fbpx
Close

The best food festivals in Arizona

Text: The 30 best food festivals in Arizona; image: man cutting meat in a public food event setting

There are so many food festivals in Arizona, whether dedicated to a specific food, like tacos, donuts or pizza, or cuisine, like Greek, Polish or Italian. These are the 30+ most interesting and best Arizona food festivals throughout the year.

The best food festivals in Arizona

This post covers the best and some of the most interesting food festivals in Arizona, though they are focused in the Valley metro area. It should come as no surprise that the calendar gets pretty thin in the summertime when it’s way too hot to be outside tasting new foods, but it ramps back up when the temperatures drop in the fall.

This first section includes the best and most unique-to-Arizona food festivals in the state. Head to the next section for cultural festivals with a food component, and some of the smaller food festivals in the state.

Tacolandia

Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: January 25, 2020
Official website

UNLIMITED TACOS (this is not a drill). Arizona is a haven for tacos, so Tacolandia is a fitting food festival to hit Phoenix. It celebrates Mexican culture with live music and food and drink.

Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival

Where: Scottsdale, AZ
When: February 15-16, 2020
Official website

The Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival is a two-day event in Scottsdale and is 100% vegan. It is focused on growing the vegetarian and green markets and promoting an eco-friendly, cruelty-free lifestyle.

For a similar event in Phoenix, check out Phoenix Vegan Festival, February 29, 2020 (official website).

Street Eats Food Truck Festival

Where: Salt River/Scottsdale, AZ
When: February 8-9, 2020
Official website

Street Eats is a two-day event at Salt River Fields with 55+ food trucks, each presenting a $2 sample.

The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival

Where: Chandler, AZ
When: March 24, 2020
Official website

The Great America BBQ & Beer Festival is an annual event held in downtown Chandler with beer vendors, local BBQ and food vendors, several stages of country music and arts and crafts vendors. There are a lot of (long) lines, so be prepared to get in line for an ID check, tickets, food and drinks, individually.

My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge

Where: Mesa, AZ
When: April 20, 2020
Official website

The Salsa Festival has been an Arizona tradition for 35 years and is highly competitive with over 100 salsas to taste. All salsa is made freshly on-site. There’s also a margarita mix-off competition and a 5k run. It draws more than 10,000 people each year to taste and enjoy the beer garden, live entertainment, craft vendors and games. It supports the Arizona Hemophilia Association (AHA).

READ  The best festivals in South Africa (and the ones you've never heard of)

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Where: Scottsdale, AZ
When: April 18, 2020
Official website

Every spring, Scottsdale’s Civic Center Mall plays host to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. The event has over 35 local restaurants, a Four Peaks beer garden, Liquid Arizona, vodka lounge, dessert and wine sampling, culinary demos and live music. Awards are named in categories including best pizza, BBQ, dessert, food and beer.

Southwest Cajun Fest

Where: Chandler, AZ
When: April 20, 2019
Official website

The heart and soul of New Orleans meet with AZ fusion in downtown Chandler. It celebrates Cajun culture, cuisine and craft beer. The event includes live music from jazz, blues and contemporary swing bands.

Schnepf Farms Peach Festival

Where: Queen Creek, AZ
When: May 13-14, 2020
Official website

Schnepf Farms is Arizona’s largest peach grower and hosts an annual peach festival. Early risers get a pancake breakfast and the day that follows has a peach sampling pavilion, peach picking, orchard hayrides and more. The dates vary annually depending on the harvest.

Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival

Where: Tucson, AZ
When: June 27, 2020
Official website

Tucson boasts the Best 23 Miles of Mexican food in America and Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival celebrates that. Family-owned and decades-old restaurants dominate the area, so you know you’re getting the best of the best.

Annual Garlic Festival

Where: Queen Creek Olive Mill, Queen Creek
When: September 28-29, 2019
Official website

The Queen Creek Olive Mill puts on a garlic festival every year with tastings, demos, garlic-infused menu specials and live music. Garlic gelato, garlic cupcakes and garlic brownies are there for the more adventurous.

Arizona State Fair

Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: October 4-27, 2019
Official website

The Arizona State Fair is the near month-long fair for the state, held annually at Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. Even if you’re headed for the music or games, the food at the state fair is well-known. Try some Navajo fry bread, turkey legs, pickles, Hot Cheeto dogs and fried anything (like fried Oreos or candy bars).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Arizona State Fair (@arizonastatefair) on

Arizona Taco Festival

Where: Salt River/Scottsdale, AZ
When: October 12-13, 2019
Official website

The Arizona Taco Festival is more than tasting tacos; there’s everything from pepper-eating contests to a chihuahua pageant, Lucha Libre wrestling and margarita wars, making it one of the most fun food festivals in Arizona.

Wine and Food Experience (USA Today)

Where: Salt River/Scottsdale, AZ
When: November 2-3, 2019
Official website

The azcentral Wine & Food Experience is held annually at Salt River Fields, with food and drink tasting, demonstrations and seminars. Emphasis is put on local vendors, so you can get a taste of where you want to go out next.

Olivepalooza Harvest Party

Where: Queen Creek Olive Mill, Queen Creek
When: November 16, 2019
Official website

The Queen Creek Olive Mill is Arizona’s only olive farm and mill, so it’s the best suited place to taste everything olive while celebrating the harvest. There is food, games, music, tractor rides, cooking demos and lots and lots of olives.

Mac and Cheese Fest AZ

Where: Salt River/Scottsdale, AZ
When: November 16-17, 2020
Official website

READ  The 12 best cities in the world to celebrate New Year's Eve

Local restaurants battle it out to prove who has the best mac in town. Samples are $2 each (and pretty hefty) and you can vote for your favorite. Drinks are expensive ($7 lemonades…), so bring a sealed water bottle if you’d rather spend it on mac and cheese. My 2019 favorite was the Saucy Pasta buffalo chicken mac and cheese.

Mac and cheese with buffalo chicken on the top

Ethnic and cultural festivals in Arizona with food

While not specifically dedicated to food, there are plenty of cultural festivals year-round with a big food component.

Italian Festival of Arizona

Where: Scottsdale, AZ
When: February 22-24, 2019
Official website

The Italian Festival of Arizona is preparing for its 7th year in 2020. Centered around Italian culture, the festival also has dozens of food vendors to visit.

Polish Festival AZ

Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: March 2-3, 2019
Official website

97,00 potatoes, 3500 stuffed cabbages, 25,000 pints – what more do you need to know about the free annual Polish festival? Food and drinks are available for purchase while you check out the music, cultural shows and vendors. There is a pierogi bar (!!!!).

Aloha Festival

Where: Tempe, AZ
When: March 14-15, 2020
Official website

The annual Aloha Festival has been celebrating Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan, South Pacific cultures in Arizona for 25 years. Nearly 200,000 attendees visit and get to taste food from dozens of vendors, while seeing cultural performances, learning to play music and celebrating the island life.

Arab American Festival

Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: March 21-22, 2020
Official website

The Arab American Festival in Phoenix is the largest of its kind nationwide, with food, entertainment, a hookah lounge, a bazaar and cultural performances. Middle Eastern food made on-site will satisfy cravings for falafel, kabobs, gyros, hummus and any other favorites.

Phoenix Greek Festival (alternative: Tucson Greek Festival)

Where: Phoenix (Tucson)
When: October 11-13, 2020 (Tucson: September 26-29, 2019)
Official website (Tucson event website)

For well almost 60 years, the Phoenix Greek Festival has been celebrating Greek heritage with food, music, dancing and an agora. Moussaka, tzatziki and baklava anyone? The Tucson Greek Festival has been running for 45 years with food, drinks, music and church tours.

Serb Fest

Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: November 2-3, 2019
Official website

SerbFest is an annual event bringing Serbian history, culture, music, dancing and food to Phoenix. You can go sweet with a palacinke (crepe-like treat) or krofne (Serbian donuts). Or go more traditional, with a meat and pepper-based food like cevapi or stuffed pepper.

Arizona Asian Festival

Where: Scottsdale, AZ
When: November 16-17, 2019
Official website

Every year, the Arizona Asian American Association throws the Arizona Asian Festival, complete with everything to celebrate all the unique cultures of the continent – performances, fashion shows, arts and crafts and, of course, food.

Other food festivals and events in Arizona

Brunch so hard at the Brunch Bash Festival in Phoenix. Pick from savory options like Benedicts and sweets like waffles and cereal, along with brunch beverages Marys and mimosas (February 22, 2019; Phoenix, AZ). Official website.

Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival will get a second chance at making an impression after a rocky first outing in 2019, bringing the event to Chandler. Bao and dumplings from a variety of Asian origins will be up for the tasting (March 21, 2020; Chandler, AZ). Official website.

READ  Baseball and other events and festivals during Cactus League spring training in Arizona

The Arizona Renaissance Festival isn’t all jousting, castles and costumes. Turkey legs are standard fare, but the Pleasure Feast is a “tournament of flavors.” (February 8 – March 29, 2020; Gold Canyon, AZ). Official website.

AZ Wingfest aims to solve the question of who serves up the best chicken wings in the valley, in four different categories (April 26, 2020; Phoenix, AZ). Official website.

Over 50 vendors bring food and drink to the PHX Night Market in April. Savory and sweet span the two-day, open-air market (April 21-22, 2019; Phoenix, AZ). Official website.

FRIED French Fry and Music Festival brings together two important things – fries and music. And they dare to say the important things in life, tots are french fries (April 20, 2019; Phoenix, AZ). Official website.

The Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party draws over 100,000 visitors annually for fall activities, corn mazes and more (October 1-31, 2019; Queen Creek, AZ). Official website.

The Bacon, Blues & Brews Festival is in Queen Creek and has plenty of food (with BBQ and bacon, of course), local craft beers and live music. VIP tickets include serious food options, including mac and cheese bites (with bacon) and Croque monsieur (with…bacon) (November 2, 2019; Queen Creek, AZ). Official website.

Phoenix Pizza Festival brings about two dozen pizza makers together, offering $2-4 slices (plus full pies if you know what you want). It also has local craft beer, live music, local vendors and lawn games (November 14, 2020; Phoenix, AZ). Official website.

Downtown Donut Festival is a new event in downtown Phoenix. With $1 donut samples from over a dozen vendors, more breakfast treats, champagne and local breweries, people can get sweet and savory and enjoy live music (November 15, 2020; Phoenix, AZ). Official website.

Tucson’s Arizona Bacon Fest has run for 5 years and brings 40+ breweries and 40+ restaurants together to celebrate all things bacon. Last dates for the fest, however, have been found for 2017, so here’s hoping they’re on a break (November 19, 2017; Tucson, AZ). Official website.

2019 will be Arizona Fried Chicken and Beer – Chimac Festival’s first event, in downtown Phoenix. Every vendor will have an option for $5 or less and plan to have a beer with it as chimac is Korean for pairing fried chicken with beer (December 15, 2019; Phoenix, AZ). Official website.

Pin to share this guide to food festivals in Arizona

Infographic with best food festivals in Arizona, by month, in text

Mac and cheese fest image with text of best food festivals in arizona meat and cheese spread with text that says the 30 best food festivals in arizona

Note: This post contains affiliate links. My opinions and advice remain my own. For more information on affiliates and sponsors of How Dare She, click here.

The best food festivals in Arizona

Founder of How Dare She, Jessica is on a mission to visit every country in the world, and bring you along with through photos, video and stories. 6 continents and 104 countries in. She has a BA in journalism and Master's in innovation and change, but her real skill is plugging in a USB in 2 or less tries (most of the time). She believes daring isn't about being fearless, but choosing to opt in, in spite of fear. She dares to see, taste, experience and meet the world as she goes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *