While the weather still feels like winter, spring is on its way. That means there will be plenty of food festivals to kick off the warmer season. Whether you prefer brunch, something hot or a little game day grub, here are some of the best food festivals coming to the city.
415 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10016
April 21-22: Baseball season is almost in full swing. New Yorkers can celebrate their favorite Major League Baseball team by enjoying some game day grub at the MLB FoodFest. The weekend-long food festival will highlight some of the best stadium eats from 30 ballparks. As you walk through the two-floor Midtown space, they can try traditional dishes and trendy new bites from both American and National League teams. Among the dishes being offered, include a NY Deli Pastrami Sandwich from Citi Field or a New England Lobster Roll from Fenway Park. For those looking to get a taste of the Atlanta Brave they try the Pig Pickin’ tortilla stuffed with curly fries or their four other kinds of tacos. New Yorkers can get a taste of Seattle’s Safeco Field with the Toasted Grasshoppers. Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance and are $25 for food or $40 for both food and beer.
The 6th Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo
Brooklyn Expo Center
79 Franklin St.
Brooklyn, NY 11222
April 21-22: Things are sizzling in Brooklyn for The 6th Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo. New Yorkers who love hot sauce can attend the annual festival, which offers unlimited samples of more than 50 handpicked artisan hot sauces from around the world. There will be competitions throughout the weekend, including the Guinness Book of Records Carolina Reaper Pepper Eating Contest, the Screaming Mi Mi Awards and the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Presentation. While you can purchase general admission tickets, they can spring for VIP access which comes with open bar, Pink’s Taco Buffet, an on-site tattoo artist and a margarita massage booth.
Brisket King NYC
100 Kent Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
April 25: New Yorkers can discover who will be named the King of Brisket during the annual festival in Brooklyn. Brisket King NYC features an endless amount of brisket and bottomless drinks. The dishes are created be some of the country’s top pitmasters, including chefs from Dinosaur BBQ, Butcher Bar, Randalls BBQ and Hill Country BBQ. To wash down all that brisket, there are a variety of craft beers, ciders and signature cocktails.
Ninth Avenue International Food Festival
Between 42nd Street & 57th Street
New York, NY 10036
May 19-20: One of New York’s largest and oldest food festivals is back this spring. The Ninth Avenue International Food Festival will celebrate its 45th anniversary while bringing together various cuisine from Hell’s Kitchen and nearby neighborhoods. Stretching from 42nd Street to 57th Street, the weekend food fest raises money for charities across the city and country. New Yorkers can walk along the avenue and feel like they are traveling the world while tasting dishes from Poseidon Bakery, Southern Hospitality and Chelsea Grill.
Brooklyn Expo Center
72 Noble St.
Brooklyn, NY 11222
May 20: Forget about breakfast and lunch, brunch is how New Yorkers celebrate the weekend. Instead of trying to decide where to go, you can grab a group of friends and head to the annual BrunchCon in Brooklyn. According to the festival, it is the world’s biggest food and drink event all about brunch. While it travels to eight other cities in the United States, the Brooklyn event feature 30 restaurants. Last year, restaurants that participated in the event featured Chalk Point Kitchen and Butter & Scotch. Of course, brunch would not be complete without some late morning cocktails. Admission to BrunchCon, includes a bottomless Mimosa bar, open Bloody Mary bar, yard games, Mimosa pong and music.
John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.