Are you looking for the country’s top yearly cooking competitions and food festivals? From coast to coast, several renowned festivals are staged in world-class venues that, even without the landscape, make the journey worthwhile for the food options alone. 

Virginia’s Urbanna Oyster Festival – November 15, 2022–April 15, 2023

Over 50 vendors provide various oysters, including raw, steamed, fried, roasted, and rockefeller. Local oystermen and women congregate to share their expertise and show off their skills in the festival’s oyster shucking competition as the town closes for the two-day event. While fiercely competitive, it is pure entertainment for the crowd, which is tasked with devouring these tiny mollusks as soon as they are cracked open. Try yours with local wine tastings, or get some craft brews from the microbrewery garden.

New York City Wine & Food Festival – October 12 to 15, 2023 

The New York City Wine & Food Festival offers over 80 activities. It is scheduled for October 12–15, 2023, and is considered the city’s most extensive food and wine festival. The NYCWFF is well recognized for its walk-around tastings honoring American cuisine, private dinners with prominent chefs, late-night parties, practical lessons, wine tastings, and other events.

Taste of Chicago in Chicago, IL, June-July – 2023

Taste of Chicago is held in the Windy City, where many cutting-edge culinary trends are on show. Visit its grounds in Grant Park’s excellent location overlooking Lake Michigan to enjoy dining to your heart’s delight, chef demonstrations, and a kid’s area. Yes, you can indulge in Eli’s cheesecake and Chicago deep-dish pizza, but you can also have dim sum, candied bacon, and kimchi cheese fries. 

Hudson Valley, New York, Wine & Food Fest – September 9–10, 2023

Every year in September, the weekend after Labor Day, the Duchess County Fairgrounds hosts the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest, a celebration of all things wine. Learn about New York’s best wineries, mingle with grape growers and winemakers to discover the region’s bounty, sample a craft beer or spirit from New York, and taste your way through adored eateries, food trucks, and purveyors of farm-fresh cheeses, farm-raised meats, salsas, and baked goods.

Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado – June 16–18, 2023

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is the festival to go for many James Beard Award-winning chefs. Thomas Keller refers to it as the “superstar” of culinary festivals, and it’s understandable why: Attendees include the top chefs and wineries in the nation. However, the event’s expensive tickets, foodies, and wine connoisseurs should take advantage of it.

Charleston, SC, Wine + Food Festival – March 1–5, 2023

At this five-day foodie festival in Charleston, South Carolina, chefs, authors, and winemakers gather to sample some of the nation’s best culinary and dining offerings. Low Country cuisine takes center stage at CWFF, which offers all the cooking demonstrations, tastings, and book signings a foodie could need. The festival also honors the city’s culinary and cultural past.