Food

Our Ultimate Guide to Fall Food Festivals Around DC

Block parties, gelato competitions, free-flowing beer, and more.

Sample food and drinks as the weather cools down at fall festivals like Brews Around the World. Photograph courtesy of Brews Around the World.

Brews Around the World: DC International Beer, Wine & Food Festival
When: Saturday, September 7
Where: The Bullpen (1201 Half St., SE)
Navy Yard is hosting the United Nations of wine and beer, with over 20 countries represented from Jamaica’s Red Stripe to India’s Taj Mahal. Wine fans can also travel abroad, sipping Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand and French rosé. Food trucks are available to pair with the free-flowing booze. $49-$69.

Calle Latina 
When: Saturday, September 7
Where: La Cosecha (1280 4th St., NE)
La Cosecha, the highly-anticipated Latin American marketplace opening near Union Market is throwing a huge block party and concert. The celebration features a musical lineup headlined by Grammy-winning band ​Ozomatli, dance performances, a pop-up market, face painting from Colombia-born local muralist MasPaz, chef demos, food and drinks from La Cosecha’s vendors, and a sneak peek inside the space. Free. 

Gelato Festival 
When: Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8
Where: City Market at O (800 P St., NW)
This all-you-can-eat festival skews sweet, with gelato prepared on-site daily in the traveling production laboratory. Get the scoop on the cold treat with demos and tutorials at “Gelato University.” Attendees can vote on their favorite flavors like sweet potato casserole and avocado dark chocolate stracciatella. $25-$30.

DC State Fair 
When: Sunday, September 8
Where: Gateway DC (2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE)
This annual event offers traditional fair fare—there are pie and produce competitions—along with events unique to this region. In the best mumbo sauce contest, contestants vie for ribbons for “most true to the original” or “best overall.” DC food trucks and institutions like Ben’s Chili Bowl will also represent the DistrictFree. 

Zoo Uncorked 
When: Thursday, September 12
Where: Smithsonian National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave., NW)
Lions and tigers and wine, oh my! The Great Cats exhibit will stay open late for this wine tasting, which means you can swish unlimited pours from almost 32 vintners while checking out the animals. $55-$115.

Brewers on the Block 
When: Saturday, September 14
Where: Union Market (1309 Fifth St., NE)
More than 30 local breweries are participating in this DC Beer Week event, which features bottomless brews from A (Atlas Brew Works) to V (Victory Brewing Company). The brewers are setting up shop at Suburbia, Union Market’s outdoor drinking garden. $55-$75.

Washingtonian Taste of Georgetown 
When: Sunday, September 22
Where: K St., NW between Wisconsin Ave. and Thomas Jefferson St., NW
Plant-based tacos and frosted cupcakes are some of the offerings at this celebration of Georgetown’s restaurants. Plus, you can watch attendees eat their way through food competitions —past challenges include a hands-free spaghetti eating contest. Price varies by number of taste tickets.

Taste of Bethesda 
When: Saturday, October 5th
Where: Woodmont Triangle (7700 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda)
This sampling of almost 40 Bethesda restaurants features options like samosas, spanakopita, and Shepherd’s pie. The kid-friendly festival will also have a children’s section with face painting and crafts. $5 for four taste tickets.

Snallygaster 
When: Saturday, October 12th
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., NE between 3rd and 6th Sts., NW
The massive annual beer carnival offers endless tastings from almost 150 breweries, including local favorites like Aslin and Bluejacket$50-$100.

Capital BrewFest
When: Saturday, October 19th
Where: The Bullpen (1201 Half St., SE)
Breweries debut their fall beers at this bottomless wine, beer, and cider event. A beer garden area showcases Bavarian suds as an ode to Oktoberfest.$19.95-$39. 

Food and Grooves
When: Saturday, October 26
Where: Dock5 at Union Market (1309 Fifth St., NE)
The team behind Broccoli City Festival are fusing food and music at this hybrid festival. Sample dishes from local spots like Philly Wing Fry and then hear its chef speak: the main event is a live recording for Questlove’s Supreme Podcast featuring a conversation with James Beard winner and memoirist Kwame Onwauchi. DJs and NPR Tiny Desk performers Tank and the Bangas will also take the stage. $49-$79. 

Oyster Riot
When: Saturday, October 26
Where: The Bullpen (1201 Half St., SE)
It’s the 25th anniversary of Old Ebbitt Grill’s annual oyster fest—now in a new location—and you can toast with boundless beer, wine, and oysters. Slurp more than 20 oyster varieties from both the east and west coast at two sessions—there’s an afternoon party and an evening fete. $99-$150.

Taste of DC 
When: Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27
Where: Audi Field (100 Potomac Ave., SW)
Restaurants and food trucks from across the District are serving up small bites at this festival’s “Restaurant Row.” Settle into the beer garden or catch a demonstration at the culinary stage. Beyond food, look for live music and a market. Price varies by number of taste tickets.

The Emporiyum Food Market
When: Friday, November 8, Saturday, November 9, and Saturday, November 10
Where: Dock5 at Union Market (1309 Fifth St., NE)
Get your holiday shopping done early at this pop-up marketplace, which brings together chefs and artistans. This year’s vendor line up includes Erik Bruner-Yang’s Spoken English, Italian-style distillery Don Ciccio & Figli, and local cheesemongers Firefly Farms$15-$80.

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Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Logan Circle.