Passionate local chefs, brewers and creative types have teamed up to guide the Raleigh area through a foodie resurgence in recent years, bringing you delicious, unique and approachable culinary experiences. Save these dates (and come hungry!) 

 

Cary Downtown Farmers Market Spring Festival

March 23
Held weekly at the beautiful new Downtown Cary Park, the Cary Downtown Farmers Market will present this special spring event with tons of extra fun. Live music, kids' performances, interactives games and exhibits, tons of local food and beer vendors and even a pie-eating contest should make this a tasty time for all. 

 

Marchtoberfest at Clouds Brewing Taproom

March 23
A two-part party—with music, food and beer all-day long—in celebration of Clouds Brewing's eighth anniversary at the North Raleigh taproom (1233 Front St.), with a German Oktoberfest-style celebration kicking off at 2pm and an Irish St. Patrick's Day party taking over at 7pm. 

 

Casks on Fools

March 30
This by-the-glass cask festival at Crank Arm Brewing is one of the can't-miss celebrations of spring, offering unique cask-conditioned ales from more than 20 Tar Heel State breweries.

 

April Foods Day

April 5
Nothing but delicious delights and fun festivities as this food truck rodeo in downtown Garner! Bonus: A summer food truck rodeo will be held July 19, and a "Trick or Eat" rodeo will take place Oct. 12

 

Tacos 'N Taps

April 6
This all-you-can-taste beer and tequila festival takes you south of the border for foodie fun—tacos, margaritas, 80-plus beers, mariachi bands, piñata punching, contests and other surprises await at Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Greg Nivens (@gregnivens)

 

Peak City Pig Fest

April 12-13
Live music, a beer garden, a barbecue competition (sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society) and more make for one of Apex's tastiest events of the year.

 

Cary Pimento Cheese Festival

April 13
This tasty, free-to-attend event held at Downtown Cary Park this year puts one of the South's best delicacies front and center: pimento cheese! Food trucks, local vendors, live music, trivia, the annual pimento cheese sculpting contest and more will round out a full day's schedule for this event. 

 

NC Eat & Play's Spring Hootenany and Foodie Fest

April 13
Bites, beverages and bundles of fun for everyone at Haven Farm in Knightdale as part of this Southern-style, family-friendly throw-down named for and featuring one of the state's biggest social media influencers.

 

14th Annual North Carolina 'Cuegrass Festival

April 20
What could be finer than a jam-packed day of drool-worthy barbecue from The Pit, plenty of local brews and toe-tappin' bluegrass music on Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh? This kid- and pet-friendly event promises good tunes and good times (plus the event organizer, Empire Eats, donates 100% of the proceeds from the event to local children's causes). 

 

Brewgaloo

April 26-27
The state's largest craft beer festival—featuring 110 breweries, 40 food trucks and drawing 40,000 people—Brewgaloo takes over downtown Raleigh for two days each April. The festival, which has free admission on Saturday (so bring plenty of friends!), allows you to purchase either beer samples or full pints from breweries located across the state. The Friday night block party is a ticketed event that allows you unlimited three-ounce samples of limited release brews.

 

Holly Springs International Food Festival

May 3
Back for a third year, visitors are invited to taste, learn and unite at the Holly Springs International Food Festival, celebrating a variety of food, beverages and entertainment representing more than a dozen countries. Bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating outside the Holly Springs Cultural Center to enjoy live entertainment—polka, jazz, Bollywood dancing and more! This event is free to attend, with about a dozen local food and beverage vendors on hand.

 

Cinco de Mayo at Moore Square

May 5
A full day of delicious food, desserts, beer and wine—plus cultural performances, music and craft vendors—should make for a perfect spring day at downtown Raleigh's Moore Square.

 

Got to Be NC Festival

May 17-19
Putting the best of N.C. food and beverage on display, the Got to Be NC Festival offers tons of eating opportunities, live music, a huge collection of antique tractors, a carnival for children and more activities (plus free parking and admission) at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

 

NC Sugar Rush

May 26
One of the sweetest events of the year, NC Sugar Rush is an all-dessert food truck rodeo held in downtown Raleigh's City Plaza. More than 20 vendors—offering a range of goodies from cotton candy to cupcakes to cherry pies—will be on hand, along with face painters, balloon artists and more to keep the kids entertained (pets are welcome, too!).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jay Jones (@ncsugarrush)

 

Raleigh's International Food Festival

June 1
Celebrate Raleigh's diverse community and welcoming spirit by trying food, beer and wine (plus listen to live music and see more entertainment) from around the world. Nearly 20,000 attendees are expected in downtown Raleigh's City Plaza for the event.

 

Bubbles & Brisket

June 8
This fourth annual event, presented by the NC F&B Podcast, is a collaboration of chefs, pitmasters, winemakers and brewers pairing sparkling bubbles with a variety of cooking techniques and side dishes that feature everyone's favorite—brisket—from 10 Tar Heel State 'cue masters.

 

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

Aug. 2-3
Beer sipping, bourbon tasting, music listening and barbecue eating—what's not to love? Don't miss the two-day Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Admission buys you a souvenir sampling glass, so you can enjoy an all-you-care-to-taste sampling of beer and bourbon, plus chow down on some pulled pork, ribs, biscuit and more, all while enjoying all-day live music.

 

Whiskey, Wine & Fire

Sept. 21
This elegant foodie celebration will feature whiskey, wine and cocktails, as well as great music, tented food stations, food trucks and restaurants with bonfires intermingled throughout the venue. A cozy night of whiskey drinking under the stars at Koka Booth Amphitheatre? Sign us up! 

 

Triangle Oktoberfest

Oct. 4-5
The Raleigh area's biggest Oktoberfest celebration, Triangle Oktoberfest at Koka Booth Amphitheatre provides plenty of family-friendly activities including live music, storytelling, dancing and traditional Bavarian food and fare (plus local and authentic German beers on hand).

 

N.C. State Fair

Oct. 17-27
The largest annual event in the state, the N.C. State Fair draws one million visitors through the gates each October, marking what many consider to be the unofficial beginning of the fall season. Eleven days of deep-fried foods, high-flying rides, live music, stunt shows and other entertainment (including nightly fireworks) has been a can't-miss event for generations of families—the 2024 version of the N.C. State Fair marks the 156th year of the event!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NC Food Finds (@ncfoodfinds)

 

North Carolina Wine Festival

Oct. 19
For more than 20 years the N.C. Wine Festival has delivered local wineries, artisans, music, food and fun. This year's ticketed event—held at Koka Booth Amphitheatre—will provide more than 30 Tar Heel State wineries to sample from, plus will have live music on hand for a day of dancing under the pines.

 

Header photo of Brewgaloo by Garrett Poulos

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