Are you a secret foodie at heart? Or maybe you’re very much proud of your food knowledge and love for new and exciting eats and can’t wait to shout it from the tasting tables at the next food festival. Regardless of your level of love for all things food, Georgia really kicks good eats up a notch with their wide assortment of food festivals each and every year. While some may be newer on the scene, other food festivals in Georgia have been around for more than a century. Take a look at some of the best out there and start planning your festival calendar today:
1. Shrimp & Grits Festival, Jekyll Island
If you don't already know the love Georgians have for shrimp and grits, one stop at this food festival in Jekyll Island will change your mind forever. This Southern staple is on display, as culinary geniuses from around the country offer up their own renditions in one of the fiercest cooking competitions in the south.
2. Vidalia Onion Festival, Vidalia
Did you know that sweet Vidalia onions only grow in a 20-county region in South Georgia? This is why the Vidalia Onion Festival is so important every year. The fest honors the April harvest, and features not only a professional chef competition, but also boasts an onion eating contest. Yikes!
3. North Georgia Highlands Seafood Festival, Downtown Young Harris
Normally, this fabulously fresh festival takes place the first weekend in June every year. Not only can you listen to live music and check out some of the great arts and crafts for sale, but the seafood at this festival is truly spectacular. It's refreshingly welcome on a hot, summer day.
4. Oktoberfest, Alpine
Everyone loves a good Oktoberfest, especially in a place like Alpine, Georgia. This annual fall extravaganza has people coming out in droves, sipping on some carefully crafted beer, and chowing down on some delicious German favorites.
5. Athens Wine Weekend, Athens
This annual food festival is a staple in Athens, Georgia. Not only does it bring some of the best food and wine afficianados to the state, but it aslo boasts an amazing Sunday Brunch, tons of informative food seminars, and an ultimate Grand Tasting event.
6. Taste of Alpharetta, Alpharetta
Foodies, families and festival connoisseurs gather together every year for the Taste of Alpharetta. There are culinary competitions, live music, and more than 50 of Alpharetta's best restaurants showcasing what dishes they can bring to the table. Literally.
7. Georgia Apple Festival, Ellijay
There's nothing like snapping into a crisp, fresh apple picked right from the tree. At the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay, more than 300 vendors gather together to sell their crafts, cars, and of course their homemade chow. It's doesn't have to be only about apples to be a great time.
8. Savannah Food & Wine Festival, Savannah
Perhaps a fancier affair for most, the annual Savannah Food & Wine Festival takes place every year in November, bringing in some of culinary's greatest chefs to offer demonstrations, as well as offer new and enticing dishes. It doesn't matter if you're a connoisseur of food or not, you'll enjoy this yearly favorite.
9. Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival, Kennesaw
It's time to slather anything and everything in some sweet, tangy BBQ sauce. At the Pigs & Peaches BBQ festival in Kennesaw, some of the greatest smoked meats, and sweetest peach desserts you've ever had will be showcased for any and all to try.
10. Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Atlanta
What's interesting about the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is that they are the only culinary weekend in the entire country that is exclusively focused on the south. This means that more than 200 chefs all make their way to Georgia to try their hand on some old Southern classics, mixing it with some new south flair.
11. Three Rivers BBQ Fest, Hazlehurst
As you already know, Georgians love their BBQ, which is why the Three Rivers BBQ fest in Hazlehurst is such a hit. The festival is a professional BBQ competition, held the first weekend in May on the banks of the Altamaha River. Chow down on some sweet or spicy sauce, and see who wins the best BBQer in town.
12. The Great Miller Lite Chili Cook-Off, Conyers
This is the premier chili cook-off east of Texas. It draws more than 250 teams across the country to compete in the ultimate chili throwdown. Last year more than 10,000 people showed up to try the delicious chili creations. How many do you think this year will draw?
How about them apples in Ellijay? Have you been to any of the festivals listed above? We’d love to hear about your experience! (And of course, about everything you chowed down on.)