The Week in Food Events: Free Tequila at El Centro, Curbside Cookoff, and Many Oktoberfest Festivities

Plus chefs come together for a cause at the Taste of Hope benefit.

By: Anna Spiegel

Chef-y benefit: Remember when 15 local chefs signed on to the Fit for Hope challenge? Now their 12-week weight-loss adventure has come to an end, and you can find out who won while dining, drinking, and raising money for the American Cancer Society. The Taste of Hope benefit is held at the Carnegie Library on Tuesday, starting at 6:30. Tickets begin at $150.

Migrate to dinner: Belga Café hosts a Goose Island pairing dinner on Tuesday at 6:30. The five-course meal includes dishes such as spicy Maine lobster with lobster vinaigrette and duck confit ravioli, all paired with a different brew. Tickets are $59 per person.

Free tequila: Need we say more? If you missed the launch of El Centro’s complimentary tequila and mezcal tasting last week at the new Georgetown location, don’t fret. The series will be a regular Wednesday feature at the restaurant from 5 to 7 through November 13. Up this week: six milagro tequilas, including blanco, reposado, añejo, and more.

Let the Oktoberfests begin: It’s still September, but the slew of Oktoberfest celebrations are starting. Head to the National Harbor on Friday and Saturday for a festival featuring more than 150 craft brews, wines, schnitzel, live polka, a pretzel necklace contest, and more Germanic revelry. Tickets start at $39.

Brats and brews: If you don’t feel like going into all-out festival mode (a.k.a. dealing with large crowds), 1905 is getting into the Oktoberfest spirit with an afternoon tasting of beer and sausages on Saturday from 1 to 5. The event takes a local theme with meat from the likes of Red Apron and brews such as DC Brau. Tickets are $30.

Hop-fest: Virginians can catch the Oktoberfest spirit at Mad Fox Brewing Company, which hosts a celebration on Saturday from noon to 6 featuring hoppy IPAs and classic Oktoberfest beers. Food pairings include pulled-pork sandwiches, pretzels, chili-butter-rubbed wings, and more. Parents, take note: This event is billed as family-friendly, with activities for youngsters.

Champagne tastes: Get your fill of bubbles at the Grille at Morrison House on Saturday during a Champagne dinner, starting at 7. Chef Brian McPherson and sommelier Matt Carroll pair five courses with bubbly such as a 2002 Dom Perignon magnum. Tickets are $95.

Vegetarians, unite: DC VegFest returns on Saturday at the Yards Park from 11 to 6. You’ll find plenty of meatless eats—including vegan and gluten-free options—as well as a lineup of speakers and cooking demos. A Sunday brunch with two seatings is also being hosted at Todd Gray’s Muse at the Corcoran with a full vegan buffet ($100 per person).

Food truck festival: Wheaton gets a taste of the Washington food truck scene on Saturday during Curbside Cookoff from noon to 8, featuring fare from 20-plus food trucks. Games, live music, and beer garden round out the festivities. Tickets are $20 and include ten craft beer tastings.

Barracks Row Fall Festival: The annual fair returns to Barracks Row on Saturday from 11 to 5 with a full lineup of activities. You’ll find a variety of contests, from home brews to baked goods, street vendors, specials at local restaurants, and more.

Get crafty: Forget needlepoint and crochet—the Crafty Bastards festival throws down at Union Market on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 5. You’ll find an array of locally made goods from the vendors, including many with a culinary bent such as mugs and bowls from Abby Berkson Ceramics, Blue Ridge Cutting Board Company chopping blocks, food-inspired accessories from Inedible Jewelry, and more. A beer garden and food trucks are on hand for shopping breaks. Passes can be bought in advance for $5.

Crab feast: Say your official farewells to summer on Sunday with a final crab feast at Addie’s. Guests will settle on the outdoor patio for unlimited Maryland crabs, spit-roasted pig, smoked chicken, sides, and Dogfish Head brews. Tickets for the two seatings—noon to 2 and 3 to 5—are $55.

Fall fest: Celebrate the changing of the seasons on Sunday at 2941 during a harvest festival from 11 to 2:30. The lineup includes dishes like charcoal-grilled prime rib and freshly shucked oysters with an array of beer and wine. Tickets are $65, with free entry for children ten and under.