With its farm fresh produce and world class dining, Northern California is a foodie’s delight! Whether your taste buds run on the sweet side or you crave something savory, there are dozens of food festivals in Northern California to temp your taste buds all year round.
1. Mountain Mandarin Festival, Auburn
Held every year just before Thanksgiving, the Mountain Mandarin Festival celebrates the surprisingly delicious citrus fruit of Placer County. Not only do visitors sample and shop for fresh fruit, they can also take home Mandarin BBQ sauces, syrups, olive oils, dressings and dozens of other Mandarin inspired concoctions.
2. Farm to Fork Festival, Sacramento
Did you know that Sacramento is known as the "farm to fork capital of America?" Every year the local farmers and chefs of the entire region of Northern California come together in our state's capital to celebrate the unique foodie culture of this area with food, wine and beer from regional eateries and purveyors, as well as live music, live cooking demonstration stages, a kids’ zone, interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches and more!
3 Chocolate Fest, Paradise
Calling all Northern Californians with a sweet tooth! This delicious event in Butte County gives back to local youth and is "‘choc-full’ of events, activities, contests and fun!"
4. World Championship Abalone Cook-Off and Festival, Fort Bragg
Even amateur judges can weigh in on taste, texture and tenderness of this Northern California seafood. Other exciting things to enjoy at this event are the live music and good beer, including North Coast Brewing Company.
5. "Mardi-Craw" Crawdad Festival, Red Bluff
All proceeds from this fun, spring celebration benefit the Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber of Commerce. Come ready to enjoy a good party, Cajun food, craft beer, and live music, but make sure you arrive with an empty belly, it's all you can eat at this Crawdad Festival.
6. Eggplant Festival, Loomis
This event is truly a community celebration! Not only does it bring together local chefs and produce, there is fun for the whole family with face painting, princesses on parade, a scavenger hunt, and more!
7. Crab, Beer and Wine Fest, Mendocino County
Not only are the people friendly and fun to be around, the delectable main course is incredible! Savor the all-you-can-eat crab feeds, winemaker's dinners, wine competitions, crab cruises, cooking classes, family-style cioppino feeds and crab cake cook off and lots of seafood!
8. California Nut Festival, Chico
2016 was the 10th anniversary of this summer festival, which celebrates locally sourced almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios as well as the farming traditions of Butte County.
9. Oroville Salmon Festival, Oroville
Sample fresh caught salmon while learning about the environment, listening to music, touring of the hatchery and more at this unique festival! There's not a lot of places in Northern California where you can still see wild spawning salmon that annually make their way from the ocean back up the Feather River, but this September festival is one of those rare occasions.
10. Beer & Chili Festival, Sacramento
There's nothing as satisfying as a filling bowl of chili, except for maybe a delicious craft beer! You can enjoy the two of these amazing things paired together at this April festival, which is a fundraiser for the Sacramento Artists Council.
11. Oyster Festival, Arcata
Ever summer, seafood enthusiasts flock to Arcata, for the annual oyster festival. Attendees enjoy impeccable shellfish and other food as well as local beer, wine and dancing.
There’s no other place in the world like Northern California when it comes to fun, fresh, and fine dining, and luckily there’s plenty of fun festivals here that celebrate the best of the best when it comes to food. What is your favorite food festival in the region?