8 Las Vegas food and drink festivals to make your palate happy this fall

When fall arrives in Las Vegas, the temperatures finally get cooler and festival season begins. Weekends are full of events, including several devoted to food, beer, wine or all of the above.

Las Vegas is home to a dynamic food scene both on and off the Strip, and the city’s food-forward festivals reflect a wide range of cuisines and styles. The line-up of events ranges from inexpensive food truck festivals to epicurean experiences like the Martha Stewart Wine & Food Experience, where Stewart and Vegas chefs will appear, or The Chef’s Table, which features well-known chefs hosting expertly prepared courses.

One of the best features of any festival is its all-inclusive nature, and Las Vegas’ fests are no exception. Guests get to enjoy great food along with demonstrations, classes, vendors or entertainment. Count on a full afternoon or evening when you’re festival-going, and seriously consider taking a ride share — parking at any of these events can be scarce, and many of them are off the Strip.

If you’ll be in Las Vegas this fall, here are a few food festivals to check out:

Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival

Oct. 5-6

The Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival is a two-day event featuring a noteworthy array of cuisine and spirits. Headlining chefs include Francois Payard and Saipin Chutima. Guests can sample dishes from a wide range of restaurants — Las Vegas originals including Leticia’s Cocina will be serving their creations, along with some stars from the Strip, like TAO, Hakkasan and Beauty & Essex. There’s also no shortage of beverage choices, with wine and beer selections as well as top-shelf spirits. Held at Tivoli Village near the Summerlin community, the festival kicks off each evening with VIP admission at 8 p.m. and general admission at 9. Tickets are $100 and up. https://vegasfoodandwine.com

The Great American Foodie Fest

Oct. 4-7

The four-day Great American Foodie Fest brings together a showcase of the best food trucks in Las Vegas. Fuku Burger, which makes one of Las Vegas’ favorite burgers will be there, as will the Picanha Steak Truck, Great American Funnel Cakes, Liams Lemonade and Dude Where’s My Hotdog. No matter what you’re craving, there’s probably a food truck here that will satisfy your appetite. The festival also has carnival rides, a beer garden and eating competitions. Gates at the Sunset Station are open from 5-11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, from noon-11 p.m. on Saturday and noon-10 p.m. Sunday. Day-of tickets are $10; packages and VIP tickets are also available. http://greatamericanfoodiefest.com/las-vegas

Grape Stomp at Pahrump Winery

Oct. 6-7

About an hour’s drive away from the Strip, you’ll find the Pahrump Winery. Wines here come from grapes grown in Nevada and California. The winery’s annual Grape Stomp has grown over the years from a small local gathering to an event attracting thousands. In addition to wine tastings, the festival features food and live music. If you want to join in the stomping, sign up in advance. Grounds are open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the gate. http://www.pahrumpwinery.com/events

Martha Stewart Wine & Food Experience

Oct. 13

The 2018 Martha Stewart Wine & Food Experience presented by USA TODAY and MGM Resorts International comes to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds as a part of the event’s 12-city tour. The schedule of events is full of cooking demos and classes that cover everything from doughnuts to wine, and a host of talented chefs and mixologists will be leading the sessions. Stewart herself will be on hand for an exclusive meet-and-greet as well as a Q&A session. Guests will enjoy a Grand Tasting featuring Las Vegas’ best restaurants from both on and off the Strip, with a line-up that includes Estiatorio Milos, Andre’s Bistro & Bar, Other Mama, Rivea and Le Cirque, among many other acclaimed eateries. The experience runs from 1-4 p.m. Tasting tickets are $85 for presale and $100 the day of the event. https://wineandfood.usatoday.com/lasvegas

More: Martha Stewart teams up with Las Vegas restaurants for food and wine event

The Chef’s Table: An EPICurean Experience

Oct. 12-14

In conjunction with the Martha Stewart Wine & Food Experience, MGM Resorts International is offering three days full of gourmet opportunities. Restaurants in Mandalay Bay and Delano Las Vegas are offering exclusive meals with some of today’s top chefs, with the chefs themselves on hand to host. Times and cost vary by event. https://www.mandalaybay.com/en/restaurants/chefs-table.html

Downtown Brew Festival

Oct. 20

Beer enthusiasts will find more than 200 beers to check out at the Downtown Brew Festival in Las Vegas. The grassy setting at the Clark County Amphitheater is a perfect fit for the festival’s backyard party ambiance. Sixty breweries will be on hand, including several local favorites like CraftHaus, Big Dog’s and Ellis Island. Admission includes unlimited beer samples. Food will be available from local eateries, including The Black Sheep, Tacotarian plus food trucks Sausagefest and The Corn Dog Company. Hours are 5-9 p.m. Tickets start at $40. https://downtownbrewfestival.com

Sunset Park’d Food Truck Event & Las Vegas Sangria & Beer Festival

Nov. 3

Sunset Park is one of Las Vegas’ largest and most popular parks, with plenty of space for the Sunset Park’d Food Truck festival, which is teaming up with the Las Vegas Sangria & Beer Festival this year. More than 30 food trucks will be there, along with plenty of craft beer, sangria, a vegan food section, vendors and entertainment. Just a short drive east of the Strip, this family-friendly event promises an afternoon full of good food and fun things to do. Hours are noon-8 p.m. Admission for the food truck portion is free; $40 tickets that include unlimited tastings are available for the sangria and beer fest. http://www.sunsetparkd.com and https://lasvegassangriafestival.com

Brew’s Best

Nov. 3

Brew’s Best claims to be the longest-running open-air beer festival in Southern Nevada,  with an 11-year record to prove it. Held in Downtown Summerlin on The Lawn, Brew’s Best showcases local and national breweries and offers unlimited samples. Local craft brewers include Boulder Dam Brewing Co., Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas, Banger Brewing and Astronomy Aleworks, one of Las Vegas’ newest breweries. In addition to the impressive selection of beers, the festival also offers entertainment, activities and games. VIP hours are from 2-7 p.m.; tickets are $45 at the door. General admission starts at 3 p.m. with $35 tickets. http://www.brewsbest.com

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