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.
The biggest annual food festival in Vancouver was created by Tourism Vancouver in 2002 to promote local restaurants (and members of Tourism Vancouver): 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 Dine Out Vancouver, 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.
2. Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival - January 18 - February 14, 2014
Now in its 4th year, the burgeoning Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is a winter delight: 23 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.
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.
Another relatively new festival that is garnering rave reviews and huge attendance is the Vancouver Poutine Festival from co-organizers Francouver.ca and La Belle Patate (one of Vancouver's top poutineries). The two-day festival showcases poutine (French fries, cheese curds and gravy), poutine tasting, and includes live music after 6pm.
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.
Bonus item! Though not a food festival, per se, the annual Asian-style summer night markets--the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market and the gargantuan night markets in Richmond are major food events: The night markets in Richmond feature hundreds of Asian street food vendors and are one of the Top 10 Summer Events in Vancouver.