The gigantic food takeover known as the New York City Wine & Food Festival doesn't descend upon our shores until mid-October, but the time to buy tickets is now before all the good events are sold out and you're stuck in Flavortown. Over 100 events take place over the course of the four-day feeding frenzy October 17th to October 20th, from walk-around tastings, and small dinners to seminars and late-night ragers. The "star" chef lineup means tickets won't come cheap—though there is a section dedicated to events $100 and under—but with net proceeds going directly to Share Our Strength and the Food Bank For New York City at least your some of your cash will be going to a good cause.
With so much to choose from it can be overwhelming to know where to spend your pennies, so here are a few events we'll be lining up for come the fall to help guide your way through the foodisphere.
- Blue Moon Burger Bash: This annual burger event pits patty creators against one another for the Burger Bash King or Queen crown. For everyone else, it's an opportunity to eat an ungodly amount of ground beef and overindulge in beer. Contenders from Smith & Wollensky, Porter House New York, Ditch Plains and more are on hand, doling out burger samples and some side dishes. Rachel Ray plays hostess again this year, plus expect sightings of other Food Network mainstays like Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri. Tickets run $225 and sell out quickly, so act fast. Friday, October 18th, 6:30 p.m.
- Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate: By the time this event rolls around the Jets season will likely be over and you'll need to console yourself with lots of delicious "tailgate"-type foods. Jets legend Joe Namath joins chef Mario Batali for a sampling event featuring pigskin-appropriate fare like barbecue (Fette Sau, BrisketTown, Mighty Quinn;'s), burgers (Bill's Bar & Burger, Shake Shack) and sandwiches (JoeDough, Num Pang). Captain Cronut Dominique Ansel will also be in attendance. Pork Cronut? Tickets $125. Saturday, October 19th, 2 p.m.
- Beecher's After Dark: Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese is really all you need to know about this new event to the lineup. The Flatiron cheese shop keeps its doors open late so ticket holders can sample a variety of dairy delights from fresh curds to their special Flagship cheese. They'll have plenty of wine for sipping plus snacks like grilled cheese bites and tomato soup shooters. While you're munching, watch the cheese makers in action and learn about the process from Beecher's cheese experts. Tickets $85. Saturday, October 19th, 8:30 p.m.
- Rockin' Dumplings and Rollin' Sushi Silly name aside, this late-night event packs in some serious talent for a walk-around tasting event of Asian-inspired small plates. Pig & Khao's Leah Cohen, the Do Or Dine team and Jacques Torres are all showing up for the party, which is hosted by karaoke king himself Masaharu Morimoto. Speaking of karaoke, get ready to belt out some tunes, because you know the Iron Chef will be. Tickets $150. Friday, October 18th, 11 p.m.
- Oyster Bash: The NYCWFF likes to "bash" things and this time it's delicious oysters at an event hosted by New Orleans chef John Besh. Spend three hours slurping bivavles from artisanal oyster farmers and sipping champagne alongside Todd English, Anita Lo and other chefs from around the city. Chefs are bringing their favorite oyster dishes plus there'll be plenty of The Standard's famous french fries to help soak up the booze. And yes, this all goes down in the Biergarten at The Standard, so once you've had a few glasses of bubbly you can put on your own kind of bash. Tickets $135. Sunday, October 20th, noon
- Oktoberfest: Since you're not going to be in Munich, NYCWFF brings the celebration to our city with this beer-centric event hosted by Andrew Zimmern. Pack into The Garden @ Studio Square and drink some cold brews and nosh on sausages from DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Landbrot and Edi & the Wolf. Besides the wurst, other German-inspired dishes will be on hand to complete the trip to Bavaria. Tickets $95. Sunday, October 20th, 2 p.m.