There are all manner of fun, food events taking place in New York on a daily basis — from lavish, charity-driven galas to crowded, walk-around tastings and an endless array of pop-ups. But unless you have the time and money to party seven days a week, you’ll have to be somewhat discerning about what goes onto your calendar. So here are just a few worthy food celebrations we recommend getting tickets (or making reservations) for now!
City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival (Feb 1st-28th): The month-long festival of molten chocolate is back, at the West Village’s seminal City Bakery. Even though their straight-up, signature hot chocolate is already a thing of beauty, a different, uniquely flavored concoction will be available for each of February’s 28 days, such as Spicy Cinnamon, Creamy Stout, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter, and Ecuadorian or Peruvian Milk Chocolate.
NYC Winter Wine Festival (Feb. 6th): Want to bone up on your vino before Valentine’s Day? Take a crash course at this massive festival, which transforms Times Square’s PlayStation Theater into an indoor vineyard. Tickets include tastings of over 300 wines from the world’s finest grape growing regions in France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, California, New Zealand and more, and if you spring for the VIP pass, you’ll also enjoy 12 high-end selections ranging in price from $75 to $225 per bottle, such as Krug Brut ‘Grande Cuvee’ Champagne, Dublere Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, and Hyde De Villaine Chardonnay, as well as luxurious hors d’oeuvres including Filet Mignon, Miniature Maine Lobster Rolls, Tuna Tartar, Foie Gras Mousse, and Wild Mushrooms and Sherry in Filo Cups.
Bitten Conference (Feb. 12th): Now in its second year, this one-day culinary conference unites innovators and disrupters in the food space, for an exploration of trends, startups and technological advancements with speakers such as the James Beard Foundation’s Mitchell Davis (on how American food became en vogue), Noma’s Claus Meyer (on the frenzy surrounding new Nordic cuisine), Eureka’s Flynn McGarry (on the chef-focused culture), and Deborah Dugan of RED, on how food brings people together.
New York City Beer Week (Feb. 9th-28th): This annual, ten-day long celebration of suds features a wealth of beer-focused programming, tap takeovers, tastings, paired dinners, and other boozy festivities throughout the city — with 2016 highlights including a Homebrew Jamboree at Jimmy’s No. 43, a Fried Chicken and Donuts Brunch at The Redhead, and a Cask Fest and Awards Gala at the Altman Building.
Eat, Drink & Bloody Mary (Feb. 20th): Taking place at the Epicurean Group’s L’Apicio, this yearly Bloody Mary celebration brings together up to 18 different top brunch and cocktail spots, such as Booker and Dax, Dover, The Modern, The Red Cat and DBGB, who’ll compete for Judges’ and People’s Choice with their spiked tomato tipples. Early Bird tickets currently command $50, and include unlimited tastings and snacks; since L’Apicio will be doing the cooking, expect especially tasty nibbles, like fried chicken biscuit sandwiches and mini quiche lorraine!
Charcuterie Masters (Feb. 27th): Like a mini Cochon, this inaugural event in Queens showcases leaders in the salted, cured and smoked meat industry, competing for the title of “Charcuterie Master.” In addition to witnessing the no-holds-barred face-off between ‘Nduja Artisans, La Boucherie, Ribs Within Bacon and Ends Meat NYC, $100 tickets allow patrons all-you-can-eat access to a serious, protein-packed spread, including Chinese-style Whole Hog from Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Steakhouse, Pit-Smoked Whole Hog from Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery, Mangalitsa Sliders from Casa del Chef Bistro, and Pig Candy and Bacon Popcorn from Roni-Sue Chocolates, as well as craft beer, wine, and cider.