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.
Taste of the Lower East Side (5/3): Remember when the LES was home to a handful of Jewish delis and a proliferation of dive bars? As the neighborhood’s very own tasting gala duly demonstrates, that’s definitely no longer the case. Contemporary tenants, like Bar Goto, Freeman’s, Fung Tu, Pig & Khao, The Stanton Social, Kingsley, Maharlika and more are all dishing out bites on behalf of Grand St. Settlement, which has served the community for over 100 years.
Food Book Fair (5/11-14): Taking place at the Ace Hotel this year, the four-day literary lineup includes an evening of food on film (i.e., shorts focusing on cultural diasporas, paired with a feast from Cambodian pop-up, Kreung), as well as a Media Bootcamp Edition, featuring facetime with agents, editors, and other tastemaking gatekeepers, and a “Tartine All Day” breakfast celebrating their recent cookbook, co-cheffed by owner, Liz Prueitt, and April Bloomfield.
The 3rd Annual Harlem EatUp (5/15-21): Celebrating Harlem’s exciting culinary renaissance, an impressive roster of happenings includes The Marketplace (featuring al fresco, pay-as-you-go eats from area restaurants), the EatUp Mainstage (hosting demos and performances from participants like Marcus Samuelsson and Donatella Arpaia), an Ultimate Grand Tasting, and collaborative dinners; think Dominique Crenn and Angela Dimayuga, joining forces at Ginny’s Supper Club.
Village Voice Choice Eats (5/19): Always a reliable way to vet new restaurants (and visit a few others from your longstanding hit list), Choice Eats is back at the Metropolitan Pavilion, along with over 50 Village Voice-reviewed eateries, such as Samesa, Sunday in Brooklyn, Untamed Sandwiches, Raclette NYC, Lolo’s Seafood Shack and Yemen Café.
NYC Vegetarian Food Festival (5/20-21): Why should meat-eaters have all the fun? Now in its 7th year, this cutting edge showcase of vegetarian innovation features speakers like Robyn Moore (who’s spearheading a vegan parenting panel), and cooking demos from chefs like Adam Sobel (owner of the Cinnamon Snail), as well as vegetarian speed dating, a screening of “Home on the Range,” and a kid’s area with farm animal photo booths and cruelty-free soap making classes.
All-Star Tasting at Riverpark (5/31): What do you get when you combine an all-star athlete guest list, a VIP chef (Jesse Schenker oversees the food lineup this year), an expansive auction and a glorious location (Tom Colicchio’s water-adjacent Riverpark)? This fabulous annual event, benefiting the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.