Hungry? Visit Virginia in 2011

Tickle the Tastebuds - Cuisine & Restaurants

Food Festivals Abound

BrewRidgeTrail2010Richmond, Va. (January 4, 2011) Virginia’s love of food is legendary.  The state hosts hundreds of special festivals and events each year that celebrate the best local flavors of Virginia – from Hanover tomatoes to Chincoteague oysters and Brunswick Stew and of course, Virginia wine. 

Below is a sampling of some of Virginia’s most popular and tasty annual food and wine festivals of 2011, with many more found on

Virginia Beach Restaurant Week

Virginia Beach is full of great restaurants. During restaurant week some of the best will offer three-course prix-fixe meals at special prices. Among favorite dishes are pan-seared tuna, lump crab cakes, fresh rockfish and she-crab soup.

January 9 - 16, 2011

Virginia Wine Expo (Richmond)

Enjoy 350 wines from more than 60 of Virginia’s best wineries in one place in one weekend. Advanced wine tastings, seminars, dine-around deals at some of Richmond’s best restaurants.

February 25-27, 2011

Highland Maple Syrup Festival (Monterey)

Take a step back in time to Highland County, "Virginia's Switzerland." Travel back roads and mountain byways to the annual Highland Maple Festival. Held on the 2nd and 3rd weekends of March, the Maple Festival has been an annual event in Highland County, Virginia, since 1958.

March 12 - 13 and 19 - 20, 2011

Community School Strawberry Festival (Roanoke)

Some 30,000 people flock to downtown Roanoke each year to celebrate the bounty of strawberries. More than 12,000 strawberry shortcakes are served along with strawberry sundaes, slushies and strawberries dipped in chocolate. The 2011 event will mark the festival’s 31st anniversary.

May 6 - 7, 2011

Virginia Beer Festival (Norfolk)

Raise a glass...a stein...a mug to toast the return of this much anticipated Hampton Roads'-style tradition. For connoisseurs of brews of all types, this popular festival favorite brings together in one place fine beers from nearly three-dozen domestic and international breweries with great music and more.

May 14, 2011

Eastern Shore Seafood Festival (Chincoteague)

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is synonymous with great seafood from the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. The 43rd annual Seafood Festival is an extravaganza that is a favorite of families with hearty appetites.

May 4, 2011 

Virginia State Championship Chili Cook-off (Roanoke)

Now in its 32nd year, the cook-off brings together some of the best chili cooks from across the nation. Chili and salsa tastings, live entertainment, beer garden, jalapeño eating contest, children’s area.

May 7, 2011 

Delaplane Strawberry Festival (Sky Meadow State Park)

High up in one of Virginia’s most scenic state parks, the Delaplane Strawberry Festival maintains a country fair feel with rows of vendors, plenty of food, live music and strawberries as far as the eye can see.

May 28-29, 2011

Greene County Strawberry Festival (Stanardsville)

The 20th annual festival features a Strawberry Breakfast as well as cakes, pies, slushies and desserts. There’s plenty to do for families and kids, too.

June 2011

Broad Appetit (Richmond)

Sample plates from more than 50 of Richmond’s best eateries at a festive annual occasion along Richmond’s historic Broad Street, combined with art exhibits from local artists. Food contests, entertainment and judging of best entries complete a fulfilling day.

June 5, 2011

Floyd Fandango Beer and Wine Festival (Floyd)

Woodstock is envious of this event which merges three of Virginia’s best exports, wine, beer and music, into two-days of bliss for people who love great food and great music. Located just off Virginia’s Crooked Road, the festival is a great starting point for discovery of Virginia’s old-timey musical roots.

July 3-4, 2011

Pork, Peanut and Pine Festival (Surry County)

Chippokes Plantation State Park on the banks of the James River is the setting for a celebration of Virginia indigenous foods and agriculture. More than 200 artisans and crafters are present.

July 16-17, 2011

Hanover Tomato Festival (Hanover County)

A vein of soil running through Hanover County north of Richmond produces some of America’s most delicious tomatoes. This annual festival celebrates the Hanover Tomato with plenty of food, music and entertainment. Local cooks compete for best tomato recipes.

July 9, 2011

Virginia’s Peach Festival (Stuart)

Virginia’s peaches are hardly overshadowed by its more famous apple industry at this annual event. Lots of peaches in various forms, live music, games, children’s activities.

August 19 - 20, 2011

Carytown Watermelon Festival (Richmond)

Back for its 28th year, this festival in Richmond’s trendy shopping and dining area draws more than 100,000 people annually. Ten blocks of food, arts and crafts and live music stages. More than 2,500 watermelons are consumed.

August 2011

Brew Ridge Trail Music Festival (Nelson County)

Spend the day in picturesque Nelson County at this fete enjoying local craft beer from Blue Mountain Brewery, Starr Hill, South Street Brewery and Devils Backbone Brewing Company.  Great music will fill the mountain air as well. Bring a mountain bike and complete in the Stampede on Horse Mountain from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

August 20, 2011

Taste of the Mountains Street Festival (Madison)

Madison County is in the heart of Virginia’s Piedmont region and is a place of unmistakable beauty. In September it is tasty as well with a festival that brings together the best foods of the region (especially the volunteer fire department’s legendary steak sandwiches) with all the trimmings of a Virginia street festival.

September 3, 2011

Virginia Peanut Festival (Emporia)

Peanuts have been one of Virginia’s major crops since Colonial times. The delectable nut is celebrated here for the 48th year with a parade, farm tour, petting zoo and a cook-off of peanut dishes.

September 22 - 25, 2011

Virginia Wine Festival (Fairfax County)

This is the grand daddy of wine festivals of the East Coast.  Gather for a weekend in Northern Virginia to sample and savor the flavors of more than 50 Virginia wineries.

September 2011

23rd Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival (Moneta)

Enjoy tastings from 28 Virginia wineries in the beautiful surroundings of Smith Mountain Lake. 

September 24 - 25, 2011

Chincoteague Island Oyster Festival

Savor these little Virginia delicacies fresh out of the Chesapeake Bay with all-you-can-eat oysters(steamed, fried, fritters, raw) clam chowder, steamed crabs, cole slaw, potato salad and hush puppies.

October 8, 2011

A Taste of Brunswick Festival (Alberta, Brunswick County)

According to legend, Brunswick Stew was invented in Virginia in the 1830s as a concoction of squirrel, onions and stale bread. In today’s version chicken has replaced squirrel and the stew is rounded out with corn, tomatoes, butterbeans, and other vegetables. Each year in Alberta (Brunswick County, Va.) some 20 stewmasters vie for top honors – to the delight of thousands.

October 8, 2011

Virginia Wine and Garlic Festival (Amherst)

Rebec Vineyards is the setting for this aromatic and delicious annual festival. Several Virginia wineries pitch in for tastings and sales along with Virginia restaurants offering garlicky foods. There is plenty of live entertainment and arts and crafts highlighted by the crowning of the Garlic Queen and King.

October 8 - 10, 2011

Suffolk Peanut Festival

Peanuts and name entertainment draw the crowds but the Peanut Butter Sculpture Contest is not to be missed at this long-time fall favorite now in its 34th year.

October 6 - 9, 2011

Brunswick Stew Festival (Richmond)

The 17th Street Farmers Market in Richmond comes alive each year with this popular festival based around Brunswick Stew. Around 40 cookers compete for best stew and happy attendees enjoy live bands and arts and crafts.

October 7 - 9, 2011

Urbanna Oyster Festival

Huge crowds throng the streets of Urbanna for this annual favorite festival now in its 53rd year. Oysters are aplenty here, along with other food vendors that cover this great small town. One of the highlights is the annual oyster shucking contest along with the firemen’s parade and the crowning of the Oyster Queen and Little Spat.

November 4-6, 2011

Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia (Jamestown and Yorktown)

Learn how food was gathered, preserved and prepared by Virginia’s English colonists and Powhatan Indians. Learn about typical soldier’s fare during the American Revolution and trace the bounty of a 1780s farm from field to kitchen.

November 24-26, 2011


Visit for a complete list of food festivals in Virginia and start planning a vacation to relax and reconnect with loved ones in Virginia.  Or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a 2010 Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.

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