If you’re a food lover and enjoy a good outdoor congregation  why not go to a food festival. All over Colorado this summer, there are tons  some free and some more extravagant. Whether you want to stay in Denver or trek to a mountain town, whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore  there’s a food fest for you. You can even enter into a food contest, or see some big-time musical acts while eating some delicious grub.

READ: All The Summer Colorado Beer Festivals You Need To Know

Check out our round-up of Summer food festivals from June to September. There are plenty of chances to live out your foodie dreams for a weekend.


June

FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen (photo credit: FOOD & WINE)

Taste of Fort Collins

When: Friday, June 8 – Sunday, June 10
Where: Civic Center Park, Old Town Fort Collins
Cost: Single day passes are $5 for Friday’s show, Saturday and Sunday single day passes are $10 until 3 p.m. and $15 after 3 p.m. Purchase tickets here

The Lowdown: There are lots of food trucks, 25 to be exact ranging from tacos to oysters, noodles, burgers and lobster rolls. As for drinks, of course, there will be New Belguim beer, and other beers such as Odell, cocktails and Moonshine-Ritas. To top it all off, there will be 18 musical acts throughout the weekend featuring Eddie Money “Two Tickets to Paradise” and Everlast “What It’s Like.”

Colorado BBQ Challenge

When: Thursday, June 14 (Kickoff Concert), Friday, June 15 (BBQ Day #1) Saturday, June 16 (BBQ Day 2)
Where: Frisco Historic Park, Visitor Information Center and other locations around town 
Cost: Free Admission

The Lowdown: The 25th Annual Colorado BBQ Challenge in Frisco will feature 70+ BBQ’ers in several categories including pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, barbecue sauce, side dish, salsa, dessert and more. Food sampling, demos and many food vendors will line the street for your eating pleasure. But the highlight of the event may be the cute pig races. You can run yourself in the Bacon Burner 6k that Saturday morning.

The Denver BBQ Festival

When: Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver
Cost: Free Admission on Saturday and Sunday; Tickets for purchase here for Friday’s Preview day

The Lowdown: Free BBQ festival at the one and only Mile High Stadium? Count us in. The Denver BBQ Festival will feature famed pitmasters from all over the country: Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennesee, Iowa and Colorado. Meat on meat on meat — 18,000 pounds of it to be exact. Ribs, brisket, BBQ, beer and music — all in the beloved Broncos stadium.

READ: Denver is Getting a Huge Barbecue Festival, Featuring America’s Top BBQ Joints

Food & Wine Classic

When: June 15 – 17
Where: Aspen
Cost: $1,700  tickets can be purchased here. Volunteer opportunities here.

The Lowdown: A grand weekend of food royalty featuring tastings, speeches and demos from celebrity chefs like Jacques Pepin, Andrew Zimmern, Tyler Florence and many more. If you’re an aspiring chef with some extra cash stashed away, this is a great chance to learn from the greats about cooking and wine. There are also various volunteer opportunities if you want to take part, but can’t afford a ticket. The event is around the corner, so apply to volunteer today.

Denver Greek Festival

When: Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17
Where: Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4610 E. Alameda Ave., Denver
Cost: General Admission, $3 – tickets can be purchased here

The Lowdown: Opa! The Denver Greek Festival is in its 53rd year and is one of the biggest cultural festivals in the state. It will feature Greek music and dance, a huge Greek boutique full of authentic arts and sculpture, and tours of the Iconic ‘Gold Dome’ in the church. Most importantly though, Greek food: gyros, souvlakia, spanikopita, saganaki (flaming cheese), baklava and much more.

Keystone Bacon & Bourbon

When: Saturday, June 23 – Sunday, June 24
Where: River Run Village, Keystone Resort, 140 Ida Belle Drive, Keystone
Cost: Free – $50 tickets can be purchased here

The Lowdown: Bacon and bourbon? We’re not sure that there is a better combination. Bacon ice cream, bacon competitions, bacon merchandise and lots of Bourbons — you get the gist. There will be seminars about whiskey and the heritage and anatomy of the pig.  Some of the musical acts include two chick bands, Lez Zeppelin and Hell’s Belles.

Top Taco

When: Thursday, June 28 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Where: Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora 
Cost: $75 – 135  tickets can be purchased here

The Lowdown: If you’re a fan of chef-imagined tacos, this annual festival should be on the top of your list. Featuring a showdown from some of Denver’s best chefs, this event turned food competition pits some of the city’s greatest minds against one another in the battle for top taco. Categories include top creative taco to more traditional fare and even a vegetarian option. There’s also a cocktail element where bartenders compete for the best tequila cocktail. So call an Uber and expect that following Friday morning to be rough, because Top Taco is one hell of a party.


July

Photo by Brittany Werges.

Big Eat

When: Thursday, July 12 6 to 9 p.m.
Where: The Galleria at Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St., Denver
Cost: $65 tickets can be purchased here

The Lowdown: Get ready to chow down with food from some of Denver’s best restaurants during a night at the Big Eat. Featuring bites from 65 establishments, the festival celebrates Denver’s independent restaurants through its hosting organization and non-profit, Eat Denver. Expect imaginative bites as chefs and bartenders bring their A-game to the annual event. Also like last year, the celebration serves as the kick-off to Slow Food Nations, so expect spirits to be extra high.

Slow Food Nations

When: Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 15
Where: Larimer Square and other locations, Denver
Cost: Free Admission for Larimer Square events on Saturday and Sunday. For special ticketed events, check full schedule here

The Lowdown: Slow Food Nations is a weekend event that focuses on sustainability and keeping local food cultures alive. The festival is free and open to the public with select ticketed tastings, workshops and talks. Larimer Square will be called ‘Eat Street’ on Saturday and Sunday hosting a pop-up bar and food court. There will also be a Taste Marketplace with nearly 100 exhibitors of ‘clean’ food telling their stories and giving out samples.

READ: What We Learned at Slow Food Nations 2017

Crested Butte Wine & Food

When: Wednesday, July 25 – Sunday, July 29
Where: Center for the Arts, 606 6th St., Crested Butte
Cost: $45 – 750  tickets can be purchased here

The Lowdown: A little more on the upscale side, Crested Butte Wine & Food is a five-day festival of fancy tasting and pairing events. Some of the cheaper events are the ‘Van Gogh and Pinot’ which is an afternoon of painting and wine tasting for $45, and a seminar about ‘Cooking with Wine’ for $50. Check out the full line-up of events here.

Breckenridge Food & Wine

When: Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29
Where: Main St. Station Plaza, 505 S. Main St., Breckenridge
Cost: $40 – 90 – tickets can be purchased here

The Lowdown: Breckenridge Food & Wine is a series of grandiose wine tastings, dinners and outdoor experiences. Perhaps the coolest is the VIP Experience from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday for $50. It includes live music, unlimited wine samples and vendors serving delicious food, artisan cheese and sweets. The full calendar of events can be found here.

VegFest Colorado

When: Saturday, July 28 – Sunday, July 29
Where: 11450 Broomfield Ln., Broomfield
Cost: $8 tickets before July 1 tickets can be purchased here

The Lowdown: Calling all vegetarians and vegans — this one is for you. VegFest Colorado is all about promoting a plant-based/vegan lifestyle. Enjoy renowned speakers discussing health, diet and environmental issues and food demonstrations from expert chefs. Several food vendors will offer samples and many eco-friendly businesses will exhibit and educate attendees.


August

Photo courtesy of olathesweetcornfest.com

Denver Burger Battle

When: Wednesday, August 2, 5:00 – 9:30 p.m. 
Where: Tivoli Quad,1000 Larimer St., Denver
Cost: $69  – 125 purchase early bird tickets here

The Lowdown: Come extra hungry for this one because the Denver Burger Battle is no joke. With burger bites from only the best, this festival celebrates the all-American favorite in a search for the city’s best patty. Similar to Top Taco, expect chefs to come with their best recipes in order to take home the title. Last year Stoic & Genuine, typically known for its seafood, won the People’s Choice award — so this year it’s anyone’s game.

Olathe Sweet Corn Festival

When: Saturday, August 4, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: 59584-, 59618 US-50, Olathe. Directions here.
Cost: $5 – 50  purchase early bird tickets here

The Lowdown: Since 1992, this small southwestern Colorado town has been hosting its annual Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. Olathe Sweet Corn is sold widely in King Soopers and City Market grocery stores each summer. The town celebrates their corn each August with a day of corn eating contests, live music, a climbing wall and other activities. This is a great festival for families.

Gelato Festival America – Boulder 

When: Saturday, August 18  Sunday, August 19
Where: Boulder
Cost: TBA

The Lowdown: Originating in Europe, the Gelato Festival has brought its deliciousness to America. From August to October, the festival is traveling through seven cities, including a stop in Boulder in August. Last year, the event was hosted at the Twenty-Ninth Street Mall details are still to come on this year’s location and times. The event will include gelato tastings, voting for your favorite flavor and learning the secrets of gelato artisans.

Pitmaster BBQ and Music Fest

When: Saturday, August 18 – Sunday, August 19
Where: Nottingham Park, 1 Lake St., Avon
Cost: $65 – 125, per person, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Two-day Pitmaster BBQ and Music Fest (#PITBBQFest) festival in Avon. This festival brings some of the best national Pitmasters known for their award-winning smoked flavored barbecue meats, and live country, rock and blues music. The event brings together the unique regional tastes of barbecue with Colorado’s favorite foods, craft beer and spirits. Activities include culinary and mixology classes, smoked cheese and wine tasting, a kid zone with free popcorn and family backyard games.

Tacolandia

When: Sunday, August 19, 4 – 7 p.m. 
Where: Civic Center Park, 101 West 14th Ave., Denver
Cost: $25 – 55, get tickets here

The Lowdown: If you’ve ever wanted to explore Denver’s thriving Mexican culinary scene, or just wanted all your favorite traditional taco joints in one place — look no further than Tacolandia. Expect there to be tons of tortillas, all the carne asada and carnitas your heart can handle and gallons of tequila. And since this festival focuses on the more authentic genre of the Mexican street food, you’ll also find a car show and bilingual bands to keep you entertained.

Polish Food Festival

When: Saturday, August 25  Sunday, August 26
Where: Saint Joseph Polish Catholic Church, 517 E. 46th Ave., Denver
Cost: Free Admission

The Lowdown: Pierogi eating contests and Polish folk dancers and singers equals a good time. This fest is all about Polish dishes and traditions. You can get a full meal for $6-8 which includes blood sausage, potato pancakes, pierogis, stuffed cabbage rolls and more. Pastries and polish beer will on deck as well. And for the families, a children’s playground to keep the kids happy.

Chef & Brew

When: Wednesday, August 29, 6 – 10 p.m. 
Where: The Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Ave., Denver
Cost: $49-69, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Although this festival may also fall into the beer category (go here to see our full list of beer festivals) there’s no debating that Chef & Brew brings the heat when it comes to some great bites. The competition brings together the best of both worlds by pairing 20 brewmasters and top chefs to compete for the best beer and food pairing. Local judges will then make the rounds, picking their favorite for the best duo. Expect to leave full and with a new appreciation for the art of the food pairing.


September

Denver Food + Wine. Photo courtesy of Juliette Coughlin.

A Taste of Colorado

When: Saturday, September 1 – Monday, September 3
Where: Civic Center Park, Downtown Denver
Cost: Free Admission

The Lowdown: A Taste of Colorado will take place in Civic Center Park over Labor Day weekend featuring over 50 restaurants and food trucks. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg — a huge arts & crafts marketplace will host 175 booths of unique art and goods. Live musical acts will include George Thorogood, LeAnn Rimes, Smashmouth, Sugar Ray and more — all for free.

Denver Food & Wine

When: Tuesday, September 4 Sunday, September 9
Where: Various locations, Denver
Cost: TBA

The Lowdown: The Denver Food + Wine Festival is a multi-day palooza of food, wine and spirits education, tastings and more. Details for locations, events and prices are yet to come — but if it’s anything like last year, you can expect a good time. Tickets will likely range from $40 to 200. The big event is the Grand Tasting featuring hundreds of wines and tons of local restaurants. Stay tuned for more details.

Steamboat Chili Challenge

When: Saturday, September 8, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Yampa Street next to the Farmers’ Market, Downtown Steamboat Springs
Cost: Free Admission

The Lowdown: Everyone loves a good chili challenge, so why not take a road trip to one? In the heart of Steamboat Springs, the 14th Annual Downtown Chili Challenge will take place in September. Try green and red chili, cornbread and salsa samples from several chili makers and watch as a panel judges blindly taste and decide the winners. Beer and live music will also be present.

Festival Italiano

When: Saturday, September 8 – Sunday, September 9
Where: Belmar, 464 S. Teller St., Lakewood
Cost: Free Admission

The Lowdown: The Belmar shopping center in Lakewood will host its 14th Annual Festival Italiano this summer. The two-day event celebrates Italian culture featuring sights, sounds and flavors of Italy. Transport yourself to Italy with this array of Italian food, wine, live entertainment, artisan vendors and fun activities such as grape stomping for the kids.

Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival

When: Friday, September 21 – Sunday, September 23
Where: Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo
Cost: $3 per person

The Lowdown: The Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival is held every year to celebrate the area’s agriculture, particularly green chile and frijoles (pinto beans). The event includes chile cooking competitions, arts and crafts, music and more. Pay homage to one of the areas that produce Colorado’s famous green chiles and taste and take in the culture.


Multiple Dates

Photo by Adam Gardner.

Truck Stop – Food Truck Rally

When: Various dates
Where: June 2, Five Points – Welton Street; July 4, Aurora – Stanley Marketplace; August 3, Santa Fe Art District – Art district on Santa Fe Street; September 1, RiNo – Larimer and Infinite Monkey Theorem
Cost: Free Admission

The Lowdown: With four dates and four different locations around Denver — there is no excuse to miss this moving food truck festival. You can expect four blocks long of food trucks, booze and local live music. Last year, Truck Stop Rally hosted a food truck fest in Five Points and decided this year they would host several around the city this summer. Go ahead and live out your foodie dreams.

Food Fest – Aspen Grove

When: Sunday, July 22 and Sunday, August 19
Where: 7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Cost: Free Admission

The Lowdown: Samples, samples, samples. Aspen Grove in Littleton will be hosting a Food Fest on two different dates this summer. Admission to these events are free and taste tickets are $10 for a dozen samples. The food will range from meats and cheese to sweets to sauces and salsa, to prepared mini appetizers. On top of that, there will be live music and food contests.

 

 

2 Responses

  1. Carolyn Miller

    Great coverage of food festivals.
    How about covering Colorado’s art festivals! Next up is the Art Students League of Denver SUMMER ART
    FESTIVAL, May 9-10. Denver artists are struggling for studios and attention in Denver. We could use some press! Thanks!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.