The following annual food festivals are some of the most popular events showcasing food in Seattle and around the Puget Sound region. All are well-established annual food festivals and, except where noted, they have free admission. Food and any beverage (adult or otherwise) is, of course, extra.
These food festivals include “Taste” and “Bite” events showcasing Puget Sound food vendors, as well as summer festivals, seasonal events such as Oktoberfest, and themed events featuring international cuisines, seafood, barbecue, mushrooms, and more.
We don’t include festivals where the focus is beer, wine, and spirits, primarily because adult beverage events typically include a fairly hefty tasting fee, with food cost added on top of that. We also don’t list festivals where the focus is not food, so arts and music festivals, cultural celebrations, community events, and county fairs are not listed here, even though all of these events have plenty of food vendors and food trucks at the ready.
In this list of free food festivals, we are after big food and big fun for the least possible cost. This means no admission free (or very, very small like $5), and lots and lots of food, plus other activities as a backdrop to the food (such as crafts, music, kid’s fun, and the like).
A great way to approach a food festival, that is spend less and enjoy more, is to go with one or more people. Two to four people sharing a plate can power through more variety and try some of everything. Note that you may not spend less money overall with this approach. But if food sampling is your goal, then plate sharing is the ideal strategy.
Personally, I find it hard to devour $20 (pun intended) and usually fill up before my Jackson (and sometime after 2020, the Tubman) is spent. Your needs may be vastly different, of course.
Tip: volunteer at a food festival and you may get free food: If the cost of attending a food festival is too steep, then consider being a volunteer. Most community festivals and events have volunteer opportunities. In fact, most couldn’t run without a large number of people willing to help with setup, breakdown, and everything in-between from taking tickets to bussing tables and a slew of other tasks. Most volunteers at a food festival can work a few hours, get a free meal, and often a volunteer’s a t-shirt. Free food and free clothes–what’s not to like? To sign-up as a food festival volunteer, check their website menu for “volunteer”.
List of Seattle Food Festivals 2017
(listed in order by date)
Seattle food festivals in March and April
March 24 – April 8, 2017. Plate of Nations at independently-owned ethnic eateries along MLK Jr. Way South in Seattle. http://www.plateofnations.com/
Seattle food festivals in June
(If you are looking for strawberry festivals, go here.)
June 2-4, 2017. Bite of Greece at Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption on Capitol Hill in Seattle. http://www.biteofgreeceseattle.com/
June 3, 2017. Kent International Festival at ShoWare Center in Kent. http://www.kentinternationalfestival.com/
June 8, 2017. South Sound BBQ Festival at Huntamer Park in Lacey (55 miles south of Seattle). http://southsoundbbqfestival.com/
June 23-25, 2017. Taste of Tacoma at Point Defiance Park. https://www.tasteoftacoma.com/
Seattle food festivals in July
July 7-9, 2017. Ballard SeafoodFest in Seattle, surrounding Ballard Commons Park. https://seafoodfest.org/
July 15-16, 2017. Seattle Street Food Festival (4 blocks of food trucks) in South Lake Union. http://www.seattlestfoodfest.com/
July 21-23, 2017. Bite of Seattle at Seattle Center. https://www.biteofseattle.com/
July 23, 2017. Tacoma Food Truck Fest in Wright Park. http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/foodtruckfest/
July 29-30, 2017. $5 admission adults. Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival in Lacey (55 miles south of Seattle). https://www.pnwmushroomfest.org/
Seattle food festivals in August
August 4-6, 2017. SalmonFest Seattle at Lake City Community Center. https://salmonfestseattle.com/
August 11-13, 2017. $5 admission (13+). Taste of Edmonds at Civic Playfield in downtown Edmonds. http://edmondswa.chambermaster.com/events/details/a-taste-of-edmonds-08-11-2017-4416
August 19, 2017. Taste of Main in Bellevue. http://tasteofmainbellevue.com/
Seattle food festivals in September
September 22-24, 2017. Greek Festival at St. Demetrios in Seattle. http://seattlegreekfestival.com/
September 22-24, 2017. Bite of Broadview at Christ the King Church in north Seattle. http://www.biteofbroadview.com/
September 29 – October 1, 2017. Everett Sausage Fest at Perpetual Help Church in Everett. http://www.everettsausagefest.com/
These Seattle and Puget Sound food festivals typically offer activities for kids, amusement rides, beer and wine gardens, a vendor marketplace, and may offer other fun such as car shows, 5K runs, contests, and more.
Pets are usually prohibited at food festivals, due to the food nature of the event. Before you go, it’s a good idea to check their website for these and other details (such as where to park for free).
But plan to have a whole day of food fun, family fun, adult fun, free entertainment, and more fun.
Crossroads Park, 16000 NE 10th St, Bellevue, WA 98008
Regional Athletic Complex, 8345 Steilacoom Rd SE, Olympia, WA 98513
Wright Park, 501 S I St, Tacoma, WA 98405