Every day seems like a food festival in Las Vegas, from the opulent buffets to the five-star dining, not to mention the simple pleasures of a perfect street-vendor hot dog. If you haven’t experienced an actual food festival in Vegas, you’re missing some of the best food the city has to offer, accompanied by music, drinks, festivities, and and all-around fun atmosphere. Each festival has its own unique flavor, so you can choose a sophisticated soiree or a casual beer bash as your mood dictates. Plan your next trip around a food festival, and one thing’s for certain: you won’t leave Vegas hungry. Forbes magazine recently crowned Las Vegas as “America’s Food and Wine Festival Capital.”
Las Vegas Greek Festival (Annually in September)
The Greek community of Las Vegas sponsors this annual three-day event celebrating the food and culture of the Mediterranean. Wander the booths at your leisure and sample the best dishes of Greece, from savory souvlaki to sweet baklava. Don’t skip the fries: they’re Greek-style, with lemon and spices, served piping hot.
Rock ‘n Roll Wine Amplified Weekend (Annually in October). After almost a decade, this popular event has grown big enough to occupy the outdoor MGM Resorts Village near the Luxor. The two-day festival combines big name national bands with a wine-centric theme featuring more than 60 wineries and 150 wines, plus craft beers, a “hidden speakeasy,” barrel tastings, grape stomping, cocktail lounge and food truck area.
Oktoberfest (Month of October)
While there’s no definitive festival, Oktoberfest is celebrated month-long all over the city in the form of events and specials, with more bratwurst and beer than you could ever want. Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas brings in special Bavarian entertainment and brews a signature beer just for the occasion, and you can find German-themed buffets and food specials all over the city. If you’re more into suds than grub, look for all-you-can-drink beer specials at pubs and bars during October.
Las Vegas Food and Wine Festival (Annually in September)
This year’s event at the Red Rock Resort will have you wondering how so much can happen in two days. The Las Vegas Wine & Food Festival is a celebration of the senses, featuring an eclectic selection of elegant fare from locally renowned celebrity chefs. Feast on an enormous array of delicious foods, invigorate yourself with sensational spirits, and enjoy the good life against the backdrop of this truly inspired resort.
Great Vegas Festival of Beer (Annually in April)
If beer’s your thing, you’re certainly not alone. The Great Vegas Festival of Beer has grown so big, it burst out of its original venue. It’s now hosted outdoors in the Downtown Vegas near the intersection of Fremont Street and Ninth Street., where there’s plenty of elbow room for the vendors of over 400 different craft beers to sling their cold, sudsy wares. The Gastropub provides an area for eating, and the offerings are distinctly beer-friendly. Enjoy live music and celebrity chefs during the festival as well.
Epicurean Affair (Annually in late Spring)
One admission price lets guests sample food and sip cocktails from some of the best chefs in the city as they vie to outdo each other with their culinary creations. Held poolside at the Palazzo for the last few years, the Nevada Restaurant Association’s swanky event is a chance to taste signature dishes from dozens of well-known Vegas restaurants. Previous participants have included Delmonico Steakhouse, Restaurant Guy Savoy, and Wolfgang Puck’s CUT.
UNLVino (Annually in April)
For over 40 years UNLVino has been a primary University of Las Vegas, Nevada fundraiser. More than 100 wineries participate in the multi-day event which features auctions, live entertainment, and plenty of samples of both international and domestic wines for tasting. Look for the “passport” packages that let you attend every scheduled wine tasting for one price. You don’t even have to worry about it going to your head: the festival thoughtfully provides designated drivers to get you home safely.
Chinese New Year and Asian Food Festival (Annually in January or February)
The yearly Chinese New Year celebration in Vegas’ ChinaTown Plaza is a melting pot of all Asian cultures. Revelers can choose from Canton, Mandarin, Hawaiian, Japanese, or Vietnamese cuisine, to name just a few. While the dishes are the real draw for foodies, there’s plenty more to dazzle the senses, from Chinese acrobats and dancing dragons to hula girls and martial arts demonstrations.
Vegas Uncork’d (Annually in April)
Forbes magazine called Vegas Uncork’d “one of the world’s best food festivals,” and it’s almost impossible to disagree. Sponsored by the epicures at Bon Appetit, the four-day event lets guests mingle with superstar chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Joël Robuchon, and Bobby Flay. While the food served is guaranteed to be some of the best you’ve ever tasted, you’ll also improve your own culinary skills after seeing demos from the greats. Pairings from world-class sommeliers put the “cork” in the festival’s name, and craft cocktails flow readily as well, so come thirsty.
The Great American Foodie Fest (annually in April or May) with a motto of “Eat like a King, Party Like a Rock Star,” showcases some of the best food featured on Food Netwrok, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel. with over 50 food trucks and specialty vendors you won’t be hungry for long! There are cling demos, carnival rides, a live DJ and a beer garden.
Las Vegas Chocolate Festival & Pastry Show (Annually in April)
There are lots of reasons Vegas is known as Sin City, but you probably never guessed that it might be for decadent sweets. You’ll feel downright devilish sampling the array of confections from renowned pastry chefs and chocolatiers, many of which look too good to eat — but you’ll eat them anyway. Convenient protein stations let you sample various meats to help calm down that sugar rush and allow you to start indulging all over again.
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