Updated: Fall Food Festivals in Greater Phoenix — the Official 2019 Rundown

The 2019 Rockin' Taco Street Fest is on the list.
The 2019 Rockin' Taco Street Fest is on the list. Rockin' Taco Street Fest
Congratulations Phoenicians, you made it through another blistering summer. For weeks, months, it was too scorching hot to do anything but wade around a pool and complain about the three-digit heat while sipping on a melting margarita. Soon, fall will be upon us, and we'll pretend that it's cool enough to wear boots and scarves, because why not?

The crisper climate brings plenty of food and drink festivals with it, whether or not there are crisp leaves on the ground. There are tacos to be savored, wines to be sipped, and pies to be judged. Layer those outfits, get some friends together, and get ready to eat your heart out.

Phoenix Unknown: World Food & Music Night Market

Friday, September 13
The Van Buren
401 West Van Buren Street

The inaugural Phoenix Unknown: World Music and Night Market will feature more than 30 food vendors. Chris Bianco will be representing Italy, but you can also grab some savory French food at Curbside Crepes, stop by Cornish Pasty Company for an Oggie, or sample some Ethiopian at Abyssinia Restaurant and Cafe. Other food vendors include Phoenix Coqui, Chang Noi, and the premiere of Belly from Instrumental Hospitality Group. The event goes from 7 p.m. till midnight on Friday, September 13, at The Van Buren. (Full disclosure: Phoenix New Times is a sponsor.) Early-bird tickets for this all-ages event are $10.

Rockin' Taco Street Fest

Saturday, September 14

Dr. A.J. Chandler Park
3 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler

Don't be an aco-taco at the eighth annual Rockin' Taco Street Fest — act like you know what's up. There will be no shortage of handheld goodness from noon to 9 p.m. from Ghett Yo Taco to Tacos Chiwas, Mr. Mesquite, Taco Guild, and many more taquerias. Feel free to bring the little ones along, as there's a designated kids' zone and a piñata party. Meanwhile, adults can lounge around the margarita hut while vibing out to mariachi music. Buy your tickets in advance for $12, or shell out $20 at the door. Tacos are sold separately. Kids 12 and under may enter free.

Kick back some cocktails at Seventh & Union, the event venue at Young's Market Company. - JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION'S TASTE AMERICA
Kick back some cocktails at Seventh & Union, the event venue at Young's Market Company.
James Beard Foundation's Taste America

Phoenix Raising the Bar Reception

Thursday, September 19
Seventh & Union
402 South 54th Place

You can take your pick of two experiences during the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America. Your first choice is to mix and mingle with some of the Valley's most meticulous mixologists at the Phoenix Raising the Bar Reception starting at 6 p.m. Think Kyla Dahl from Pigtails Cocktail Bar at Desert Ridge or Matt Steward from Arcadia's subterranean tiki lounge, UnderTow. And let's not forget the grub: Chula Seafood, Cartwright's Modern Cuisine, and Scottsdale newcomer Hush Public House will be serving up tons of tasty treats. Tickets can be purchased for $65, but a crisp $100 bill will get you into the event half an hour early, as well as other perks like photo ops and a special gift.

Raise a glass at the Royal Palms on Friday, September 20. - JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION'S TASTE AMERICA
Raise a glass at the Royal Palms on Friday, September 20.
James Beard Foundation's Taste America

Phoenix Gala Dinner

Friday, September 20
Royal Palms Resort & Spa
5200 East Camelback Road

If a gala benefit dinner sounds more up your alley, head to the Royal Palms Resort & Spa on September 20. The cocktail reception begins at 7 p.m., with dinner and dessert to follow at 8 p.m. Though many tickets are already sold out, Capital One cardholders may buy their way in for $500 a pop. Local talent such as Claudio Urciuoli of Pa‘La and Cat Bunnag of Glai Baan will show off their foodie finesse during cocktail hour. But Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit & Rum Bar in Phoenix gets to shine bright, in conjunction with a visiting Texan chef, during the three-course dinner.

SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest is happening at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. - SANTAN BREWING OKTOBERFEST
SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest is happening at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park.
SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest

SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest

Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park
3 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler
If pretzels, bratwurst, polka music, and keg-stacking competitions sound like your idea of paradise, head to SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest in downtown Chandler. In its 12th year, this event is no novice to the fall festival scene. Rock out to multiplatinum headliner Gin Blossoms, the native Tempe band formed circa 1987, on Saturday. Weiner dog races and carnival rides should be just enough to keep the entire family entertained. General admission is $10 on Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., and $15 on Saturday from 3 to 11 p.m., while children 12 and under are free. VIP admission gets you extra perks like drinks, a catered dinner, and admission to the VIP lounge. It's $50 on Friday and $65 on Saturday for adults. Kids can be VIPs either day for $30.

Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest

Saturday, September 28
Civic Space Park
424 North Central Avenue

Raise a stein and prepare for the wurst — bratwurst, that is — at the Downtown Phoenix Oktoberfest at Civic Space Park. The 21-and-over event goes from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and is sure to let the schnitzel shine. As the tale is told, the original Oktoberfest was a five-day communal celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria and his princess, held just outside Munich. But one day should be just enough in downtown Phoenix. Funkhaus Brass Band will play New Orleans-style hits, and Brat Haus and Eur Haus food truck are just a couple of the bite options. Meanwhile, Huss Brewing will be serving its "local liquid gold."

RoundUP Food Truck & Music Festival

Saturday, September 28
Goodyear Ballpark
1933 South Ballpark Way, Goodyear

Expect more than 100 food trucks at the third annual RoundUP Food Truck & Music Festival. Presented by Desert Financial Credit Union, the west Valley food truck festival also offers wine, beer, spirits, and fireworks with your food truck order. And if you upgrade to the Fry’s VIP Club Pavilion experience, you’ll get complimentary valet parking, a private hosted bar, exclusive food stations, private restrooms, food runners for food trucks orders, and dessert stations. RoundUP runs from 4 to 10 p.m. For VIP tickets and more information, visit the West Valley Mavericks website.

click to enlarge This is not your average mall event. - SCOTTSTOBERFEST
This is not your average mall event.


Saturday, October 5
Scottsdale Fashion Square
4700 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Guys, we can't make this stuff up. Scottstoberfest, presented by faithful friend Samuel Adams, will be hosted outside of Scottsdale Fashion Square. Pay $5 at the door to get into this 21-and-over event from noon to 5 p.m., and buy your food and beverage separately. German performer Melina is flying from her homeland's Oktoberfest to belt out the tunes, so don't be a sauerkraut and miss it.

click to enlarge The inaugural Gilbert Oktoberfest is all set for October 5. - GILBERT OKTOBERFEST
The inaugural Gilbert Oktoberfest is all set for October 5.
Gilbert Oktoberfest

Gilbert Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 5
Town of Gilbert Civic Center
50 East Civic Center Drive, Gilbert

We're running out of puns from the Deutschland, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't run down to the inaugural Gilbert Oktoberfest. With polka, bratwurst, and lager-filled steins, you are the only one to blame if you don't have a good time. From 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Drive Wood Fired Grill food truck will have the meats and Doughlicious will scoop doughy delights for sweet teeth of adults and children alike. Party the night away to local groups like The Black Moods, but don't feel so bad about it — a portion of the event's proceeds will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. Presale tickets are $10, but double to $20 at the door and don't include grub. Kids 12 and under are free.

click to enlarge Tempe does Oktoberfest on a grand scale. - FOUR PEAKS BREWERY
Tempe does Oktoberfest on a grand scale.
Four Peaks Brewery

Four Peaks Oktoberfest

Friday to Sunday, October 11 to 13
Tempe Beach Park
80 West Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

The Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake is in its 47th year — let that sink in for a minute. Admission is free on Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The VIP Experience is $69 until October 10 and includes perks like exclusive beer varieties, extra-large restrooms, a German-style meal, and three beverages. There's an adult and kid carnival for $30 each day, plus plenty of polka, and headliners like The Instant Classics and 2Tone Lizard Kings.

click to enlarge The Arizona Taco Festival is coming to Westworld of Scottsdale. - ARIZONA TACO FESTIVAL
The Arizona Taco Festival is coming to Westworld of Scottsdale.
Arizona Taco Festival

Arizona Taco Festival

Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13
Westworld of Scottsdale
16601 North Pima Road, Scottsdale

We Arizonans do not play when it comes to tacos, and neither does the Arizona Taco Festival. The first 2,019 ticket buyers can enjoy $10 general admission, in honor of the event's 10th anniversary, and the price will increase to $15 after that. Enjoy the fiesta from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Taco samplings are $3 each from more than 50 of the Valley's favorite taquerias and food trucks, But let's taco 'bout the other attractions — a lucha libre arena, millennial playground, tequila expo, Día de los Muertos wedding, and the Ay! Chihuahua Beauty Pageant, just to name a few.


Saturday, October 19
Huss Brewing Co. Taproom
100 East Camelback Road, #160

Huss Brewing Co. hosts the annual Husstoberfest, where attendees can sip on the seasonal Oktoberfest Bavarian Märzenbeer right on the grass, In addition, Huss beer steins will be paired with bratwurst from Schreiner's Fine Sausage and caramel apples from the Not Your Granny's Apples food truck. The event goes down from noon to 6 p.m. on the Uptown Plaza Courtyard. Admission is free.

click to enlarge Sample some cider at the Southwest Cider Festival. - SOUTHWEST CIDER FESTIVAL
Sample some cider at the Southwest Cider Festival.
Southwest Cider Festival

Southwest Cider Festival

Friday, October 19
Cider Corps
31 South Robson Street, Mesa

It's all about craft cider at the Southwest Cider Festival in downtown Mesa. VIP admission is $50 and gets you into the event an hour early at 3 p.m., with a commemorative T-shirt, glass, and 20 drink tickets. General admission goes from 4 to 8 p.m., and includes 15 drink tickets, and the aforementioned glass, for $35, sans T-shirt. Local and regional ciders are to be featured among food trucks and funky jams. Cider Corps will no doubt have some of its finest ciders out for show, like the Kiwi Grenade with kiwi and habanero pepper.

Moonlight Over the Mound Gala

Saturday, October 19
Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park
4619 East Washington Street

If you have a passion for desert foods, Arizona wines, and specialty cocktails, consider attending the Moonlight Over the Mound Gala. Supporting chefs and members of the Phoenix food world include Velvet Button of Ramona Farms, Brett Vibber of Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine, and Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper. Held at the Pueblo Grande Museum by the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary, this 90th anniversary gala goes from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $80 to $90. Visit the Moonlight Over the Mound website for more information.

click to enlarge The 15th annual Arizona Fall Fest is November 2. - ARIZONA FALL FEST
The 15th annual Arizona Fall Fest is November 2.
Arizona Fall Fest

Arizona Fall Fest

Saturday, November 2
Margaret T. Hance Park
67 West Culver Street

Take the entire family downtown to Hance Park for the 15th annual Arizona Fall Fest. You can browse through more than 200 vendors representing Arizona’s local businesses and restaurants. Celebrate the Copper State from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with plenty of food trucks, a kid zone, dog-friendly area, and live entertainment. Admission is free, though food sampling and activity tickets will be sold on-site. Adults can enjoy the Hensley Beverage Craft Beer and Wine Garden and revel in the fact that this fest was recognized as a Platinum Level Green Event by ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network. See the Local First Arizona website for more information.

On Tap Beer and Bourbon Festival

Saturday, November 2
Sloan Park
2330 West Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa

Put on your drinking cap. The inaugural On Tap Beer and Bourbon Festival will be serving samples from more than 30 breweries and distilleries. Think Four Peaks Brewing Company, Estrella Jalisco, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Dark Sky Brewing Company, Oro Brewing Company, and more, plus some ballpark-style food. The festival runs from 2 to 6 p.m. General admission tickets start at $40 and include a commemorative sampling glass and 12 drink tickets. VIP tickets are available for $80.

click to enlarge Enjoy wine, food, and friends among a star-studded lineup. - WINE + FOOD EXPERIENCE
Enjoy wine, food, and friends among a star-studded lineup.
Wine + Food Experience

Wine + Food Experience

Saturday and Sunday, November 2 and 3
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
7555 North Pima Road, Scottsdale

If you consider yourself a food and wine connoisseur, this is the event for you. You can take many routes at the Wine + Food Experience from 1 to 4 p.m. The Grand Tasting for $50 per day gets you unlimited sampling of chef creations from the likes of Chuck Kazmer of the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale and Atsade Desta of Café Lalibela in Tempe. Plus, there's access to famous chef and sommelier demonstrations. Wine Down with the Bella Twins is Saturday, and offers a photo op with the E! stars and samplings of their Belle Radici wine (all for an additional $140).

Arizona Harvest Fest

Sunday, November 10
Dr. AJ Chandler Park
178 East Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler

Downtown Chandler invites guests of the Arizona Harvest Fest and Open Air Market to get their holiday shopping — and eating — done early. The gift and farmers market offers more than 100 vendors selling gourmet foods, holiday items, and more from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. As for activities, anticipate a pumpkin toss, pie eating contests, and corn shucking, or check out the Bloody Mary bar, local pumpkin ales, and seasonal brews in the beer garden. Food and drink vendors are to be announced. Admission is free.

click to enlarge Tamara Stanger, now of Cotton & Copper, made Pie Social's winning Hibiscus Vinegar Pie in 2017. - MELISSA FOSSUM
Tamara Stanger, now of Cotton & Copper, made Pie Social's winning Hibiscus Vinegar Pie in 2017.
Melissa Fossum

10th Annual Pie Social

Sunday, November 10
Margaret T. Hance Park
67 West Culver Street

Admission to the 10th annual event hosted by Roosevelt Row is free, but pie tasting tickets can be purchased for $15. Last year's Pie Social participants included Welcome Chicken & Donuts, Chico Malo, and Cotton & Copper. If you happen to be a pie baker (but not necessarily a candlestick maker), you can register to enter your pie into the competition for the mere bragging rights, or the cash prize for Best in Show. Enjoy this family- and pet-friendly gathering from 2 to 5 p.m.


Saturday, November 16
Coronado Park
1717 North 12th Street

Yes, WayneFest is a micro music festival, but there are also some top-level food vendors set to attend. Four Peaks Brewing Co. will be serving beer and wine, while food vendors include Ollie Vaughn's, the Larder + the Delta, Gallo Blanco, Taco Chelo, and some teasers from the upcoming restaurant Belly. WayneFest is all ages and runs from 3 to 9 p.m. Presale tickets are $25 and day-of tickets will be $30.

click to enlarge A Social Hall chef tosses around some cheese and noodles at last year's event. - MAC & CHEESE FEST
A Social Hall chef tosses around some cheese and noodles at last year's event.
Mac & Cheese Fest

Mac & Cheese Fest

Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
7555 North Pima Road, Scottsdale

So you love mac and cheese, and you also enjoy outdoor festivals? We've got just the place for you. The Mac & Cheese Fest promises ooey-gooey goodness for $15 each day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kids aged 4 to 12 are $5 and those 3 and under are free. Mac and cheese tastings will run you $2 a pop. If you want to look really sharp, opt for the VIP experience for $75 — food and drink tickets, VIP lounge, private bathrooms and all. And if you've got a killer mac and cheese recipe, share the joy at the Home Chef S'Mac Down. When the question is to Brie or not to Brie, to Brie is always the answer.

click to enlarge Though the slider be but little, she is fierce. - JOANIE SIMON
Though the slider be but little, she is fierce.
Joanie Simon

Slider Throwdown

Sunday, November 17
Kierland Commons
15205 North Kierland Boulevard, Scottsdale

Slide over to Kierland Commons from 1 to 3 p.m. for the Slider Throwdown. Sample some of the tastiest mini sammies in the Valley from participants like Aioli Burger and 2 Fat Guys Grilled Cheese. Admission is $35 and includes samples of all sliders, plus three drink tickets for nonalcoholic beverages (sorry, party people). But you can definitely feel good about your burger addiction here: All proceeds from the event benefit the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation.

Arizona Wingfest

Saturday, November 23
Margaret T. Hance Park
67 West Culver Street

Get your wing man, woman, or child, and fly to the Arizona Wingfest for some serious pollo. The best wings in Arizona will get their well-deserved bragging rights, and a wing-eating contest should satiate the hungriest of Buffalo soldiers. General admission is $10 until October 1, then rises to $15, but other options include VIP status: $100 for a T-shirt, early entry, and some chicken and brewskies. Visit the Arizona Wingfest website for more information.

click to enlarge The 2019 AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews is coming in hot. - SALT RIVER
The 2019 AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews is coming in hot.
Salt River

AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews

Saturday, November 23
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
7555 North Pima Road, Scottsdale

There are 99 bottles of beer on the wall and you’re drinking at least a few of them at AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews. If craft beer, wine, and liquor are your favorite compadres, this one is not to be missed. Huss Brewing Company, O.H.S.O Brewery & Distillery, and Page Springs Cellars are some of the local options. General admission from 2 to 5 p.m. is $50 and includes 12 samples, while VIP goes for $65 with early entry at 1 p.m. Designated drivers can enjoy the day sans spirits for just $19.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on September 3, 2019. It was updated on October 21, 2019.
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Natasha Yee is a freelance writer and yoga teacher who likes to explore the city. She considers the thesaurus her best friend.
Contact: Natasha Yee