10 of the world's best food festivals for any food lover

For food lovers, enjoying local cuisine while travelling goes beyond stopping by a café in France for a croissant or a coffee shop in Italy for a cappuccino. Foodies may plan their entire itinerary around international food festivals, celebrating everything from a single ingredient to gourmet feasts. Combining a love of food while travelling is a tasty way to discover new places and cultures.

The following is a list of international food festivals for your culinary travel plans. 

Head to Regent’s Park, London’s green get-away in the middle of the city, for the annual Taste of London food festival. The festival features more than 50 restaurants and more than 200 unique food vendors. You’ll chow down on traditional British dishes and international fare. “Make sure to try the famous beef Wellington, fish and chips and locally brewed ales,” writes headout. You can also learn about top food and drink trends from cooking demonstrations and top chefs.

When: Annually in June 

Visit the city of Ubud, known as a cultural center in Bali, for the Ubud Food Festival, which celebrates Indonesian cuisine. Taste traditional Balinese cuisine such as satay and nasi goreng. Learn about Indonesian cuisine from workshops, demonstrations and talks from experienced chefs and food experts. Tour a traditional marketplace and pick up some local goods and crafts.

When: Annually in June

Around 22,000 people annually attend La Tomatina; the biggest food fight in the world, in the town of Buñol, Spain. It is said that La Tomatina started in August 1945 during a parade on People’s Square, after youngsters made one of the participants fall. In response, the crowd became angry and started throwing tomatoes. Six trucks are used to throw 160 tons of tomatoes onto the streets during the entirety of the festival. Swimming goggles are not a must, but may help keep tomatoes out of your eyes!

When: August 28, 2024

Grant Park features some of Chicago’s most iconic attractions and is home of the annual Taste of Chicago food festival.  A staple of the Windy City for more than 40 years, the food festival features dozens of Chicago’s favourite vendors. “Each year, food vendors will dish out not just tastes of Chicago’s classics – like hotdogs, pizza, and cheesecake – but also bites that represent the international influences tied to the city’s history as a melting pot of cultures,” writes Choose Chicago.

When: September 6 - 8, 2024   

With an average of 6.3 million visitors over more than two weeks, Oktoberfest is one of the largest food festivals in the world. Oktoberfest is famous for its beer but also showcases German culture with parades, music, food, and revelers in Bavarian clothing.

When: September 21 - August 6, 2024 

A fresh seafood lovers paradise, the annual Oyster Festival in Galway celebrates Ireland’s robust oyster industry.  Enjoy freshly shucked oysters with a variety of toppings, other seafood dishes and live music. The festival also features a renowned oyster shucking contest with competitors from around the world.  

When: September 27 - 29, 2024

Known as one of the best fruit festivals around the world, this festival is enjoyed by both vegan and non-vegans. During the 10-day festival Phuket offers dishes made out of vegetables, fruits, soybean, and protein products. The festival celebrates with parade, music and delicious vegan dishes.

When: October 2 - 11, 2024

Take in views of the stunning Victoria Harbor while you stroll through the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival. Try the finest wines and spirits from China and other nations from over 400 vendors. Snack on street food and other dishes local to Hong Kong and beyond. As the night falls, you’ll be serenaded by live jazz and classical performances from Chinese and international artists. Expand your knowledge of food and drink with classes for sommeliers, tastings and cooking demonstrations.

When: October 23 - 27, 2024

This 10-day Montreal food festival celebrates the culinary diversity of Montreal’s restaurants by offering three or four-course fixed menus at $35, $45, $55, and $75. The festival offers a variety of food including African, Asian, Mediterranean, North American cuisine. 

When: October 31 - November 17, 2024

This biennial event is a quirky delight. Held in Chinchilla, Australia, the festival celebrates the region’s melon farming industry with a bonanza of melon-loving activities. Try melon skiiing, melon bungee, and melon chariot racing! Eat traditional Australian cuisine and sway to live music. 

When: Next biennial festival will be helf from February 16 - 19, 2025

At the outset of any culinary adventure, consider purchasing travel insurance in the form of emergency medical coverage or comprehensive travel insurance coverage, which can come in handy if your unfamiliar food experiences unexpectedly take you from the chef’s table to the local medical clinic. Just in case you have one serving too many of your favourite dish, cut yourself during a knife skills workshop or your wine tour gets rained out, travel insurance can be the essential ingredient you’ll be glad to have at your destination.

Important note: Before planning your food travel itinerary, always consult the Canadian Government website for further advisories on your destination.


Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

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