Nashville, Tennessee is known for its vibrant music scene, but it's also home to some of the best food festivals in the country. From traditional Southern dishes to international flavors, there's something for every foodie at these festivals. As a local food expert, I've had the pleasure of attending and sampling the delicious offerings at many of these festivals. In this article, I'll share with you the types of food you can expect to find at festivals in Nashville.
The Nashville Hot Chicken FestivalOne of the most popular food festivals in Nashville is the Hot Chicken Festival, held every 4th of July.
This festival celebrates Nashville's signature dish - hot chicken. This spicy fried chicken dish originated in Nashville and has become a staple in the city's food scene. At the festival, you can expect to find a variety of hot chicken dishes from different restaurants and food trucks. From classic hot chicken sandwiches to unique twists like hot chicken tacos or hot chicken mac and cheese, there's no shortage of options to satisfy your spicy cravings. Aside from hot chicken, you can also find other Southern favorites like BBQ ribs, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes. And don't forget to cool down with some sweet tea or lemonade.
The Music City Food + Wine FestivalThe Music City Food + Wine Festival is a two-day event that celebrates the best of Nashville's culinary scene.
This festival brings together top chefs, restaurants, and beverage experts for a weekend filled with tastings, cooking demonstrations, and live music. At this festival, you can expect to find a wide range of food options from Southern classics to international cuisines. Some of the must-try dishes include Nashville hot chicken sliders, shrimp and grits, and BBQ pulled pork. And for dessert, be sure to try the famous Goo Goo Cluster - a chocolate candy made in Nashville since 1912. In addition to food, the festival also features wine and spirits from local and national distilleries. You can attend tastings and seminars to learn more about different types of wine and how to pair them with food.
The Nashville Taco FestivalIf you're a fan of tacos, then the Nashville Taco Festival is a must-visit.
This festival celebrates all things tacos with over 30 vendors serving up a variety of taco creations. From traditional Mexican tacos to unique fusion flavors, there's something for everyone at this festival. Aside from tacos, you can also find other Mexican dishes like quesadillas, tamales, and elote (Mexican street corn). And don't forget to wash it all down with a refreshing margarita or Mexican beer.
The Tomato Art FestThe Tomato Art Fest is not your typical food festival, but it's definitely worth mentioning. This festival celebrates all things tomato with a variety of tomato-themed activities, including a tomato parade, tomato art contest, and of course, lots of tomato-based dishes. At this festival, you can find everything from classic tomato dishes like caprese salad and bruschetta to more unique creations like fried green tomatoes and tomato ice cream.
And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even participate in the annual tomato eating contest.
The Greek FestivalThe Greek Festival is an annual event that celebrates Greek culture through food, music, and dance. This festival is a great opportunity to try authentic Greek dishes that you may not find at other festivals in Nashville. Some of the must-try dishes at this festival include gyros, souvlaki, and spanakopita (spinach pie). And for dessert, be sure to try the famous baklava - a sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough, nuts, and honey.
The Nashville Street Food AwardsThe Nashville Street Food Awards is an annual event that celebrates the city's vibrant food truck scene. This festival brings together some of the best food trucks in Nashville to compete in different categories, including Best Taco, Best Burger, and Best Dessert. At this festival, you can find a variety of cuisines from different cultures, including Korean, Mexican, and Mediterranean.
Some of the standout dishes include Korean BBQ tacos, loaded fries, and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
The Nashville Wine and Food FestivalThe Nashville Wine and Food Festival is another event that celebrates the city's culinary scene. This festival features over 50 local restaurants and 150 wines from around the world. At this festival, you can expect to find a variety of food options from different cuisines, including Italian, French, and American. Some of the must-try dishes include wood-fired pizza, lobster rolls, and gourmet mac and cheese.
In ConclusionNashville is not only a music lover's paradise but also a foodie's dream destination. With a variety of food festivals throughout the year, there's always something new and delicious to try.
From traditional Southern dishes to international flavors, these festivals showcase the best of Nashville's culinary scene. So next time you're in town, be sure to check out one (or all) of these festivals for a taste of Nashville's food culture.