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!
2019 Best Fests
January 19, 2019
Mix and mingle with brewers and cheesemakers around the state (and beyond)! Try hundreds of delicious creations at this 10th annual event. This is a ticketed event.
January 20–25, 2019
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 2, 2019
Head to Hilldale for a celebration of bock beers. Sample 30 bock beers from more than 10 breweries. Enjoy a Bavarian pretzel bar, Hammerschlagen, and raffles to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison.
February 23, 2019
Live music? Bock beer? Delicious, local, food? Check, check, and check! Capital Brewery’s annual Bockfest celebration has them all.
Madison’s largest craft beer festival is back for its 5th annual appearance—and it’s the place to sample 150+ releases from some of America’s best craft breweries! This is a ticketed event.
Taste the talents of Madison-area chefs as they collaborate to combine cuisines, switch restaurants and engage in friendly competition, resulting in a week of unique culinary experiences.
Sip it. Sample it. Taste it. Hear it. This top-shelf tasting event features local distilleries, wineries and purveyors, plus live music. This is a ticketed event.
Sample a variety of local flavors from Madison Originals restaurants, enjoy local breweries, wineries and distilleries, while supporting The River Food Pantry. This is a ticketed event.
May 4– 13, 2019
Expect: special beer tappings, food pairings, educational programs and appearances by brewers. This is a ticketed event.
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.
Memorial Day Weekend
Four days of live music, classic Wisconsin brats, rides, activities and more means fun for the whole family! This is a free event.
Eat and drink your way through this 12th annual event of locally-sourced burgers, live music and craft brews! Wisconsin’s talented producers will be serving up unique burgers, craft beer and dessert pairings. This is a ticketed event.
Celebrate Madison's rich farm-to-table culinary scene. Delicious dining and live music combine for an unforgettable feast.
Taste delicious dishes from multiple Madison restaurants highlighting sustainable seafood. This event aims to raise awareness of the importance of supporting sustainable fishing practices.
June 20, 2019
Bacon and beer make a perfect pair. Enjoy hundreds of craft beers as your devour bacon-infused foods. Add in live music and you have a festival you won't soon forget!
August 9, 2019
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.
Sip it. Sample it. Taste it. Hear it. The alfresco version of this top-shelf tasting event features local distilleries, wineries and purveyors. This is a ticketed event.
August 10, 2019
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.
August 15–18, 2019
Enjoy family fun, a carnival, and savor some sweet corn at this spectacular festival. More than 80 tons of sweet corn will be served over the weekend.
This charitable event highlights delicious dishes and drinks from the most celebrated restaurants in Dane County and beyond. This is a ticketed event.
August 31–September 1, 2019
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, 27 beverage stands and 3 music stages. This is a free event.
September 14, 2019
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.
September 15, 2019
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.
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.
If you think there's too much meat on this list, Madison Vegan Fest may be for you. This annual festival enters its seventh year of celebrating all things vegan.
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.
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.