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Top 20 North Carolina Food Events

a close up of food

Top 20 North Carolina Food Events…

-North Carolina plays host to literally hundreds of food events and festivals throughout the year, and deciding which awesome events to attend can be a challenge! We’ve pulled together our very favorites in a list of the Top 20 North Carolina Food Events. We hope you find them as fun and delicious as we do!

UPDATE:  Most of these events have been canceled in 2020 due to Covid-19, but their website links are still correct.  If you are interested in attending one, I would go to their site and/or call just to be on the safe side.

Triangle Region

Brewgaloo spotlights 110 local craft breweries, delicious food, and great. This can’t miss event offers a fun and festive Friday night block party, as well as a Saturday street festival.

  • Date: August 14-15, 2020
    Cost: Various ticket prices, see website for details
    Location: Downtown Raleigh – Raleigh, NC


North Carolina State Fair
First held in 1853, the North Carolina State Fair is North Carolina’s annual fair and agricultural exhibition. This signature event is also an awesome culinary experience, with decadent and delicious fair food options.

  • Date: October 15-25, 2020
    Cost: $13 for adults, $7 for children.
  • Location: NC State Fairgrounds – Raleigh, NC


Town of Cary Pimento Cheese Festival
Every summer, the town of Cary celebrates the cheesy, peppery deliciousness that is pimento cheese. Enjoy food trucks, music, and samples of this Southern delicacy from local restaurants. And make sure you don’t miss out on the cheese sculpting competition!

  • Date: June 6, 2020
    Cost: Free Admission.
  • Location: Cary Downtown Park – Cary, NC


Durham Farmers Market
Founded in 1999, the Durham Farmers Market is a year-round market that operates out of its own dedicated space, the Pavilion at Durham Central Park. The market not only supports local farmers and artisans, it also has a social mission to increase food access in the community.

  • Date: Every Saturday
  • Cost: Free admission
    Location: The Pavilion at Durham Central Park – Durham, NC

The Raleigh Market
The Raleigh Market is North Carolina’s largest flea market and features food trucks, fair food, and farm stands. The Raleigh Market is a great opportunity to nosh while you hunt for treasures and bargains!

  • Date: Every Saturday and Sunday
    Cost: Free admission and free parking
    Location: NC State Fairgrounds – Raleigh, NC

Coastal Region

NC Blueberry Festival
Just a short drive from Wilmington, Burgaw, NC hosts an annual blueberry festival, complete with a whole hog cook-off, blueberry recipe competition, and craft beer area. They even feature running and cycling races if you want to burn off some of those delicious blueberry calories!

  • Date: June 19-20, 2020
    Cost: Free Admission
  • Location: Burgaw, NC


Olive Pickle Festival
If you are a fan of salt and brine, the Mt. Olive Pickle Festival is where it’s at. Not only can you sample delicious pickles, you can also enjoy a pickle eating contest, car show, and mascot race.

  • Date: Typically held in April/May
    Cost: TBD
    Location: Mt. Olive, NC


North Carolina Seafood Festival
Interested in supporting an event that is also doing good in the world? Consider checking out the North Carolina Seafood Festival. This annual festival not only offers delicious seafood dishes from local restaurants, chef demonstrations, competitions, it also has a social mission of educating the public and supporting non-profits. And make sure you don’t miss the Blessing of the Fleet.

  • Date: October 2-4, 2020
    Cost: TBD
    Location: Morehead City, NC


Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues, and Jazz Festival
The Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues, and Jazz Festival has been offering guests world-class jazz and blues music, delicious local seafood, and a chill vibe for over twenty years.

  • Date: Postponed to Fall 2020
    Cost: TBD
    Location: Kure Beach, NC


Wilmington Food & Wine Festival
The Wilmington Food & Wine Festival celebrates the rich food and drink culture of coastal North Carolina. Come out to meet and learn from local chefs, winemakers, and importers.

  • Date: Typically held in May
    Cost: TBD
    Location: Wilmington, NC


North Carolina Oyster Festival
Every October, residents of Ocean Isle take 2 days to block off their streets and celebrate this delicious bivalve. Now in its 40th year, the North Carolina Oyster Festival features oyster eating, shucking, and stew competitions, music, and booths from local artisans.

  • Date: October 17-18, 2020
    Cost: $5 (cash only)
    Location: Ocean Isle, NC

Outerbanks Seafood Festival
The Outer Banks Seafood Festival is a fun and educational experience that celebrates the local seafood industry, coastal culture, and delicious seafood dishes.

  • Date: October 17, 2020
    Cost: $5, Free admission for commercial fishermen
    Location: Nags Head, NC


Queen City Brewers Festival
The Queen City Brewers Festival is a celebration of Charlotte’s craft beer and cider scene. The festival offers a curated guest experience, with tastings from some of Charlotte’s best restaurants, brewers, and coffee makers.

  • Date: February 6, 2021
    Cost: $50
    Location: The Park Expo – Charlotte, NC

Taste of Charlotte
Taste of Charlotte brings together over 100 local restaurants for three days of tastings, music, performances, interactive tours, and more.

  • Date: June 5-7, 2020
    Cost: Free Admission
    Location: Uptown – Charlotte, NC


Cider Festival
The Asheville Cider Festival features some of the country’s best craft cider, apple wine, and mead makers. The festival is family-friendly and offers a kids zone, booths from local artisans, and a sustainability education area.

  • Date: October 10, 2020
    Cost: TBD
    Location: Asheville, NC

Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest
We are cheesing for the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest. The festival spotlights Western North Carolina’s delicious cheese-making tradition and offers guests the chance to participate in cheese-making workshops, tastings, and more. Proceeds from the festival benefit the WNC Cheese Trail.

  • Date: October 18, 2020
    Cost: $25 for all day + parking ticket; $14 general admission after 1:00pm
    Location: Asheville, NC

Chow Chow
Chow Chow is a multi-day, immersive culinary experience that celebrates Asheville’s vibrant food culture and brings together some of its best farmers, brewers, and chefs. Guests can experience farm dinners, chef demonstrations, tastings, and more.

  • Date: September 10-13, 2020
    Cost: Prices vary based on the package selected
    Location: Asheville, NC


North Carolina Strawberry Festival
Celebrate the start of strawberry season and summer with the North Carolina Strawberry Festival, which also hosts a Little Miss pageant, a car and antique farm equipment show, and a carnival midway.

  • Date: April 30- May 1, 2021
    Cost: TBD
    Location: Wallace, NC

North Carolina Peach Festival
Ok, we’re just going to say it. The peach is the best fruit of the summer, and the North Carolina Peach Festival celebrates it in all its sweet, tangy, juicy glory. Sample some of the best peach ice cream in all of North Carolina, and enjoy a parade, live music, and tons of activities for kids, including a Zorb track!

  • Date: July 17-18, 2020
    Cost: TBD
    Location: Candor, NC

PepperFest celebrates the hot, sweet, and smoky peppers of North Carolina, as well as local farming and sustainable agriculture. At PepperFest, you will get the chance to sample savory and sweet dishes that showcase delicious peppers! This family-friendly event even offers a kids craft and fun zone.

  • Date: September 30, 2020
    Cost: $25 until May 15th, $35 General Admission
    Location: Pittsboro, NC


Do you have a favorite North Carolina festival or food event that we missed? We’d love to hear your favorites or recommendations. Send us an email or connect with us on Facebook to share. We can’t wait to hear from you!