We hate to break it to you, but… winter is coming.
It’s all well and good to dull the pain with silly graphs and memes, but at some point you have to face reality. You live in New York City. Winter is on it’s way. It’s going to suck. And at least once you’re going to contemplate moving to Florida.
But in the meantime, it’s autumn and autumn in NYC is straight-up awesome. There’s no time like the present to start building up that fat layer you’ll want for winter warmth – and no, we’re not talking about drinking pumpkin spice lattes until the scent of nutmeg seeps through your pores. We’re talking about all the delectable fall food festivals in NYC (and beyond). Get your stretchy pants ready.
#1 Connecticut Garlic and Harvest Festival: October 7 & 8
Image: Garlic & Harvest Festival
Take a road trip to Bethlehem, Conn. for the Connecticut Garlic and Harvest Festival. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what you’ll be in for at this fete. Get stuffed on free samples of garlic dips, spreads, cheeses, and oils from specialty food vendors. Learn how to grow garlic at an informative lecture or attend a garlic cooking demonstration. And don’t forget to try the delicacies found at the food court, including deep fried garlic (above) and garlic ice cream.
Location: Bethlehem Fairgrounds – 304 Main St N, Bethlehem, CT 06751 (map)
#2 Spain’s Great Match: October 8
Image: Spanish Wine
Travel to Spain without the pain of baggage fees and nonexistent legroom at Spain’s Great Match. This is your chance to taste over 300 world-class Spanish wines and sample tapas created by New York City’s top Spanish restaurants. The event will also showcase Spain’s award-winning interior design industry in the Frank Gehry-designed IAC HQ Building.
Location: IAC HQ Building – 555 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011 (map)
#3 New York City Wine and Food Festival: October 12-15
The New York City Wine and Food Festival is gearing up to once again pay homage to one of the greatest dining cities in the world while fighting to end hunger. Join a combo of legendary culinary icons, America’s most beloved television chefs, winemakers, spirits producers, and other foodie faves for a few days of education, entertainment, and eating well. The event and personality lists are extensive, meaning there’s something for every interest and budget, and benefits go to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the Food Bank For New York City.
Location: Various locations around NYC
#4 Hester Street Fair: Balls Bistro – October 14
Image: Hester Street Fair
The Lower East Side flea market is currently soliciting vendors for something called “Balls Bistro.” The event will offer “every food imaginable in the shape of a ball.” Have you considered how many foods already come in the shape of a ball? There are so many! Meatballs, rice balls, mochi, cheese balls, doughnut holes, rum balls, etc. We could go on. All we know is we’re completely on board with having a ball at this genius idea for a food festival.
Location: Corner of Hester St & Essex St, Lower East Side (map)
#5 Oyster Festival: October 14 & 15
The Oyster Festival originated as a hometown parade honoring Theodore Roosevelt, before evolving into the largest outdoor festival on Long Island. Attendees flock to the waterfront in downtown Oyster Bay for live entertainment, tall ships, top-notch artisans, and the iconic oyster eating and shucking contest. Oh, and let’s not forget the food court, where volunteer chefs and culinary pros work side by side to serve dozens of unique concoctions made with oysters, clams, and other seafood, plus traditional festival fare.
Location: Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park – West End Ave, Oyster Bay, NY 11771 (map)
#6 NYC Artisinal Sweet Treats Bazaar – October 15
Image: Grand Bazaar
If you’re a sweets fiend the best place to find all of NYC’s best treats is at Grand Bazaar’s annual Artisinal Sweet Treats Bazaar. More than 30 dessert makers descend on the Upper West Side market showcasing everything from truffles to scones to macaroons.
Location: Grand Bazaar NYC, 100 West 77th Street (map)
#7 Lower East Side Pickle Day: October 15
Image: Lower East Side BID
It’s brine time, baby! Lower East Side Pickle Day is back, and it’s bringing over twenty picklers along with it. The list of participants includes Pickle Guys, Brooklyn Brine and Pickle Shack, Messy Brine, Horman’s Best Pickles, and Pickle Me Pete. On the non-pickled front, there will be other local vendors like Melt Bakery and Claw Daddy’s plus music, games, contests, yoga demos, and a Pickle Day Pun-Off. It’s kind of a big dill.
Location: Orchard St between E Houston and Delancey (map)
#8 Food Film Festival: October 19 – 22
Image: Food Film Festival
Presented in association with the James Beard Foundation, the Food Film Festival is a multi-sensory experience in which guests taste the food they see on screen – aka a cinematic scratch ‘n’ sniff. The festival showcases the best, and most memorable, of the world’s favorite foods through documentaries, features, and shorts. It’s also a competitive film festival, with awards in multiple categories like Best Feature and Best Food Porn.
Location: AMC Loews Village 7, 66 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (map)
#9 Cider Week NYC: October 20 – 29
Image: Rebecca Siegel
Apple season means cider season and cider season means hard cider season! Cider Week returns to various locations throughout the city shining a light on the hard cider revival. One of the many highlights is Ciderfeast at Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. Taste cier from around the world alongside regional favorites.
Location: Various Locations
#10 The Chocolate Expo: October 22
Image: Tim Sackton
Do we really need to say anything beyond “chocolate expo?” The Chocolate Expo – held in Secaucus, NJ – has become the northeast’s largest chocolate-themed event. The trip to Jersey is totally worth it to taste-test chocolates, baked goods, specialty foods, gelato, cheeses, and more from 50+ local and regional vendors. There are also unique exhibits, performances, demonstrations, and maybe even celebrity appearances.
Location: Meadowlands Expo Center, 355 Plaza Dr, Secaucus, NJ 07094 (map)
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