As a self-proclaimed foodie who has always been interested in food (I even wrote my senior thesis about food trucks), moving to New York City, a cultural mecca of food, has nothing but heightened my passion for the world of gastronomy. Whether you want to travel as far down south as the subway will take you to Coney Island or stay as close to Manhattan as possible, here are my suggestions for top annual food and beer events in the city that will surely tempt your appetite.
Bacon & Beer Classic
The Three Bs--Bacon, Beer, and Baseball--go hand-in-hand at this all-inclusive event at Citi Field in Queens, where you can sample hundreds of craft beer while noshing on bacon-inspired snacks from local restaurants. As if live music, stadium tours, and educational classes are not enough to entertain you, the event will transform the stadium into a giant playground with interactive games like bungee run, batting cages, and dunk tank. This year's event--to be held on Saturday, July 26--includes Brunch Session from 12 to 3pm and Evening Session from 7 to 10pm.
Brooklyn Night Bazaar
Every Friday and Saturday nights, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar returns to bring together independent vendors, musicians, chefs, and artists. At this free pop-up market, you can purchase food items, shop for accessories, and listen to live music. To embark on the ultimate foodie adventure, consider buying a taste pass, which will grant you a sample from five vendors, a drink ticket, and expedited entry into the warehouse.
Beer is the new wine at this annual beer and food pairing event. Do salty pretzels smeared in mustard go well with summer pale ale? Or should you try it with something more savory like BBQ pork sliders? Perhaps the right answer is to pair beer with beer-infused treats! Try them all at Good Beer, to be held at 82Mercer on Thursday, July 31.
Taste of Tennis
The U.S. Open, one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, returns to New York every year, but I bet most people do not know about this food event that kicks off the championship. The world's best tennis players and the city's top chefs showcase their culinary skills, where you can enjoy delicious food, themed lounges, signature cocktails, and live music while rubbing elbows with these celebrities. Serena Williams will host this year's event at the W New York on Thursday, Aug. 21.
Red Hook's Erie Basin Park will be appropriately renamed Pig Island on Saturday, Sept. 6 for this 5th annual event. Pack your blankets and sunscreen, hop on the complimentary NY Water Taxi, and get ready to pig out on all the beers, ciders, and foods you can, while watching cooking demonstrations and listening to music provided by live bands.
Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint
North Brooklyn's best restaurants and eateries will gather for an outdoor celebration of good food, good company, and good cause at this year's Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint. Indulge on a sweet treat from Brooklyn Cupcake or a glass of wine from the Natural Wine Company, while basking in the amazing views of the Manhattan skyline. Proceeds from the event, which takes place on Sunday, Sept. 7, benefit the building of the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center. A $25 advanced purchase ticket will get you four food and two drink tastes, or you can double the quantity with a $45 ticket.
Food trucks rolled their ways into the city and won the hearts of many busy New Yorkers in the mid-2000s. The Vendy Awards celebrates this unique cultural phenomenon by crowning the best food trucks and street vendors. At this year's 10th year celebration on Saturday, Sept. 13, you can expect an intense cook-off among the most popular sidewalks chefs, enjoy food and drink samples like vegan sandwiches and lobster rolls, and watch the best street vendor walk away with the Vendy Cup.
Hammer & Claws
Hundreds and thousands of Maryland blue crabs will crawl their way into the Tunnel at Chelsea in Manhattan on Saturday, Sept. 27 for the fourth annual Hammer & Claws Blue Crab Feast. Strap on those bibs and get the hammers ready for this all-you-can-eat event where you can indulge on steamed Maryland blue crab along with cornbread, potato chips, corn-on-the-cob, and Abita beers.
New York City Wine & Food Festival
What began as a one-night event in the fall of 2007 has expanded to a four-day long festival as the Food Network NYC Food & Wine Festival, presented by Food & Wine, welcomes its seventh anniversary event on Oct. 16-19. From intimate themed-dinners to walk-around tastings to educational seminars, this food galore celebration brings together legendary culinary icons from around the globe and America's most beloved television chefs for a weekend of eating, dining, and socializing. All proceeds from the festival go directly to hunger-relief programs like Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and Food Bank For New York City.
Catch these annual events when they return next year!
Coney Island on Tap
Held at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, this beer event showcases over one hundred releases from sixty craft breweries around the country. In addition to sampling beers and snacking on classic baseball stadium foods, including the Nathan's Famous hot dog, you can also enjoy the lively atmosphere filled with live music and an amazing view of the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Taste the World: Botanical Brew Fest
A grassy area at the Queens Botanical Garden, an urban oasis, transforms into a site for beer tasting featuring a wide selection of local and internal breweries, as well as ongoing home brewing demonstrations. At this authentic "beer garden," a local DJ sets the mood with tunes from the past while food trucks offer sweet and savory treats from around the world.
The name says it all: Foodie Ball, a fundraiser event for ACE New York, features an open bar with signature cocktails and tasty bites from an assortment of food vendors and restaurants atop a rooftop in the Meatpacking District overlooking the High Line. Proceeds from the event go to ACE New York, a non-profit that supports homeless New Yorkers find full-time employment. What's better than eating and drinking for a good cause?
Celebrate Flatiron Chefs
Madison Square Park at the heart of Manhattan serves as a venue for this annual outdoor tasting event featuring gourmet bites and drinks from top restaurants and chefs from the Flatiron district. Attendees have the opportunity to interact with these esteemed chefs as they dish up the indulgent, flavorful small plates and signature cocktails right in front of their eyes.