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For food fanatics, there’s nothing quite like the festival season. When you work in the hospital industry, day trips and travel to food festivals can justifiably be scheduled in the name of business research, so now’s the time to put those plans into action!

We’ve covered festival food trends on the blog before, because the music and culture events of the UK in particular have really ‘upped their game’ in recent years when it comes to food and beverage provision. But today on the blog we’re putting the focus firmly on food festivals themselves as great places to discover local produce and its producers, unearth regional delicacies, and to discover new food trends too. Here’s our roundup of the best 2016 food festivals in the UK and beyond to put on your bucket list. Napoli Pizza Village, Naples, Italy, September 6-11th 2016


There are lots of food festivals out there that celebrate the creation of just one food, or even the harvest of a particular fruit or vegetable such as garlic, tamale, coffee and melon festivals. We’ve tried to include festivals with a bit of a wider breadth of coverage in this list - but couldn’t resist including the Italian ‘Pizzafest’, Napoli Pizza Village. The birthplace of pizza surely deserves a pilgrimage during this special time? Salon du Chocolat Festival (Paris, New York, Tokyo, London)


This celebration of all things chocolatey is so good that it’s inspired sister events around the world. However, Salon du Chocolat in Paris 28th October – November 1st is surely the one to watch thanks to the infamous chocolate fashion show that’s part of the agenda. Also on the menu are recipe demonstrations by chocolatiers and pastry chefs, book signings, workshops for both adults and children and live arts performances.

Oktoberfest, Munich, September 17th–October 3rd 2016


Sampling the best beers in tents with enthusiasts, colourful parades and consuming more bratwurst and pretzels than you can shake a stick at, Oktoberfest is a huge cultural event that attracts big crowds. With this in mind, it’s best to book your accommodation early. It’s also worth noting that you can reserve a spot in one of the beer tents online, which you may want to do in advance as they tend to fill up fairly early in the day.

Gastronomika, San Sebastian, October (2016 Date TBC)


San Sebastian is a mecca for gourmet lover. Every year the Gastronomika conference sees the best in the industry coming together to host talks about the latest trends, workshops, competitions, as well as classes for young and old and tasting sessions. This event brings together the local community with international chefs and food enthusiasts and celebrates local foods and global cuisines alike.

Grillstock, Bristol, July 2nd-3rd 2016


A photo posted by grillstock (@grillstock) on

Grillstock promises a taste of Americana in Bristol. This festival focuses on all things barbecue and in particular on the provision of ‘meat, music and mayhem’. Expect hot dog eating contests, grill competitions, live bands and the air filled with the sweet smoky smell of barbecuing meat. If you can’t make it to the festival itself, you may want to check out the associated smokehouses that are now dotted around the country.

Savour, Singapore, May, September, November 2016


A photo posted by Savour Events (@savourevents) on

As a multicultural centre packed with different foodie influences, Singapore certainly knows how to put on a spread. Around 18,000 visitors enjoy signature dishes from some of the world’s best restaurants, gourmet tastings at the market and demonstrations from celebrity chefs. As an added bonus, all of the hustle and bustle is to be found in a beautiful spot next to the marina.

San Francisco Street Food Festival, August 15-16th


A photo posted by @streetfoodsf on

There are several food festivals dedicated to the delights of street food and San Francisco is one to put on your to visit list – if only because the city always has so much going on! The festival itself takes place on the pier and is free to enter, though you can claim certain discounts if you purchase a passport. If your idea of heaven is trying lots of different foods all in one place and you’re looking for some inspiration for your own street food venture, sunny San Francisco may well have the festival for you.

Street food fans may also want to check out events in Portland, where the street food truck scene is particularly strong. This is by no means an exhaustive list of food festivals and if you fancy taking part in something just plain wacky, you’ll also find tomato throwing, cheese rolling and road kill cooking festivals around the world to whet your appetite!

Have you been to any of the food festivals on this list? Which UK food festivals or international food festivals would be on your bucket list? Comment below and join in the debate over on Twitter @BunzlLockhart.


Lockhart Catering on 30 March 2016 9:22 AM

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