This season in gluttony
Time to put away the summer bikinis and bring out the comfy caftans of fall, because this season in Dallas is a feeding frenzy. No matter what kind of cuisine you crave — burgers, veggies, tailgating snacks, or fair fare — there's a fête or festival for that. Add in all the wine and beer events, and your cup (and schedule) will runneth over. Here are the top events heating up the fall food scene.
Fair Fare on the Square, September 1-30
Visitors to downtown Garland can get a head start on State Fair-inspired flavors at this monthlong event. Participating eateries along Main, 5th, 6th, and State streets — all near Garland’s historic square — will serve up bites like Dr Pepper slushies, cotton candy iced tea, homemade Frito pie, churro flights, deep-fried funnel cake, Spam on a stick, corndogs, turkey legs, fried Oreos, and more. Make it a progressive dinner or return new tastes throughout the month.
Everybody's Favorite Barbecue & Hot Sauce Festival, September 9-11
This three-day festival travels around the country, and it'll make its first Texas stop of the season in The Colony before heading to Houston and San Antonio. Its aim is to celebrate the best barbecue in the country (no word on local vendors yet) and to showcase talented live acts — all with a spirit of diversity, in an outdoor setting. The festival also honors teachers, who can request free admission. Tickets are $20-$75.
The Dallas Chocolate Festival, September 9-11
The sweetest of all food events is back as an in-person three-day event at F.I.G. in downtown Dallas. Founded in 2009, it features world-renowned chocolate makers, samples, expertise, and sweets-a-plenty. New this year is a one-day conference for professionals, followed by the "main event" with exhibitors and samples, and a day of workshops on topics like pairing chocolate and whiskey. Tickets to the main event are $35, while workshops and other events range from $25 to $100, and are available online.
36th Annual GrapeFest - A Texas Wine Experience, September 15-18
Grapevine's signature event is the largest wine festival of the Southwest and boasts the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation. This year's festival will feature the best of Texas-grown wines, as well as selections from guest wineries in the California Sonoma Valley and the Italian Sicily region. In addition to signature events such as the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic will be new VIP Experiences, with private tents, charcuterie boards, and more. Admission starts at $5.
2022 World of Foodies, September 17
The city of Carrollton is hosting this foodie event at 1106 S. Broadway St., where you are encouraged to bring your appetite to step into a world of international culture and cuisine. A roster of authentic and culturally diverse vendors will dish out an array of snacks, refreshments, and live performances. A "Foodie Passport" for ages 21+ is $30, and gets you 10 food samples from vendors, an 8-ounce drink at the on-site bar, and a souvenir glass. The fun runs from 3-9 pm, and you can buy a ticket online.
Dallasites101 1st Annual Seltzer Stroll, September 17
Everyone's favorite influencers are hosting a fall bar crawl with a trendy seltzer theme. They've partnered with 7-plus bars in Deep Ellum for signature drinks, food specials, live music, and more. Check-in from 12-2 pm (location TBA) to receive your souvenir item, wristband, and map of the participating stops. For non-seltzer fans, there'll be other drink options. The event takes place from 12-5 pm and is sponsored by Austin-based Blue Norther Hard Seltzer. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online.
Taste of Oak Cliff, September 17-18
The Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce will present the annual Taste of Oak Cliff, showcasing Oak Cliff restaurants, breweries, shops, and artists. Additional food events will include a pepper-eating contest and salsa recipe contest. A local talent showcase, cornhole tournament, and private, on-site mammogram testing will also take place. Tickets are $13-$20.
ZestFest, Hot Sauce & Music Festival, September 30, October 1-2
Spicy annual fest at Market Center Hall is one of the biggest showcases of tongue-tingling foods in the U.S. There'll be hot sauces and zesty items for sale, cooking demos by celebrity chefs including Jon Bonnell, fiery food challenges, and live music by rock stars who make their own hot sauce including Barbwires starring chef Dean Fearing and Guns & Roses guitarist Ron Bumblefoot Thal. Free samples guaranteed to set your mouth on fire makes this literally the hottest event of the year. Tickets are $15 to $23 and can be purchased online.
The Tailgate, presented by CultureMap, October 13
A new signature event for CultureMap, The Tailgate celebrates the culture of sports and the fans who cheer them on. It will feature chef-driven food and signature cocktails, plus game-day-inspired activities, entertainment, and a spotlight on local sports-related nonprofits. Participating restaurants include past Tastemaker winners like Fearing's, Carte Blanche, Empire Baking, TLC Vegan Kitchen, and many more. It'll all take place at The Empire Room. General admission and VIP tickets ($60-$99) are on sale now.
DIFFA Burgers and Burgundy, October 14
DIFFA's 13th annual meaty fundraiser will bring in celebrity chefs from all over DFW — and the country — for sizzling, one-of-a-kind sliders and perfectly paired wines. This year's event will take place at Peace Plaza at Cathedral of Hope, Dallas. One highlight of the night promises to be the announcement of the theme for the House of DIFFA fashion show and luxury silent auction, happening next May. Tickets are $100.
Dallas Brew Festival, October 15
Dallas' Old City Park will be the place for craft beer lovers all afternoon on this crisp fall Saturday. The event will feature more than 60 breweries offering 200 beers, as well as food trucks, '80s and '90s cover bands, lawn games, and more. VIP admission gets attendees in at 1 pm, early admission starts at 2 pm, and general admission starts at 3 pm. Tickets are $50-$90.
McKinney Wine and Music Festival, October 15
The sixth annual McKinney Wine and Music Festival — taking place at Towne Lake Park — will feature 30 wineries, 15 restaurants, and four bands. The food pass lets patrons taste cuisine from top local restaurants, while wine tasting tickets gives 20 one-ounce tastings to use at any of the wineries. A VIP experience includes exclusive wines and beer, appetizers, seating, photo booth, and more. Tickets are $35-$80.
Taste of the Trolley, October 20
The McKinney Avenue Transit Authority will present Taste of the Trolley. The event is a fundraiser featuring food from 15 of the best restaurants along the McKinney Avenue trolley line (think The Capital Grille, Cru, Haywire, Las Palmas, Miriam Cocina Latina, Primo’s, and more) plus stellar cocktails, a silent auction, and a live auction for sports memorabilia, wine collections, spa packages, and more. Note that the event takes place not on the trolley, but at the Fashion Industry Gallery downtown. Tickets are $125.
Plano Wine and Food Festival, October 22
Fifth annual Plano Food and Wine Festival will feature a vast selection of award-winning wines and cuisine from 15 local restaurants, including Lombardi Cucina Italiana, Toulouse Café & Bar, Taverna Pizzeria & Risotteria, and more. Wine tasting tickets give guests 20 one-ounce tastings in a souvenir glass, while VIP tickets throw in a pass to food tastings, access to the H-E-B and Central Market culinary tents, and a chance to enjoy the Trinity Falls VIP experience. The festival happens at Legacy West, and tickets are $45-$125.
Chefs for Farmers, November 3-6
Four-day food festival showcases restaurant cuisine and the farmers who make it possible. There will be three public events, plus a series of intimate dinners: Devour: The Ultimate Bite Night at the Exchange; Chefs For Farmers Farm Tour with the Seed Project Foundation; and The Main Event at Dallas Heritage Village, the signature event highlighting tastes from around the state. Ticket prices vary by event.
The Greek Festival of Dallas, November 4-6
The annual Greek Food Festival of Dallas, hosted by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, supports the church's outreach, ministries, and youth programs. It returns with Greek food, music, dancing, a market place, and more, 11 am-10 pm November 4 and 5, and 11 am-5 pm November 6. Watch the website for more details coming soon.
Q BBQ Fest, November 4-6
The new festival — taking place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington — will gather pitmasters from across Texas and throughout the country to dish out award-winning smoked meats to barbecue lovers. A partnership with the Dallas Cowboys and Miller Lite, the weekend-long celebration will feature tons of barbecue, local music, BBQ tutorials & demonstrations, and games & activities. Tickets are $15-$29 and go on sale August 26.
Vegandale November 12
Nationally touring festival dedicated to vegan foods and goods hits Dallas for the first time with a stop at Addison Circle Park. The event was founded as a street festival in Toronto before launching in the U.S. in 2018. In prior years, its Texas date was in Houston, but replaced it this year with Dallas (which used to have its own homegrown Veggie Fair until 2020). Other stops include Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Tickets range from $5 to $30 and can be purchased online.