Westchester loves food. (We’ve seen what you like on our Instagram page, you don’t have to deny it.) Now that the weather is finally turning milder, it’s time to bring that love out into the light of day for the most wonderful time of the year: food fest season!
Start making room now, and consult our handy calendar of upcoming local celebrations of all things eatable, drinkable, and thoroughly delicious. Don’t forget to grab tickets to our own four-day Wine & Food Fest starting June 4!
Let’s get an early jump on things! This Saturday, our county capital is holding its Downtown White Plains Wing Walk from noon until 5 p.m. You’ve heard of a pub crawl? Well, a wing walk is fairly similar: Guests check in, grab a wristband that entitles them to two wings of each flavor at sixteen participating local restaurants. They’ve then got five hours to sample all they can, pick their favorite, and cast a ballot to help declare the best wing in White Plains. Tickets are $15, or $10 for kids aged 5 to 15 (kids under 5 get in free), but you can snag a tiny discount after fees by buying online.
The map for Downtown White Plains Wing Walk is now available on our website! On April 6 starting at noon, all ticket holders must check in at one of the FOUR check-in locations before beginning the stroll to pick up their wristband, ballot, and map. You will not be able to sample wings without a wristband. Purchase your tickets at wpbid.com/wingwalk before they run out! #wpwingwalk #whiteplains #wingwalk #westchester
Yonkers’ annual YoFi Fest is the biggest local film festival, but you don’t have to wait until later this year to enjoy the fun. On April 7 the fest will be presenting a special event, YoFi Food+Film Japanese in which movie lovers can stop by the DMAC theater for a pre-screening reception with a Japanese theme, followed by a series of contemporary short films straight from the land of the rising sun. After, guests will head to the nearby ISO Japanese for a custom menu of dishes directly inspired by the films. (Sake, beer, wine, and cocktails will also be available for purchase.) Tickets are $50, but you’ll have to buy them by Friday, April 5 to secure that sweet sit-down dinner menu.
Photo courtesy of YoFi DMAC
Brew all that you can brew at the West Point U.S. Military Academy next week, in the third annual Brewfest. Some of the best local breweries and cider houses will come together to compete for the title of fan favorite. Tickets are just $20 and include commemorative tasting glass, as well as one raffle ticket into the evening’s prize drawings, plus a token by which guests will choose their preferred pint. There’s also a special VIP option for $45 that adds a one-hour early admittance to the West Point Club Grand Ballroom ahead of other attendees, plus hors d’oeuvres, a beer coozie, gift bag, and a few other giveaways throughout the event. (Designated Drivers get in free.)
While we’re sad to see The College of New Rochelle close, we’re glad we get one last Strawberry Festival before it does. Simple and elegant as its namesake fruit, the 47th annual fest will offer free admission, live DJ, dance performances, vendors, and additional attractions, rides, games, inflatables, and of course celebrate delicious strawberry foods!
Meanwhile, over in Tarrytown, Phelps Hospital’s Phelps Food, Wine & Beer Fest returns to Tappan Hill Mansion, along with more than 20 local restaurants serving up their best dishes and wine pairings. This year will spotlight featured chef Peter Kelly of Xaviars X2O, and will benefit the Phelps FARMacy, an initiative that promotes education and access to healthy foods and spaces within communities. Tickets and packages start at $100.
Kicking off in May and running monthly clear through September, the Pound Ridge Partnership’s Food Truck Fridays and More is one of the finest fests on four wheels. Now in its second year, the event sponsored by local real estate giant Houlihan Lawrence boasts a half-dozen local food trucks at each event (four in the “savory” category and two each in the “sweet” realm), plus live music, open mic nights, and kids activities for a true block-party feel. General admittance is free.
Beat the heat on August 10th @food_truck_fridays_and_more with some “small batch, chef driven, all natural” ice cream. All of @milkcraftct Ice Cream is free of antibiotics, hormones, and steroids; contains no eggs, and is gluten free!! #poundridge #poundridgefoodtrucks #stamfordeats #914 #hudsonvalleyeats #westchester
All right, Gardiner up in Ulster County is a bit of a drive, but it’s a lovely daytrip this time of year, and the town’s annual Gardiner Cupcake Festival is more than enough reason for us to cheat and include it on this list. Seriously, we did the math: The festival starts off with a 5K Cupcake Classic to make room for more than ten-thousand cupcakes. That’s two cupcakes per meter! Admission is only $5, parking is free, and the day includes music, bouncy castles, wagon rides, local vendors, wine tastings, cupcake decorating, a petting zoo, and more. Toss in bakers and food trucks from up and down the Hudson Valley, and you’ve got yourself a good time!
If you’re a fan of food fests that support good causes, every year Taste of Harrison hosts a town-wide block party that directly benefits the Harrison Public Library. Dozens of local restaurants, delis, snackeries, shops, and other downtown sponsors will be doling out the best Harrison has to offer, with all profits going directly to the HPL Foundation. You’ll need wristbands that show you’re a HPL supporter to get in on the action, which run $30 for adults day-of, but you’ll be able to snatch them up with a handy $5 discount online shortly, or grab a family pass (two adults and unlimited children) for $60 online.
Come on, how could we not say it? Finishing out the spring and kicking off summer, Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival is six days of non-stop decadence. This year we kick things off with Salute! A Wine Tasting Tour of Italy, once again hosted by world-renowned oenophile Kevin Zraly, and newly this year catered at and by Eastchester restaurant Gigante. $95 online, $105 at the door.
Wednesday brings us Taste & Style at Savor Westchester in White Plains’ The Westchester mall, spotlighting a cool dozen local restaurants, fun fashion and food, and the always thrilling Bartender Shake-Off featuring reigning champ Emilio Ugarte of RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen. $30, includes a $25 Simon Gift Card.
Thursday ramps things up with our hotly anticipated Burger & Beer Blast, with more than two-dozen local restaurants squaring off to see who has Westchester’s favorite burger. Food trucks, local businesses, and plenty of libations and entertainment are also on the docket, as per usual. $75 online, $80 at the door.
Photo by Heather Sommer
Friday rolls up with our very first Food Truck Festival, bringing a baker’s dozen of the Hudson Valley’s favorite four-wheeled friends to Yonkers’ Cross County Shopping Center. Enjoy food, beer, wine, spirits, music, and a roaring good time. $50 online, $60 at the door.
Everything culminates on Saturday with our Grand Tasting Village, where more than 30 local restaurants and food trucks will serve up their best bites alongside around 20 wine and spirits brands, plus another 20 select wines and exclusive catering at our VIP Connoisseurs Tent. $85 online, $95 at the door (Party Line Connoisseurs Tent tickets $125/$135).
We would never think of leaving the kids out, and since all our other events are strictly 21-and-older (what with the free-flowing boozehol and such), Sunday is reserved for our youngest gourmands! At the Jr. Chef Experience your itty-bitty Emerils will enjoy hands-on fun learning basic cooking techniques from professional chefs, decorate cupcakes and making pizzas themselves, and even meet some friendly characters from Nickelodeon’s Butterbean Café. Chopped Jr. champions Elizabeth Oakes and Arielle and Alfie Wayner will also be on hand to give cooking demos straight from your TV screens! $25 per child (no tickets sold at the door); includes complimentary chef’s hat.