Fall is fast approaching, which means the return of long sleeves, our favorite TV shows, and—best of all—food festivals. We’ve compiled our top picks to satisfy all your cool-weather cravings. So, unearth your most forgiving jeans and let the countdown begin.
If You Love Food and ArtSunday, Sept. 9; 2 pm–6 pmBoston Design Center, One Design Center Pl., Boston How to Get There Cost: $55–$80
Chef Louis DiBiccari is the mastermind behind this dream combination of culinary and visual art. The annual event brings together Boston-area chefs and bartenders from the city’s top restaurants to create dishes and cocktails based on works by local artists. Guests get to enjoy tasty concoctions, meet the artists, and shop the market—all while listening to local bands. It’s a day of feasting for all five senses. You’ll go home with a pleased palate and possibly a new piece of art. Now that’s what we call a win-win.
If Eating Local Is ImportantSunday, Sept. 16; 11 am–5 pmRose Kennedy Greenway, 191 W. Atlantic Ave., Boston How to Get There Cost: Free admission
Each year, more than 120 vendors participate in the Boston Local Food Festival, whose motto is “Healthy Local Food for All.” In addition to the endless sustainable options, you can catch demos by Holly Pierce from meal delivery service Just Add Cooking, chef Nick Calias of the Colonnade Hotel and Brasserie Jo, and Crystal King, author of “The Chef’s Secret.” The Seafood Throwdown event channels TV shows like “Chopped,” challenging two chefs to create dishes out of a secret ingredient. For kids, the Family Fun Zone features face painting, wildflower planting, and kite making. Remember to bring your reusable bags and you can leave with a clear conscience, as this is a zero-waste event.
If You’re a Child at HeartSaturday, Sept. 22; 3 pm–7 pmUnion Square, Somerville How to Get There Cost: Free admission
This is not a drill! Union Square Main Streets hosts a yearly festival in tribute to Archibald Query, who invented Marshmallow Fluff in Somerville in 1917. The famed sticky-sweet spread is often paired with peanut butter in Fluffernutter sandwiches, making it a nostalgic childhood favorite for many. In the past, the festival has boasted Fluff jousting, Fluff musical chairs, Fluff hairstyling, and performances by the Flufferettes. Great for families, though everyone’s sure to leave with a sugar high.
If You Eat Oysters Like CandySaturday and Sunday, Oct. 13–14; 10 am–5 pmDowntown Wellfleet, Cape Cod How to Get There Cost: $10/day
OysterFest is an annual pilgrimage for seafood lovers. The nonprofit organization Wellfleet SPAT (Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc.) hosts this event to promote the town’s sustainable shellfishing industry. The festival features live music, local crafts, and all the oysters you can eat. Plus, don’t miss the fan-favorite Oyster Shuck-Off—a high- stakes competition between local oyster shuckers, judged on speed, style, and accuracy. Just don’t get caught in the crossfire…
If You’re a VegetarianSaturday and Sunday, Oct. 20–21; Saturday, 11 am–6 pm; Sunday, 10 am–4 pmReggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Boston How to Get There Cost: Free admission
Vegetable lovers, rejoice! The Boston Vegetarian Society hosts this weekend event in celebration of greens. With more of an education bent, the festival showcases national speakers and chefs, informative exhibits, and samples from natural food providers. Cooking demonstrations will show you how to incorporate plant-based meals into your daily routine, while cookbook authors will be on hand to offer tips and signed copies. Both veteran vegetarians and newbies looking for more information are encouraged to attend.