As summer comes to a close, New York is rife with beautiful fall foliage, sweater-weather concerts, and larger-than-life gatherings to celebrate the city's world of culinary offerings. From screenings of gastro-minded movies to an all-you-can-eat pork fest and a three-week oyster affair at our top seafood restaurants, sip and snack your way through these booze-and-food events in autumn.
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Food and drink festivals this fall
Go hog wild at this no-holds-barred bacchanal, where 25 meat-slinging heavyweights fry, roast and ’cue 30 pigs' worth of grub. With all-you-can-eat offerings like a Laotian ginger-spiced whole hog by Arrogant Swine chef Tyson Ho and luscious mounds of pulled pork by Matt Fisher of Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, you’ll be fighting to save room for the limitless pours of hops and hooch from High West, Van Brunt Stillhouse and Sixpoint Brewery in the festival’s first-ever craft whiskey tent. (We have faith in you.)
Get schooled (and buzzed) on bees’ golden elixir at this 10-event celebration, kicking off September 8 with a honey-and-fromage tasting by Murray’s Cheese and Red Bee Honey ($60). Throughout the week, there will be apiary tours, urban beekeeping discussions ($8) and a locavore dinner with Edgemere Farm complete with Rockaway-sourced nectar and pies from Whit’s End pizzeria. You’ll want to sort your priorities ahead of time—a beeswax lip balm workshop ($40) falls at the same time as a Patrón-sponsored supper with chef Cedric Tovar of Daniel ($110).
Sample more than 350 whiskies, bourbons and scotches, including Welsh, Canadian and Japanese varieties, at this 18th annual brown-spirits blowout. Taste top-shelf booze courtesy of Pappy Van Winkle, Duncan Taylor and Wemyss Malts, then hear from distilling luminaries like Dr. Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie and Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe. And you’re encouraged to eat at the gourmet buffet to counterbalance the gins, tequila, barrel-aged wines and Chinese baijiu firewater.
Heat-seeking capsaicin lovers won’t want to miss this fiery festival. Tour the pepper plants in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Herb Garden and ignite your palate with gratis tasting samples, including hot sauces, chili-infused chocolates (from the likes of Jomart Chocolates and Nunu Chocolates) and salsas from more than 40 local vendors. While you nibble, watch performances by NOLA funk and hip-hop outfit Stooges Brass Band, indie salsa band Bio Ritmo, the Afro-Brazilian Dendê Macêdo & Band and Dance China NY. If you want to experiment with the incendiary veggie on your own time, stop by the Chile Pepper Farm Stand, which will feature goods from local purveyors such as East New York Farms.
An area rich in history with more unique traditions than can be documented, the Lower East Side smiles back on the past today. In the heart of the old Pickle District, this Orchard Street fair features samples of the green delicacy from India to Haiti, from Malaysia to Brooklyn, and of course, those good old fashion kosher dills from the LES. Plus, in keeping with the spirit of Halloween, kids get their faces painted and compete in a costume contest.
This annual, three-week extravaganza features 15 bivalve-based tastings and soirees to immerse yourself in the journey those succulent slurpers take from dock to dish. The second annual Brooklyn Oyster Riot ($125) starts things off with 10 oyster farmers showcasing and live-shucking all-you-can-eat East and West Coasts shells from Cape May to Shigoku to Blue Point. Throughout the month, there will be oyster-topped Bloody Mary brunches, an evening cocktail cruise and a regatta benefitting the New York Harbor Foundation ($125), and an outdoor festival at Rockaway Beach ($20), offering four hours of limitless beer and bivalves as well live music from local Irish folk outfits (Lost Tribe of Donegal, the Narrowbacks).
You may not be able to fit into your Halloween costume next month, but it will certainly have been worth it. Spend four days feasting at tastings, classes and dining events all over the city with appearances by the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Giada De Laurentiis and Alain Ducasse, who take you into the future of food.
This immersive four-day feast shows more than 30 gastro-minded flicks alongside dishes featured onscreen, like Japanese noodles with short film Cocolo Ramen. Other showings include an Edible Films episode about Brooklyn Brewery head Garrett Oliver and the tragic diner doc Nothing with Something, and all compete for titles like Food Filmmaker of the Year and Best Food Porn. You can cast ballots for the flick that won your heart (and stomach), so eat wisely.
Bottoms up at this weekend-long brew fest, pouring unlimited tastings from nearly 75 breweries nationwide, including Dyckman Beer Co.’s Cafe con Leche Milk Stout, a chai-spiced cider from B. Nektar and Irish Yankee Beer’s Sunbird Red ale. Then soak up all that booze with baked empanadas (mac and cheese, beef) from Dos Toros Taqueria.