Updated September 9, 2021 - 12:56 pm
As fall approaches and the temperatures ease, the notion of dining and drinking al fresco becomes more palatable — perhaps even exciting.
Thankfully, upcoming local food festivals will serve up a range of cultural cuisine, locally made brews and reliable festival fare, often alongside live entertainment or carnival rides.
These eight food-centric events coming to the Las Vegas Valley this fall will delight those who share a love of food and shine a spotlight on the chefs and restaurateurs who make it.
Greek Food Festival
Since 1973, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church has hosted the Las Vegas Greek Food Festival. The 48th annual event will feature live music, tours of the Byzantine church, traditional Greek dance, a market, a 26.2-mile relay race and several booths where visitors can sample traditional Greek cuisine. Festival chefs will prepare more than 40 dishes and beverages to transport festivalgoers to Greece for the weekend.
Festival fare includes flaky spanakopita filled with creamy spinach, spiced gyro meat served on toasted pita with tzatziki sauce, fluffy loukoumades pastry topped with cinnamon sugar, and sweet and sticky baklava.
Guests are encouraged to be fully vaccinated or wear a mask at the outdoor festival.
■ St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 5300 El Camino Road
■ 3-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday
■ $8 per day; $15 for three days
Great American Foodie Fest
This weekend food festival showcases some of the nation’s best food trucks and specialty foods alongside rides and live entertainment. In addition to dozens of pop-ups, the fest will have a beer garden, eating contests and celebrity food trucks. Prices for food vary by vendor.
If history is any indication, festivalgoers will be able to find sushi burritos, shrimp skewers, funnel cakes, beef jerky, barbecue, pizza and burgers.
Social distancing is encouraged.
■ Galleria at Sunset, 1300 W. Sunset Road
■ 5-11 p.m., Sept. 24; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sept. 25; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sept. 26
■ $7 in advance, $10 at the gate
Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival
Chefs including Beard award winners Katsuya Uechi, Todd English and Francois Payard will participate in the Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival over two nights at Tivoli Village. The 12th annual event will feature a selection of elegant fare from more than 40 locally renowned chefs. Tickets include all food, wines, beers and spirits. Some chefs will offer live culinary demonstrations.
■ Tivoli Village, 400 S. Rampart Blvd.
■ 8-11:50 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9
Black Las Vegas Food Festival & Block Party
The Black Las Vegas Food Festival & Block Party began in 2017 as a way to include Black food vendors and retail owners in a local fest. The yearly event aims to celebrate Black culture with the greater Las Vegas community while showcasing Black talent and small-business owners. The three-day block party combines some 25 dining options, including barbecue, African, Caribbean and New Orleans-style cuisine and festival fare along with live performances of music, spoken word and fashion. Nightly parties at the Artisan Hotel and daily events to inspire discussion and growth are also scheduled for the 20,000 expected guests.
On Friday, visitors are invited to join more than 3,200 people and DJ Casper, the creator of the “Cha Cha Slide,” in an attempt to break the Guinness world record for the largest number of people performing the dance.
COVID testing and vaccination tents will be on site. Masks are required.
■ Arts District at Main and Colorado streets.
■ 10 a.m.-midnight Oct. 15-17
■ Free; $60 for VIP; parties and events vary
What started in 2018 as local chefs’ answer to the star-studded Uncork’d on the Strip has evolved into a sizable annual foodie festival in its own right. More than two dozen notable local chefs will present one-night-only dishes and beverages alongside local musicians, art and more. The independent, not-for-profit event focuses on promoting local culinary talent, with net proceeds going to underserved valley charities.
Chef Brian Howard of Sparrow + Wolf, Gina Marinelli of La Strega, Khai Vu of District One, James Trees of Esther’s Kitchen, and John Arena of Metro Pizza are among the chefs who will create special dishes for the event.
Proof of vaccination will be required by all attendees and participants.
■ Arts District
■ 8 p.m.-midnight
Water Street Oktoberfest Beer Festival
The Southern Nevada Brewers Guild is presenting the first Water Street Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest-themed event in downtown Henderson showcases Nevada-based brewers, brewery owners and brewery employees. Along with live music, giveaways and food trucks, more than 60 Nevada-based beers will be on tap — participating breweries include Big Dog’s, Bad Beat Brewing, Gordon Biersch, HUDL, Lovelady and Mojave Brewing.
■ 240 S. Water St., Henderson
■ 5-9 p.m.
■ $40; $88 for VIP entry and afterparty
Downtown Brew Festival
The annual Downtown Brew Festival is returning with craft beer and music under the stars. The backyard-style fest will serve at least 200 beers from more than 60 breweries, including local spots such as Tenaya Creek Brewery, Crafthaus Brewery, Big Dog’s Brewing Company and The Silver Stamp as well as brews from nonlocal favorites.
In addition to beer, the festival will be home to several food pop-ups from such downtown eateries as Tacotarian and Eureka. VIP admission will include limited-release brews and beer-inspired dishes crafted by Las Vegas chefs.
■ Clark County Amphitheater, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway
■ 5-9 p.m.
■ $45; $100 for VIP
The Great Las Vegas Taco Festival
The Great Las Vegas Taco Festival and 360 Car Show will return with 25 of the valley’s best taco shops and taco trucks. During the three-day fest, attendees can enjoy a Lucha Libre throwdown, Chihuahua beauty contest, local craft vendors, carnival rides, michelada bars, margarita bars, lots of guacamole and a taco and pepper eating contest. In addition to tacos, foodies can indulge in churros, ice cream “taquitos” and sushi burritos.
The event kicks off Friday night with a Dia de los Muertos celebration and costume contest.
■ Craig Ranch Park, 628 W. Craig Road
■ 5-11 p.m., Nov. 5; noon-10 p.m., Nov. 6; noon-7 p.m., Nov. 7