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All the Best Austin Food Festivals, Month by Month

A year-round guide to the best food and drink-related events in the city

Austin Food & Wine Festival in 2015 Austin Food & Wine Festival/Official

Festivals and events are plentiful in Austin throughout the calendar year, and the city isn’t without its fair share of food-related happenings. To help sort through the numerous offerings, Eater put together a handy guide to the Austin’s best food festivals and events that are actually worth spending money and time on.

There’s something for every taste, from oysters, fried chicken, vegetarian, beer, ice cream, and perhaps the biggest event that transforms the city, South by Southwest. A good chunk of these take place during the fall and spring, when it’s outright pleasant to be outside.

Know of any major events missing below? Let Eater know through the tipline, and keep track of Austin’s food events with the EventWire.


February

Austin Oyster Festival
The Austin Oyster Festival has delivered fresh oysters, live music, and drinks to the city for the past five years. Jeri’s Seafood and Hope Farmers Market co-produce the event to benefit the Central Texas Food Bank.
2018 date not announced yet.

March

South by Southwest
The famous Austin conference and festival not only showcases the best in music, film, and technology but food. The festival includes a food track, SouthBites, where it highlights prominent members of the community from chefs to authors to actors. In 2017, the track included sessions on breakfast with Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi and Sqirl chef Jessica Koslow. Potential 2018 panels include sustainability, mental health, the celebrity of chefs, and women in the industry.
Friday, March 9 through Sunday, March 18, 2018
Location: Throughout Austin
General Prices: Badges range from $825 through $1,650.

Austin Lamb Jam
Local chefs battle it out at Austin Lamb Jam for the title of Lamb Jam Pitmaster. The event offers a close-up experience with some of the city’s best takes on lamb dishes. Last year’s chefs included Tom Micklethwait, Wayne Mueller, Evan LeRoy, and others. Boiler Nine Bar and Grill's Jason Stude won with braised lamb neck and lamb hummus. The American Lamb Board sponsors the annual event in five cities and seeks to educate people on lamb, from cooking techniques to sustainability efforts.
2018 date not announced yet.

April

Austin Food and Wine Festival
The city’s biggest food festival attracts chefs, celebrities, and foodies from around the country. The two-day event offers a variety of activities, from the Grand Taste Pavilion where guests can sample drinks and food, to panels with top chefs like Ludo Lefebvre and Alon Shaya, to fire pits led by Austin chefs, to a taco competition.
2018 dates not announced yet.
Location: Auditorium Shores, 800 West Riverside Drive, South Austin

Texas VegFest
The festival takes care of vegetarians courtesy of the Texas Veg Foundation. The annual Texas VegFest to educate Texans on plant-based diets. The event features speakers, demonstrations, food, beer, a kids area, and more.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Location: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse East Segovia Street, Holly

Texas Wine Revolution
The Texas Wine Revolution showcases the best wine in the state. The festival features up to 25 different wines (2017 focused on rosés) and offers guests live music, tastings, seminars, and picnic areas. Participating wineries often include Becker Vineyards, Fall Creek Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, William Chris Vineyards, and others
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Texas Wine Revolution
Texas Wine Revolution
Texas Wine Revolution/Facebook

Live Fire
The Austin Food and Wine Alliance celebrates Texas beef with Live Fire every year. The event features live-fire cooking by some of Austin’s best chefs. This past year, 18 Austin restaurants were featured, from Franklin Barbecue to Uchi to Knife.
2018 date not announced yet.

May

Hot Luck Festival
Hometown hero Aaron Franklin decided to throw his own food event with Hot Luck Festival. He gathered celebrated chefs and friends from around the country to offer Austin a one-of-a-kind picnic. Spread throughout the city, guests can enjoy live music while enjoying dishes from local and national chefs.
Thursday, May 24 through Sunday, May 27
Location: Throughout Austin

Official Drink of Austin
Another Austin Food and Wine Alliance event, the Official Drink of Austin looks to name, well, the city’s defining cocktail for the year. 2017’s winner was the Capital City Collins, crafted by the staff of Frank. It featured Old Highborn gin, lemon juice, strawberry-tarragon syrup, coconut milk, and salt tincture.
2018 date not announced yet.

June

TX German Bier Festival
The TX German Bier Festival offers Austinites an authentic 1700s-themed German feast. The 2017 iteration featured Easy Tiger snacks, Central Texas beer, and a six-course meal from Dai Due’s Jesse Griffiths.
Tentatively the first weekend of June 2018
Location: Austin Saengerrunde, 1607 San Jacinto Boulevard, Downtown

Fried Chicken Throwdown
The Fried Chicken Throwdown names the best fried poultry found in the state, hosted by Royers Round Top Cafe every year. Competing chefs usually include Jack Gilmore, and Hoover Alexander. The event benefits Meals on Wheels, Mobile Loaves & Fishes, and Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Royers Round Top Cafe, 105 Main Street, Round Top

A tray of food at Hot Luck Festival
A tray of food at Hot Luck Festival
Hot Luck/Facebook

August

Quesoff
Austin loves queso, and the Quesoff understands this. The competition pits 30 vendors to see who makes the best meaty, spicy, and veggie quesos in the city, along with a wild card category too. Unfortunately, the 2017 rendition was canceled because of Hurricane Harvey, but it might be rescheduled.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Mohawk, 912 Red River Street, Downtown

Austin Ice Cream Festival
The Austin Ice Cream Festival cools down Austinites with some of the city's best frozen treats. Guests can sample classic Austin ice creameries and the new kids on the block and also vote on the city’s best treat. This year's lineup included Amy's Ice Creams, Cold Cookie Company, Moojo, Snow Monster, Casey's New Orleans Snow Balls, and more.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse East Segovia Street, Holly

Chronicle’s Hot Sauce Festival
Chronicle has been hosting the Hot Sauce Festival since 1990, focusing on discovering quality hot sauce in the city. Judges name the best red, green, and special variety sauces for home cooks, restaurants, and commercial bottlers. Beyond the sauce competition, guests can enjoy tastings, buy sauces, and listen to live music. The event benefits Austin Central Food Bank.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse East Segovia Street, Holly

September

Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Since 2003, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival has showcased the state’s best beers. This year, this includes The event will also feature local food and live music.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse East Segovia Street, Holly

AustOberfest at Scholz Garten
The city’s biggest Oktoberfest celebration takes place at Scholz Garten. This is the beer garden’s fifth time hosting AustOberfest. With the price of one ticket, enjoy unlimited sausage and sides from places like Louie Mueller Barbecue, Micklethwait Craft Meats, Smokey Denmark's, LeRoy & Lewis, Frank, and more, alongside live music, and beer tastings.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto, Downtown

October

Austin City Limits Music Festival
The iconic music festival is back for its 16th year of music with headliners like Jay-Z and The Killers. To keep the masses of festival-goers happy and full, the festival hosts a variety of classic Austin eateries. This year’s ACL Eats Food Court includes Austin favorites like Chi'lantro, Mighty Cone, Peached Tortilla, Micklethwait Craft Meats, JuiceLand, and newcomers Shake Shack, Peli Peli, and others.
Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7, 2018; Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October, 14, 2018
Location: Zilker Park, 2168 Lou Neff Road, South Austin
General Prices: Available tickets range from $100 to $255.

Growlers from the Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Growlers from the Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Texas Craft Brewers Festival/Facebook

Texas Trucklandia Fest
Trucklandia Fest brings together the city’s best food trucks, where attendees get to read and vote for their favorite, which will win the $100,000 prize. General admission guests can only vote for the “people’s choice,” with limited access to samples.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Austin American-Statesman, 305 South Congress Avenue, South Austin

November

Texas Book Festival
First Lady Laura Bush created the Texas Book Festival in 1995. Since then, it has been an Austin staple, and there is a food component of course. There are cookbook authors and food demos, as well as vendors.
Saturday, November, 4 and Sunday, November 5, 2017
Location: Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Avenue, Downtown
General Prices: Free.

Texas Monthly BBQ Fest
Hosted by Texas Monthly, the barbecue festival celebrates the best of the state’s smoked meats. This year’s event coincides with the release of the publication’s fifth edition of Texas’ best barbecue places. That means there will be barbecue from number one spot Snow’s, as well as San Antonio's 2M Smokehouse, Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue, Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Truth Barbeque in Brenham, and others. Guests can enjoy some of the coveted smoked meats and sides while enjoying music, drinks, and games. There are several ticket options with varying ‘cue access.
2018 date not announced yet.
Location: Long Center, 701 West Riverside Drive, South Austin

Texas Monthly BBQ Fest in 2014
Texas Monthly BBQ Fest in 2014
Jeff Amador/EATX

Wine and Swine
Austin Food & Wine’s Alliance turns its attention to pig with the annual Wine & Swine, an event dedicated to fine wine and pork dishes. Last year, 22 chefs competed to win the best pork dish of the night, and Olamaie walked away with $1,500 for its pulled pork sandwich with apple slaw and butternut squash butter.
2018 date not announced yet.

Big Reds and Bubbles
Wine and Food Foundation's yearly Big Reds and Bubbles focuses on champagne, sparkling wine, and full-bodied red wines. Everything is paired with bites and desserts from Austin chefs.
2018 date not announced yet.

December

Mozart’s Christmas Light Show
The coffee shop embraces the holiday spirit every year when the riverside patio is transformed into a winter wonderland display of festive lights and scenes, with hot chocolate to boot. It’s been running for the past 17 years.
Late November 2018 through early January 2019
Location: Mozart’s Coffee, 3825 Lake Austin Boulevard, Austin, TX 78703

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