According to us, there are two plans of attack for the insane amount of java you will encounter at The New York Coffee Festival, an event as hyped up as its theme: 1. pace yourself, imbibe cautiously, and drink responsibly or 2. do nothing of the sort and guzzle as much of the unlimited joe as you can. We suggest option two, and with good reason. We’ve never seen an event lineup more worthy of our favorite bean than this annual NYC event. Also, in case you missed it (did you miss it?), we said unlimited coffee. With the best of the best baristas and vendors on site, they won’t be your average cups of joe, either. That extra buzz you get will be put to good use at the event’s packed roster of coffee demonstrations, coffee workshops (go ahead, try to make a better brew than that famous barista teaching you how to do it), coffee-inspired music and art, and, what we’re most excited about, Coffee Masters New York. This is where 16 baristas will go head-to-head in a caffeine-fueled competition with challenges including latte art, signature drink creation, and taste identification. In case you want to proactively ward off any post-festival shakes, there will be street food and martinis infused with, uh, coffee. We warned you that there’d be a lot of coffee, didn’t we? Good thing you’d already decided to go with that “guzzle unlimited joe” option. September 16-18 in NYC.
More Experience Events
Don’t let the name fool you — the Phuket Vegetarian Festival may be the most hardcore festival we’ve ever heard of. While veggie-friendly eats do play a role in this firecracker-friendly affair on Thailand’s largest island, this nine-day religious festival is really known for its ceremonies that include acts of self-mutilation and face and body piercing with knives, stakes, and household items by entranced mediums — called mah song — who parade through the city in outfits of white. While these and other rituals like firewalking, bladed ladder climbing, and bathing in hot oil may make you cringe, they demonstrate a belief that the gods will heal any wounds and are part of a larger goal of purification that includes abstinence from sex, alcohol, and meat. But don’t worry — like any good festival, this one doesn’t forget the food, and je, special vegetarian dishes marked by red and yellow signs, is one festival tradition that’s easy to stomach. Although you may encounter a bleeding mah song or two as you chow down, that will be the only surprise — apparently je tastes just like the meat-based classics. October 1-9 in Phuket, Thailand.
I’ve been going to Raffetto’s for as long as I can remember to stock up for our traditional Italian Sunday suppers. My father grew up just a few blocks away on Thompson Street and when I moved to the city in the 90’s I was at Rafetto’s every week. Over the years a lot has changed around the neighborhood but Raffetto’s still has the simplicity and old-world charm of doing one thing really really well. I don’t think the pasta chart has changed since I was a kid. Pick a flavor. Pick a size. Done. One thing that has changed at Raffetto’s is Sarah Raffetto, the fourth generation great-granddaughter of Marcello Raffetto. She grew up and opened a pop-up pasta restaurant inside the shop. With her partner Emily Fedner, of @foodloversdiary, they offer intimate meals on Sunday and Monday when the retail shop is closed. Dubbed Petite Pasta Joint, the experience is a food and story filled evening hosted by the two carb fanatic founders. We expect nothing short of the fresh and perfect Rafetto’s pasta paired with some equally delicious sauces and sides. Currently, it seems events are by inquiry only. We can only imagine COVID restrictions are to blame.
Set in the incredible and manicured 50-acre gardens of this English country estate you’d be hard pressed to find a better setting then Sandon Spring Fair for a food and craft weekend in April. Of course there might be some travel involved. Just 45 minutes out of London (7h 45min from NYC) the grounds transform into a global street food cornucopia and a craft market featuring artisans from all over the isle. If a reprieve is necessary, afternoon tea is quintessentially available inside the majestic, 162 year old hall itself. While inside make sure to explore a little and enjoy the beauty of the building but be careful the Harrowby family still operates part of it as their home.
Bacon chocolate. Bacon-wrapped corn. Ice cream with bacon bits. At this point, is there any food item that hasn’t been elevated by the addition of a little bit of bacon? You can find out at The Great Big Bacon Picnic, a weekend-long extravaganza in Williamsburg completely dedicated to one of America’s most beloved cuts of meat. Not only will you have the opportunity to sample dozens of the best bacon-inspired bites from top chefs in and around New York City, but it may be the only food festival in the world where the price of a ticket includes access to unlimited amounts of that irresistible cured swine belly of all different varieties. To wash down all that greasy goodness, choose from some of the city’s best local craft beers and spirits. Boom. Guzzle. Ahhh. The good news about this food-and-beverage combination is that bacon sandwiches are one of the best hangover cures. The not-so-good news – we’re not sure if there’s any quick fix for the symptoms of bacon overindulgence. September 24-25 at 12pm in Brooklyn.