Your guide to fall food festivals in metro Phoenix: Celebrate pizza, honeybees and wine

As the temperatures mellow out into double digits, metro Phoenix gets ready for a variety of fall festivals. According to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, European immigrants began hosting fall fairs and festivals to promote their agricultural products and animal husbandry. After the industrial revolution drew more people away from farms and into urban areas, the popularity of these festivals waned. By the 20th century, food festivals had surpassed harvest festivals in popularity.

Nowadays, some regional festivals and state fairs still have an agricultural and livestock element, but the main draw for many attendees are the prepared food options. These festivals remain a great way for communities to share their heritage and culture through food.

Here in the Valley, we have dozens of festivals to choose from this year, ranging from celebrations of particular ingredients to international festivals.

Here's your guide to all the fall food festivals happening in metro Phoenix and beyond.

Now closed: These 5 metro Phoenix restaurants have closed for good.

A photo of Bacon-A-Fair at the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix on Oct. 2, 2021.
A photo of Bacon-A-Fair at the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix on Oct. 2, 2021.

AZ Feastivals

This weekly food truck event, which consists of 15 to 20 trucks and takes place in Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek has added San Tan Valley as a destination.

When: Every Saturday, starting Sept. 24 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: The new location is Central Christian Church, 2505 E. Ocotillo Road, Queen Creek. Check the website for other locations.

Tickets and information: Free to attend. Food purchase is additional. azfeastivals.com.

Old Town Fests

Old Town Scottsdale puts on four festivals from September to December: Sangria Fest on Sept 24, Margarita Fest on Oct. 22, Whiskey Fest on Nov. 12 and Wine Fest on Dec. 10.

Tickets and information: Visit oldtownfests.weebly.com and choose your favorite fest for prices and locations.

This pair attended the 12th Annual SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest in downtown Chandler on Sept. 28, 2019.
This pair attended the 12th Annual SanTan Brewing Oktoberfest in downtown Chandler on Sept. 28, 2019.

Arizona Fall Fest

Presented by Local First Arizona, the event is back after a three-year hiatus to celebrate local food and beverage. Now, in its 16th year, the family and dog-friendly festival is the largest certified local event. The Beverage Garden features Arizona wine, beer and spirits and restaurants and food trucks provide a variety of foods to taste. Kids’ activities are offered in the Kid Zone. Arizona sports teams will be at the Sport Zone. Adults can also participate in a silent auction.

The first 300 attendees receive a gift bag of local goodies.

When: Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Margaret T. Hance Park. 1222 N. 3rd St., Phoenix.

Tickets and information: Free. Beverage tasting tickets for individuals over 21 are $1 each. localfirstaz.com/fall-fest.

ArmeniaFest

ArmeniaFest is a two-day event featuring Armenian music, folk dance, beverage and homemade food, such as luleh kebab, chicken kebab, stuffed grape leaves (sarma), Armenian pizza or lahmejun, pahklava (baklava), bourma (phyllo dough stuffed with chopped nuts) and other packaged Armenian desserts. Expect art, entertainment, a raffle and kids' activities.

When: Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: St. Apkar Armenian Apostolic Church, 8849 E. Cholla St., Scottsdale.

Tickets and information: Tickets are $2 for adults and free for kids under 12. facebook.com/StApkarArmeniaFest.

SerbFest Phoenix

Experience Serbian culture, music, dancing, cuisine and pastries during this two-day event. Take a tour of the Byzantine-style church. SerbFest also offers a kid zone.

When: Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Nov. 6 from noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 4436 E. McKinley St., Phoenix.

Tickets and information: Tickets are $5. facebook.com/events/3289825661264443/?ref=newsfeed.

Phoenix Wine & Food Experience

This annual event by USA Today features chefs and mixologists from all over the Valley. Attendees can sample food from chefs such as Nik Fields of the Chic Chef Café, Dushyant Singh from Weft + Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, Angelo Sosa of Tia Carmen, Omar Bernal of Sushi Roku and Simone Thompson with Pearls Mini Donuts. Mixologist Kim Haasarud of Garden Bar PHX, Wilson Creek Winery and Tim and Michelle Bridges of Four Bridges Wine will provide samples of their wines and cocktails.

When: Nov. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Tickets and information: VIP tickets are $100 and Grand Tasting tickets are $65. Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Prices increase by $15 the day of the event. wineandfood.usatoday.com/events/phoenix.

Arizona Taco Festival

If you don’t make it to the Rockin’ Taco Festival, worry not. There’s another one. Arizona Taco Festival started 12 years ago and lasts for two days in November. Try $3 tacos, a taco eating contest, a variety of hot sauces and margaritas. There will also be lucha libre wrestling, chihuahua beauty pageant and activities for kids.

When: Nov. 12 and 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Bell Bank Park, 1 Legacy Drive, Mesa.

Tickets and information: Available only online, prices range from $25 for general admission to $250 for the foodie extravaganza tent with Chef Aaron May and six celebrity chefs. For more ticket levels and information visit the website: aztacofestival.com.

AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews

Check out beer, cider and wine made locally by 25 Arizona breweries, distilleries and wineries in one place.

When: Nov. 12 from 1 to 5 p.m. VIP admission is at 1 p.m. and general admission is at 2 p.m.

Where: Salt River Fields Centerfield Parking Lot. 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Tickets and information: Prices range from $19 for designated drivers to $60 for general admission and $85 for VIP. Guests must be 21 to attend. azbottlesandbrews.com.

Chilis & Chocolate

Take a stroll in the Desert Botanical Garden and shop chili, hot sauce, spice and gourmet chocolate vendors. In previous years other vendors such as Absolutely Delightful Honey, a local nut butter producer, Mano Y Metate stone ground spices and food trucks also participated.

When: November 11 - 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix. 480-941-1225.

Tickets and information: Tickets are included in membership and admission prices, which for non-members are $29.95 for adults, $16.95 for ages 3 to 17, free for children under 3. dbg.org.

The Arizona Honeybee Festival

Sponsored by Paradise Valley Community College, this is all things honeybee with free lectures, music and lots of food. Grab some free bagels when you attend the first lecture of the day. There will be mead-making classes, children's book authors and more than 20 food vendors, including Spicy Sassy Dulces, Shannon's Kitchen, The Joy Bus, VDawgs Hot Dogs and Holy Empanadas.

When: Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N. 32nd St., Phoenix.

Tickets and information: Attendance and all classes are free. azhoneybeefest.org

Phoenix Pizza Festival

Pizza lovers have the seventh annual Phoenix Pizza Festival and its more than 20 pizza makers to look forward to. Other than eating delicious pie, activities include live music, lawn games, beer and wine and kids activities. Some of last year’s pizza vendors included Dough Riders, Emerson Fry Bread, Fabio on Fire and Road Running Wood Fired Pizza from Tucson, to name a few.

When: Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Nov 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: East side of Margaret T. Hance Park. 1202 N. Third St. Phoenix.

Tickets and information: Tickets are $16 and nonrefundable. phoenix.pizza.

Peoria Art & Wine Festival

The inaugural Art and Wine Festival in Peoria brings to the attendees wines from 15 Arizona wineries and works from over 40 artist and crafts people plus live music. Aridus Winery, Copper Horse, Sonoita Vineyards are among the participants.

When: Nov. 19 and 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Centennial Plaza Park. 9875 N 85th Ave., Peoria.

Tickets and information: Tickets are $35 per person on Saturday and $30 on Sunday prior to the event and $10 more at the door. Each wine tasting ticket comes with a commemorative wine glass and 10 tasting tickets. Beer tasting tickets are $20 for a commemorative beer glass and 10 tasting tickets. willcoxwinecountry.org/event/peoria-art-wine-festival.

Reach the reporter at BAnooshahr@azcentral.com. Follow @banooshahr on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix food festivals: A guide to fall culinary, beer and wine events