TINGLE YOUR TASTE BUDS AT THE
TOP FOOD FESTIVAL IN EVERY CITY
Whether you're seeking the finest seafood in town, wondering where to find the best wine or want to know where you can pick up a slice of pizza or two when you're feeling peckish - you're in luck - because we've found a food festival full of all of your favourite things. We've selected 7 of the best festivals in cities around the world, so you can look forward to the ultimate palate-party during your travels. The question is, which delicious destination will you choose?
If pizza is your perfect dish then, naturally, Italy is the first place to head. Naples celebrates it's most popular palate-pleaser with the annual Pizzafest, a cheesy and cheerful event where you'll find the best dough-throwing skills, workshops, live shows and more - it's certainly stuffed full of flavour! During this week-long food carnival, the city centre welcomes 500,000 visitors eager to taste a variety of over 100,000 pizzas - oh yes. The festival's main highlight though is the cooking competition between famous pizzerias around the world and the local pizzaioli. So if you're searching for the tastiest slice, wait until the finale when the best pizza of the festival is announced!
Where: Naples, Italy
Why visit: Your taste buds will be tingling with over 100,000 different pizzas to indulge on
MELBOURNE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
Image: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival / Facebook
If you’re a food and wine lover, then Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in Victoria is a must-visit. Join the hundreds and thousands of gastronomes and sample the world’s finest aging wines and exotic cuisines that fill Melbourne's restaurants, lights-turned-down basements and lively rooftops. The festival aims to promote the fabulous culture of Victoria and features exciting events including Langham Melbourne Masterclass, the World’s Longest Lunch and Cellar Door at South Gate. Savour deep-fried soft shell crab or lemongrass beef salad, before moving on to an amazing mix of local mocktails and cocktails - the cool coconut mojito is a popular choice! Plus, don't miss the delicious dessert of ice cream in crispy pastry for that sweet aftertaste!
Where: Melbourne, Australia
Why visit: Revered as one of the best food festivals in the world
GALWAY INTERNATIONAL OYSTER & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
Oyster lovers are sure to fish out this fantastic festival in Ireland. Every year in September (after popular St Paddy's Day), the city gets busy organising the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival – the most coveted Irish festival with the longest running Oyster Festival in the world. It hosts a series of gastronomic events for seafood fans, including the Oyster Opening Championship, seafood trails and oyster tastings at some of the Galway’s best restaurants and the Festival Marquee Galway City Centre. Better still, the guestlist boasts celebrated chefs including Richard Corrigan, Clodagh McKenna and Martin Shanahan.
Where: Galway City, Ireland
Why visit: Rough Guides calls it “Ireland's longest-running and greatest gourmet extravaganza” – do you need any more persuading?
INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
Image: Festival Internacional de Chocolate de Óbidos / Facebook
Visit the International Chocolate Festival in Portugal's Obidos and you'll feel like you've stepped straight onto the set of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You can gurantee your sweet tooth will be satisfied at this fest, which transforms the cobbled streets of Obidos almost entirely into chocolate. Treat the tots to an afternoon at the Kids’ Chocolate House, which offers fun-filled activities including a kitchen, where they can prepare and get messy with their favourite chocolate recipes. Don't want to miss out on the action? There are plenty of adult cooking classes to attend too, where a variety of chocolate-based dishes are cooked (and eaten, obviously). If you're feeling fancy, why not participate in competitions such as the 'Chocolatier of the Year' or the 'International Competition of Chocolate Recipes'? There's even a chocolate fashion show on the final Saturday!
When: End of March - start of April
Where: Obidos, Portugal
Why visit: Indulge in a chocolate-coated world without buying a ticket!
Some may think that Germany's Oktoberfest is a place for beer-swilling visitors to drink themselves silly, but it’s so much more than that! The world's largest 16-day folk festival attracts around 6 million visitors annually, and once you step inside, you'll soon become infected by its party atmosphere. Sample local beers by the litre and indulge in tasty, traditional Bavarian food - including pretzels, grilled sausages, chicken and – if you really want to soak it all up – wild oxen. The "liquid gold" is the most popular thing at the festival, with more than 5 million litres of beer consumed every year, but there is plenty more to drink if beer isnt your bag. So what are you waiting for? Jet away to Munich the moment the city mayor says "O' zapft is”!
Where: Munich, Germany
Why visit: For Beer barrel tapping, Bavarian music, brilliant costumes and the world’s biggest pretzel!
MAINE LOBSTER FESTIVAL
If you fancy five days of fun, fish and feasts on the stunning coast of Maine, the Maine Lobster Festival at Rockland's Harbor Park is a perfect city break for you. The main attraction is, of course, the fresh hot Lobster, which is served with Cabot-butter in a variety of delicious dishes - whether you fancy a refreshing ceaser salad or a jam-packed Lobster roll overlooking pretty Penobscot Bay. If you're up to the challenge, take part in the Seafood Cooking Contest and you'll be in with the chance to win $525 in prize money - enough to treat yourself to a Lobster or two! If you don't want to cook, there's plenty you can get involved in including The Great International Lobster Crate Race, local beverage tasting at Steins and Vines, participating in The Big Parade and even entering the Maine Sea Goddess Pageant!
When: First weekend of August
Where: Maine, USA
Why visit: Experience the best of summertime in Maine, with long warm sunny beaches and, of course, scrumptious lobsters!
Image: Tom Britt / Flickr
Are you ready for a crazy food fight? Grab your goggles and you're all set for the world-famous food festival (or fight, if you're feeling competitive), La Tomatina. Held in the quaint town of Buñol in Spain, this fun, colourful festival involves revellers throwing over-ripe tomatoes at each other, literally painting the town red! Due to the festival's huge popularity, the officials had to introduce a ticketing system in 2013 to limit the number of participants to 20,000. Forget that Lasagne you were going to make and put those tomatoes to better use in one of the messiest battles around!
When: The last Wednesday of August
Where: Buñol, Spain
Why visit: Witness the world’s largest food fight!