Food festival season is upon Central Florida with no less than 13 events taking place in 10 days

Orlando Japan Festival, Orlando Greek Fest, Cows 'n Cabs, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic ...

click to enlarge Ocala Food & Wine Festival at the World Equestrian Center
Ocala Food & Wine Festival at the World Equestrian Center
If it's November, it must be food festival season and the next couple of weeks are chock-full of them.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, the Taste of Baldwin Park will transform New Broad Street into a culinary mecca of sorts with no less than 50 food and beverage vendors lining the busy thoroughfare. Bulla Gastrobar, Tabla, Better Than Sex, Bites & Bubbles and Cigar City Brewing are just a few of the vendors that will be on hand. Cost is $70 for general admission ($80 day of); $100 VIP ($150 day of). Visit for more.

Also on Thursday, the 22nd annual Taste of Thornton Park goes from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Food vendors include the recently opened Jack & Honey's, Island Time, Jinya Ramen Bar, Stubborn Mule, Maxine's on Shine and many more. Tickets are $40 ($50 at the door). NOTE: Children, strollers and pets are not permitted.

click to enlarge Chef Timothy Hollingsworth
Chef Timothy Hollingsworth
From Nov. 3-5, the Ocala Food & Wine Festival brings a star-studded lineup of celeb chefs to the ultra-posh World Equestrian Center, an $800 million facility catering to jet-setting horse lovers. The three-day, adults-only festival is sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, so that should give an indication as to the caliber of quaffs and fare that'll be dished out. Chefs attending include Top Chef Master Lorena Garcia, Otium LA's Timothy Hollingsworth (winner of Netflix's The Final Table and James Beard Award recipient for Rising Star Chef of the Year), pitmaster Rashad Jones, pastry chef Yohann Le Bescond and master sommelier Roland Micu. The event kicks off Friday night at 6 p.m. with "Barbecue, Bourbon & Blues" featuring plenty of hooch and live-fire cuisine. The Taste of Ocala goes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with plenty of food and drink samples and chef-led demos. At 7 p.m., the Celebrity Chef Dinner with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates takes place on the elegant outdoor terrace at Stirrups Restaurant, and on Sunday, a Jazz Champagne Brunch will be held on the hotel's terrace. Visit for event tickets and packages.

The suds will flow Saturday, Nov. 4, when the 8th annual Orlando Beer Festival presented by Orlando Weekly takes over the appropriately named Festival Park in the Milk District. Ticket holders will have access to more than 200 varieties of beer, ciders, seltzers, spirits and cocktails from more than 50 local, regional and national breweries and companies. Needless to say, this is a 21 and over event. Cost is $65 ($75 day of); $100 VIP. Visit for more.
Also on Saturday, the College Park Jazzfest takes place from 5-11 p.m. with a host of live music acts and local food vendors lining Edgewater Drive between Smith and West King streets. Tickets are $15 ($20 day of). Children 12 and under are free. Visit for more.

click to enlarge Congee will be served at this year's Food & Wine Classic
Congee will be served at this year's Food & Wine Classic
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11, with more food and beverage selections than ever before. Tasting booths along the resort's causeway and private lake and beach area will serve 25 dishes (think smoked lamb, congee, pear pecan praline cake and more) from 5:30-9 p.m. along with more than 200 wine, beer and spirits samplings. Two new themed areas will debut this year: For the Love of Florida and The Rosé Room. Interactive seminars run by the resort's food and beverage team also make a return. Cost is $185 (seminars are extra). Visit for tickets and packages.

And finally, Cows 'n Cabs, a Winter Park staple since 2012, takes place Saturday, Nov. 11, benefiting children's charities including After-School All Stars Orlando, 4 Roots and Winter Park Day Nursery. Plaid shirts and cowboy boots are the norm for guests traversing Winter Park's West Meadow, as is gourmet fare from numerous Orlando-area restaurants and booze, beer and wine from high-end purveyors. A bevy of live music acts keep the night rollicking. Cost is $200; $300 VIP. Visit for tickets and info.

click to enlarge Cows 'n Cabs
Cows 'n Cabs
And it doesn't end there. Also taking place within the next two weeks are: Orlando Greek Fest (Nov. 3-5), Fall Fiesta in the Park (Nov. 4-5), A Taste of Dr. Phillips (Nov. 5), Casselberry Food & Wine Festival (Nov. 6), Taste of Altamonte (Nov. 6) and the Orlando Japan Festival (Nov. 12).

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