For most of the country, outdoor festival season is ending. Here in Phoenix, the fun picks up as the temperatures drop. As always, there'll be plenty of food festivals around the Valley this fall. Here are 16 of our favorites.
When: September 5 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Where: Westin Kierland
How Much: $60-100
What to Eat: Fare from roughly 20 different top-end local eateries, including many of the areas top resort restaurants, including Deseo, Scottsdale Grill, and Wright's.
When: September 12 (6 to 10 p.m.)
Where: The Venue Scottsdale
How Much: $40-55
What to Eat: At an event where the food is broken down into categories by spiciness, you should probably go ahead and venture outside of the "mild" and "medium" categories. You don't have to eat everything in the "Spiciest Dish" contest, but we'll judge you if you don't at least try.
When: September 19 (11 a.m. to 11 p.m)
Where: Brat Haus
How Much: $10
What to Eat: Well, it's at Brat Haus, so brats. There'll also be German classics including schnitzel, pork knuckle, and smoked pig.
Rockin’ Taco Street Fest
When: September 19 (4-10 p.m.)
Where: El Palacio Restaurant & Cantina
How Much: $5 (Plus food and drink prices)
What to Eat: Street tacos, margaritas, tequila, what else could you need?
James Beard Foundations's Taste America Tour
When: September 25-26
How Much: Various
What to Eat: There are a few different events going on for the James Beard Foundation's Taste America tour, and they're all going to be delicious. It'll be a who's who of the Phoenix food scene, but none of the events are particularly cheap.
Chile Pepper Festival
When: September 26 (4 to 11 p.m.)
Where: Phoenix Public Market
How Much: Free (Plus Tasting Prices)
What to Eat: All sorts of dishes centered around chile peppers, including a dessert competition, and live chile roasting at the event.
A Taste of Greece
When: October 2-4
Where: St. Katherine Church, Chandler
How Much: Free (if you like them on Facebook)
What to Eat: Chicken, lamb, moussaka, and all those other fun Greek dishes that Americans love to butcher the names of.
When: October 3 (3 to 11 p.m.)
Where: Dr. AJ Chandler Park
How Much: $12 -75
What to Eat: This one's put on by SanTan Brewing, so your dining experience should start with beer. After that, it'll be brats and the usual German fare, but at least this one's in October.
When: October 9-11
Where: Tempe Town Lake
How Much: Free
What to Eat: If you're looking for the biggest Oktoberfest, this'll likely be it. There'll be enough beer vendors and German food to fill even the most voracious eaters and drinkers.
Taste of Cave Creek
When: October 14-15 (5 to 10 p.m.)
Where: Stagecoach Village
How Much: $10 (Plus food tickets)
What to Eat: If you live in the way North Valley, this is a solid food festival that you won't have to drive ridiculously far for. You'll be able to try food from 25 different local upscale eateries, ranging from designer pizzas to fancy Asian fusion and everything in between.
Best of Italy
When: October 16
Where: Courtyard Marriott Salt River
How Much: $99-150
What to Eat: Last year was its first year, but the Italian Association still brought out some of the Valley's best Italian chefs to prepare a variety of old and new plates for everyone. From meatballs to risotto to seafood, it'll all be at the Best of Italy festival.
Arizona Taco Festival
When: October 17-18 (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Where: Salt River Fields
How Much: $12-85
What to Eat: If you're into tacos (which you should be) and live in the Valley (which you presumably do, if you're reading this), this one is the biggie. Every year, it's the best place to sample nearly every kind of taco Arizona has to offer, and there's really no reason not to go. If you don't know, now you know.
Dish It Out
When: October 25
Where: High Street
How Much: $75 ($500 VIP)
What to Eat: Aaron May and Gregory Wiener will square off against each other in the main event, but there'll also be about 50 other vendors there for your dining pleasure.
Cooks and Corks
When: November 6 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)
Where: Four Seasons at Troon North
How Much: $125-175
What to Eat: Some of the finest appetizers, entrees, and desserts from respected Phoenix chefs, and of course plenty of wine to wash it down with.
azcentral.com Food and Wine Experience
When: November 7-8
Where: Scottsdale Fashion Square
How Much: $85
What to Eat: An assortment of dishes from virtually every big name chef in Arizona, including Christopher Gross, Aaron May, Gio Osso, and dozens of others.
Certified Local Fall Festival
When: November 14 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Where: Portland Parkway
How Much: Free
What to Eat: For those who prefer their food festivals local and fresh, this one's for you. Though no vendors have been announced as of yet, there'll be roughly 100 local restaurants and food trucks ready to sell you their goods.
New Times and Roosevelt Row's Pie Social
When: November 21 (2 p.m.)
Where: Roosevelt Row
How Much: $15 OR 2 pies for 5 tasting tickets
What to Eat: PIE.
Phoenix Pizza Festival
When: November 21 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Where: Civic Space Park
How Much: $2 per slice of pizza
What to Eat: This first-time event will feature about 15 local pizza makers including Fabio on Fire, Focoso, Charred, il Bosco, Grand Avenue Pizza Company, and Doughlicious. Obviously, you'll want to eat pizza.