The Tastiest Upcoming Foodie Events in Raleigh, N.C.
Tuesday, September 03, 2019, 7pm by visitRaleigh
Passionate local chefs, brewers and creative types have teamed up to guide the Raleigh area through a foodie renaissance, bringing you delicious, unique and approachable culinary experiences. These food and drink events kick into high gear as we approach the fall season—save these dates (and come hungry!).
A tradition in Raleigh since 1982, the Raleigh Greek Festival—held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds—features live music and traditional folk dancing plus all the authentic food options you could ask for (gyros, souvlaki, baklava, cookies, pizza, stuffed grape leaves, wine and more). General admission is $4.
At Cotton House Craft Brewers in downtown Cary, a newly-finished backyard and patio calls for celebration! Enjoy live music by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Gabriel Kelley, followed by a rowdy-good time with Hogslop String Band from Nashville. Additional fun includes awesome vendors, local-favorite food trucks, an outdoor beer shack, mobile axe throwing and more.
East Meets West Festival
The free-admission festival celebrates Morrisville with a day of food, culture and music from around the world. Dozens of local restaurants sell small plates of their specialties. At the same time, the festival stage hosts performances from groups representing the town's many cultures. Children can have their faces painted or enjoy a variety of other fun activities.
One of the sweetest events of the year, NC Sugar Rush is an all-dessert food truck rodeo held at Raleigh's City Market. 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.
The first ever "dinner and a movie" event at Mandolin Farm includes a burger bar from chef Sean Fowler (the mastermind behind Mandolin, named one of America's 50 best Southern restaurants) along with farm-fresh sides, gourmet popcorn, tea, lemonade and a showing of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (plus wine and beer for an additional cost). Tickets are required—bring your own chairs and blankets!
Savor the Triangle
A culinary festival that provides a chance to taste many of the area's best restaurants (Locals Oyster Bar, Brew N Que, Taverna Agora, Gravy, Sassool and The Pit, to name a few of the 20-plus vendors), this ticketed event—taking place indoors at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds—comes with food, drinks, sweets, fun photo opps and more.
Local bands, bounce houses, rides and games—plus more than 20 cooks and 50 vendors vying for cash prizes for best whole hog, chicken and ribs—draw more than 4,000 people to the Rolesville BBQ & Bands Festival each year. Admission to the event is free but barbecue plates are for sale (and it may be a good idea to purchase in advance before they sell out Opens a New Window. !).
Fall Jazz Brunch
Free jazz music from local-favorite Sidecar Social Club, a picturesque backdrop of the Raleigh skyline, food trucks on-site plus adult beverages for purchase (from Trophy Brewing Company and Naughty Penguin Hard Cider) make for a perfect kickoff to the fall season at Dorothea Dix Park. Note: You can bring your own picnic if you'd like, and dogs are welcome (on a leash).
Apple Day at the State Farmers Market, Raleigh
The State Farmers Market will host Apple Day in celebration of N.C.'s apple industry (one of the largest apple-producing states in the country). Visitors can enjoy free apple dessert samples (yes, please!), plus shop for a variety of fresh, local apples available from market vendors.
Whole Hog Barbecue Championship (part of PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass)
What pairs perfectly with bluegrass? Barbecue! The Whole Hog Barbecue Championship takes place annually in downtown Raleigh in conjunction with PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass (a free, two-day festival that draws nearly 200,000 of the biggest bluegrass music fans in the world to Raleigh). Visitors to the festival can purchase a wristband that allows samplings of 'cue from each competitor (who are battling it out for trophies and cash prizes), plus cast a vote to have a say in the people's choice award. Tickets are $10 in advance for the Sat. lunchtime event.
Brew 'n' Choo
Food trucks and local breweries will be on hand for Brew 'n' Choo, a series of family-friendly events at the North Carolina Railway Museum & New Hope Valley Railway that offers a family-fun opportunity to take a one-hour train ride through the woods (food and beverages allowed on the train!) and/or a 45-minute walking tour of the railway and museum.
St. Eugene International Food & Music Festival
A Wendell tradition for 15 years now, the St. Eugene International Food & Music Festival brings live entertainment (music and dancers), a children's village with crafts and games, raffles and cuisine from a variety of countries (Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Salvador, Phillipines, Germany, Honduras and more) to this free, family-friendly outdoor festival.
A celebration of Latino culture (and a search for the best tamale in Raleigh!) at Dorothea Dix Park, this free-admission event will include authentic performances from local groups, games and inflatables for kids, Latin dance lessons, local art exhibits, food trucks and a variety of tamales to purchase. Guests may bring their own food as well. Dogs are permitted (on a leash).
This second annual event, presented by the Chinese-American Friendship Association of N.C., features delicious Chinese food, traditional arts and live performances (dragon and lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, musical performances, children's activities and more) at Bicentennial Plaza in downtown Raleigh.
Tacos 'N Taps Festival
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 and other live music, pinata punching, contests and other surprises await at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre.
Food trucks as far as you can see (literally!). The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo brings more than 50 food trucks to the city center, spanning a half-mile and 11 city blocks and drawing thousands of hungry visitors to taste the best of the best from local trucks. It's one of the biggest rodeos in the country!
This fourth annual event at Lafayette Village gets bigger and better every year. Taste local and regional chocolates and cheeses paired with a variety of wines from across the world (including some local favorites). Sit, sample and listen to live music, shop local vendors and take home a souvenir wine glass at the end of the day.
This fast-growing beer and music festival held at beautiful Sugg Farm Park brings together more than 70 breweries (including most of the nearly 30 craft beverage brewers in Raleigh, N.C.) and more than 20 food trucks, along with a full lineup of Americana jams, to celebrate good friends, good beer and good times in Holly Springs.
Setting up shop at one of Raleigh's favorite breweries (Big Boss Brewing Company), local dessert shops, bakeries and dessert trucks will have goodies available for purchase. Select bakeries will have alternative options such as gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free desserts. Bring your family and friends out to enjoy your favorite Big Boss brew and satisfy your sweet tooth!
Triangle Ferment Fest is a unique food festival that both teaches and celebrates all things fermented! You’ll learn all about fermentation, take hands-on classes and sample food and drinks from local businesses. Admission is free, workshop prices vary. This event will be held at Chatham Hill Winery in Cary.
The largest annual event in the state, the North Carolina State Fair draws one million visitors through the gates each Oct., marking what many consider to be the unofficial beginning of the true fall season (sweater weather and pumpkin spice lattes are fully swinging into action at this time). Eleven days of high-flying rides, deep-fried foods, live music, stunt shows and other entertainment (including nightly fireworks) has been a can't-miss event for generations of families—the 2019 version of the North Carolina State Fair marks the 152nd year of the event!
Sip and savor chardonnays, merlots, scuppernongs and more while you meet and greet the fascinating people who are forging N.C.'s reputation for quality wines. Enjoy delicious food, shop local businesses and purchase wines you like by the bottle and case, all while listening to three awesome bands (Rayland Baxter, The Shakedown Band and The Brent Stimmel Band) strumming along on main stage at Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park.
Sample delicious barbecue, savor a unique selection of locally-brewed beer and enjoy live music in the heart of Fuquay-Varina.
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