Guide to the Top 5 Annual Vancouver Food Festivals

Best Food & Wine Festivals in Vancouver, BC

From the ever-evolving Dine Out Vancouver Festival in January to the unique and local B.C. Spot Prawn Festival in May, Vancouver's incredible food festivals showcase the best in Vancouver cuisine.

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Dine Out Vancouver Festival - January 15 - 31, 2016

dine_out_granville_island.jpg
Image Courtesy of Dine Out Vancouver Festival

The biggest annual food festival in Vancouver was created by Tourism Vancouver in 2002 to promote local restaurants: participating restaurants offer set, three-course menus of $18, $28 or $38 so locals can "dine out" for a great deal and, hopefully, find a new, favourite restaurant.

While the Dine Out menus/restaurants are still a huge part of the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, the festival has evolved over the years to encompass a range of events and special activities for foodies, including food tours, secret dinner soirees, and the five-day Street Food City, a mini-festival of street food outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.

02 of 06

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival - January 16 - February 14, 2016

vancouver food festivals: Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival
Image Courtesy of Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Now in its 5th year, the burgeoning Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is a winter delight: Dozens local chocolate makers, bakers and chocolate artisans come together to offer 60 new and unusual flavours of hot chocolate at shops and cafes throughout the city.

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Vancouver International Wine Festival - February 20 - 28, 2016

vancouver food festivals: Vancouver International Wine Festival
Image Courtesy of Vancouver International Wine Festival

The annual Vancouver International Wine Festival (formerly known as the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and now partnered with Bard on the Beach) includes multiple wine tasting events, wine-paired dinners, seminars, and brunches while showcasing wines from around the world.

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Vancouver B.C. Spot Prawn Festival -  May 2016, Dates TBA

vancouver food festivals: b.c. spot prawn festival
Image Courtesy of The Chefs' Table Society / B.C. Spot Prawn Festival

Every year, Vancouver's annual B.C. Spot Prawn Festival kicks off B.C. spot prawn season with a free festival at Fisherman's Wharf by Granville Island. Highlights of the Festival include the $15-per-person Spot Prawn Boil, cooking demonstrations with Vancouver celebrity chefs, free entertainment and kids' activities, and a chance to buy your own spot prawns fresh off the boat.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

B.C. Halibut Festival at Fresh St. Market - May 2016, Dates TBA

B.C. Halibut Festival at Fresh St. Market, Vancouver
Image Courtesy of Fresh St. Market Halibut Festival

Fresh St. Market--a Metro Vancouver food market that specializes in locally-sourced products--hosts the annual B.C. Halibut Festival every May at its two locations (in West Vancouver at 1650 Marine Drive and in Surrey at 15930 Fraser Highway). The free festival includes fishing boat tours, wine tastings, kids' activities, and grilled halibut burgers, plus a chance to buy fresh-caught, Ocean Wise B.C. halibut right off the boat.

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Bonus! Summer Night Markets - Victoria Day - Labour Day

vancouver food festivals: summer night markets
Image Courtesy of Summer Night Market

Bonus item! Though not a food festival, per se, the annual, Asian-style summer night markets in Metro Vancouver are major food events: The huge night markets in Richmond feature hundreds of Asian street food vendors and are one of the Top 10 Summer Events in Vancouver.