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An Eater’s Guide to the Best Fall Food Festivals In Dallas

Eat meat, drink beer, and be merry

Get ready for Meat Fight
Jeff Amador/Meat Fight

Fall is the best time of the year in North Texas. The weather (finally) cools off, football returns, and a bounty of local festivals and fairs pop up to take advantage of everything the season has to offer.

The most important among these fall fetes? The season’s finest food festivals, which each present unique opportunities to taste the best of Dallas. Ranging from farm-focused fare to a day totally focused on rosé, these seven Dallas food festivals are each worth the cost of admission.

The State Fair of Texas

  • When: September 29 through October 22
  • Where: Fair Park
  • Tickets: $16.50 for adult admission to the State Fair, plus the cost of food
  • Details: There’s no bigger food extravaganza in Texas than the State Fair, and this year’s is shaping up to be no exception. Outside of the classic, totally required fair foods like turkey legs and Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, it’s always worth spending a few tickets on the new deep-fried delights, like this year’s Deep Fried Froot Loops and Tamale Doughnuts.

Park & Palate

  • When: October 13-14
  • Where: Klyde Warren Park
  • Tickets: $75 general admission; $150 VIP
  • Details: The Down to the Roots dinner on October 13 is mostly for Klyde Warren Park donors, but the Park & Palate Grand Taste on October 14 will feature some of the best chefs from Texas and beyond. Dallas locals like Junior Borges, Brian Luscher, and Peja Krstic will be paired with up-and-coming chefs from afar like Jeff Balfour of San Antonio’s Southerleigh, Houston’s Rebecca Masson, and Phillip Speer of Bonhomie in Austin to serve up small bites with Downtown Dallas in the backdrop.
Freshly fried funnel cake at the Texas Veggie Fair
Texas Veggie Fair/Facebook

Texas Veggie Fair

  • When: October 21
  • Where: Reverchon Park
  • Tickets: Admission is free, food and drink available for purchase
  • Details: This annual event is a favorite of local plant enthusiasts. Admission is free, and the veggie corn dogs, vegan treats, and chef demonstrations make for a decidedly delicious (and healthy) alternative to the State Fair fried food madness. Trinity Hall Irish Pub will be on hand to stock an entirely vegan beer and wine garden.

Fall-O-Ween

  • When: October 27-28
  • Where: The Longhorn Ballroom
  • Tickets: $75 general admission; $150 VIP. Food and drink is included in the cost of admission.
  • Details: Skip the bagged candy and head to the newly-revamped Longhorn Ballroom for bites and drinks from restaurants like Knife, Meso Maya, and Tillman’s Roadhouse. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options will be on offer, along with a number of locally-made snacks and treats that can be sampled and purchased for snacking later. Best of all, Fall-O-Ween is the only Dallas food festival this fall that encourages the wearing of ridiculous Halloween costumes.

Rosé All Day

  • When: Sunday, October 29 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Where: Arlington Hall at Lee Park
  • Tickets: Range from $40 for general admission to $1,500 for table service. Tickets can be purchased here. Note: the cost of wine & food is not included in the ticket price, but the first 100 buyers will receive a complimentary glass of rosé.
  • Details: The popularity of pink wine isn’t going to die down any time soon, which makes the arrival of Dallas’ first-ever rosé-focused festival particularly timely. From the minds behind Lights All Night, Rosé All Day will serve up both canned and bottled varieties of rosé, along with cocktails (including frosé, of course) featuring pink wine.
Chefs For Farmers’ Main Event in Lee Park Robert Bostick

Chefs For Farmers

  • When: November 2-5
  • Where: Various locations, including the Dallas Farmers Market, The Adolphus Hotel, and Lee Park
  • Tickets: $40-$150, depending on event. Tickets can be purchased here
  • Details: Arguably the year’s biggest food festival, Chefs For Farmers brings together the finest culinary and bar professionals from Dallas and beyond in support of the farmers who supply their ingredients. This year, Chefs For Farmers kicks off with Bite Night on November 2, where Top Chef contestant John Tesar will be joined by his fellow competitors Katsuji Tanabe, Brooke Williamson and Casey Thompson (among other exciting chefs) in cooking up beef dishes. On November 4, chefs will descend on Victory Park with street food bites, and the Main Event on Sunday will feature a ton of food and booze tastings, live music, and food demonstrations.

Meat Fight

  • When: November 12
  • Where: Longhorn Ballroom
  • Tickets: Tickets go on sale October 3
  • Details: Even though most of the details about Meat Fight are hush-hush for now, smoked meat enthusiasts should absolutely mark the calendar for October 3, because these tickets sell out ridiculously fast each and every year. The annual meat-obsessed extravaganza pits the city’s best chefs against each other in a barbecue battle, all to raise cash for the National MS Society. This year’s event will also feature the newly-added Sweet Fight, where nine chefs will compete for sugary glory.

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