Your Guide to Fall Food and Drink Festivals Happening Around DC

Sample hundreds of craft beers, slurp oysters, and taste tacos at these area events.

The two-day festival at the National Harbor boasts more than 20 taco trucks and taquerias. Photograph courtesy of Taco Beer Tequila Festival.

Chocolate City’s Best Cocktail Competition
3911 Georgia Ave., NW
Now in its fourth installment, the cocktail competition features 10 bartenders from around the country and is designed to enhance the careers of people of color in the food and beverage industry. Competition-goers can look forward to all-you-can-drink cocktails and dance jams spun by Dj Lalee. Tickets start at $15, and the event runs from 4 to 8 PM.

Mount Vernon Fall Festivals
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon
George Washington’s estate has a ton of seasonal events lined up, including a fall wine festival and a whiskey tasting. Bring a blanket and sip samples from 18 Virginia wineries during the wine festival, which runs Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10. Tickets start at $53. During the same weekend, choose three of Mount Vernon’s whiskeys to taste, which were made using 18th-century distilling methods. The whiskey tasting is on Saturday, October 9, and tickets are $60.

Pennsylvania Ave NW between 3rd & 6th streets
This huge outdoor festival in downtown DC features more than 200 breweries, 20 food trucks, and two stages for live music. With more than 450 small batch and craft beers available, there’s plenty to taste. Each $60 ticket gets you unlimited tastings and a commemorative glass, and children under 12 can attend for free. Snallygaster is on Saturday, October 9 from 2 to 6 PM.

Oyster Wars
1401 Okie St., NE
The annual local oyster fest usually takes over the Salt Line, but is moving this year to Ivy City brewery Other Half Brewing on Sunday, October 10. In addition to tons of fresh bivalves the kitchen will dish up lobster rolls and more fare from The Salt Line and Dauphine’s, plus a huge lineup of beers and guest kegs. Admission is free, and it runs from noon to 5 PM. More into lobster? Head to Other Half on Friday, October 8 for an afternoon of rolls from Portland, Maine’s High Roller Lobster Company and guest beers, including pours from Tripping Animals, Human Robot, Ocelot, and more.  This family-friendly event starts at 4 PM and is free to the public.

Indie Chefs returns (photo from a past event). Photograph courtesy of Indie Chefs Community

DC Chefs Week
2468 Champlain St., NW
More than 20 chefs from the Indie Chefs Community will collaborate on three multi-course dinners across three nights at The Line Hotel. Billed as an “anti-food festival,” the goal of DC Chefs Week is to create more equity in the industry, champion social justice, and put more focus on furthering the hospitality industry. Two dinners will be held on Thursday, October 14, and one on Saturday, October 16. The lineup of chefs is impressive—in addition to a bunch of local talents, chefs from New York, San Diego, Asheville, and beyond are participating. Tickets start at $225 per person.

Rock the Core Cider Fest
3400 Georgia Ave., NW
This Hook Hall event is perfect for cider and beer fanatics. More than 50 ciders and craft beers will be available, along with a bunch of food trucks to satisfy your cravings. A $25 general admission ticket gets you two hours of unlimited tastings, and the $75 “cider lovers package” earns ticket holders early admission, a curated 12-pack of fall ciders to-go, and unlimited samplings. Sip your cider from 7 to 9 PM on Friday, October 15, from 2 to 4 PM on Saturday, October 16, or from 2 to 4 PM on Saturday, November 13.

Taco, Beer, and Tequila Festival
802 National Harbor Blvd., National Harbor
This two-day waterfront festival boasts more than 20 taco trucks and taquerias, eight margarita bars, and a “guacamole pavilion.” Held on Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17, you must be 21 to enter, and tickets start at $39. The festival is open from noon to 5 PM.

2700 S. Quincy St., Arlington
The Village of Shirlington’s beer and oyster festival is now in its fourth year. Head out on Saturday, October 23 for craft beer, oysters, and local food vendors. The family-friendly event has a sectioned off kid zone with face painting, balloon artists, games, and more. Attendance is free, but you need a $40 wristband for tastings.

Maryland Beer, Wine, & Spirits Festival
501 Perry Pkwy., Gaithersburg
Stroll around the Montgomery County Fairgrounds while sampling local beers, wines, ciders, meads, and more. Festival-goers can snack on bites from food vendors, shop artisans, and listen to live music. VIP passes are $60, and general admission tickets are $45. The festival is from noon to 4 PM on Saturday, October 30.

DC Beer Fest
1500 S. Capitol St., SE
Nationals Park will transform into the ultimate craft beer festival on Saturday, November 6 with tastes from more than 70 breweries, 12 food trucks, lawn games, and a DJ. There are two tiers of tickets: $50 general admission and $90 VIP status, which includes access to the dugout and a commemorative glass. The festival runs from noon to 8 PM.

REDEYE Night Market
Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 3rd through 7th streets
The inaugural night market from Peter Chang of DC’s No Kings Collective and creative agency Events DC will turn four blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue into an open-air market inspired by those in East and Southeast Asia. More than 50 local vendors will serve a variety of food and drinks, including Filipino pastries, Taiwanese shaved ice, and Korean fried chicken. You can also shop from small businesses and listen to live music. All are meant to be a celebration of the DC area’s AAPI community. The family-friendly event is free to attend, and it runs from 4 to 11 PM on Saturday, November 6.