If you've got no interest in wandering too far from your home these days, virtual events are still popping off in the Valley. But if you're ready to step out, a number of food-focused, socially distanced happenings are happening in October. Here's are many to check out — whether online or IRL.
Arizona State Fair Drive-ThruThursdays, October 1 and 8 to Sundays, October 4 and 11
Arizona State Fairground
1826 West McDowell Road
The Arizona State Fair is canceled — except the food part. To get in on the fair's decadent fried-food action, all you need to do is point your car to the fairgrounds, where several vendors are set up to serve you drive-thru. Card payment is preferred, but cash will be accepted. More details here.
WaltoberfestFriday, October 2 to Sunday, October 4
Walter Station Brewery
4056 East Washington Street
Celebrate Waltoberfest at Walter Station Brewery from noon to 8 p.m. to kick off one of the heavier beer-drinking months. The brewery is housed in a former fire station and has an outdoor patio and taproom. Stop in for Bavarian-style pretzels, brats, and chicken or pork schnitzel sandwiches, then gather (responsibly) for games, music, and more.
Urban Ale TrailSaturday, October 3 to Saturday, October 10
Downtown Phoenix Inc.'s annual Urban Ale Trail is returning, but this time the festivities will last an entire week. That means you'll have more time and space to safely taste local brews and food. There's no registration necessary, and the trail can be done in any order. Participating businesses include Dog Haus Biergarten, Floor 13, Hidden Track Bottle Shop, Carly's, Gracie's, and Greenwood Brewing. If you spend more than $25 at any participating location on the trail, you'll get a commemorative pint glass (while supplies last).
Global Brunch SeriesSundays, October 4 and 11
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen
6114 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Though your overseas trips have been canceled, you can still get a taste of worldly cuisines during Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen's global brunch series. The restaurant at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa is celebrating the food of France on October 4 and Morocco on October 11. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and reservations are recommended.
Jazz & JambalayaSundays, October 5, 12, 19, and 26
300 West Camelback Road
Jazz & Jambalaya is back at Southern Rail on Sundays after a bit of time off. Jambalaya and Sazerac cocktail specials are on the menu, along with half-off bottles of Arizona wine. To hear the live music, make a reservation, and request patio seating.
Tito’s Hand Sanitizer GiveawaySunday, October 11
State Farm Stadium
1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is pushing out 27,000, 375-milliliter bottles of hand sanitizer to the public — for free. Tito’s has partnered with the Arizona Department of Health Services to offer the bottles via contactless pickup at Lot W2 Carpark by the State Farm Stadium. Each vehicle will get three bottles. Cyclists and pedestrians will also be accommodated. Those masked and at least 18 can pick up their free sanitizer from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 11. One more thing: As much as it smells like Tito’s famed spirit, do not drink.
Marcellino's 17th Anniversary CelebrationFriday and Saturday, October 23 and 24
7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
Marcellino Ristorante is celebrating its 17th year with two days of entertainment. Husband-and-wife team chef Marcellino Verzino and Sima Verzino are literally rolling out a red carpet, and guests can enjoy complementary bubbly and dessert. For entertainment, Sima and her All Star Trio will perform some of the couple's favorite songs starting at 6:30 p.m.
Arizona Ice Cream and Donut FestivalSaturday, October 24
The second annual Arizona Ice Cream and Donut Festival is happening online this year, in partnership with Happy Buns. Participants can learn how to make and fry mochi donuts during a special online workshop. Orders for the make-your-own kit must be placed by October 17 for delivery in time for the demonstration. Note: the workshop will be recorded if you miss the live stream or just need a rewatch.
Boo & Brew FestivalSaturday, October 24
15059 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
This sounds like an event for kids, and it is, but there will also be beer at the free, socially distanced third annual Boo & Brew Festival. From 2 to 7 p.m., find fall drinks specials at the newest location of Culinary Dropout. You can also take home a pumpkin, but not before you take in the show from Rock Lobster.
Chula Anniversary ShellebrationSaturday, October 24
8015 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale
The Scottsdale (and original) location of Chula Seafood is celebrating its four-year anniversary with food and drink specials, appropriately dubbed the Chula Anniversary Shellebration. Expect $2 oysters all day, plus smoked salmon bagels and lobster BLTs, beer from Walter Station Brewery and Four Peaks Brewing Co., and more starting at 10 a.m.
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Pumpkin Carving PartyMonday, October 26
710 West Montecito Avenue
The second annual and socially distanced Pumpkin Carving Party is happening on the back lawn at Thunderbird Lounge. Guests can carve pumpkins, drink pumpkin beer, and watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Masks are required and stations will be placed 6 feet apart. Hand sanitizer will be available at every table. The event is free for those 21 and over. Fun starts at 6 p.m.
Vegan Drive-ThruSaturday, October 31
The Nile Theater
105 West Main Street, Mesa
Beloved downtown Mesa music venue The Nile Theater hasn’t hosted a show in six months. But the crew there (along with The Nile Coffee Shop, its neighboring plant-based café) is hosting a monthly Vegan Drive-Thru event — and this month it's on Halloween night. Here’s how it works: Purchase food from vegandrivethru.org, a site that will go live at 9 a.m. on October 26. You'll then be given a pick-up time and parking space so masked carhops can run out your food from 6 to 9 p.m. on October 31.
Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version. See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.