PHOENIX - From all-you-can-eat salsa to chocolate and candy festivals, to food trucks and wine tastings, the Valley is kicking off the year with a scrumptious amount of events to please the palate.
Between January and April, there are more than 30 food and drink festivals happening around the Valley. We've rounded them up below:
Jan. 20 - 21 | Arizona Vegetarian Food Food Festival: A two-day food festival focused on plant-based recipes, cooking demonstrations, vegetarian-friendly products, and keynote speakers. More information.
Jan. 20 | Brunch Bash AZ: A new festival in 2018 focused on brunch. Benefiting Phoenix’s One n Ten organization, local restaurants, and chefs will create sample-sized brunch items at CityScape in downtown Phoenix. Admission gets you into the music and festival. Samples will start at $2 each. More information.
Jan. 27 - S’mores Sweets Festival: A food festival focused on candy and sweet treats in Queen Creek. Vendors will sell samples from $2-$14. More information.
Jan. 28 - Tacolandia: An outdoor food festival to sample tacos from local taco restaurants. More information. More information.
Feb 3 | Scottsdale Brewers Bowl: Sample beers from Arizona’s microbreweries during this local competition. The winner will receive the Brewers Bowl trophy. There will also be food from local food trucks, music, and outdoor games.More information.
Feb. 8 - 18 | Arizona Beer Week: Breweries and restaurants across the state will host special beer tappings and pairings, and brewery tours. The signature event of the week is the Arizona Strong Beer Festival on Feb. 10. More information.
Feb. 9 - 11 | Glendale Chocolate Affaire: Some 40 chocolate makers and candy creators sell their sweet treats at this annual festival. More information.
Feb. 10 | Arizona Strong Beer Festival: Make a pretzel necklace at home and head to Steele Indian School Park and sample beers from craft breweries around the country. More information.
Feb. 10 - 11 | Corks & Cactus: Walk around the Desert Botanical Garden and sample for different wines each day. All 80 wines featured will also be available for purchase. There will also be live music and food demonstrations at Gertrude’s. More information.
Feb. 10 - 12 | Street Eats Food Truck Festival: More than 50 food trucks will serve $2 samples of their menus at Salt River Fields. There will also be live music, eating contests and kids entertainment. More information.
Feb. 16 - 18 | 28th annual Chinese Culture & Cuisine Festival: A three-day festival celebrating Chinese culture. There will be traditional dragon and lion dances, martial arts shows, food and art. More information.
Feb. 17 - 19 | Arizona Cocktail Weekend: Local bars, restaurants, and mixologists host events and seminars to discuss and sample different spirits. This year’s event will be hosted in downtown Phoenix. More information.
Feb. 17 - 18 | Crush Brew Craft Beverage Festival: A festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront where you can sample craft beer, wine, and spirits from local and national breweries, distilleries and wineries. More information.
Feb. 24 - 25 | Matsuri Festival of Japan: A three-day festival in downtown Phoenix celebrating Japanese culture, art and music. This year’s theme is Kokeshi Dolls, which are small wooden figurines. More information.
Feb. 24 - PHX Vegan Food Fest: A vegan festival showcasing vegan-friendly businesses and products. More information.
March 2 | Rockin’ Taco Rumble: A spin-off of Chandler’s Rockin’ Taco Street Fest, 15 restaurants, and chefs will compete to create the best taco and win the People’s Choice award. This is the first year for this event. More information.
March 3 - 4 | Devoured Culinary Classic: One of the premier all-inclusive food festivals in the Valley. This year the two-day event will be at the Desert Botanical Gardens. The event has sold-out the last couple years. More information. ** This event has sold-out.
March 3 | Arizona Caribbean Jerk Festival: A food and drink festival that celebrates Caribbean culture and cuisine. More information.
March 10 - 11 | 2018 Arizona Aloha Festival: A two-day festival that celebrates Hawaiian and South Pacific culture through food, art, and dance. More information.
March 10 | Downtown Mesa Brewfest: The craft beer festival in downtown Mesa will return March 10 for its fourth year. More details were said to be released as the event nears. More information.
March 23 | Burger Battle: An all-inclusive competition that pins Valley chefs against each other to create the “best burger.” Guests will be able to enjoy unlimited samples of the competing burgers. The event benefits the Scottsdale League for the Arts. More information.
March 24 | The Great American BBQ & Beer Festival: BBQ and beer. Sixty BBQ chefs, restaurants, pitmasters and food trucks will fill Dr. A.J. Chandler Park with bbq sandwiches, BBQ mac & cheese, and other treats. There will also be beer, cocktails and live music. More information.
March 24 - Maricopa Salsa Festival: Salsa makers will compete for cash prizes at the 14th annual Maricopa Salsa Festival. Attendees will be able to sample the salsas, listen to live music and kids can play in the Little Pepper Zone. More information.
March 24 - Flavors of the West: A food festival in Litchfield Park featuring more than 30 restaurants and chefs in the West Valley. More information.
March 24 - 25 | Italian Festival of Arizona: A two-day festival celebrating Italian culture, food, music, and art. More information.
April 14 | Chandler Craft Spirits Festival: Spend the day taste-testing different vodkas, whiskeys, tequilas, and rums from local and national distilleries. More information.
April 14 - 15 | Scottsdale Culinary Festival: During Scottsdale's Culinary Festival, local restaurants, food trucks and bartenders take over Civic Center Mall with sample-sized dishes and drinks to try. There will be live music, cooking demonstrations and a kids area. More information.
April 14 - 15 | 15th annual Polish Festival: Experience Polish culture and food at their annual festival. Pierogis, cabbage rolls, hunter's stew and sausage, and sauerkraut will all be available for purchase. There will also be music and games! More information.
April 14 - 15 | My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge: The annual salsa festival moves to Sloan Park in 2018. Vendors and restaurants will prepare more than 100 different salsas — from mild and sweet to super hot — for you to try. The event supports the Arizona Hemophilia Association. There are also inflatables for the kids and live music. More information.
April 19 - 22 | Nirvana Food and Wine Festival: Nirvana made its debut at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in 2017. It returns in 2018. It is a premium food and drink festival with “informative, intimate conversation with celebrities from the world of food and wine” and samples and tastings. More information.
April 21 | Great Southwest Cajun Fest: At the Great Southwest Cajun Fest the flavors of New Orleans come to Arizona. Think crawfish broil, shrimp, charred oysters, Po' boys and seafood mac-and-cheese from Valley eateries. Jazz music and swing bands will provide the musical entertainment. More information.
April 21 - 22 | Arab American Festival: Learn about and celebrate Arab-American culture at this Arizona festival. There will be live entertainment including dance and music, ethnic food and shopping. More information.
April 28 | ameriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival: Love beer? From India Pale ales to ambers, browns, stouts, and porters, this festival featured cans and cans — literally cans — of craft beer from local breweries and those from other states. More information.