5 cultural food festivals to try in the District this summer

From jollof rice to barbecue, try cuisines from all over the world at these food events

5 cultural food festivals to try in the District this summer
Giant Food will host the National Capital Barbecue Battle this June

Summer is here, which means many local businesses, organizations and venues are busy cooking up all kinds of fun dishes to cater to D.C. residents. Rather than spending all your free time at beaches, pools and waterparks, sample signature dishes at some of the various food events and festivals the District has to offer. From wine tastings to cultural food events, here are some events that can make your mouth water. 

27th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle

The 27th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle is back. Known as DC’s largest annual food and music festival, the event features more than 10 restaurants and 20 stores, and guests can spend the day enjoying food samples.

The festival will also host special attractions and exhibits such as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, while visitors will also have the opportunity to meet celebrity chefs and cheer on their favorite BBQ team.

“This event brings friends and family together for a wholesome summer afternoon in the nation’s capital,” said Shelby Collinson, communication associate of Liquified Creative, one of the organizers of the event. “It is hard to find events for the entire family, that’s why we focus on being inclusive for all age groups through the attractions and bands we bring in.”

Tickets for the festival range between $12 and $155 and includes various activities like barbecue contests and panels.

When: Saturday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, June 23 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Where: Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 3rd and 7th Street 

Metro: Take the Green or Yellow Line to Archives-Navy Memorial Penn Quarter 

Chinatown Community Festival

The Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs will host the Chinatown Community Festival, which will represent authentic cuisine. MOAPIA’s mission is to coordinate programs and initiatives while improving the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Food samples will be available, alongside performances, fitness demonstrations, face painting and other activities.

The festival is free and open for the public to taste and learn about their cultures. 

When: June 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Where: Chinatown Park at 5th and I Street NW

Metro: Take the Green, Yellow or Red Line to  Chinatown-Gallery Place 

Taste the Philippines: D.C. Filipino Food Festival

Taste the Philippines: D.C. Filipino Food Festival will bring the District a taste of rich Filipino cuisine. Visitors can enjoy cultural performances, martial arts demonstrations, music, giveaways, prizes and food cooked by Filipino chefs. The event is family-friendly and celebrates the many facets of Filipino culture. 

Even though admission to the festival is free, guests can buy tasting tickets in advance for $5. 

When: June 22, 2 to 6 p.m. 

Where: The Wharf at 101 District Square SW

Metro: Take the Orange, Silver, Yellow, Blue or Green Lines to L’Enfant Plaza

DC - Jollof Rice Festival

The Washington D.C. Jollof Festival provides various Jollof dishes and entertainment for its visitors. The festival is a day-long celebration for West African countries and their expression of the one-pot dish, consisting of fried and stewed tomatoes. Visitors can expect music, performances and West African cuisine, with wine and beer offered as well. Visitors can also vote for which West African country has the best Jollof.

Early bird tickets range from $20 to $90 and can be found on the event site.

When: July 6, 3 to 8 p.m.

Where: TBA, visit their website for updates

2019 Around the World Cultural Food Festival

Known for its rich intercultural diversity, the fourth-annual Around the World Cultural Food Festival seeks to bring diversity, originality and traditional values from different countries around the world. It aims to strengthen the cultural presence of each country in the District, presenting ways for the public to learn through food, performances, and clothing and accessories for sale. 

The festival is free admission with food and drinks available for purchase. Guests can try traditional foods from 16 countries: Columbia, Greece, Guam, India, Brazil, Jamaica, Lebanon, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Yemen, Turkey, Italy, Morocco, Japan, Australia and the United States. 

Visitors also have the option to purchase VIP tickets which can cost up to $95. The VIP tickets include special area and line access, choosing three countries to taste test and two drink tickets.

When: Monday, August 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Where: Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 14th Street 

Metro: Take the Orange, Silver or Blue Line to Federal Triangle 

There are many other summer food events and festivals throughout the season. Students can visit Eventbrite for more information for tastings, contests and entertainment.

life@theeagleonline.com

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