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Spring Food Festival Season in Full Bloom in the Garden State

With March just days away, springtime is just around the corner. Along with the arrival of warmer weather comes food festival season in the Garden State. Home to thousands of farmers’ markets and miles of coastline, New Jersey is a warm-weather paradise for lovers of all things culinary.

The 2024 season is certain not to disappoint, with a calendar of events that promises to be one of the state’s most jam-packed to date in the food event space.

The following is a list of upcoming food festivals and events set to kick off in March and continue throughout the spring months.

March 2-3

CURE Insurance Arena

81 Hamilton Avenue


The first 2024 event in’s food festival series, Jersey Eats: A Taste of New Jersey at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton will be featuring more than 100 food vendors, a sports lounge, face painting, balloon twisting, and music. 

Several of the area’s most beloved food trucks, street food vendors, and restaurants will be participating in the largest event to date, including: 

March 9-10

NJ Convention & Expo Center

97 Sunfield Avenue


Chocolate is one of life’s true pleasures and New Jersey’s Chocolate Expo has by far become the northeast’s largest chocolate-themed event. Combining chocolate and food with a dash of fun such as unique exhibits, performances, demonstrations, and surprise celebrity appearances, the event will feature tastings and sales of chocolates, baked goods, specialty foods, gelato, cheeses, craft beverages,  and ready-to-eat foods from local and regional vendors.    

Entertainment will include celebrity appearances, chef demos, magic, and music, plus fun for children in the Kidz Zone.

March 23

Carteret Performing Arts and Events Center

46 Washington Avenue


Held at New Jersey’s premier culinary destination, Crystal Springs Resort, more than a dozen New Jersey wineries will be on hand.

Designed to let food and wine connoisseurs meet and mingle with the world’s finest chefs and winemakers, the Festival has grown into a showcase for culinary talent, with a who’s-who of attending chefs including Jose Andres, Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Thomas Keller, David Kinch, and Michael White.

In addition to  chef pairings, there will be food sampling, music, and a vendor market.

April 14

Westfield Garden State Plaza


Visitors can sample an array of tacos, fajitas, arepas, empanadas, and desserts, while enjoying live Latin music and watching cultural dance performances. There will also be cooking demos, food contests, and a long list of family activities.

April 20

Burlington County Fairgrounds


In collaboration with the Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter, helping to find forever homes for dogs, cats, and other small animals,  Jersey Eats presents the inaugural Fur Baby Food and Music Fest, featuring more than a dozen food vendors, live music, face painting, a dog agility course, pet costume contest, and games.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket along with their furry friends for an event the entire family will enjoy, especially the furry four-legged members.   Admission is $6 fo adults; kids 5 and under are free.

Portions of all proceeds and alcohol sales will directly benefit Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter.

April 27

Rustic Mall


In addition to a wide range of food truck favorites including empanadas, BBQ, All-American, and Asian delights, the Original NJ Empanada Fest will feature  live music, a bungee trampoline, bounce house, face painting,  henna tattoos, sand art, and craft vendors.  

May 3-5

Crystal Springs Resort


For lovers of all things food and wine eager to meet the world’s finest chefs and winemakers, this 3-day fest features a weekend of gourmet tastings, hands-on seminars, stellar dinners, and an over-the-top after party.

May 3, 7 to 7:45 pm: Champaign Reception Guests are invited to toast opening night with Champagne and hors d’oeuvres in the Garden Room.

Price: $50

Location: Garden Room

May 3, 8 to 11 pm, Sunset Cabaret

The Festival kicks off with an opening night performance at the Crystal Cabaret, featuring music and comedy, tastings, wine, and cocktails.

Price: $125

Location: Big Sky Pavilion 

May 3, 8 to 11 pm : Top Chefs & Wines

James Beard Award winner Karen Akunowicz, Top Chef finalist Sara Bradley, and NJ restaurateur David Viana come together to serve a 5-course exquisite dinner paired with exceptional wines from some of the world's most renowned winemakers.

Champagne Reception - $50 per person. 

Dinner only - $295

Dinner + Champagne Reception - $345

Location: Chestnut Room 

Wine Cellar Dinner

The evening starts with a champagne reception, followed by this extraordinary kick-off event, a gastronomic experience that combines a multi-course menu and select wines.

Dress code - cocktail attire.

Price: $750

May 4, 7 to 10 pm: The Grand Tasting

Presented by Blind Ambition Coalition, over 30 chefs from New York and New Jersey join leading wineries and distilleries from around the world in this showcase event.

Price: $175

Location: Crystal Springs Clubhouse 

May 4, 6:30 to 10 pm: VIP Grand Tasting

Spanning two stories of the Grand Rotunda, the VIP Grand Tasting will offer guests tasting from top restaurants, premium wines, fine Champagnes, and award-winning spirits curated by Tasting Alliance.

Price: $350

Location: Grand Rotunda and 3rd Floor VIP Lounge

May 4, noon to 3 pm : Marketplace Lunch

Guests will enjoy a feast of seasonal fare prepared by a team of chefs serving up spring dishes, fresh oysters, pasta, carved meats, artisanal cheeses and more. Local NJ Winemakers will be on hand pouring wines that are sure to please every palate.

Price: $50 {plus tax}Location: Big Sky Pavilion 

May 4, 10 pm to 1 am: Biosphere After Party

As the DJ spins all night, guests will enjoy entertainment, multiple open bars, and delicious late-night eats.

Price: $195

Location: Biosphere Pool Complex & Chef's Garden 

May 5, 10 am to 1 pm: Sunday Brunch

Expansive Cinco de Mayo-themed brunch buffet and spritz bar  will close out the Festival weekend. 

Price: $50 

Location: Emerald Ballroom 

May 8

Bolero Resort & Conference Center


Visitors will experience a day filled with food and dessert samplings from dozens of The Wildwoods’ most beloved restaurants and specialty shops. And new for 2024, each ticket includes a pasta buffet.  

May 18-19

Mercer County Park

West Windsor

Over 50 vendors will proudly present regional food specialties with entertainment by The Nerds on Saturday and live pro wrestling action from UWA Elite on Sunday. Adults can purchase beer, wine, and hard seltzers from around the world while the little ones can burn off some steam at the MEGA Kids Zone.

June 1

Donaldson Farms

358 Allen Rd.


Dozens of food trucks, live music, games, activities, art station, bungee trampoline, balloon art, and visits with ponies will be on hand at the Czig Meister Brewery Company, with craft beers and hard Czelters for sale and available for tasting.

June 22-23

Monmouth Park


Guests can sample slices from 30+ New Jersey pizzerias while enjoying live music, horse racing, competitions, and more.  

Coming this summer:

August 17-18

The Terminal at the Showboat Resort and Hotel

Atlantic City

Presented by Jersey Eats, more than 100 food vendors, a sports lounge, face painting, balloon twisting, and music will be on hand. Stay tuned for more information in the months to come!

By Eileen Strauss


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