Food festivals should be some combination of sunshine, world-class chefs, unique dishes, charitable contributions, the finest wines, home-brewed hops, and a bit of the unexpected. In Florida, you’ll find hundreds of events offering just that. From the panhandle to the Keys, there’s always a festival happening worth a visit, but it takes much more than that to make our list of award winners.
We’ve hand picked these top 11 festivals thanks to traveler reviews, festival size, location, offerings, and so much more! We highly recommend planning a trip to these incredible edible festivals next time you’re in the Sunshine State. Here’s our list of the top food festivals in Florida for 2019:
Best Florida Food Festivals
About the festival: The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, over 500,000 visitors enjoy the festival’s headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, rides, exhibits of commerce and, of course, its strawberry shortcake.
About the festival: This exciting free family & community festival features live entertainment, food & cultural vendors – plus Cuban Sandwich contestants and vendors from all over the world! In the last 8 years, they’ve made the biggest Cuban Sandwich in the world every year, starting with a 36 foot Cuban Sandwich on the first year, and building it all the way up each year! The sandwich is always donated to a home shelter and to date they have fed over 3,500 homeless people!
About the festival: A dazzling roster of dozens of celebrity winemakers, distillers, chefs, brew masters and entertainers converge in South Walton, Florida to wine, dine, educate and entertain guests as part of the four-day celebration of wine. Throughout the Town Center of Grand Boulevard, attendees enjoy such attractions as Spirits Row, Rosé All Day Garden, Savor South Walton Culinary Village, Nosh Pavilions, Tasting Seminars, Craft Beer & Spirits Jam, live entertainment and more than 800 wines poured by knowledgeable wine industry insiders.
About the festival: The Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is improving the educational, emotional, and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted over 45 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing 275,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time.
The Naples Winter Wine Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, offers a weekend of unforgettable memories. Guests enjoy world-class food and wine during intimate dinners in private homes and are invited to bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences during an electrifying live auction. Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised more than $191 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.
About the festival: VeritageMiami is an epic 4-day food festival joining local, regional & national food and beverage restaurants in Miami, Florida. #EatDrinkUnite throughout the year through Craft Beer Festival, Bubbly Brunch, Interactive Dinner and Associate Legal Mingle!
About the festival: The South Florida Garlic Fest is the epitome of homegrown talent and a cultural showcase providing an outlet for local artists and chefs to express themselves. In a variety of mediums, Garlic Fest serves as a gathering festival focal point for musicians, artist of every genre and culinary artists. Each year over 40,000 local South Floridians attend to enjoy the premier food and entertainment event in South Florida.
The South Florida Garlic Fest has the reputation of being the premier food and entertainment event in South Florida. The event is dedicated to exploring the numerous health and culinary possibilities of garlic. Countless recipes and unique dishes have been created by professional chefs in the Garlic Chef cooking competition and by our Gourmet Alley concessionaires including Garlic Ice Cream, Argentinean Garlic BBQ and Garlic Fest crab cakes. The Garlic Fest has been featured on the Food Network and in countless national newspapers and magazines.
About the festival: This popular and well-established event draws over 2,000 guests from throughout South Florida who enjoy a deluxe food and wine experience. Boca Bacchanal brings together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, while providing residents and visitors with a delightful opportunity to support an outstanding cause. Since its inception in 2003, the Boca Bacchanal Wine & Food Festival has attracted scores of top chefs and hundreds of prized vintners from the United States and beyond.
About the festival: Presenting the best rum festival in the world — Miami Rum Festival attracts rum experts, professionals and enthusiasts from more than 30 countries for a fabulous weekend rum discovery. The 11th annual Rum Fest in Miami offers unlimited sampling of hundreds of fine rums from the Caribbean and beyond at the elegant and historic Coral Gables Woman’s Club on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18. Rum seminars and master classes and the RumXP International Rum Tasting Competition round out this unique celebration of the best rums in the world.
Clearwater Beach Uncorked
About the festival: Clearwater Beach Uncorked serves up an 180-degree Gulf of Mexico views artfully blending local chef rock stars with national brand partners offering tastes and sips to please every palate.
Clearwater Beach Uncorked, touted as the hippest beachfront gastronomic event on Florida’s west coast, is your ticket to unwind and wiggle your toes in the sugar white sand while enjoying the finest fare and wines this side of fabulous.
Enjoy this weekend of great food, wine, and microbrews while tantalizing your taste buds and soothing your senses. Stay for the weekend and enjoy a stay at the fabulous Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort exclusively for guests of Clearwater Beach Uncorked. These special room rates are limited so book early and extend your culinary celebration for two delicious days.
A percentage of ticket sales from the event will benefit the St. Pete College.
About the festival: The 2019 Northeast Florida Veg Fest date has been announced! Mark your calendars because you definitely don’t want to miss this!
The 8th Annual Northeast Florida Veg Fest will take place Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Riverside Park in Jacksonville, FL. Last year was our largest and best Veg Fest to date, and the festival is only getting bigger and better.
So grab your friends, your family, your neighbors and invite them to Northeast Florida’s largest veg-centric festival! In addition to live music, they’ll be plenty of crowd-pleasing vegan grub, a beer garden, kids zone, and crowd favorites: Scavenger hunt, pie-eating contest, freebies and more! This is a FREE family and dog-friendly event.
About the festival: Fernandina Beach is the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, and its historic downtown pulls out all the stops at this beloved celebration every May, which has been a part of Island life for over 50 years. One of the premier festivals in the Southeast, the Festival brings together the love of shrimp and the best of arts and entertainment, all set in the beautiful Historic District of Fernandina Beach, Florida. Enjoy the fine arts and crafts, antiques, regional and local music, shrimp caught and served locally, seafood dishes, The Pirate’s parade, fireworks, and family fun!
The 56th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival will be held May 3-5, 2019.