11 Summer Food Festivals to Check Out in Calgary

This summer, snack the day away at one of these festivals focused on barbecue, ice cream, global cuisine and more.

A sample of the food from Brewery and the Beast 2022. Photograph courtesy of Brewery and the Beast.

Mexifest

When: July 4 to 7

Mexifest brings a little taste of Mexican food, culture and hospitality to Calgarians each year. At this four-day festival, visit the grounds to snack on tacos or tamales, as well as drinks like micheladas and margaritas. To complete the experience, all this tasty food is complemented by music, Mexican luchadore wrestling and more.

311 8 St S.W., mexifest.ca

 

Fiestaval

When: July 19 to 21

During some of the hottest days of summer, Fiestaval transforms downtown Calgary into a celebration of all things Latin American. Over three days, enjoy more than 30 food vendors serving authentic dishes from Central and South America, alongside an artisan market and hundreds of performers participating in the cultural festivities. Admission is free.

Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave. S.E., fiestaval.ca

 

YYC Ice Cream Fest

When: July 19 to August 5

Organized by Calgary Meals on Wheels, YYC Ice Cream Fest launched in 2022 to great success. Now in its third year, Calgarians are invited to visit their favourite participating restaurants and ice cream shops to try some unique ice cream creations, with a portion of the proceeds going towards Meals on Wheels. Then, vote for your favourites (anyone who has experienced YYC Hot Chocolate Fest can expect the same format). Participating restaurants haven’t been announced yet, but last year’s winners included Milk Ice Cream Club with the most scoops sold, D’Served with the highest rated treat and Apprentice Café with the best non-dairy option.

yycicecreamfest.com

 

Afro Caribbean Food Festival

When: July 20 and 21

Celebrate the sunny summer weather with some Caribbean cuisine and culture. While full details haven’t been released for this year yet, patrons can expect to find some delicious Afro-Caribbean cuisine like jerk chicken, fried plantains and more, all while taking in the fun vibes with music, art and performances.

Celebration Square (C-Square), 508 7 Ave. S.E., acfoodfestival.com

 

Taste of Calgary

When: August 1 to 5

One of the most anticipated food festivals in the city, Taste of Calgary is a huge draw for food-loving crowds. Taste global dishes and drinks from Calgary’s wide range of restaurants and beverage makers — all you need is a pocket full of sample tickets ($1 each) and a hearty appetite.

tasteofcalgary.com

 

Calgary Japanese Festival “Omatsuri”

When: August 9 and 10

While this festival isn’t strictly a food festival, food is definitely one of the best reasons to attend, according to the festival creators. Japanese restaurants from around the city will be serving the best-of-the-best — items from previous years include takoyaki, yakitori, gyoza and more, as well as beverages like teas, sake and Japanese beers. This year’s festival will be a two-day affair, with Friday featuring more modern/contemporary events and Saturday consisting of traditional music, dance and performances.

Max Bell Centre, 1001 Barlow Tr. S.E., calgaryjapanesefestival.com

 

Alberta on the Plate

When: August 9 to 18

Alberta on the Plate brings together some of the best Alberta restaurants to celebrate the incredible bounty of ingredients found in our province. Head to participating restaurants and beverage makers around Alberta for a multi-course, prix-fixe meal made in concert with local fruit, vegetable and product makers for an unforgettable local dining experience. Participating Calgary restaurants include Rouge, Eighty Eight Brewing Co. and Hawthorn Dining Room & Bar. The full list of participating venues will be released on July 5.

albertaontheplate.com

 

GlobalFest

When: August 15, 17, 20, 22 and 24

While many Calgarians know GlobalFest for its fireworks competitions, the event grounds are also home to a gigantic number of food stalls, each serving different cultural foods from countries around the world. Start off with arepas, grab some Vietnamese food and maybe finish with some shawarma. Whatever your heart desires, the world is at your fingertips at GlobalFest.

Elliston Park, globalfest.ca

 

Halal Ribfest

When: August 23 to 25

While Southern barbecue is often a pork-heavy experience, this festival flips that idea on its head by creating an inclusive event that revolves around Halal meats. Head to the festival’s Calgary stop to indulge in dishes like brisket, beef ribs and smoked chicken while taking in live performances, a pop-up market and more.

Deerfoot City, 901 64 Ave. N.E., halalribfest.com

 

Brewery & the Beast

When: August 25

This one-of-a-kind food festival is all about celebrating good food and drink, particularly when it comes to meat and beer. Come to this festival to experience everything smoked, barbecued and fire kissed. This festival is unique in that there are no sample tickets, only an entrance fee, so patrons are free to fill up on whatever their favourite dish is or try a bit of everything. Plus, there are plenty of craft beers, ciders, cocktails and wine to wash it all down.

The Confluence Historic Site & Parkland, 750 9 Ave. S.E., breweryandthebeast.com

 

Western Canada Rib Fest Tour

When: September 6 to 8

Catch the Calgary leg of this rib-centric grill festival, which brings four barbecue experts across Canada for a rib cook-off that you won’t want to miss. In addition to delicious barbecue, expect live music, family-friendly activities and more.

McMahon Stadium, 1817 Crowchild Tr. N.W., wcrft.ca

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