Cincinnati is home to an eclectic culinary scene, with multiple festivals throughout the summer dedicated to celebrating specific ingredients, cuisines and cultures. Go Greek for the day or gorge on goetta at these 15 area food festivals. Visit each event’s website for hours and full details.
Taste of Cincinnati
Launched in 1979, this giant food festival celebrates the edible bounty of the Queen City. The fest takes over downtown with 36 restaurants and 18 food trucks offering more than 300 different menu items. There will also be beer and live music. May 28-30. Free admission. Fifth Street, Downtown, tasteofcincinnati.com.
The fourth-annual Cincy VegFest features vendors, performances, presentations and exhibitions celebrating all things vegan, including food demonstrations from local plant-based chefs. June 4. Free admission. Burnet Woods bandstand, 3251 Brookline Ave., Corryville, heart.com/cincy-vegfest.
The Taste of Lebanon Mediterranean Food Festival
St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church hosts this event featuring a wealth of authentic Middle Eastern fare, cooked by parishioners. Sample everything from fried kibbee and tabouli to spinach pies and mamoul cookies. June 5. Free admission. St. Anthony of Padua, 2530 Victory Parkway, Walnut Hills, thetasteoflebanon.com.
Celebrate local Italian heritage with authentic eats, live music and history displays. There will be meatballs on a stick, cannoli and “Italian” fries. June 9-12. Free admission. Riverboat Row, Newport, italianfestnewport.com.
Dance, drink and dine like you’re in Santorini. The Panegyri festival is back in person with the same Greek pizza, baklava sundaes and Greek wines it is famous for, plus midway rides, cultural displays and tons of live music. June 24-26. $3; free for 12 and under. Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 7000 Winton Road, Finneytown, panegyri.com.
Rockin’ Taco Festival
This fest promises “a splash of Latino culture on the banks of the Ohio River” and lots of tacos. June 24-26. Free admission. Covington Plaza, 144 Madison Ave., Covington, cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com.
Do you love the briny goodness of a pickle? Well, a suburb of Dayton is hosting a whole day of celebration devoted to the crunchy snack with pickle-focused foods, pickleback drinks (Fireball and pickle juice) and a beer garden June 25. Free admission. Austin Landing, Miamisburg, facebook.com.
Taps, Tastes & Tunes
This fest features local and national brews, live music, fireworks and tons of food. Snack on everything from tacos and craft burgers to pulled pork and chip wheelies. July 1-3. Free admission. Voice of America Museum, 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester, cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com.
Cincinnati Celtic Festival
Experience the luck of the Irish (and the Scottish and the Welsh and the Britons…) at this fest. There will be a whisky tent, live Celtic music, a haggis toss and tons of food ranging from shepherd’s pie to bangers and mash and even green cotton candy. Get a full Irish breakfast after Sunday mass. July 8-10. Free admission. East Freedom Way, The Banks, cincycelticfest.com.
Bacon, Bourbon and Brew
Hosted by Braxton Brewing, every menu item at this fest has to incorporate bacon, bourbon or beer. July 14-17. Free admission. Festival Park, Newport, cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com.
Cincy Soul: The Black Taste
Musicians, vendors and local Black-owned eateries celebrate African American heritage. July 22-24. No admission details yet. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincysoulblacktaste.com.
Enjoy everything from goettawurst and goetta nachos to goetta fudge, plus the world’s only goetta vending machine. July 28-31 and Aug. 4-7. Free admission. Festival Park, Newport, goetta.com/goettafest.
Great Inland Seafood Festival
The Ohio River may not be an ocean, but that’s not stopping the Great Inland Seafood Festival. Get whole Maine lobsters and tons of other tasty crustaceans and fish to enjoy on the banks of the Ohio. Aug. 11-14. Free admission. Festival Park, Newport, cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com.
Germania Society Oktoberfest
Cincinnati’s Germania Society has been hosting an Oktoberfest party since 1971. This year, expect live German music, dancing, games, imported goods and tons of Bavarian bites like schnitzel, sauerkraut balls, Oktoberfest chicken, various wursts and cream puffs. Aug. 26-28. $5; free 12 and under. Germania Park, 3529 W. Kemper Road, Pleasant Run, germaniasociety.com.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is America’s largest, with more than 700,000 people attending the party in 2021. Expect your favorite activities including the Running of the Wieners, the Gemütlichkeit Games, the World’s Largest Chicken Dance, the World Brat Eating Championship and the Samuel Adams Stein Hoist Championship. Sept. 16-18. Second and Third streets, Downtown, oktoberfestzinzinnati.com.
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