2017 Best Fests
It’s easy to dig into a calendar full of culinary events when you visit Madison! Read on to review a sampling of annual favorites, considered some of the Best Fests our food-obsessed city has to offer. Then plan your next taste-test trip—there’s a new one to try almost every month!
January 21, 2017
Mix and mingle with brewers and cheesemakers around the state (and beyond)! Try hundreds of delicious creations at this 8th annual event. This is a ticketed event.
January 22-27, 2017
A Madison food-lovers’ tradition! Participating restaurants create prix-fixe menus featuring three different options for three-course meals starting at just $25. Reservations encouraged.
February 10-19, 2017
This new event, created in partnership with Madison Hotel Week, will feature special three-course menus ($15 to $35 per person) at all Food Fight Restaurants. Reservations encouraged.
March 4, 2017
Madison’s largest craft beer festival is back for its 3rd annual appearance—and it’s the place to sample more than 180 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries! This is a ticketed event.
March 5-12, 2017
Join Madison Area Chefs Network chefs who will combine menus, trade kitchens, and engage in a bit of healthy competition in 15+ events. Check individual events for reservation and ticketed event information.
March 20, 2017
Sip it. Sample it. Taste it. Hear it. This top-shelf tasting event features local distilleries, wineries and purveyors, plus live music by Barley Wine Jazz. This is a ticketed event.
Madison Craft Beer Week
April 29-May 8
Expect: special beer tappings, food pairings, educational programs and appearances by brewers. This is a ticketed event.
Isthmus Food Cart Fest
This annual festival takes place at Madison’s iconic Central Park and features all-you-can sample food cart fare and live music. Craft beer is also available for purchase. This is a ticketed event.
May 26-29, 2017
Four days of live music, classic Wisconsin brats, rides, activities and more means fun for the whole family! Musical acts to expect in 2017: George Clinton and Everclear. This is a free event.
June 11, 2017
This year's event features James Beard Award-winning Chef Tory Miller and will take place at Wollersheim Winery & Distillery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. This is a ticketed event.
June 17, 2017
Join curious omnivores and longtime vegans at a festival where you can enjoy delicious vegan food and find helpful information on protecting animals, the environment, and your health. New in 2017: this event will move into the full Exhibition Hall at Alliant Energy Center. This is a free event.
August 5, 2017
The Mustard Museum has been the official sponsor of National Mustard Day since 1991, and annually welcomes more than 6,000 people to downtown Middleton. This is a free event.
August 7, 2017
Sip it. Sample it. Taste it. Hear it. The alfresco version of this top-shelf tasting event features local distilleries, wineries and purveyors, and will be held at Nau-ti-Gal. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
This event is the second longest-running craft beer festival in the U.S. and features more than 150 of the Midwest’s finest craft brewers serving more than 1,000 beers lakeside at Madison’s beautiful Olin Park. This is a ticketed event. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
Yum Yum Fest, held annually in Central Park, highlights delicious dishes and drinks from the most celebrated restaurants in Dane County and beyond. This is a ticketed event. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
September 2-3, 2017
Eat your way around the Capitol Square as part of Taste of Madison! This annual Labor Day weekend event features more than 80 local restaurants, 26 beverage stands and 3 music stages. This is a free event.
September 9, 2017
This signature event in Mt. Horeb is an intimate tasting with more than 25 craft brewers and some 100 beers to sample. There’s live music, too! This is a ticketed event. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
September 17, 2017
A fresh take on riding events: consume more calories than you burn! Bike the Barns participants take a recreational tour of CSA farms in southwest WI, sampling all the way. This is a ticketed event. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
This hip interpretation of the classic, German-style fest features more than 50 craft brewers, as well as artisan sausage and cheesemakers for unlimited sampling and fun. This is a ticketed event. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
October 10-15, 2017
Madison is pretty damn nice in the fall. In celebration, there's Madison Cocktail Week. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
October 22, 2017
Pie for brunch? You bet! This annual event celebrates locally grown ingredients and all things pie. Take your pick from sweet and savory pies, plus tarts, quiches, turnovers and more. This is a ticketed event.
Quivey’s Grove Beer Fest
Cold beer! Local music! Hot food! The best of all worlds are found at this fest, held on the wooded grounds of Quivey’s Grove. Sample more than 100 beers from 45 different brewers and food from the outdoor smoke roaster. This is a ticketed event. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.
Growing and using herbs is the focus of this fun and educational event held at Madison’s renowned Olbrich Gardens. Workshops and demonstrations give growers a taste of the benefits of herbs. This is a free event. Stay tuned for 2017 event info.