Unusual Food Festivals Around the World

Why not plan a trip focused solely on food? Here are some of the most unique food festivals from around the world.

La Tomatina

Tomatina 2006

Photo: Graham McLellanon Wikimedia Commons

When you think food festivals, an image of this festival is sure to come to mind. Who wouldn’t want to run around throwing tomatoes at one another? It’s a glorified food fight. This festival is held in the Spanish town of Buñol on the last Wednesday of August every year and is sure to get your blood pumping.

Not a fan of throwing tomatoes? How about throwing oranges in Irvea, Itay or wine at the Haro Wine Festival?


While not exactly food, Oktoberfest is a not to be missed festival for the beer lover. Every year from mid September to the beginning of October, more than 6 million people from around the world gather in Munich, Germany to drink German beer and munch on German food like  Würstl (sausages) and Brezeln (Pretzel) along with Bavarian delicacies such as Obatzda (a spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage). Book early if you want to attend though – hotels, hostels, and even camping grounds fill up quickly in and around the city.

Night of the Radishes

La samaritana

Photo: phylevn on Flickr

This Mexican tradition celebrates a humble root vegetable – the radish. Every year on December 23, thousands descend upon the main plaza of Oaxaca, Mexico to witness these unique radishes on display. Artisans carve elaborate figurines and displays out of specially grown radishes to be entered into a competition. These radishes are not your typical radishes and can grow to be as big as 6 pounds and 20 inches long.

Maine Lobster Fest

Celebrate the lobster at this annual event held in Rockland, Maine. Participate in their Lobster Crate Race and see how many crates you can run over before plunging into the chilly Atlantic waters or run in their road races. Exercise not your thing? Then you can enjoy all the flavors of the lobster at their food tents or cooking contest. Who can say no to a delicious lobster dinner?

Wildfoods Festival

Looking for food more on the wild side? Head down to Hokitika, New Zealand on the South Island for the Wildfoods Festival which is celebrating its 25th year in 2014. It’s the perfect place to start exploring the wild wild west – the West Coast of New Zealand that is. Would you dare to try delicacies such as chocolate beetles, possums, and seagull eggs?

Garlic Festivals

Garlic Festival

Photo: whatleydude on Flickr

An ingredient so important to food, there are two festivals celebrating it: the Isle of Wright Garlic Festival and the Gilroy Garlic Festival. These festivals celebrating this pungent bulb is not for the faint of heart as garlic lovers flock to try unique garlic flavored foods from garlic beer to garlic fudge. One thing you won’t have to worry about is Dracula showing up and ruining the fun.

Have you visited a food related festival while traveling? Share your experiences!

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