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Bay Area Cook-Offs & Food Festivals

RandallW Jun 19, 2008 04:21 PM

So my wife and I are looking for some places to visit for great food during the summer (or the whole year). We've obviously encountered the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival, and also came across Palo Alto's Chili Cook-Off. Do SF Chowhounds have any other suggestions for fun community Cook-Offs and Festivals to visit? Hopefully this post can be a good depository of listings for people.


2008 Cook-Offs & Food Festivals

July 4th - Palo Alto Chili Cook Off, Mitchell Park, 12-5pm

July 25th-27th - Gilroy Garlic Festival

  1. f
    Food_Dude Jun 20, 2008 04:16 PM

    The Berkeley International Food Festival is coming up next week on Sunday June 29th. If last year is any indication, I remember snacks served streetside from all the little restauarants and food stores on this drab commercial strip around the coners of San Pablo and University Avenues. Kabobs, samosas, jerk chicken, tacos and a raft of other tidbits at low prices. Free stuff included a paella tasting at Spanish Table, the food demo stage with lots of samples and music at Freight and Salvage. It was crowded but fun.

    1. Robert Lauriston Jun 20, 2008 03:15 PM

      That's the Gilroy Parking and Budweiser festival. Basically the opposite of everything a chowhound is looking for.

      Same goes for the dreadful crawdad festival in Isleton.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        RWCFoodie Jun 20, 2008 05:59 PM

        Too true...

      2. p
        polish_girl Jun 20, 2008 02:52 PM

        AAA's Via Magazine has a monthly update on everything that's going on in the west.
        That's where I always find wonderful ideas for weekends-


        1. w
          weem Jun 20, 2008 12:07 AM

          Many good suggestions already. I've never been, but there's the Monterey Bay Strawberry Festival, in Watsonville.


          1. n
            Nancy Berry Jun 19, 2008 11:12 PM

            Brentwood Cornfest
            07/11 to 07/13 2008
            Second and Oak Street - Brentwood, CA

            Taylorsville Solar Cook-Off Craft Show
            07/12 to 07/12 2008
            Taylorsville Campgrounds - Taylorsville, CA

            Shake, Rattle and Smoke! BBQ Championships
            07/12 to 07/13 2008
            500 Second - San Juan Bautista, CA

            Mendocino Herb Fair
            07/26 to 07/26 2008
            45050 Little Lake Street - Mendocino, CA

            Fairfield Tomato Festival
            08/16 to 08/17 2008
            Texas Street Downtown - Fairfield, CA
            West Coast 5th Annual BBQ Championship
            The West Coast Barbeque joins the Tomato Festival again. The California BBQ Association will bring 30 cooking teams together for the BBQ cookoff at Jefferson and Texas Streets. Sampling booths available.

            Gravenstein Apple Fair
            08/09 to 08/10 2008
            Ragle Ranch Park - Sebastopol, CA

            Hayward Zucchini Festival
            08/16 to 08/17 2008
            Kennedy Park - Hayward, CA

            Corning Olive Festival
            08/22 to 08/23 2008
            Woodson City Park - Corning, CA

            Bodega Seafood, Art and Wine Festival
            08/23 to 08/24 2008
            Watts Ranch 16855 bodega Hwy - Bodega, CA

            Livermore Wine Harvest Festival
            08/31 to 09/03 2008
            Retzlaff Vineyards - Livermore, CA

            Kerman Harvest Festival
            09/11 to 09/14 2008
            Kerckhoff Park - Kerman, CA

            Great American Blues and Barbeque Festival
            09/13 to 09/13 2008
            Downtown - San Rafael, CA

            Tracy Dry Bean Festival
            09/13 to 09/14 2008
            Downtown - Tracy, CA

            Sacramento Rhythm and Ribs Festival
            09/19 to 09/21 2008
            Raley Field - Sacramento, CA

            Apple Smorgy Days
            09/19 to 11/09 2008
            El Dorado Orchards - Camino, CA

            49er Festival and Chili Cook-off
            09/20 to 09/20 2008
            Mary Laveroni Park - Groveland, CA

            Crayfish and Jazz Festival
            09/20 to 09/20 2008
            Downtown - Kingsburg, CA

            Oroville Salmon Festival
            09/22 to 09/22 2008
            Feather River Nature Center - Oroville, CA

            Taste of Morgan Hill
            09/27 to 09/28 2008
            Downtown - Morgan Hill, CA

            Clayton Oktoberfest
            09/27 to 09/28 2008
            Main & Marsh Creek Road - Clayton, CA

            Draft horse classic and Dutch Oven Cookoff
            September 21, 2008: Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, California

            Russian River Beer Revival & BBQ Cookoff
            Date: Saturday - August 16th 2008
            Time: Gate Opens at Noon - Beer Tasting from 1 - 5 p.m
            Address: 15045 River Road
            City: Guerneville

            Fortuna Apple Harvest Festival and Dutch Oven Cook-Off
            October 4, 2008
            Rohner Park
            Fortuna, California

            Fairfield Candy Festival
            Saturday, October 11, 2008
            10am to 5pm

            Loomis Eggplant Festival
            October 4th, 2008
            WHERE: Loomis Station Plaza- Taylor Road between Horseshoe Bar Road and Webb Street.
            TIME 10am -5pm

            The San Rafael Food & Wine Festival
            Saturday, August 16, 2008
            Falkirk Cultural Center
            and on Mission Street E to D Streets
            San Rafael, CA
            11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

            The 13th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival
            Saturday & Sunday, September 6 & 7, 2008
            Ghirardelli Square and on Beach Street
            between Larkin & Polk Streets
            San Francisco, CA
            12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM

            The 6th Annual
            North Berkeley Spice of Life Festival
            Sunday, October 19, 2008
            10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
            North Shattuck Avenue ~ Virginia to Rose
            Berkeley, CA

            California Mid-State Fair Olive Oil Competition July 25 - Aug 3, 2008 San Luis Obispo county, Paso Robles.

            Paso Robles Olive Festival Saturday Aug 23rd 10am-3pm City Park, Paso Robles, California Olive Tasting, Cuisine, Entertainment, Art and Family Fun!

            11th Annual
            Arts & Olive Festival
            October 5, 2008
            10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
            Cañada College
            4200 Farm Hill Blvd.
            Redwood City, CA

            Slow Food Nation
            Aug 29-Sept 1, 2008
            San Francisco, California

            24th Annual Pittsburg Seafood Festival at the Marina in Old Town Pittsburg.
            Saturday, September 6, 2008: 10 AM to 7 PM
            Sunday, September 7, 2008: 10 AM to 6 PM

            1. Xiao Yang Jun 19, 2008 10:14 PM

              Sorry, but you just missed the Isleton Crawdad Festival.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Xiao Yang
                RWCFoodie Jun 20, 2008 05:59 PM

                No great loss IMHO... we went a couple of years ago and enjoyed it - a couple of different stages with lots of Zydeco. This year it seemed more about the arcade rides and lots of food stands (mostly forgettable). "Music" was primarily rock and roll - lots of Hell's Angels.

                Crawdads were $20 for a standard dinner size styrofoam take-out container, not heaped full either. Tasted a sample and decided that it was just not happening this year. Maybe I'm just getting too old to appreciate these things anymore...

              2. rworange Jun 19, 2008 09:48 PM

                Here are a few others reported over the years ...

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