It’s party time, people. With vaccines rolling out and restrictions lifted, a number of our favorite San Francisco Bay Area food, wine, and music festivals, county fairs, street fairs, live music venues, farmers’ markets, and annual events are back on the books.
Whether you’re a food lover, craft beer drinker, street food aficionado, wine tasting enthusiast, or live music seeker, there is an event for you in the Bay Area this summer and early fall.
Here’s our roundup of all the summer food and music festivals you won’t want to miss
Most of the 2021 Pride events are still on hold, but SF Pride is hosting two film screenings at Oracle Park: In the Heights and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Both films are loaded with talented actors such as Anthony Ramos (“A Star is Born,” Broadway’s “Hamilton”), Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton,” “BlacKkKlansman”) and newcomer Max Harwood. Enjoy the films, popcorn and special appearances. You can buy tickets for fully vaccinated areas and socially distanced areas. All proceeds support San Francisco Pride.
This FREE concert series extravaganza takes place at the magical Sigmund Stern Grove outdoor amphitheater at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. You can bring your own food, beer and wine or pick up casual fare from the on-site concession in the Esplanade, Tante’s. Bay Area food trucks also provide an ample variety of offerings from BBQ to tacos, falafel, chicken and waffles, Thai, burgers and more. Reserve tickets starting June 8.
Head to Healdsburg in beautiful Sonoma County for the 23rd Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival. This outdoor, three-day festival features and celebrates the American art form known as jazz. You haven’t experienced live entertainment if you haven’t been to an authentic jazz festival like this one! Shows sell out, so book soon.
This weekly food truck event in downtown Fremont happens every Friday from July to October. Swing by for live entertainment, beer, wine, weekly drawings and prizes and, of course, lots of our favorite food trucks. Schedules are still being sorted, so check their calendar for updates.
World-class performances by emerging talent and renowned artists in the unparalleled Napa Valley return this summer with a full program. Many area wineries get in on the action by offering special wine tastings, and Academy and Grammy-award winner Jennifer Hudson is this year’s Arts for All Gala performer.
Operated by the nonprofit Folsom Street organization, which supports BIPOC and LGBTQA2I+ communities, Folsom Market is an opportunity to support the vendors who usually participate in their flagship Folsom Street Fair (offline for 2021). MEGAHOOD is a throwback to their original street fair name from 1984, where you can expect music, food, exhibits and leather — lots of leather!
If you’re missing the annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival (which is on hiatus while organizers regroup but may return in September), you might still get your fix at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon. The event features all things chocolate, from exhibits to demos, tastings, presentations, awards and more. This event’s date was July 11 through 14, but their website now indicates it may be postponed, so watch for updates.
If you prefer pungent, spicy, flavor-loaded garlic to chocolate, look no further than the Gilroy Garlic Festival held in the little town of Gilroy. For now, the only way to taste the garlic-laden dishes in the festival’s “Gourmet Alley” is a drive-thru experience. However, festival organizers are awaiting approval from the Santa Clara County Health Department to approve temporary events and a return to the standard setup.
California is known for being the nation’s trendsetter state, but who would have guessed that celebrating this prickly thistle bud would endure for 61 years? This year’s Artichoke Festival theme is “Thistle be a Good Time,” and you can taste all sorts of preparations at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.
Sample the tastes, sights and scents of Salina Valley’s vineyards, farms, ranches and fields at the 10th Annual Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival. Enjoy the culinary talents of area chefs, wine from grapes grown in the valley’s unique micro-climate and locally brewed craft beers, plus artisan vendors showcasing their works.
Although the dates are listed as tentative, 2021 marks the 40th year this fest of Italian food, cultural activities, music and more should take place in San Jose. Activities include wine tastings, grape stomping, Italian flag throwing and more. Gorge yourself on Italian favorites such as spaghetti, meatball sandwiches, calamari, sausages, pizzas, ravioli, gelato and cannoli — all washed down with beer and wine.
Dancing in the streets only begins to describe this extravaganza in the SoMa district centered at Howard and Second Streets! Envision world-class electronic music, DJs, top stage producers and sound systems on 10 musical stages, 100+ art, jewelry and accessory vendors, art, cannabis-related exhibits, food and more.
Expect groovy musical performances, mouth-watering local eats, craft beers, cocktails, wine, art, artisanal vendors and a massive open lawn perfect for sunbathing and picnicking. Watch for your favorite food trucks, pop-up tents and entertainers at their new location at the Marin Center in San Rafael. Tickets go on sale June 15.
San Francisco’s Italian American community celebrates its heritage with music, performances, floats and Italian and Italian American dignitaries and business representatives. The parade begins at 12:30 p.m. at Jefferson and Powell Streets in Fisherman’s Wharf and proceeds through North Beach, ending in Washington Square. Restaurants lining the parade route will offer streetside seating.
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is organizing the return of Eat Drink SF, a 10-day event of SF Restaurant Week Specials, Neighborhood Nights and ticketed dinners. Currently, no details are posted on the GGRA’s website, so check back for updates.
Far more than a three-day music festival, this glorious event held in Golden Gate Park is a mecca for foodies wanting to sample food, wine and beer from Northern California’s most talented culinary minds. Festival organizers have announced the concert lineups but are still working on food and drink vendors. See performance from The Strokes, Tyler the Creator, Glass Animals, Lizzo, Vampire Weekend, ZHU, Tame Impala and more — many more. It wouldn’t be a proper festival without arts and crafts and festival merch, so be prepared to dance, eat, drink and shop. General admission and VIP tickets are sold out, but Golden Gate Club tickets are still available.
ONGOING THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER
Off the Grid has food trucks markets every night of the week around the Bay Area starting June 15th with a rotating selection of vendors. Lunch and dinner markets are scattered throughout the Bay Area, with current markets open in Daily City, Alameda, San Francisco and Menlo Park. Check out the events page to see where your favorite food trucks will be popping up any day of the week.
Head to downtown Rafael and the Westend Village Thursday and Friday nights from 5 to 9 p.m. for alfresco dining. Glowing overhead Tivoli lights on Fourth Street (closed to traffic) create a romantic European feel where restauranteurs have arranged socially distanced outdoor tables. From craft beer to ice cream, Thai, sushi, Italian, Mexican, pizza and vegan cuisine, dozens of eateries and bars offer irresistible cuisine.
While not technically a music or food festival, The Midway is a 40,000-square-foot multifaceted epicenter of art, emerging tech, performances and culinary programs in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. In addition to hosting live music, art exhibitions, dance parties and a broad spectrum of events, The Midway has an Entertainment Kitchen that provides unique audience interaction and collaboration opportunities. Chefs, musicians, artists and more take the stage and experiment, perform cooking demonstrations and showcase their talents, creating fascinating gastronomic experiences. The on-site restaurant, Madame Zola’s Fortune, serves delicious cuisine and drinks during live performances at outdoor dining areas. See their website for the event schedule.