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America’s Best Fall Food Festivals

By Robert DiGiacomo

Better bring an appetite if you’re planning to attend one of these food festivals. You’ll spend the day sampling great eats—and you may even want to join in on some quirky local traditions.

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, Oct. 29-30

Sample Menu: With 120 vendors, plus lectures and cooking demos, the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival offers everything you need to know about the diet and health benefits of vegetarian cooking.
Chef Recommends: Eat Vegan on $4 a Day author Ellen Jaffe will share her budget meal tips.

Urbanna Oyster Festival, Urbanna, Va., Nov. 4-5

Sample Menu: Savor the oyster in its many delicious forms: raw, roasted, fried, smoked, steamed, in fritters, and in stews at the Urbanna Oyster Festival. Belly full, browse crafters’ booths and watch for the tears at the crowning of the festival’s queen.
Chef Recommends: The oyster shucking contest tests speed and finesse with the handling of the shell and meat.

Wurstfest, New Braunfels, Texas, Nov. 4-13

Sample Menu: Pull out your lederhosen for the 50th anniversary of this "Oktoberfest: Texas Style" celebration of the sausage called—very appropriately—Wurstfest. Along with the bratwurst and sauerkraut, there will be waltz and polka contests, plus a "kinderhalle" with a magic show and plenty of live music.
Chef Recommends: Don’t miss "Gone with the Wurst," an interactive spoof of Gone with the Wind.

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Northwest Food and Wine Festival, Portland, Ore., Nov. 5

Sample Menu: You won’t get thirsty at the Northwest Food and Wine Festival, which offers tastings of some 600 wines, paired with small dishes from 50 restaurants. Browse among the latest in gourmet food items, wine accessories, and cooking tools.
Chef Recommends: You can easily tote home your favorite bottles by taking advantage of deals on bottles and cases—as well as free shipping.

Giant Omelette Celebration, Abbeville, La., Nov. 5-6

Sample Menu: You’ll flip over the Giant Omelette Celebration’s centerpiece—a 5,000-egg omelette prepared in a 12-foot skillet. The event is inspired by a French legend about Napoleon ordering a village to assemble all the eggs to cook an omelette for his army.
Chef Recommends: Bring your dancing shoes for a spicy sampling of Cajun music, including the Grammy-winning BeauSoleil.

Getting There

Want to check out one of these festivals? Get the best planning information and more with our destination guides:

Photo credit: Giant Omelette Celebration, Abbeville, Louisiana; courtesy Adam Melancon / flickr

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