Southern California is a food mecca that draws top chefs, vintners, and brewers to local food and wine festivals. Here's a sampling of annual events in the region. And before you go, read these 7 food festival hacks to help you have the best time ever.
Beverly Hills Food and Wine Festival: A benefit for Best Buddies featuring 60 chefs and restaurants from New York and Los Angeles. June 1-3, 2018. Cost, $100-$200. 11301 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles; beverlyhillsfoodandwinefestival.com.
Los Angeles Taste of the Nation: A benefit for No Kid Hungry that features award-winning chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists. June 3, 2018. Cost, $110-$5,000. Media Park, 9091 Culver Blvd., Culver City; events.nokidhungry.org/events/los-angeles-taste-nation.
San Diego International Beer Festival: More than 200 brewers, a competition, games, seminars, and a fair. June 15-17, 2018. Cost, $60-$110 per session or event. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.; sandiegobeerfestival.com.
Santa Barbara Wine and Food Festival: More than 90 wineries and food vendors from the Central Coast offer tastings. June 30, 2018. Cost, $75-$150. Mission Creek at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta Del Sol; sbnature.org/winefestival.
Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival: An epicurean event that showcases food and drink culture in Los Angeles. Aug. 24-27, 2018. Cost, $125-$1,050. Along Grand Avenue, between First and Third streets, Los Angeles. Main events in front of Disney Hall and The Broad Museum; www.lafw.com.
San Diego Zoo Food, Wine and Brew Celebration: A benefit for the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy with more than 160 vendors, music, and other activities. Sept. 22, 2018. General admission, $60 and VIP admission, $90. San Diego Zoo; zoofoodandwine.com.
California Vegetarian Food Festival: Speakers, demonstrations, products, and tastings for people interested in a plant-based diet. Sept. 29-30, 2018. Cost to be announced. Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; cavegfoodfest.com.
Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival: Dinners by celebrity chefs, tasting panels, demonstrations, and more than 250 varieties of wine and craft brews. Oct. 4-7, 2018. Cost to be announced. Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Dr.; newportwineandfood.com.
California Avocado Festival: A family-friendly community event with avocado-inspired food and music. Oct. 5-7, 2018. Free. Linden Avenue, from Carpinteria Avenue to Sixth Street, Carpinteria; avofest.com.
Off the Hook Seafood Festival: A fundraiser that celebrates sea life, chefs, fisher folk, and the oceans with food, tastings, and drinks from local restaurants. Oct. 6, 2018. Cost, $50-$90. Santa Monica Pier; offthehookseafoodfest.com.
San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival: Wine tastings, food tastings led by San Diego celebrity chefs. Nov. 12-18, 2018. General admission, $85 to $135. Embarcadero Marina Park North; sandiegowineclassic.com.
La Habra Tamale Festival: Annual event attracts more than 25,000 people and more than two dozen tamale vendors. Includes three stages of entertainment, general vendors, artisans, and a cantina. November 25, 2018. Free. Next to La Habra City Hall, 210 E. La Habra Blvd.; lahabratamalefestival.com.
Indio International Tamale Festival: Billed as the world's largest tamale festival, it also includes music, food, and, of course, tamales. Dec. 1-2, 2018. Free. 100 Civic Center Mall, Indio; tamalefestival.net.
Riverside County Fair and Date Festival: Carnival rides, camel and ostrich races, monster trucks, motocross, and, of course, dates. February 15-24, 2019. General admission, $11. Riverside County Fairgrounds, 82-503 California Highway 111, Indio; datefest.org.
Photos from top: A table display at the Santa Barbara Wine and Food Festival and people sample food at the Santa Barbara Wine and Food Festival. | Photos by Baron Spafford / Santa Barbara Natural History Museum