17 Food and Drink Festivals in Metro Phoenix in Spring 2017

Chef Justin Beckett's offerings from Southern Rail and Beckett's Table were two of the most photo-worthy dishes at last year's Devour.EXPAND
Chef Justin Beckett's offerings from Southern Rail and Beckett's Table were two of the most photo-worthy dishes at last year's Devour.
Evie Carpenter

Spring brings brilliant weather and lots of visitors to the Valley, which creates the perfect formula for food festivals throughout metro Phoenix. Typically, these outdoor parties feature drink and food samples, photo ops, live music, activities, prizes, and more and more innovative ways to carry around a wine glass. So get excited.

From Arizona brewing competitions to chocolate experiences, a burger battle, and a Cajun festival, here are more than a dozen food festivals happening throughout the Valley in spring 2017.

The 2017 Devour Culinary Classic spans different culinary destinations around the Valley.EXPAND
The 2017 Devour Culinary Classic spans different culinary destinations around the Valley.
Courtesy of Devour Culinary Classic

Devour Culinary Classic
Sunday, February 26, through Sunday, March 5
Phoenix Art Museum
Prices vary

An annual, weeklong series showcasing Arizona’s well-known chefs and bartenders, the 2017 Devour Culinary Classic spans different culinary destinations around the Valley. The week’s main event – with tastings and chef demonstrations – is the classic itself, which is “the region’s premier culinary celebration” and happening from Saturday, March 4, to Sunday, March 5, at the Phoenix Art Museum. Other Devour Week events include the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition, the 7 Chef Singh Along, and the Palette to Palate. (Note: Tickets sell out early. Check the Devour web site to see what's still available.)

17 Food and Drink Festivals in Metro Phoenix in Spring 2017EXPAND
AZ Personal Chef - Chef Ron

Downtown Mesa Brew Fest
Saturday, March 4
Downtown Mesa
Free

Macdonald Street plays host to the third annual Downtown Mesa Brew Fest, a collection of gathering of local breweries, food trucks, live music, games and contests, and Valley area vendors. Purchase $5 beer tickets (cash only) for 12-ounce tastings from breweries like Wren House Brewing Company, Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery, SanTan Brewing Company, and the The Beer Research Institute. Entry and parking is free, or you can take the light rail to the Main and Center stop. This pet-friendly event runs from 2 to 6 p.m.

Arizona Caribbean Jerk Festival
Sunday, March 5
Kiwanis Park, Tempe
$15 general admission

This all-ages festival celebrates Caribbean culture with a daylong event of live entertainment, arts and crafts, and of course, samplings of Caribbean cuisines and chef demonstrations. Known as the largest Caribbean food festival, the third annual Arizona Caribbean Jerk Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and benefits the Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona.

17 Food and Drink Festivals in Metro Phoenix in Spring 2017
Scottsdale League for the Arts

Burger Battle
Thursday, March 9
Scottsdale Waterfront
$75 general admission

Part of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and presented by Budweiser, the Burger Battle pits some of the Valley’s best burgermeisters against each other for the Judge’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award. Attendees can sample burgers from Phoenix chefs and restaurants like Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. and Zinburger, and help make that call while also enjoying beer, wine, fries, and dessert – plus live music and lawn games from 7 (6 with VIP early entrance) to 9:30 p.m.

The Great Arizona Beer Festival
Saturday, March 11
Civic Space Park
$45 presale, $50 day of

Moving to Civic Space Park, the 2017 Great Arizona Beer Festival is a gathering of more than 200 brews from more than 50 breweries. With proceeds benefiting the Sun Sounds of Arizona, the festival grants attendees a souvenir sample cup, goody bags, and 24 tickets for beer samples originating from Arizona to around the world. There will also be a DJ and food trucks and vendors. The Great Arizona Beer Festival runs from 2 p.m. (1 p.m. for VIPs) till last pour at 5:45 p.m.

Arizona Aloha Festival
Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12
Tempe Beach Park
Free

Get ready to say mahalo for all the South Pacific islands cuisine you’re about to try at the Arizona Aloha Festival – an all-ages event featuring live performances, storytelling, a marketplace, and lots of food. Be sure to try kalua pig, manapua, haupia, and Vilo Vilo chicken, plus mango, pineapple, and coconut flavored ice creams and other desserts like shaved ice with sweet cream. The Arizona Aloha Festival is held around Tempe Town Lake from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. each day.

Downtown Chandler hosts barbecue, beer, and live music on March 25.EXPAND
Downtown Chandler hosts barbecue, beer, and live music on March 25.
Courtesy of the Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival

Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival
Saturday, March 25
Downtown Chandler
$20 general admission

Combine 60 barbecue pitmasters with 20,000 pounds of barbecue and 200 kegs of craft beer, and you’ve got the eighth annual Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival. Dr. AJ Chandler Park hosts a day of live country music with grilling demonstrations, eating competitions, over 100 exhibitors, and all the barbecued chicken, pork, beef, and ribs you can eat. Some proceeds benefit the Boot Campaign for wounded military and families.

17 Food and Drink Festivals in Metro Phoenix in Spring 2017EXPAND
Courtesy of the Italian Festival

Italian Festival
Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
$10 presale, $15 at the door

Get ready to mangia mangia at the fourth annual Italian Festival of Arizona – a two-day celebration of Italian culture, music, commerce, and most certainly food. Food vendors include Marcellino Ristorante, Fabio on Fire, Tutti Santi Ristorante, and Pasta Rea just to name a few, offering pastas, pizzas, pastries, and so much more good stuff your Nonna won’t even be mad that you’re enjoying someone else’s cooking. There’s also live music and an arts, crafts, and food-focused marketplace – all presented by the Italian Association of Arizona.

My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge
Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26
Steele Indian School Park
$15 general admission

To some, the complimentary chips and salsa are the best part of a meal out, so why not make a whole festival about it? At My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge (the largest annual fundraiser for the Arizona Hemophilia Association), you can sample more than 100 salsas from Phoenix chefs and restaurants and vote for your favorite through the People’s Choice Award. You can let your mouth cool off while enjoying live music, a margarita mix-off, and activities like cornhole tournaments and the 2017 Too Hot to Trot 5K.

April

Flavors of the West
Saturday, April 8
Downtown Litchfield Park
$45 general admission

West Valley residents can anticipate two hours of food sampling followed by two hours of live music and activities at the Flavors of the West. Restaurants and restaurateurs all originate from the West Valley, including Crave Waffle Sandwich Creations, and way more. Benefits from the 2017 event go toward spotlight charity the Honey Foundation. Food samplings, live music, and all things Flavors of the West festival runs from noon to 4 p.m.

Try more than 40 restaurants during the Scottsdale Culinary Festival on Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9, at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall.EXPAND
Try more than 40 restaurants during the Scottsdale Culinary Festival on Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9, at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall.
Courtesy of Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Scottsdale Culinary Festival
Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
$15 general admission

Coined as Arizona’s Tastiest Fundraiser, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival is a two-day event hosted by the Scottsdale League for the Arts and spread across over two acres. The 2017 SCF features 40 area restaurants and 30 craft breweries, plus some 2017 highlights like chef demos in the Culinary Experience Tent, Corporate Cabanas, a Teen Cook Off in the Virginia Piper Theater, and the Local Lounge – where attendees sip local wine, spirits, and craft beer. There will also be 20 bands, and a Tito’s Handmade Vodka deck. Hours are Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

17 Food and Drink Festivals in Metro Phoenix in Spring 2017EXPAND
AZ Wine & Dine

AZ Wine & Dine
Thursday, April 13
Scottsdale Quarter
$65 general admission

The 2017 AZ Wine & Dine is a collection of chefs, restaurants, resorts, wines, and craft beer based out of Arizona, all coupled with live jazz and a festive atmosphere. Past dining participants have included the Arizona Grand Resort, Brio Tuscan Grille, and Grimaldi’s. The Scottsdale Quarter hosts the whole thing from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Great Southwest Cajun Fest is Saturday, April 22, at Chandler Park.EXPAND
The Great Southwest Cajun Fest is Saturday, April 22, at Chandler Park.
Courtesy of Great Southwest Cajun Fest

The Great Southwest Cajun Fest
Saturday, April 22
Dr. AJ Chandler Park
$10 general admission

Creole food and handcrafted beer make for one anticipated culinary event, the 2017 Great Southwest Cajun Fest. The spirit of New Orleans takes over Chandler Park with live music like jazz, blues, and contemporary rock, while food samples range from bright red crawfish to po’ boys, gumbo, and jambalaya – with plenty of beer from SanTan and Abita Brewing to wash it all down.

The Original Taste
Saturday, April 22
Scottsdale Waterfront
$100 general admission

Held at the Scottsdale Waterfront and presented by Executive Council Charities, the Original Taste 2017 showcases more than 40 Valley restaurants – plus beer, spirits, and more than50 wines from around the globe. The evening also includes live music and plenty of high-fashion attendees, and past featured restaurants have included Crab & Mermaid, Olive & Ivy, and Tarbell's.

Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival
Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23
Kief-Joshua Vineyards
$20 general admission

For a look at 20 Arizona wineries in one location, check out the sixth annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival in Sonoita, Arizona. The weekend is set to include the 33rd anniversary celebration of Arizona’s American Viticulture Area (AVA), new wine releases from spots like Arizona Stronghold, Village of Elgin Winery, and Coronado Vineyards, and a chili cook-off hosted by the Chili Appreciation Society (CASI). Events happen daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Birds & Bubbles event is hosted in the Views Ballroom during the Nirvana Food & Wine at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort.EXPAND
The Birds & Bubbles event is hosted in the Views Ballroom during the Nirvana Food & Wine at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort.
Courtesy of Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort

Nirvana Food & Wine
Thursday, April 27, through Sunday, April 30
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
Prices vary

This inaugural, four-day culinary and beverage festival is an assortment of events held throughout the 53-acre Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort showcasing the talents of chefs like Scott Conant, Robert Ireland, Christopher Gross, Justin Beckett, Samantha Sanz, Beau MacMillan, and more. Special events include Birds & Bubbles, the Master of Taste Honoring Chuck Wagner, and the New Orleans Jazz & Bourbon Brunch. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to HopeKids.

Chandler Craft Sprits Festival
Saturday, April 29
Downtown Ocotillo
$40 general admission

Presented by Deep Eddy Vodka, the 2017 Chandler Craft Spirits Festival is a way to sample more than 50 cocktails, plus craft spirit, beer, and wine with more than 2,000 other attendees. Downtown Ocotillo in Chandler hosts this year’s event, which also includes seminars and demonstrations. The fourth annual event gives some proceeds to the Southwest Human Development, and runs from 5 to 9 p.m. – with VIP entry at 4 p.m.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

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Steele Indian School Park

300 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

602-495-0739

www.phoenix.gov/parks/sisp.html

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Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

7555 N. Pima Rd.
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Scottsdale Waterfront

7135 E. Camelback Rd.
Scottsdale, Az 85251

480-247-8071

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Desert Botanical Garden

1201 N. Galvin Parkway
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480-941-1225

www.dbg.org

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Historic Heritage Square
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Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-257-1222

www.phxart.org

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Kiwanis Park

5500 S. Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85283

480-350-5201

www.tempe.gov/kiwanis

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Downtown Civic Space Park

424 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

www.phoenix.gov/parks/index.html

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Tempe Beach Park

54 W. Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-350-8625

www.tempe.gov/lake

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Dr. A.J. Chandler Park
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Scottsdale Civic Center Mall

3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-874-4607

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Scottsdale Quarter

15037 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254

480-270-8123

scottsdalequarter.com

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Downtown Ocotillo

2475 W. Queen Creek Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248

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Downtown Mesa

W. Main St. area
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Kief-Joshua Vineyards

370 Elgin Rd.
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www.kj-vineyards.com


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