venison and wolf it down with local beers and wines. There are ample entertainment options to keep you grooving through the day special fancy dress competition where the wilder your dress, better your chances of winning. And the setting, scenic small town of Hokitika in South Island of New Zealand will make it an experience of a lifetime. For more details, visit Hokitika Wildfoods Fest

Alresford Watercress Festival, Hampshire, England, May 17
One of the highlights of the festival is watercress eating competition!
Alresford is a small town in Hampshire that comes alive on third Sunday of May each year. And the reason for celebration is local watercress harvest! Thousands throng the area to enjoy multiple watercress inspired preparations, sample best of local food and beverage options, take part in watercress eating competitions, enjoy music performances or take part in one or other fun activities or competitions. If you love salads, this is the place to be at as some of the top local chefs await you with their own watercress salads. For more details, visit Watercress Festival 

Noosa Eat & Drink, Queensland, Australia May 14–17
Noosa Eat and Drink is one of the best culinary celebrations in Queensland, Australia
From a humble beginning to becoming one of the most sought after food festival in Southern hemisphere, Noosa Eat and Drink is every food lover’s delight. Beachfront brunches, food tours with celebrity chefs, curated dinners, farm food, brewery trails, spirits master classes and heady beach parties — a visit here promise to be the four memorable mouthwatering days. For more details, visit Nooosa Eat and Drink 

Other must attend food festivals in Australia
Melbourne Food Festival, Mar 19–29
Tasting Australia, Adelaide, Mar 27–Apr 5
FOOD (Food of Orange District) NSW, Mar 27–Apr 5

European Street Food Festival, Austria (Vienna Mar 28–29, Innsbruck Apr 4–5, Salzburg Apr 18–19)
Your Austrian break will be incomplete without attending one of these street food celebrations. The festival likes to be known for ‘delights from all over the world’ and has Thai, Japanese, American, European, African and Middleeastern food stalls showcasing a diverse cooking styles adorn the venue. Food trucks are a special attraction here.

Other must attend food festivals in Europe
Taste of Antwerp, Belgium, May 1–3
Food Zurich, Switzerland, May 7–17
Taste of Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 29–Jun 1

A Unique Affair: Salon Del Chocolate, Quito, Ecuador June 5–7, 2020
South America is known for cocoa. What better way to enjoy some of the finest beans at one of the biggest congregations of chocolate manufacturers of the continent. If you love chocolate, this one’s for you.

This feature was published in the Sunday supplement of The Times of India, Times Life

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  3. I have never attended food festivals in my life, though, I had an opportunity. As for me, I always thought, that it is boring.

  4. Each of the culinary festivals gives those present the opportunity to enjoy the specifics of local cuisine. It is a great way to spend time with pleasure

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