Many travelers visit countries for historic attractions and scenic landscapes. However, traveling foodies love exploring the local cuisine of a destination. In many cases, sampling traditional foods of a destination can teach travelers about the local culture and heritage, from how it’s prepared to the varieties of spices used in a dish. To appreciate the gift of food, countless cities worldwide host annual food festivals, attracting thousands (or even millions!) of curious foodies, from local visitors to international travelers. However, there are only a handful of food festivals that are so incredible that travelers ought to visit them at least once in their life!
- Location: Munich, Bavaria, Germany
- Celebration Date: Around September to October (for 16 days)
Oktoberfest is one of the popular food festivals around the world, bringing together approximately 6.3 million visitors over 16 days! This historic—yet epic—festival combines beer, parades, music, and food, into one massive venue! Visit this lively festival during a visit to Munich to discover the best brews in the country and sample some traditional Bavarian fare. Festival goers will also get a chance to see traditional fashion at Oktoberfest, as many guests wear garments such as the lederhosen, dirndl, or loferls!
9 Napoli Pizza Village
- Location: Naples, Italy
- Celebration Date: June
Foodies know Italian cuisine for its divine nature, from an exquisite Roman charcuterie to its no-frills street food. People love Italian cuisine, especially the world-famous pizza. This saucy pie is so beloved that there are festivals to celebrate it, such as the Napoli Pizza Village! Regarded as one of the best food festivals in the world, the Napoli Pizza Village caters to millions of visitors each year who enjoy everything (and anything) related to pizza.
|DID YOU KNOW? There are other pizza-related events worldwide hosted by Pizza Village, especially in Milano, London, New York, and the United Arab Emirates.|
8 Tokyo Ramen Show
- Location: Tokyo, Japan
- Celebration Date: Late October to early November
Being an iconic Japanese dish with an interesting history, ramen is a well-beloved food by many international foodies. Thus, ramen lovers may love celebrating the delicious nature of ramen! Taking place at the Komazawa Olympic Park, the Tokyo Ramen Show highlights the various ramen varieties seen throughout Japan.
7 International Alba White Truffle Fair
- Location: Alba, Italy
- Celebration Date: October/December
Truffles are some of the finest gourmet foods, and every year, the Italian town of Alba celebrates it! The International Alba White Truffle Fair takes place annually in Alba, gathering international foodies under one roof to enjoy everything about white truffles. Curious foodies can even sample and purchase truffles at the Alba White Truffle World Market, which showcases the finest truffles around, as defined by the Centro Nazionale Studi Tartufo (also known as the National Truffle Study Centre).
6 The Giant Omelet Celebration
- Location: France (Bessieres/Frejus), New Caledonia (Dumbea), Canada (Granby, Quebec), Belgium (Malmedy), Argentina (Pigue), USA (Abbeville)
- Celebration Date: Various
The international Giant Omelet Celebration cracks a few eggs…a few thousand, that is! This omelet celebration comes from the tradition of feeding the less fortunate during the time of Easter. Today, the Brotherhood of the Giant Omelet comes together to crack thousands of eggs for an epic omelet, which is served to hungry visitors. In Bessieres, the chefs use over 15,000 eggs (and pounds of butter and other ingredients) to make a massive omelet, though other sister cities host this celebration too!
5 Salon Du Chocolat
- Location: Paris, France
- Celebration Date: October and/or November
There are plenty of destinations for chocolate lovers, especially the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. This festival combines the elegance of high fashion with the decadence of chocolate. Enjoy live demos by world-renowned pastry chefs and watch models strut on the catwalk with chocolate-inspired designer ware. Sample some incredible chocolate-infused pastries and learn more about the world’s most beloved confection.
4 Maine Lobster Festival
- Location: Rockland, Maine, USA
- Celebration Date: First weekend of August
Seafood lovers must make the trip to Maine one day, especially during its Maine Lobster Festival. This five-day event takes place every August at Rockland’s Harbor Park, with hordes of people coming from near and far to sample some of the best lobster in the world. Enjoy carnival rides, local events, community art, and of course, freshly-caught Maine lobster!
3 World Gourmet Summit
- Location: Singapore
- Celebration Month: August
Since 1997, the World Gourmet Summit has been an annual culinary event in Singapore, showcasing international fine dining, culinary prowess, and Michelin-star talent. The summit also includes events like tastings and cooking workshops, which take place all around the city at different venues, from luxury hotels to restaurants.
2 The Grape Throwing Festival
- Location: Binissalem Village, Mallorca, Spain
- Celebration Date: The last weekend of September
Also known as the Festa des Vermar (or the Wine Fair), the Grape Throwing Festival takes place every year in the village of Binissalem, which is famous for its wines. During the festival, people gather around the village’s vineyards and chuck spoiled grapes at each other. The act of grape throwing sounds peculiar, but it's a practice that's been done since ancient Roman times!
1 La Tomatina
- Location: Buñol, Valencia, Spain
- Celebration Date: Last Wednesday of August
Regarded as the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight,’ La Tomatina is a food festival of epic proportions. Overripe tomatoes are thrown around like water balloons, creating a red slurry that paints the town of Buñol. With its first festival commencing in 1945, this world-famous food celebration takes place annually every last Wednesday of August. Furthermore, the event is so popular that countless tourists from around the globe participate in this festival, booking their stays nearby to be close to all the action!