We firmly believe that you haven’t truly discovered the core of a country’s culture if you haven’t been chin-deep in its most iconic treats. To this end, we’re sharing our top picks of Europe’s finest food festivals – those ridiculously delicious events that return year after year to showcase its region’s most delectable cuisine offerings, celebrated food artists and acclaimed producers.
So without further ado, here are eight of Europe’s annual food festivals:
Gelato Festival, Florence, Italy
(Dates to be announced)
Italy’s annual Gelato Festival is a must for those with a sweet tooth. Indulging in the glistening temptation of Italian gelato is something every traveler should experience, but the challenge is always to find the very best version! The Gelato Festival solves this dilemma by turning Florence into the Villaggio del Gelato Artigianale (village of hand-made artisanal ice cream) for 9 days in April each year. The city squares become a living, breathing tribute to the tradition of gelato, allowing visitors to sample incredible flavours from Italy’s finest purveyors while learning all about the art of gelato making. YUM!
Pizza Village, Naples, Italy
June 2019 (specific days to be released)
Let’s pizza! Pizza Village, the world’s largest celebration of pizza, takes place in Naples each year, which makes sense, since Italy is where this universally beloved fast food staple was first invented. In fact, Italians take their pizza so seriously that they formed a governing body called the ‘True Neapolitan Pizza Association’ in 1984 to uphold the standards of true Neapolitan pizza, and it’s this same organisation that have put on the highly anticipated annual feat since 1995. Festivalgoers can look forward to true, Italian-style pizza in all it’s glorious shapes and sizes, a fierce international competition to determine most talented pizzaiolo, as well as a great variety of entertainment options throughout the scenic Bay of Naples.
Taste of Amsterdam, Netherlands
31 May – 2 June 2019
For three days in the beginning of June, Amstelpark in Amsterdam is transformed into a gastronomic wonderland, as the country’s foremost chefs and restaurateurs descend to show off their best dishes. In short – Taste of Amsterdam presents the tastiest bits of the Netherlands, all in one place, served in suitable portions to allow guests to dig in again and again.
Prague Food Festival, Czech Republic
The mystical City of Spires also happens to be the City of YUM. This year the 13th annual Prague Food Festival will once again gather the very best Czech chefs and food purveyors on the lawn and under the trees of the Royal Gardens at Prague Castle! The beautiful setting alone is worth the outing, but now you can sample some of the exceptional culinary marvels the country has to offer while you’re at it.
Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival, Denmark
23 August – 1 September 2019
The annual Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival is an extremely tasty physical manifestation of hygge, the Danish lifestyle philosophy that promotes all things beautiful and delicious. The festival promotes Denmark as a global food destination, and is doing a superb job of it – with 100+ events over the course of 10 days at the end of August, there truly is something for every palate, from cosy dinners with Danish chefs to enormous food events with thousands of diners.
Taste Florence Food Festival, Italy
9-11 March 2019
Presented by renowned Italian events agency Pitti Immagine (Pitti Taste), the annual Taste Florence Food Festival is one of the most anticipated events on the country’s gastronomic calendar, and that’s saying a lot – Italy LOVES to eat! If you yearn for a food festival that is stylish to the core, Taste Florence is it; everything is curated in inimitable Italian style, bringing together the country’s foremost food magicians and style gurus together under one banner to show off their wares and delight festival goers with their flair for all things foodie. If you can’t make the festival, it’s good to know there are year-round food & wine tours offered by Taste Florence.
Taste of Stockholm, Sweden
A Taste of Stockholm (Smaka På Stockholm) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and continues to delight visitors with an innovative events programme that provides insight into the city’s unique foodie scene, as well as showcasing everything from locally grown produce to organic food that creates a model of sustainable living. Oh, and if it’s not enough that they’re completely green about the whole thing, the city’s foremost restaurants, food trucks, bakers and local producers set up shop in the beautiful downtown park of Kungsträdgården to serve all sorts of tasty things and teach festival goers how to save the planet one delicious bite at a time.
Foodies Festival – England & Scotland
25 – 27 May 2019 (London) | 2 – 4 August 2019 (Edinburgh)
One of the best-loved food festivals throughout the United Kingdom, the Foodies Festival takes place in no less than ten cities throughout the course of the year. These much-anticipated gastronomic events constitute a highlight on the national culinary calendar, and with good reason – it brings together the region’s finest and most inventive chefs and cooking show winners to delight with their creations and provide festival goers the opportunity to get their hands dirty. There’s also a ‘Feast on the Street’ with food from around the globe, champagne-, wine-, beer- and cocktail masterclasses, an artisan food market and lots of live music – everything you need for a delicious day out. The festival is also hosted in destinations like Cambridge (June), Oxford (August) and in Edinburgh over the Christmas season (November).
Here’s to indulging your inner glutton and creating travel itineraries based solely on delicious things to put in your face! What’s the most surprisingly delicious local delicacy you’ve encountered on your travels? Share the love so we can spread the word.