It's time to take a bite out of summer. After all, August heralds the start of some of the best food festivals across the globe, giving you the perfect excuse to escape your hometown and chow down on some first-class cuisine.
We here at Oyster have the scoop on August's yummiest of the yum -- and the best hotels at which to continue your foodie love affair, of course.
So loosen that belt buckle, it's chow time.
-- Kristina Fazzalaro, Oyster.com
<strong>The Chew:</strong> San Francisco’s culinary “who’s who” strut their stuff at this annual festival, which takes place July 30th through August 5th. Throughout the event, four grand tastings will allow you to experience all that the Bay Area’s restaurants have to offer, including handcrafted cocktails and scrumptious dishes from a wide array of cuisines. <strong>The Bed:</strong> Old-world grandeur is alive and well at the Huntington Hotel, one of San Francisco’s best boutiques. The hotel’s Big 4 Restaurant provides a swanky continuation of the foodie fun you’ll experience during your trip. <a href="http://www.oyster.com/san-francisco/hotels/the-huntington-hotel/" target="_hplink"><strong>See more photos of the Huntington Hotel</strong></a>
<strong>The Chew:</strong> A two-month-long restaurant week in “the city where the heat is on,” this festival puts the mouth-watering cuisine of Miami in the spotlight, beginning August 1st. Over 80 restaurants are participating by building three-course lunch and dinner menus that feature their signature dishes for reduced rates. <strong>The Bed:</strong> The stunning Kelly Wearstler-designed Viceroy Miami is the perfect place to regroup after a night of indulging in all that Miami’s chefs have to offer. The hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, Eos, will also be participating in Miami Spice. <a href="http://www.oyster.com/miami/hotels/viceroy-miami/" target="_hplink"> <strong>See more photos of the Viceroy Miami</strong></a>
<strong>The Chew:</strong> 20,000 pounds of fresh lobster are eaten each year at this crustacean celebration: Now that’s a lot of lobstah! Taking place August 1st through 3rd in Rockland, the festival features vendors from across the state serving up lobster partnered with delicious sides, such as buttery rolls, local corn on the cob, steamed clams, crab cakes, and fried shrimp, haddock, and calamari. <strong>The Bed:</strong> The intimate James Place Inn in Freeport is about an hour’s drive from the festival, but each of those 60 minutes is worth it for a stay at this family-run spot. The inn is peaceful and polished, and features a free homemade breakfast – the perfect way to prep your stomach before making the drive to Rockland. <strong><a href="http://www.oyster.com/maine/hotels/james-place-inn/" target="_hplink">See more photos of the James Place Inn</a></strong>
<strong>The Chew:</strong> The entertainment capital of the world will play host to celebrity chefs and internationally-acclaimed wine-makers, August 9th through 12th. City-wide events – such as Giada De Laurentiis’ Festa Italiana, an Asian Night Market, countless cooking demonstrations and chef meet-and-greets, and a pairing event entitled “Swine & Wine: The Marriage of Pigs & Pinot” – will take place over the weekend. <strong>The Bed:</strong> A known celebrity hangout, Shutters on the Beach is the definition of opulence. Expensive artwork, luxe features, and an oceanfront location are just the basics here. With two stellar restaurants on-site, One Pico and Coast, visitors to Food & Wine will be able to compare the hotel’s offerings with the multitudes they sample throughout the day. <strong> <a href="http://www.oyster.com/los-angeles/hotels/shutters-on-the-beach/" target="_hplink">See more photos of Shutters on the Beach</a></strong>
<strong>The Chew:</strong> Alright, we were skeptical about this one at first too, but don’t write it off your list just yet. Every year over Labor Day Weekend, Morgan City, the heart of Cajun Country, opens its doors to tens of thousands of visitors to celebrate Louisiana’s oldest chartered harvest festival. This festival serves up home-style Cajun cooking, such as spicy jambalaya, fried alligator, and shrimp cooked eight ways from Sunday. <strong>The Bed:</strong> An hour outside of NOLA, Morgan City offers some decent accommodations, but visitors may opt to stay in the capital for entertainment that doesn’t consist solely of shellfish and fuel oil (just kidding, Morgan City, we love y’all). Our pick is the International House Hotel where trendsetters and celebs have been known to stay due to its quietly sexy vibe, attentive staff, posh rooms, and tasty restaurant. <strong><a href="http://www.oyster.com/new-orleans/hotels/international-house-hotel/" target="_hplink">See more photos of the International House Hotel</a></strong>
<strong>The Chew:</strong> More gulp than chew, this festival is for the beer aficionados of the world. Over 66,000 people will flock to this massive celebration August 7th through 11th, which features over 800 ales, ciders, and foreign beers. Tastings, traditional pub games, live music, and small plates will also be featured. <strong>The Bed:</strong> The pricey and prestigious Duke’s Hotel is a 90-room boutique with a slew of special amenities, such as a cognac and cider garden, a drawing room where traditional afternoon tea is served, and the famous Duke’s Bar, where James Bond creator Ian Fleming originated the character’s “Shaken, not stirred” line. The hotel’s restaurant, Thirty Six, provides not so much a meal as a gastronomic experience of modern English cuisine from Michelin-starred chef Nigel Mendham. <strong><a href="http://www.oyster.com/london/hotels/dukes-hotel/" target="_hplink">See more photos of Dukes Hotel</a></strong>
<strong>The Chew:</strong> Does a one-mile long beer garden sound appealing to you, too? How about 2,000 different kinds of beer from over 300 breweries? Yup, you’re not the only one. Over one million people attend the German capital’s infamous annual festival, this year taking place August 3rd through 5th. <strong>The Bed:</strong> The convenient location, luxe amenities, and Michelin-starred restaurant at the InterContinental Berlin make it the perfect pit stop for festival-goers. Hugo’s French-Mediterranean fare from chef Thomas Kammeier serves up yummy treats so you can get a good base in your stomach before heading off to the ultimate biergarten. <strong><a href="http://www.oyster.com/berlin/hotels/intercontinental-berlin/" target="_hplink">See more photos of the InterContinental Berlin</a></strong>
<strong>The Chew:</strong> Hong Kong claims to be the city of food, and from August 16th through 20th, that title will be put to the test. Hosting over 900 of the city’s most daring chefs, this expo guarantees that visitors will be able to feast on a wide variety of dim sum treats and delicacies at the Gourmet Zone. <strong>The Bed:</strong> Hong Kong is not short on luxurious hotels, but our choice this time around is The Excelsior Hong Kong. Owned by the Mandarin Oriental brand, this luxury hotel has a fabulous location overlooking the harbor – the views of which can be best seen from one of its upscale restaurant, ToTT’s. Located on the 34th floor, ToTT’s offers both indoor and outdoor dining, a playful design, and hip cocktails. <strong><a href="http://www.oyster.com/hong-kong/hotels/the-excelsior-hong-kong/" target="_hplink">See more photos of the Excelsior Hong Kong</a></strong>
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