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

For food lovers, enjoying local cuisine while travelling goes beyond stopping in at a café in France for a croissant or in Italy for a cappuccino while sightseeing. In fact, 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 can also serve as a tasty way to discover new places and cultures.

Following is a list of international food festivals that can help indulge in culinary travel. Whatever your taste, travel insurance can help ensure every experience is both satisfying and safe.

The Philippines has been celebrating the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban since the 16th century. The thanksgiving-like festival is celebrated on May 15 each year to commemorate the patron saint of farming, Saint Isidro de Labrador. Residents typically decorate their houses with rice wafers, native materials, handicrafts, and fresh produce. The streets even resemble Rio de Janeiro during Carnival.  

Where: Lucban, Philippines

When: Annually on May 15   

Known as the greatest and most famous pizza festival in Europe, Napoli Pizza Village Festival hosted more than a million people and baked 131,000 pizzas in 2019. Besides culinary events, the festival offers live music concerts, conferences, entertainment programs, and cooking demonstrations.

Where: Naples, Italy

When: Annually in June

Celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month by enjoying dragon boat races and a wide variety of rice dumplings. Make sure to try out the tradition zongzi dumplings, a sticky rice made with different fillings wrapped in bamboo, lotus or banana leaves.

Where: Hong, Kong

When: June 22, 2023

When you think chocolate, places like France and Switzerland might immediately come to mind. However, Ecuador produces some of the world’s finest chocolate, making this an ideal destination for food lovers who enjoy indulging in this irresistible confection.

Where: Quito, Ecuador

When: Annually in June

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. As a result, the crowd became angry and started throwing tomatoes. Around 22,000 people attend the biggest food fight in the world annually in the town of Buñol, Spain. 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, however can be useful in keeping the acidity of tomatoes out of your eyes.

Where: Buñol, Spain

When: August 30, 2023

With an average of 6.3 million visitors over 16 days, Oktoberfest in Munich hosts one of the the world’s largest food festival around the world. Oktoberfest is famous for its beer, and also includes parades, music, food, and Bavarian clothing.

Where: Munich, Germany

When: September 16 – October 3, 2023   

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.

Where: Phuket, Thailand

When: September 24 – October 3, 2023.

Here, high-class chefs transform noodles in broth into meals that are unrecognizable from what you might know as a quick and simple budget-friendly convenience food. The festival highlights various ramen varieties available throughout Japan at the Komazawa Olympic Park.

Where: Tokyo, Japan

When: October 2023

This annual festival in Victoria, Australia, boasts more than 300 events held in an eclectic mix of venues from restaurants to rooftops, which provides the more than 250,000 attendees with plenty of opportunities to spot a celebrity chef or two. Participate in a workshop, go on a food tour, cheese tasting or get a seat at the “Longest Lunch” a record-holding three-course meal served on a 500 metre long table to fully enjoy this popular foodie event.

Where: Victoria state, Australia

When: Part 1 takes place from October 27 – November 1, part 2 runs from November 2 – November 6. Completely different vendors will be featured during these dates.

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, and vegan option. 

Where: Montreal, Canada

When: November 2023


When planning a culinary adventure, remember that beyond the culinary experience, many food and wine festivals offer a variety of activities to help work up an appetite or burn off some calories.

At the outset of any culinary adventure, consider purchasing travel insurance in the form of emergency medical coverage or medical and trip cancellation & interruption 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 – whether or not you’re just there for the food.

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

 

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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